This week, the Fodor’s 2011 Holiday Gift Guide helps you shop for the Global Nomad in your life. Check back each week for new gift recommendations that will please every traveler on your list. So far we’ve also revealed top gifts for The Jetsetter, The Gadgeteer, and the Family on the Move.
Global Nomads turn traveling into an art form, packing lightly without sacrificing style. They prize quick immersion and self-sufficiency, accessorizing with worldly experiences and compact practicalities instead of overstuffed, possession-filled suitcases. Whether they’re whizzing by rickshaw along a crowded Bangkok street, or picking grapes in a Piemontese vineyard, these seasoned travelers always hit the ground running—breezing through airport security and diving into wherever their travels take them. For the Global Nomad—who loves the journey just as much as the destination—we’ve selected the best gifts at any price.
1. Starbucks VIA Coffee Packs
What It Is: For coffee-obsessed travelers, there’s nothing more disappointing than a substandard cup o’ joe. The Starbuck VIA Coffee Pack ($9.95) prevents that fate by allowing coffee connoisseurs to enjoy a quality brew regardless of the locale. Just add hot water.
The Kicker: Starbucks VIA is made from the same coffee beans as the rest of the famous coffee chain’s tasty brews.
Where to Buy: Starbucks.com
2. Living Language Platinum
What It Is: The fine art of exploring the world doesn’t mean just arriving at a destination, but also learning languages encountered along the way. Living Language Platinum ($179) provide an easy means to absorb the basics of a foreign language in any method you choose—from mobile apps and online courses to CDs and workbooks.
The Kicker: Speak another language without using wild hand gestures.
Where to Buy: LivingLanguage.com
3. MUJI Neck Pillow
What It Is: Finding a way to make a trans-Atlantic flight comfortable was once thought to be a Global Nomad’s intractable conundrum. The MUJI Neck Pillow ($24.50) solves that problem. An elastic cover and microbeads allow the pillow to conform to any body shape, while the adjustable strap keeps it in just the right place.
The Kicker: It may be called a neck pillow, but it can also be used to support the lower back.
Where to Buy: MUJI.us
4. ZAGGmate iPad Case and Keyboard
What It Is: Not only does it protect an iPad from the scrapes and dents that usually come from traveling, the practically indestructible ZAGGmate iPad Case and Keyboard ($99) also means you can leave the laptop at home. The keyboard is the key—it turns your iPad an office on the road.
The Kicker: The ZAGGmate iPad Case doesn’t add much bulk or weight to an iPad, which means it’ll comfortably fit in a carry-on or small travel bag.
Where to Buy: Zagg.com
5. MacBook Air with 11-inch Screen
What It Is: Flip it open and the MacBook (from $999) comes to life in the blink of an eye. Use it to plan the day’s adventure while sipping espresso in a café near a bustling town square. Stow it in a backpack and trek through cobblestone streets all day without worry—or sore shoulders.
The Kicker: With a relatively low price and trademark Apple design, smart and stylish is a combo few can deny.
Where to Buy: Apple.com
6. Juicebar Pocket Solar Charger for Electronic Devices
What It Is: Ancient cultures had their reasons for worshipping the sun, now we have ours. Small and lightweight, the Juicebar Pocket Solar Charger ($49.99) can be tucked away in a pocket or backpack and pulled out whenever a quick charge is needed. Perfect for when the drained GPS can’t point the way to the Louvre and no electrical outlets are in sight.
The Kicker: The Solar Charger can also be charged by the light from a lamp.
Where to Buy: JuicebarSolarCharger.com
7. m0851 Zipper Wallet
What It Is: Made from high-quality leather, the m0851 Zipper Wallet ($200) is as stylish as it is durable, which makes it the perfect accessory for the Global Nomad. The steel zipper keeps money and credit cards safe from prying hands, while its compact size means it can be easily hidden away.
The Kicker: The wallet comes in three different colors: black, brown, and tan.
Where to Buy: m0851.com
8. NOOK Tablet
What It Is: The NOOK Tablet ($249) is like taking an entire library on a trip. While waiting at the airport or rumbling through country-side settings on the train, the NOOK provides a media experience that is clear, engaging, and—thanks to the efficient battery—long-lasting.
The Kicker: For everything the NOOK offers, the most amazing part is the price.
Where to Buy: BarnesandNoble.com
Gifts selected by Fodor’s Editors. Written by Sam Barrett
Photo Credits: courtesy 1) Starbucks Coffee Company, 2) Random House, Inc., 3) MUJI U.S.A. Limited, 4) ZAGG, 5) Apple Inc., 6) Juicebar Solar Charger, 7) m0851, 8) Barnesandnoble.com llc