Every year, Culture Trip keeps an eye out for the best travel gifts and coveted globetrotting accessories to gift the traveler in your life. Whether that traveler is a solo adventurer extraordinaire, a wellness buff, a practical tripper or photography enthusiast, Culture Triphas got you covered this holiday season.
From the best suitcase on the market today to the ultimate solo traveler’s camera, our Travel Editor has tried and tested the following travel accessories.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
The best suitcase for the avid globetrotter
When it comes to travel, the days of opting for the standard issue black carry-on bags are far behind us, especially when suitcases like Away Luggage exist. According to the Away website, their luggage was inspired by hundreds of travel stories to create a suitcase for what travelers actually need; this translates to an unbreakable outer shell, many interior compartments and the pièce de résistance,a built-in USB port to charge all digital devices on the go.
This past October, Away partnered with fine art photographer Gray Malin, to create a line of special edition bags in three colors: coral, ocean and alpine. Each of the three bags features one of Gray’s aerial photographs printed on the inside lining, adding a certain something special to the suitcase.
The best camera for solo travelers
A solo traveler’s best friend is their camera. An ideal camera companion should have WiFi capabilities to automatically sync photos with your smartphone and should be compact enough to carry comfortably while still providing high resolution imagery. It will also need video capabilities and (ideally) a flip out screen with which to take selfies with. In short, Culture Trip recommends the Olympus OM-D for its high quality photography, convenient size and vintage aesthetic appeal (which looks stellar in flat lays).
The best compact camera case for photo buffs
Over time, we’ve tested an array of camera bags and cases—from bulky camera bags and stylish cross-body bags to now the Away Mini Suitcase. This compact, hardshell case is perfect for small cameras as it protects the camera from damage and features an inner compartment to hold lens caps and other accessories.
The best essential oils for wellness travelers
While not quite a travel accessory, Saje essential oils are a companion for any globe trotter looking to bring a sense of calm on their journey. We are loving the Saje pocket farmacy, which has five essential roll-on oils to naturally aid in everything from stress and headaches, to pain and belly aches. Having tried and tested these essential oils for ourselves, these natural blends are surprisingly effective. Our two favorites? The Peppermint Halo blend for headaches, which is applied by rolling the oil along the hairline, and the soothing lavender Stress Release blend, which is great for rolling onto pillows to promote relaxation and a good night’s sleep.
The best foldable laundry bag
A laundry bag might not be the sexiest gift out there, but for travelers it is essential. This Kikkerland Airplane Travel Laundry Bag from Bed Bath & Beyond folds into a small, drawstring pouch and is easy enough to toss into your carry-on bag. Having touted our own Kikkerland Laundry Bag around the world—from Japan to France—the convenience of having a foldable laundry bag to keep dirty garments separate is key.
The best accessory to replace the ‘selfie stick’
The reign of selfie sticks has finally come to an end. Having annoyed enough travelers, obstructed enough views and even been banned in major tourist destinations, we are more than ready to leave the dreaded selfie stick behind and welcome a new alternative in 2018. Enter the Joby GorillaPod, a small and unobtrusive alternative to the selfie stick craze. The GorillaPod is a flexible tripod that can be wrapped around almost anything to help you take a selfie from a distance.
The best bag pairing for every traveler
When rushing through the airport, there is perhaps nothing more irritating than playing the part of “bag lady” and balancing a carry-on, purse and miscellaneous shopping bag as you struggle to reach for your passport. Now, Lo & Sons has the answer to the perfect bag pairing for hands-free travel. The Hanover Backpack is lightweight and features memory foam straps and a minimalist design with internal compartments that save you from digging for items. Available in an onyx recycled polyester, navy blue polyester or a water resistant black polyester, the Hanover also has a slip in the back that fits onto your suitcase handle.
The Waverley (featured below) is a versatile bag that can be worn either as a cross body, wristlet, shoulder bag or belt bag. Available in black, sienna or grey Nappa leather, Lo & Sons recommends pairing the Hanover with the Waverley (as a belt bag) so as to carry your essentials while easily accessing money, passports and boarding passes on your hip.
Having tried this combo out the past few days, we cannot recommend this bag pairing enough for travelers keen on avoiding the whole “where did I put my passport!?” fiasco while in transit.
The best accessory for practical trippers
Another practical travel accessory is the adapter, a friend to every international passenger. We recommend the Loop Travel Adapter, which works in 150+ countries, can charge up to five devices at one time and—according to the site— is fitted with Smart Power technology that recognizes the device’s unique charging protocol and allows for optimized recharging speeds.
The best beauty essentials for overnight flights
According to Allure, dry skin is a major side effect of traveling. “Typically, skin is comfortable when the humidity is between 40 to 70 percent,” Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, a clinical instructor in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, told Allure. “Most airplane cabins are at about 20 percent. That’s less than half of what we are used to.” The lack of humidity on board planes results in dry, flaky skin that is left parched.
While on a recent layover en route to Indonesia, I rushed to Duty Free desperate for a moisturizer to salvage my skin for the next leg of my trip. I landed on the Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask, which I recommend for any long-haul travelers. Clinique’s Overnight Mask helps replenish the skin’s lost moisture and creates a barrier against that harsh, dry cabin air.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.