We made it; 2020 is in the rearview mirror. After a truly chaotic, hectic, Grinch-filled year, we decided to put together a list of companies and products that kept us feeling hopeful. We present to you: the socially responsible travel-lovers gift guide, highlighting women-owned, BIPOC-owned, LGBTQ-owned, eco-friendly, and purpose-driven brands that are making our 2020 worries melt away— hopefully with the snow on our boots as we land in our next tropical destination.
From fair trade coffee subscription boxes and recycled plastic face masks to custom trip prints and hand-woven bicycle baskets, here are 21 of our favorite socially conscious travel gifts that can be used on the road (or safely at home) in 2021.
Travel Gifts for: National Park Lovers
1. This retro Grand Canyon Polaroid Camera by Retrospekt (sold by Parks Project)
Have you ever seen a polaroid camera that is this aesthetically pleasing? The Grand Canyon Polaroid by Retrospekt features an awesome 80’s-inspired color palette, built-in flash, fixed-focus lens, and handy carrying strap. The best part? The entire camera made from refurbished vintage polaroid camera parts. Cool and sustainable. Dad is going to love this.
By purchasing the camera through Parks Project, you’re directly supporting their give-back efforts, ranging from wildlife conservation and youth education to visitor programs and habitat restoration.
Distinction: Eco, Donation Program
2. A deck of Minimalist National Park Playing Cards by Parks Project
Parks Project really hit it out of the park this time. See what we did there? This pack of minimalist playing cards makes the perfect stocking-stuffer or hostess gift for the National Park lover in your life (that person might be you —just roll with it).
This 52-card deck has a big purpose, too: proceeds from the deck go directly toward supporting National Park youth education via Parks Project. The travel gift that keeps on giving.
Distinction: Donation Program
3. A US Park Pass to every single US National Park
With one park pass (which is the travelers version of Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket), the giftee receives entrance for one vehicle to all of the parks included on this list.
An added bonus? By gifting a US Park Pass, you’re supporting the National Parks Service in revitalizing American communities and preserving the country’s landscape and history.
Distinction: Donation Program
Travel Gifts for: Self Care Season
4. The relatable If 2020 Was A Mood Set by Oui the People
We feel this one on a personal level. Brought to you by Oui the People, we present the If 2020 Was A Mood Set: a self-care bundle that embodies the absolute catastrophe of 2020. Included is the detoxifying Big Mood bath soak to purify your stress, the Patriarchy Candle to help burn down privilege, and the ultra-cozy F*CKFLAWLESS socks to throw on post-soak.
Oui the People is a woman-owned and BIPOC-owned company that obviously understands our deepest 2020 woes. Their incredible products are made in the USA and eco-friendly. We love this company.
Distinction: Made in USA, Woman-Owned, BIPOC-Owned, Eco
5. This refreshing Basil Yarrow Mist by NOTO
The multi-use facial, body, and hair mist that you didn’t know you needed. NOTO‘s Basil Yarrow Mist smells as good as it works. Blended with hydrating rose water, rejuvenating sweet basil oil, and calming lavender, this mist hydrates your skin and awakens your senses all at once — leaving you fresh and fierce after a long flight or road trip.
NOTO is a LGBTQ-owned and woman-owned company that slays the skincare game. Their eco-friendly and ethical products have multi-use functions to simplify your routine.
A percentage of NOTO’s profits are donated to venerable organizations such as Planned Parenthood, LA LGBT Youth Center, Black Mama’s Matter, and more.
Distinctions: LGBTQ-Owned, Woman-Owned, Eco, Ethical, Donation Program
6. This moisturizing Assorted Bar Soap Set by Hand in Hand
After a day full of hand sanitizer, a sudsy bar of soap sounds perfect to us. Now throw in the heavenly scents of Lavender, Citrus Grove, Sea Salt, and Cactus Blossom and you’ll be in soft, silky, moisturized hand-heaven. Hand in Hand soaps are crafted with organic shea and cocoa butter to nourish those hands.
The brand doesn’t just stop at their luxurious suds experience, though. For every bar of soap purchased, a bar is donated to a community in need, plus one month (yes, one month!) of clean water. Ethical and eco-friendly? Sign us up.
Distinctions: Donation Program, Eco, Ethical
7. This cute Collapsible Bottle by Que
In 2021, hydration is key, people. With the Que Collapsible Bottle, carrying your water with you has never been easier. Featuring a patented, spiral design, the Que bottle can collapse when you aren’t using it. It’s travel friendly, dishwasher safe, and super easy to ship.
Que is a woman-owned and POC-owned company that we love. Through their company, they support four incredible organizations: Rainforest Trust, Grand Canyon Trust, Groundwork, and Coral Reef Alliance.
Distinction: Woman-Owned, BIPOC-Owned, Eco
8. A Rainbow Market Tote by Uncommon Goods
It’s impossible to not smile when you look at Uncommon Goods‘ Rainbow Market Tote. The handprint and rainbow pattern screams happiness. Throw it in your car for groceries or bring it to the beach.
The Rainbow Market Tote was designed by kids, and 100% of proceeds (that’s right, we said 100%) go towards Americare’s COVID-19 response efforts, which is exactly what the world needs right now.
Uncommon Goods donated an overwhelming $22,000 to NYC Hospitals between April and July this year. With this cute and functional travel gift, you too be a part of the movement.
Distinction: Donation Program
Travel Gifts for: Campers & Backpackers
9. The forever Travel Backpack by Pakt
Form meets function with this 30L travel backpack by Pakt. Available in two cool colors, this is the best travel accessory you’ll get your hands on this year. Tt’s carry-on approved and durable, guaranteed to get your valuables across the world, no problem. Plus, the convenient zip-around design will put your previous organizational habits to shame.
Pakt makes their products out of eco-friendly materials that are built to last with a lifetime guarantee. This means that your Pakt Travel Backpack will join you on your adventure in 2021 and 2030.
Distinction: Eco, Ethical
10. This Portable Wash Bag by Scrubba
How have we lived without this? If you want to blow the minds of everyone you love this year, then this is the way to do it.
The Scrubba Wash Bag is your personal washing machine. Brilliant, right? No electricity necessary. Just throw in up to 2 t-shirts, 2 pairs of socks, and 2 pairs of underwear and let the flexible washing board interior do the work. On the move to your next destination? No problem! It’s pocket-sized when folded up.
We didn’t know that a washing machine could be so eco-friendly, but here we are. And we’re not complaining.
Distinction: Eco, Ethical, Donation Program, Woman-Owned
11. Maple Syrup on the Go by Brannon Maple
If there’s one thing we learned from Buddy the Elf circa 2003, it’s that maple syrup should be on everything. These Maple To Go! singles are a no-brainer for mornings that you want to drizzle some maple goodness on your camping pancakes — or on your spaghetti (we don’t judge).
This organic maple syrup is made in the USA by Brannon Maple: a 7th generation Vermont maple producer that has dominated the maple syrup (and family business) game for years. As we’re doing our best to support local this holiday season, this cute as heck family business is a good place to start.
Distinction: Made in USA
12. A Portable Charcoal Grill by Fire and Flavor
The HERO is unmatched when it comes to portable grills. It is fueled by biodegradable charcoal pods for an even grill for your favorite meals. The HERO redefines “portable” weighing under 10 lbs and folding up to the size of a laptop.
Fire and Flavor built their company on eco-friendly principles and the belief that conservation and environmental sustainability is of top priority. In 2020, Fire and Flavor joined the American Rivers foundation to help protect natural bodies of water.
Travel Gifts for: Trendsetters
13. These Recycled Bottles Face Masks by Day Owl
The hottest fashion accessory of 2020, but make it eco-friendly. These face masks by Day Owl are made out of recycled bottles and available in four gorgeous colors. Choose from youth sizing or adult sizing and include a sanitary travel pouch to store your mask in between uses.
With every mask you purchase from Day Owl, an additional mask is donated to locals in Haiti, Honduras, and Taiwan who are partnered with First Mile: a non-profit that collects waste to prevent it from ending up in oceans and landfills.
Distinction: Eco, Donation Program, Purpose-Driven
14. A Sidekick Crossbody Bag by Adventurist Backpack Co.
This hip e-commerce company from Colorado is woman-owned and has a top-tier donation program that brings the happy to a (hopefully) happy New Year. With every backpack purchase, Adventurist Backpack Co. provides 25 meals for hungry Americans.
Our fave product is the water-resistant, durable Sidekick Crossbody that keeps all of your necessities safe while on-the-go. Available in three nature-inspired colors, we’ll take one in each, please.
Distinction: Eco, Donatinan Program, Woman-Owned
15. A multi-purpose Travel Scarf from Speakeasy Travel Supply
This scarf is everything we didn’t know we needed for safe travel. Available in dozens of colors and prints, the Travel Scarf has a hidden pocket for you to store your valuables. such as your passport and cash (pickpockets don’t have nothin’ on this accessory).
Speakeasy Travel Supply is a USA-based, woman-owned company that has blended innovation and style. These trendy scarves were made for travelers, by travelers, so it’s the perfect travel-friendly accessory.
With so many patterns available, you can find the perfect gift for every travel fiend in your family.
Distinction: Made in USA, Woman-Owned
16. These gorgeous Prima Earrings by Purpose Jewelry
This one’s for the jewelry lovers. Purpose Jewelry‘s gorgeous brass Prima Earrings feature a stunning geometric design that will surely elevate any outfit.
The best part? All of the proceeds from this gorgeous pair (that’s right, 100%) are donated to International Sanctuary, a non-profit that provides artisans with education and proper care.
But it doesn’t stop there! Each earring is hand-crafted by survivors of human trafficking. The incredible design holds beauty and hope with every curve.
Distinction: Women-Owned, Donation Program, Purpose-driven
Travel Gifts for: Stay at Home Dreamers
17. These Custom Travel Maps by Atlas.co
The perfect sentimental gift for the travel lover in your life. This custom travel map tells a personal story by showcasing your trip from point A to point B!
Choose from different colors, styles, and finishes to make this travel map your own. This is sure to surprise your loved one on Christmas morning!
Atlas.co is owned by two high school sweethearts and travel lovers, Kara and Nate. They have partnered with 100+ printing companies worldwide to minimize shipping costs and reduce the environmental effects of international shipping.
18. A Vegan Leather Journal by Forest Nine
These cork, personalized journals are definitely something to write home about. Crafted by hand, Forest Nine has made sure that this product is sustainably-sourced and cruelty-free, so this is a purchase that you can feel good about.
Choose from lined or unlined paper, decide what kind of embossing you’d like on your journal, and voila! A customized travel gift for someone you care about.
Distinctions: Eco, Ethical
19. A Coffee Tasting Subscription by Bean Box
Fair trade coffee is the only coffee we’re drinking this holiday season, which is why we love Bean Box. They’ve curated a business plan of fair social philosophies, marketing tactics, and trading practices to bring the most ethical (and tasty) coffee right to your doorstep.
After all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, a hot cup of joe is definitely required.
20. A handmade Bicycle Basket from Baba Tree
If we can’t fly, then we’re going to take our bicycle game seriously. Naturally, accessorizing is required.
We’ve never seen anything more beautiful than these Bicycle Baskets by Baba Tree. Carefully woven by local artists in Bolgatanga, Ghana, each basket includes leather and brass details, and a photo of the person who made it. Baba Tree guarantees fair pay for the artists in the Gurunsi community while sharing their eco-friendly and ethical art with the rest of the world.
Distinctions: Purpose-Driven, Eco, Ethical, Donation Program
21. A Brighter World Box by Threads Worldwide
Threads Worldwide sells one-of-a-kind jewelry from women artisans around this world. This holiday season, Threads has partnered with other woman-owned, ethical brands to create the Brighter World Box. Support several incredible businesses with just one purchase!
This is the perfect gift for the fierce women in your life. In one order you’ll get: Be the Wagon coffee, Clarity of the Mind essential oil, 10 Bean soup mix, Flower-Pressed shortbread cookies and loose-leaf tea, Dream Big Live Big cards, BeadforLife necklace, and a $50 gift card to Threads Worldwide.
Distinctions: Women-Owned, Ethical