Last-Minute Holiday GIFT GUIDE 2014

If you still need a few ideas before wrapping-up your holiday shopping, see our suggestions below for cool tech and travel gear, globally-inspired gifts and beauty products to keep you glowing throughout the holidays. HEADERWhether or not you’re an avid traveler, these gifts are sure to please even those going about their day-to-day routines. From backpacks to laptops, water bottles, perfume, and luxurious blankets to snuggle up in, there are plenty of choices awaiting this holiday season.BookCamera3Dream of Venice Photography Book The beautiful hardcover book, Dream of Venice, captures the mysterious allure of the ancient floating city with the evocative photography of Charles Christopher and the beguiling words of a diverse group of contemporary Venetophiles. The luminous photographs compliment the intimate thoughts, memories, poems and stories of notable contributors from the worlds of art, literature, design, cuisine, music, and filmmaking. You’ll find anecdotes from actors and directors who have worked on location in Venice, including Woody Allen (Everybody Says I Love You) and Julie Christie (Don’t Look Now). Portions of the proceeds from each book will be donated to Save Venice, Inc., which supports art and architecture restorations in La Serenissima. The book is available on Amazon. Snap your own fantastic pictures wherever you travel with the Nikon 26x optical zoom digital camera. This compact dynamo shoots just like an SLR, yet it’s compact enough to take on trips without the hassle of a separate camera bag. CoolPixL810, $280, nikon.comNovelDuffleHerschel2Novel Duffle Bag by Herschel Supply Co.Some great travel gear from our northern neighbors…Based in Vancouver, Herschel Supply Co. was started by the Cormack brothers in 2009, and manufactures the finest quality backpacks, bags, travel goods and accessories. Perfect for a weekend away, the Novel Duffle is one of their most popular bags and comes in over a dozen different colors and patterns. It features a separate signature shoe compartment at the bottom of the bag for easy and organized travel; simply unzip the side of the bag to place or remove shoes. An internal mesh pocket and removable padded shoulder strap are additional features that blend with Herschel Supply’s classic styling in creating fine quality, timeless products. http://www.herschelsupply.com

HP Pavilion x2_Tiffany Blue2Best PC/Tablet combo – HP Pavilion x2 The HP Pavilion x2 is a portable, versatile and highly affordable 2-in-1 PC – perfect for productivity, work or play. This windows tablet transitions to a full-featured notebook with a detachable dual-purpose keyboard that protects the screen as a cover and serves as a multi-position stand. With front firing speakers and long lasting battery power, the HP Pavilion x2 is ideal for finishing up work before heading out of the office or watching your favorite movie while traveling for the holidays.It is designed to function as a tablet or notebook, as users seamlessly switch from watching a show or reading in tablet mode, to writing emails and using programs like a fully functional laptop (starting at $329.99).

Speck Sleek Cases for Smart Phones, Tablets and Laptops by Speck Where would we be without our precious devices in this information age? Take care to protect them with strong and stylish cases by Speck, a master at crafting slim protective cases for the world’s top smartphones, tablets, and laptops. The Candy Shell Card iPhone 6 case (also made for iPhone 5, 5s and 5c) is great for traveling or when you don’t want to bring a full purse or wallet. You can fit up to three cards and folded bills in the back of the phone case. The front of the iPhone case has a raised bezel to help protect your screen from scratches and cracks. A smart choice for an iPad case is the WanderFolio Protective Tri-fold Case with six inner pockets to hide away tickets, a passport or boarding pass and help to keep them safe. A stylish vegan leather cover provides padded protection, while a newly redesigned flexible form-fit cradle provides secure protection and infinite viewing angles. With a one-year warranty on all products, you really can’t go wrong with a Speck case. Visit speckproducts.com to find holiday deals showcasing a variety of their best iPhone, iPad and MacBook cases, plus more.
ContigoWaterThe Cortland Water Bottle by Contigo
For traveling (and every day use), Contigo’s latest water bottle – The Cortland is sure to fit the bill. It features 100% spill-proof technology, a spout cover to protect it from dirt and germs and comes with a built-in sturdy clip to attach to backpacks or purses. This water bottle’s AUTOSEAL® technology seals the lid until you press a button to take a drink. When the button is released, it automatically seals again. Easy, one-handed drinking, with no caps or spouts to remove, make this a great water bottle for on-the-go travelers. The lid flips open for easy cleaning and it’s also top-rack dishwasher safe. There are no plastic odors or taste and the water bottle is BPA-free and FDA-approved. www.gocontigo.com.

RR_ProRemOil3 Pro Remedy Oil by Renee Rouleau 
Whether you’re traveling by air, land or sea, you’ll want to save your skin from the harshness of travel by using Renee Rouleau’s Pro Remedy Oil to moisturize dehydrated skin. This carefully crafted remedy is a blend of 12 natural oils (including Rosehip Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Cranberry Oil) that deliver an exceptional barrier and repair benefits to dry, parched skin in need of moisture. Renee recommends using this multi-purpose oil pre-flight, and while in the air, to prevent moisture loss from the dry cabin air. Apply three drops over your moisturizer and reapply every hour while in the air. From the inside out, this lightweight treatment oil reveals soft, smooth and radiant skin with a newly refined smoothness. This multi-tasking product is great to pack when on-the-go. It can be used as a facial moisturizer, on super dry patches of skin and even on the cuticles. ReneeRouleau.com.

Vaniglia del Madagascar perfume.Vaniglia del Madagascar Parfum by i Profumi di Firenze The world’s finest vanilla orchid perfume, Vaniglia del Madagascar is handmade with all natural ingredients in Florence, Italy and is a must for vanilla lovers! This intoxicating scent is a best-seller from Isabella Imports’ Florentine fragrance collection, i Profumi di Firenze and is available at Barneys New York. Each fragrance is meticulously hand-blended in small batches, with the finest selections of floral and botanical essences from Italy and around the world. The vanilla orchid and vanilla beans from Madagascar give this irresistible fragrance a rich, deep scent and is a favorite among movie stars, royalty and stylists. A handy travel size is only $45 (12ml spray bottle of eau de parfum) and makes a perfect stocking stuffer or holiday gift. The deluxe size is also available for $110 (50 ml). www.barneys.com

EkatalaFor the natural beauty in your life, try Ekatala, a beauty care line of organic vegan products, created from the awareness that anything applied onto our bodies can be absorbed into our bodies. Ekatala (the Sanskrit word for “harmony”) embodies the delicate balance between beauty and well-being.  The performance shampoos, conditioners and body washes are made with organic live ingredients, botanicals and essential oils, including coconut oil, olive oil, hempseed oil, lavender, aloe, rosemary, sage, peppermint, thyme, avocado, cottonwood, horsetail, ylang-ylang, meadow foam, African black soap, shea butter and plant sourced A, B1, B2, B3 and E vitamins. The result is aromatic and divine. No animal testing. The products are free of gluten, synthetic ingredients, preservatives, fragrances, colors, fillers, parabens, sulfates, petro-chemicals and GMOs.  www.ekatala.com

montesogno-scarfLuxury Travel Blankets by Montesogno
Every season, Montesogno draws inspiration from three exquisite and endangered creatures. This year they are featuring the European wolf, snow leopard and bateleur on their scarves, throws, blankets, hats and t-shirts. Take flight in Montesogno’s 100% superfine Merino wool bateleur travel blanket. Wonderfully soft and comforting, the neutral tones and illustrative design make it the perfect travel companion for long-distance trips or to simply nestle up with on a lazy Sunday at home.The luxurious blanket is double-sided and made in Scotland. (Bateleur Travel Blanket £350)  Add a vibrant piece to your wardrobe with the yellow snow leopard silk scarf, made from 100% sand-washed Habotai silk. It ‘s the ultimate expression of trans-seasonal luxury. Layer it over a simple white T-shirt as a bold fashion statement or wear it tied over a coat for a sophisticated wrap-up outdoors. (Snow Leopard Silk Scarf £205)

And… that’s a wrap! The staff at Wandermelon wishes everyone safe travels and a Happy Holiday Season! We hope your new dreams and adventures will be fulfilled in 2015.

Liz Laing

Liz Laing

Liz has been a freelance travel writer for nearly a decade, writing for multiple outlets such as Mothering, US Airways, Alaska Airlines, CBS Los Angeles, MadeMan and wandermelon, to name a few. Growing up in New Mexico, Liz also traveled to Japan and Europe, including touring with a modern dance troupe throughout France. She’s now also added photography and web design to her talents, but her greatest accomplishment has been raising her four wonderful kids, who have already been bitten by the travel bug.
Liz Laing

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