Looking for that perfect gift for your favorite Go Girl?
Look no further! We’ve asked our team to name some of the things they absolutely can’t live without while on the road, overseas or even (gasp!) in the comfort of their very own homes. Tried and true, these items have our official stamp of approval.
Support Go Girl! Click the links below to buy these items on Amazon.com. A percentage of your purchase will go to keep Go Girl up and running. The perfect gift that benefits a great magazine? Now that’s holly and jolly!
Who says useful gifts aren’t good gifts?
Photos courtesy of Amazon.com.
SmartWool Socks: Got cold feet about traveling in the winter? With SmartWool socks, you can easily warm yourself up to the idea of chilly airplane rides, unexpected overnights in cold train stations, and even camping excursions in below-zero weather. They come in the original tube-sock formfor basic days, ankle-sock formfor the slightly warmer days, and even infant-sized booties for the GoGirls who haven’t even learned to walk yet. $9-$15. ~ Erica
I love SmartWool socks. I respect and admire them. If it was possible to date an item of clothing, I think SmartWool socks and I could make it a long way together. In fact, I know we could, because we already have. When I got home from months and months of backpacking, I had to throw out just about every piece of clothing I’d brought with me. Pants, shirts, and shoes, all destroyed from being worn every other day for months on end. But not my SmartWool socks: they’re still perfectly wearable and awesome. Socks may not traditionally be the sexiest Christmas present, but SmartWool socks could (and should) change all that. They’re really that excellent. ~ Margaret
Foldable, Reusable Shopping Bags: For all you shopaholic yet Eco-friendly girls, the fold away bag is an absolute lifesaver in your backpack. Taking up minimal space in your luggage but opening up to maximum capacity for all those last minute ‘must have’ souvenirs and presents for demanding friends and family, these bags are available in a variety of makes, shapes, sizes and colours. If you’re looking for a specific brand, we recommend the ChicoBag, a nylon bag that comes in nine colours and stuffs easily into its own keychain pouch. Lightweight and durable, it can be used to carry a lunch or an entire week’s worth of groceries. When you’re away from home, you never know what the bagging customs are (if bags are clean, if they cost money at grocery stores, etc.) or if you might just find the *perfect* souvenir during a long walk. Take advantage of these opportunities by keeping a foldable, reusable shopping bag in your purse wherever you go. You can find them pretty much anywhere, from cheap dollar stores to trendy kitchen supply boutiques. Or you can buy one right now on Amazon.com for less than $5 USD. These bags make great stocking stuffers, or excellent gift bags for other Go Girl recommended items! ~ Erica, Claudia and Beth
Leatherman or Swiss Army knives: For the outdoorsy GoGirl on your shopping list, consider a Swiss Army Pocket Knife or a Leatherman. Both are pocket-sized toolkits, with blades, screwdrivers, can openers, pliers, and myriad other useful tools tucked neatly away in their handles, and they can be handy even in an office environment when your GoGirl is in between adventures. Swiss Army Knives start at $8, and Leathermans start at $20. ~ Erica
Bach’s Rescue Remedy Spray: I very rarely take real medicine (homeopathic treatments are the way to go) and Bach products are a miracle when traveling. The Remedy Spray is a small vial of natural herbs and flower essences that is natural and safe for vegans. I use it when stressed – a drop or two on the tongue and a few deep breaths calms me down in moments. Perfect for those scared of flying. Rumor has it it’s great to apply on bruises, rashes and burns as well (things every traveler has unfortunately experienced!). $15 ~ Nicole
Books and Journals: I know our gift guide includes the snazzy reading and writing gizmos known as netbooks and Kindles, and though you may call me old-fashioned (or just plain cheap) I find it hard to think of a better present for a traveler than a great, entrancing paperback and a sturdy journal or notebook. I love to read about the places that I’m traveling through (if you want some recommendations, shoot me an email!) and I love to write in ink, even though I’m perpetually losing my pens. Also, a great thing about bringing books with you is that you can often sell them back to used bookstores while you’re on the road, picking up a little extra cash (or some new reads) and maybe making a well-read friend or two along the way. Check out our reviews section for some book ideas, and as for notebooks, I’d recommend anything small, light-weight and tough enough for travel. Moleskines are great, if a bit pricey, but even a legal pad (or a stack of napkins…though that might not be the best gift!) will do, in a pinch. ~ Margaret
Diva Cup or Mooncup: What every eco-friendly, budget-savvy girl on the go needs, well, at least once a month. In many parts of the world (particularly the developing world) tampons are either incredibly hard to find, or imported and expensive. Save the world, and yourself, from tampons, sanitary napkins and the hassles of acquiring and disposing of them by buying a Diva Cup! ~ Megan and Allie
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap: I am obsessed. It’s organic and fair trade. It smells fantastic. And one bottle goes a long way if you use sparingly. The perfect gift for any traveler (or anyone that enjoys being clean). This soapchanged my life 3 years ago while traveling in Thailand. It can be used for washing your body, face, hands, hair, clothing (by hand or in the laundry machine), as a household cleaner, toothpaste (a tiny drop on a wet brush), or deodorant in a pinch. Just two warnings: dilute and enjoy the experimentation. Approx. $14 ~ Nicole
Spork: Ever been the victim of midnight hunger attacks? Stranded cutlery-less in the outback? Or just a plain old germ-o-phobe? What you need is a ‘Spork‘: an all-in-1 knife, spoon and fork for any occasion. Choose between a lightweight, colourful plastic type or the slightly sturdier metallic variety. Either choice will be a saviour in any girl’s essential backpack. Under $10. ~ Claudia
A little more money and a little more fun…
Gaiam travel yoga mat: Even if yoga is not your thing, there is no reason not to have a light and compact travel yoga mat. It is obviously perfect for yoga and exercise in general, but can come in handy to place under a sleeping bag in a less than ideal sleeping situation or be a perfect base for a picnic on the beach or in the grass. Approx. $21 ~ Nicole
Go Girl Swag: Don’t forget to represent! Pick up a weekend duffle bag for yourself or another Go Girl you love, or sport Go Girl’s name on a variety of slick t-shirts, cozy hoodies and even sweatpants for hostel lounging. The prices are reasonable, the swag is great– and you get to support your favorite magazine, too! ~ Beth, Margaret, Megan and all the girls at Go Girl
Freeloader Pico Solar Charger (from ThinkGeek): Whether you’re on or off the road, this handy device will keep your most precious travel companion — your phone — alive and kickin’. Just leave it in the sun for a few hours and it can charge Nokias, Ericssons, pretty much any Smart phone, etc. And the best part is, it’s only $30 USD. Not bad for something green. ~ Beth
Steripen: Will you be out backpacking in the mountains for a few days and don’t want to carry gallons of water with you? Or perhaps you’ll be beach-hopping in Thailand and don’t want to waste bottle after bottle of spring water? Buy the Steripen! It can be used for hiking and backpacking but would also be really useful when traveling in countries where you can’t drink the tap water. It’s a small battery-operated gadget that zaps water with UV rays to purify it, and because it doesn’t come with a big filter or pump, it takes up no space in your pack and would be perfect to use with water that is more or less filtered but still non-potable. And don’t forget to use it with an eco-friendly and stylish reusable water bottle! Approx. $60.
SmartPhones with Data Plans: Feeling particularly generous this holiday season? A SmartPhone (or, as I prefer to call them, Intelligent Phones) can be a fabulous upgrade for a GoGirl with limited packing space. With the right apps, your GoGirl can have GPS, currency conversions, maps, translation guides, a day planner, the Internet, and–of course–unlimited texting and photos to share her adventures as she’s on the road. All of this, plus games, music, and more, can fit in a coat pocket or even the pocket of her jeans. And, of course, it’s handy for the (more than) occasional call home. Refurbished SmartPhones start at approximately $40, and data plans with texting will be an additional $40-$60. A plan will likely require about $100 per month to maintain. If you’re really rolling in the dough, though, consider making your call plan international, and really keep up with us! ~ Erica
Splurges! In case you’ve saved any money you don’t intend to spend on travel…
A Guitar: Perfect for entertaining family, friends and self, a guitar can provide endless hours of fun. All you need to learn is a few tunes and you will be on your way to becoming a star amongst many. Besides, it makes a fantastic travel companion and is easily shared amongst other musician type wonders. You also have a constant lure for those nordic gentlemen who just happen have studied Spanish guitar since the age of 6 in Sevilla. Approx. $100 and up. ~ Megan
A Netbook: If you really are the Go Girl you think you are, then traveling and writing go together like peas and carrots. We know you’ve got Apple Care, but stop slamming your heavy MacBook into things and go for something a little bit lighter and more manageable. Netbooks nowadays are so cheap that you really can afford to have that “second computer” to take with you on the go. [Gently] toss it into your suitcase and you’re ready to roll. I suggests the HP Mini netbook— you can get it from Best Buy for $299 USD, and it’s got 250 GB of hard disk space so you can be sure there’ll be enough room for your musings. ~ Beth
Kindle: Got a GoGirl who loves to read? Let her carry her library with her, without having to carry more than a few ounces of weight! The Kindle and Kindle DXcan hold hundreds of books, and the Kindle library on Amazon hosts thousands of titles for your GoGirl to choose from. Not only are Kindle books cheaper than buying the hard copies, many classics (including Dracula, Wuthering Heights, and others) are now available for free! Better yet: if you or your GoGirl has a .edu email address, Amazon offers Amazon Student accounts for free–with all the benefits of Amazon Prime. This means that your GoGirl gets all sorts of discounts on ordered items (including shipping charges) and has access to many magazine and newspaper subscriptions for free. All in all, probably the best gift I’ve ever been given. Kindles start at $139. ~ Erica
If only it could be gift-wrapped!
Presents worth dreaming for (because there’s no other way to get them, really…)
Holiday-in-a-Boxfor Girls on the Go: Remember the day spent checking strands of lights for the one dead bulb that somehow managed to knock another 20 out of commission? Or all those strings that littered the floor after you hung up the lovely tinsel? Well, now you can relive it all over again no matter where you are. Perfect for the girl who wants a little holiday love to hang around, whether in a hut, tent, flat or dorm. Little sacks of holiday smells (warm apple cider, peppermint, fresh baked cookies, etc), packed neatly in with tinsel, candles, and the amazing feeling of being surrounded by everyone you love, etc. This is perfect gift to give holiday cheer to your traveler (and remind them to buy you some exotic gifts). ~ Sam
EU Citizenship: Want to avoid long lines at the airport during layovers from pretty much anywhere to pretty much anywhere? Slip through one of those cool automatic passport checkers from the future? Or maybe you just want to look particularly “cultured”? All you need is dual citizenship in the European Union and you can do all of these things, not to mention, purchase that cute villa in Tuscany, escape to France a la Johnny Depp after an embarrassing election or (perhaps coolest of all) look like a foreigner in your home country! Can we say Carmen Sandiego? ~ Beth
Instant Upgrader: This bewitching (and, unfortunately, imaginary) device magically transforms any coach class boarding passes into to 1st class tickets with Singapore Air. Perfect for transforming those 16-hour flights trapped in the center of the middle row of seats with a tray table bumping your knees, sleeping (or worse yet, chatty) giants to either side, and a 6-year old beating a tattoo on the mini-screen that just happens to be embedded in the back of your headrest into a luxurious, catered and comfortable nap. For a cheaper (but real) version of this gift…perhaps a Valium will do. ~ Allie
And our free and totally awesome gift to you? We’ll keep making Go Girl Magazine better and better.