Gift Guide for the Traveler

There are endless lists of gadgets and gear for travelers. What we have found, though, is less is more. The less you can pack, the more you can bring home. After living abroad for 4-years, here is a compilation of our favorite traveling gear. Any friend of yours who have been bit by the travel bug will definitely love our GIFT GUIDE FOR THE TRAVELER.

traveler gifts for your favorite on-the-go, worldwide friend

for unpredictable weather


Ryan and I love the North Face Thermoball Jacket over all others. We prefer it over the similar Patagonia Nano Puff because of its slimmer and shaped fit. We have worn this jacket anywhere between 30F to 65F. It always somehow seems to work and is very easy to clean.

BUY NOW – Women’s & Men’s

nothing beats toasty


I am a huge fan of the Marmot Precip Lightweight Rain Jacket. It packs small and is light enough to wear in a summer rain or over our warmer jackets. We tested this jacket side-by-side with Patagonia Torrentshell Rain Jacket and the Marot Precip held up best in the Andes.

BUY NOW – Women’s & Men’s

our favorite backpack


This Patagonia backpack doubles as a laptop bag and a hiking day pack. The chest strap and padded shoulder straps let you load it up while still remaining comfortable. It’s also waterproof for peace of mind. The front zip area perfectly fits a pair of sneakers. Great backpack!


the life saver


This small, portable charger keeps several charges for our cell phones and GoPro in a go. It’s small and easy and we bring it on our multi-day backpacking treks to always stay charged. We’ve used many portable chargers over the years and this one surpasses them all.


yoga on the go


We first heard about these traveling yoga mats from yoga teacher friends who have traveled the world – and they have gone through many mats over the years! We love these because they are durable, have enough padding, and are easy to wrap-up and clean.


world-class workouts

$8-$12 Monthly

We’ve worked out at home, in our apartment gym, in our hotel rooms, in Argentina, in Peru, in Morocco… The list goes on. We subscribe to work out wherever we are in the world. These workouts come with nutrition plans, fitness calendars, and us as coaches!


gopro with lcd screen


Our GoPro brings our adventures alive in a way that photos haven’t seemed to do. We prefer the GoPro with the LCD screen on the back because it helps with filming (particularly when scuba diving). Check out our free, handy tutorial on creating your own GoPro videos.


selfie with style


This accessory is our favorite GoPro handle that doubles as an arm and tripod with a gripped handle. It has been key in all of our travels from skiing to scuba diving to horseback riding. Easy to clean and easy to pack, it is an essential accessory to any GoPro. 


byop – bring your own pillow


We love these pillows from a local Minnesota company. They roll up to pack easy (and we take them on our hiking trips!) The pillows are machine-washable and come in various sizes and fluff levels. They double as airplane pillows but are later good for the hotel room.


no interruptions


If you know anything about us, it’s that we prioritize a full night’s sleep above all else. Whether you’re on a plane or in a city where the sun rises at 5:00 AM (hola, Cusco), this eye mask is the most comfortable and gentle, without putting any pressure on your eyes.


more important than a workout


Nutrition can be derailed while traveling, so at least you can get one good meal in a day! Individual one-serving packets are available. These shakes give us energy, improve our immune system, help our muscles recover from a workout, and all with natural, superfood ingredients.


become a bandit


While traveling, we were able to work out on the road each with a set of workout bands. These are our favorite bands because you can customize the resistance level. Women typically use the standard kit while men use the super kit for an array of weights. Very effective.


invest in solid luggage


We typically opt for Samsonite luggage, both carry-on and checked bags. The hardware (wheels, handle, zippers) are of good quality and the luggage lasts through our many trips throughout the years. This is a good, middle-range priced piece that will keep you flying and happy.


hydrate like a pro


We can’t say enough good things about this water bottle. It’s insulated to keep your drink cool or hot for hours. We bring it with us on our hikes, often filled with hot soup or chili, and also to refill at the airport. We don’t mess with hydration! Various lids to choose from.


from hiking to marathons


After reading the book Born to Run, we went minimalist. We love our toe shoes because they create a different experience. You can FEEL the ground. We love these because they’re super light, non-slip, great in the water, and yes, Alex has run multiple marathons in them.

BUY NOW – Women’s & Men’s

merino wool socks


These are our trekking socks of choice. We go with Merino wool because they’re warm, fast-wicking, and dry incredibly fast. I (Alex) go with a size Small for my women’s size 6 shoe while Ryan goes with a Medium for a men’s size 9 shoe. Comes in multiple colors so we don’t mix them up!


ryan’s favorite ball cap


Solid hat with full coverage (no mesh) to protect against sun and rain. He also likes that this cap is more “incognito” so people don’t quite know where he’s from – and it was extra fun to wear while we were living in Patagonia! We love the black but there are many colors.


for the adventurous


Ryan gifted this book to me years ago and it’s been helping us shape our life abroad. We love the wide array of ideas for every type of person – from foodie to extreme sports lover to budding architect to historian. Super fun and spot-on recommendations.


browse other gift guides

Note: Ryan and Alex Duo Life believes in transparency on the web so we are disclosing that there are product links in this document that will earn us affiliate commissions for purchases you make. All products are the exact same products that we purchased after careful review and use regularly. We have not been given any free products by companies in exchange for mentioning them. They are just products we love and use. Enjoy!

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