Holiday Travel Gift Guide

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I’ve been getting quite a few emails these days about what I use and recommend while traveling. I thought it was best to write my first holiday travel gift guide as I have packing lists but some things, including my camera, I’ve never really shared.

Just a note up front that the links through to Amazon are affiliate links so while you don’t have to pay more for the item it does mean Amazon will give me a referral fee which I can put toward some items on my Christmas wish list. Also I looked for the least expensive option for you so it takes you less time to get what you want.

travel camera

Olympus OM-D E-M5

For two years of travel I carried a bulk Canon 40D/60D DSLR and 3 lenses. A hassle,  I realized I was using my phone more and more when traveling. Over a year ago I switched to this mirrorless camera which is so light I can carry it in my purse or coat pocket. It is the same camera I have been shooting food videos. I LOVE this camera.




panasonic lumix lens

Panasonic Lumix 20mm lens

The kit lens with the Olympus is great but bought this lens which is incredibly sharp – just look at this video of food in Dublin to see what it can do.






sony cybershot

Sony Cybershot

For those that don’t want to a really expensive camera but want something that will shoot great photos I have owned quite a few Cybershots and loved them. For a year I shot most of my blog photos of food with it as it has an amazing food setting and I think it’s a great camera overall.



Go Pro

Go Pro Hero 3 Black Edition

I’m not that adventurous but I do scuba and snorkel so this camera is perfect for places like the Galapagos. But also if you have someone  who likes any kind of adventure activity this camera has tons of attachments so you can strap it to your bike helmet and shoot what it’s like to mountain bike down some crazy path – something I will never do. But I still like the Go Pro.








I’m one of those crazy people who loves the smell of books and never thought I would be accustomed to a Kindle. But after a few minutes of reading on mine I forgot it wasn’t a book but electronic. It’s perfect for travel or just throwing in a purse. I’ve never had the Kindle Fire, maybe it’s better? I included an affordable version for someone on your gift list.






getting out of auto

Getting Out of Auto

I wrote about this photography ebook ages ago but I still believe it’s the  best book on how to learn to properly use your DSLR camera – or new Olympus!






Eagle Creek Packing Cube

Eagle Creek Packing Cubes

I know I rave about these all the time but I have used these cubes for nearly four years in my backpack, in my luggage, even n a weekend getaway bag. They will change how you travel.





Travel Inspiration Stocking Stuffers

I also wanted to include a few things that won’t cost you much to impress your favourite traveler.
world map decal

World Map Decal

It’s not 100% accurate in the geography but I have this in my apartment in Toronto and love it.





airplane earrings


Airplane Earrings

How cute are these?







world map journal


World Map Journal

I have written in a journal since I was five and I’m so thankful that I still have my first trip abroad documented in a journal. I can now laugh at how strange and unusual I thought France appeared when I was 16.








The Sun Also Rises


The Sun Also Rises

My favourite travel book isn’t really a travel book at all. In fact I may share my reading list this week, books always make a great travel gift.













Join the Conversation

  1. Great list of Christmas present ideas! I would love, love, love to invest in a GoPro but that will have to wait until my finances drastically improve. Love the wall map decal as well!

  2. Nice list of holiday travel gift guide.

    I definitely have to get the world map decal.

  3. A Cook Not Mad (Nat) says:

    A 3-in-one Olloclip for your iPhone would make a great stocking stuffer.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      It would…but I have a Samsung Galaxy III – why won’t Olloclip make these for the Android cool kids like me!

  4. Nice list! I am totally bookmarking that world map wall decal – totally ordering one once I have a place and walls and all that stuff of my own again!

  5. Marie @ A Montrealer Abroad says:

    Great list! I also published one quite recently and I see we share a lot of the same items 🙂 The world map decal is out of this world!

  6. Interesting list! I would love to buy Sony Cybershot for my niece for she loves to take pictures of herself while she’s on the road.

  7. Great Christmas list of gift. I am in love with those earrings. I will be buying them to my beautiful wife.

  8. Great list, love the journal! I have one from my first big trip too and it’s a hilarious read now.

  9. Wayne Wilson says:

    Sony Cybershot is the clear winner for me. Its inexpensive yet able to capture moments on my travel. Thanks for sharing holiday gift ideas.

  10. Love this. Just a quick question about your camera set up – do you use an external mike that you plug in to the camera? How do you work the sound?
    I really like the look of this camera – I want one!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      For the most part I shoot without an external mic but I do have one that I can use when it’s noisy that just plugs in. I really do love this camera.

  11. Some cool ideas here Ayngelina! I was tempted to get the GoPro 3 for my return to the Galapagos next year, but bought a fancy new SLR lens instead….!

  12. Mike | Earthdrifter says:

    Great to know that the Cybershot has a great food setting as I could really use a decent, affordable camera.

  13. Camels & Chocolate says:

    I love a good travel-themed gift guide. I just upgraded my original GoPro from the Hero 1 to the 2 and what a world of difference it made shooting underwater. I wonder if the 3 is that different than the 2, as well. Also, I’ve been jonesing for that 20mm!

    1. the hero 3+ is lovely, just upgraded from the 2.

      1. Ayngelina Author says:

        I’m not totally sold on GoPro yet, the only time I use it is when I’m underwater because my Olympus takes a far better shot.

  14. Great post. I really like the Olympus OM-D E-M5. Do you know of any good cameras that are waterproof?

  15. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl says:

    I love that journal, I also think a good set of travel envelopes is a great idea too!

  16. Aww – sweet list. I like that you’ve included everything from photo equipment to a Hemingway book 🙂

  17. Lisa Kellenberger says:

    I love the airplane earings and travel journal! I am a big journaler as well. I love skimming my entries later on, they always bring me right back and inspire me to travel more!

  18. thanks for the suggestions. I don’t know if I could put down the dslr for the M5. Very temping and life would be easier. I’d take the hero 3+ over the 3 though.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Take a look at my videos. You will be shocked at how crisp the lenses are on the micro 4/3.

  19. I was thinking ‘wow, those are some expensive gifts’ until I scrolled further down! Some great ideas here. I got a map from one of my friends where you can scratch off the silver foil to reveal each country visited. It’s so geeky but I love it! 🙂

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I have seen those maps, they look really cute.

  20. The airplane earrings are super cute. Thanks for stopping by to comment on our Mexico budget post 🙂

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I love Mexico, it was my first stop when I started traveling and I’ve been back many times since.

  21. Packing cubes, YESSS!!! I bought some before my trip and it saves so much space, makes my bag look tidy, and it’s a breeze when my luggage is over the weight limit, I just take out one of the cubes and stuff it in my carry on.

    Great List!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Biggest recommendation I could ever offer anyone, even when I use luggage I still pack with them.

  22. Susan Morris says:

    Being an avid book lover, I would definitely give my vote to “The Sun Also Rises”, especially when Hemingway is one of those writers who continue to please me with his character sketches and intricate plot ideas. A kindle, too, is a personal favourite.

  23. I always wonder what camera travelers like you bring everytime. This post answers that question.Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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