2021 Annual Gift Guide: 20 Perfect Gift Ideas from the World's Most Experienced Travelers

2021 Annual Gift Guide: 20 Perfect Gift Ideas from the World's Most Experienced Travelers

The 2021 Annual Global Rescue Holiday Travel Gift Guide includes 20 perfect gifts for the people on your holiday shopping list who love to travel.

“We asked the world’s most experienced travelers — Global Rescue’s medical and security professionals and our Safe Travel Partners – to curate a list of must-have gifts for leisure and business travelers,” said Michael Holmes, marketing vice president at Global Rescue, the world’s leading provider of medical, security, evacuation and travel risk management services.  

1. Sustainable Sunglasses – You’ll appreciate Baijo (pronounced Bah-hee-oh) sunglasses in a multitude of ways: lightweight frames won’t hurt your ears after hours of wear, the company is 100% carbon neutral and every sale helps protect the planet’s saltwater flats. Consider the best-selling Bales Beach sunglasses, named after the flat in Islamorada that’s a magnet for tarpon and square groupers, as essential gear for your next fishing trip. The bio-based nylon frame has additional side coverage built into the design and polarized lenses in six different colors, like Cuda gray and Permit Green. $249 for glass and $199 for polycarbonate lenses.  

2. On-wrist Intelligence – If you’re monitoring your health and fitness, a smartwatch might be even smarter than your smartphone. Not only can you measure your heart rate or blood pressure, track your sports activities, check your elevation (handy for runners and hikers) and detect a fall before it happens, you can also pay for purchases, benefit from turn-by-turn satellite navigation and stream music. You can even discover more amazing features at superwatches and explore different brands that are undeniably affordable to buy. It’s one of the items on Dan Richard’s holiday wish list this year. “I’ve been a fan of satellite watches for a long time. They are great for travel, adventure and finding your way home if you get lost,” said the Global Rescue CEO. Prices range from a few hundred dollars to nearly two thousand. Check out the options at   

3. A Nut-astic Snack – Sure, you can buy nuts almost anywhere: a big box store, the grocery store or your local food co-op. But are the nuts roasted on the day you buy them? They are if you order from Nuts.com, a family-owned business based in New Jersey. Depending on your dietary needs — and your taste buds — you can select from organic, raw, roasted, salted, unsalted, 50% less salt, seasoned and even chocolate covered. Nuts are an easy-to-pack source of protein whether you’re on the trail or on your way to your next travel experience. Not sure what type of gift to give? Try a variety pack, gift tray or gift certificate. New customers get free shipping when they spend $29 or more.

4. Hand Tools for the Outdoors – Anglers, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts are particular about their gear. That’s why many turn to Outdoor Edge for knives and axes with a functional design, best edge holding steels, state-of-the-art production processes and a lifetime guarantee. The Colorado-based company also offers a lightweight axe called the Wood Devil and a mealtime multi-tool called the ChowPal. The ChowPal slides apart to reveal a full utensil set — folding knife, fork, spoon, can opener, bottle opener, flathead screwdriver and graduated wrench — then slides back together for storage in a nylon pouch. $28.50.  

5. Hardcore Rain Gear– From base layers to rain gear to headwear, Canis spent two and a half years engineering gear in Switzerland, testing it around the world, and re-engineering based on the results. If you live in rain gear, you’ll want to check out their pieces made of lightweight, three-layer high-tenacity nylon. Take a look at the Nunavut jacket, which is loaded with pockets, or the minimalistic, packable Wapiti rain jacket. $299.   

6. Hangboards for Climbers – Training during the off-season? Safe Travel Partner Send Edition recommends hanging up this Metolius Wood Grips Compact II Training Board over a doorway. You can use it to train your fingers to better hang on to slopes, pockets or pinches. You can add it to your overall training program — which you’ve designed with a climbing professional — and start with the biggest holds first. Trango Rock Prodigy Training Center, a two-piece construction to help with shoulder alignment, is another option to help increase finger strength. Both can be found on REI.com; $79.95 and 139.95 respectively. 

7. Curated Medical Kits – You are planning a multi-generational — from toddlers to teens to grandparents — family trip in the New Year. You are going to a remote location with a variety of outdoor activities. What do you pack in your first aid kit? Let Wilderness Medical Systems build a custom kit for you; perhaps the Pamir Kit, which is suited for destinations/locations more than eight hours from U.S.-level medical care. Sealed in a rugged, waterproof bag, there are enough supplies for 6 to 10 people covering a variety of travel mishaps — blisters, sprains, burns, rashes, stings and wounds. $940.  

8. Waterproof Reading – Do you love bringing books on your travels? Jerich Eusebio, an operations specialist at Global Rescue, recommends a waterproof Kindle Paperwhite. “Books are not very practical to bring when traveling outdoors, and I love the outdoors,” Eusebio said. “The Kindle Paperwhite does an excellent job making this happen. Not only do I get to read my favorite (e)books the way I want them (seemingly printed on paper) but I also get the security of knowing that if I accidentally drop it while traversing a river it will survive.” The Kindle Paperwhite retails for $159.99 (without ads) on Amazon.com 

9. Travel Pillow That Transcends Traditional Shape – Whether you’re a business road warrior or a leisure traveler anticipating a long-haul flight soon, a good travel pillow is essential when it comes to sneaking in some shut-eye. But if you’re still toting around the traditional U-shaped pillow, it’s time for an upgrade. Resembling something closer to a scarf than a pillow, The Trtl Travel Pillow features a fleece-covered plastic frame that provides unshakeable support to one side of your neck while remaining comfortable to wear. $29.99 

10. Cairngorms Adventure – If you are comfortable riding your mountain bike on loose, rocky trails and muddy singletrack descents, H+I Adventures offers a bike tour in the Cairngorms, Britain’s highest mountain range situated in the eastern Highlands of Scotland. Not only will you bike through heather-clad hills, ancient glens and secluded lochs, but you'll also be sampling a range of Scotland's finest whiskies and gins, dining at family-run restaurants, and perhaps spotting the herd of wild reindeer on Cairngorm Mountain. H+I, based in Scotland, offers five tour dates in 2022. $2,103. 

11. Multipurpose Travel Towel– A lightweight, quick-dry microfiber towel isn’t just for the beach. “An extra-large microfiber towel in your carry-on bag can be an emergency blanket during a long day of travel, a rolled splint for an injured foot on the trail, or clean up assistance in an airport lounge shower during an unexpected layover,” said Garret Dejong, senior specialist in medical operations at Global Rescue. “Having a microfiber towel as part of your travel toiletries, no matter how spartan, just makes sense.” L.L.Bean offers a Sea to Summit Tek Towel in three different sizes. $24.95 to $39.95.  

12. Travel Tokens – Not interested in knickknacks or keepsakes from your travels, but want to remember the trip somehow? The Wander Club offers a way for travelers to remember their adventures: engraved tokens for every national park, state, country and landmark you visit. You can hang your stainless-steel tokens, engraved with your favorite destinations, on a leather keychain or a backpack. Not only will your shelves be free of dustables, but your purchase also feeds a child in need through nonprofit partner, Rice Bowls. Travel tokens range from $5 to $7 each, and leather or vegan Wanderchains are $25.

13. Heavy-Duty Hydro Flask – U.S. Ski and Snowboard provided these awesome hydro flasks to Global Rescue's 2021 Photo Contest winners. These matte black 16-ounce bottles — complete with leakproof lid, flex strap and U.S. Snowboard Team logo — were the talk of the Global Rescue office. BPA-free, Phthalate-free, top rack dishwasher safe, and proceeds support an Olympic sports organization providing leadership and direction for tens of thousands of young skiers and snowboarders. $32.95.

14. 50 Gripping Tales of Adventure – “Past Explorers Club members were first to the North Pole, first to the South Pole, first to summit Mount Everest, first to find the deepest part of the oceans and first to walk on the moon,” writes Richard Wiese, president of The Explorers Club in the 2020 updated edition of As Told at The Explorers Club: More Than Fifty Gripping Tales of Adventure. These true-life stories by members of The Explorers Club will delight fellow explorers, history buffs, geography gurus and even armchair adventurers. $24.95.  

15. Hydro Flask - Drink in the adventure – Made to be your go-to sidekick from office to trailhead, Hydro Flask stainless steel water bottles are vacuum-insulated and keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot for hours. Both the Standard Mouth and Wide Mouth options have plenty of room for loading in ice and come with the easy-carry Flex Cap. 

16. A Customized Expedition Vehicle – Cliff climbs and rock crawling in off-the-beaten-path locations across the United States is on your bucket list, but you’re going to need the right vehicle. Check out TOURIG, a Colorado-based builder of high-performance expedition vehicles. You work with a design consultant to go over the features and function of your van, approve and tweak the design of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or Ford Transit van conversions, then answer periodic questions — to get the details just right — during the build process. The result: the perfect vehicle for on- and off-road adventures.  

17. Mapping Outdoor Adventures – Whether you’re snowmobiling, hunting, hiking or climbing, BaseMap will help you plan, navigate and share your outdoor adventures. This mobile and desktop mapping application combines everything in one convenient application: research data, public and private land ownership, GPS tracking, 3D imagery, custom markers, offline maps and more. The app is free, but the best gift is BaseMap Pro, which includes direct communication to Global Rescue and access to field rescue services ($5,000 maximum). $49.99/year.  

18. A Lifesaving Gift– This item is something Global Rescue mentions in any blog having to do with first aid and survival. It’s been used by the U.S. Army since 2005 and is proven to be 100% effective by the U.S. Army's Institute of Surgical Research. "A tourniquet is a lifesaving and extremely practical gift for somebody who likes to travel. They are small, lightweight, can be taken anywhere, and can potentially save somebody's life," said Adam Bardwell, supervisor of operations at Global Rescue. "I prefer a CAT tourniquet — they are the most user-friendly." $29.95.  

19. Bug-Out Bag – Global Rescue Director of Communications Bill McIntyre has his eye on the Seventy2 Survival System. Why is it called Seventy2? The first 72 hours of a survival situation is extremely critical, and these kits have been designed — with the help of first responders, doctors, special forces operators and mountain guides — to provide the gear you need in a potentially deadly situation. This bug-out bag, made of heavy-duty waterproof canvas, comes with a tent, water filtration system, fire starter and first aid kit, to name a few items. $389.

20. Travel Protection Membership – Give the gift of peace of mind to the traveler in your life. A Global Rescue membership ensures your loved one is not alone when they board that plane, train or ship. They are traveling with a virtual team of experts — a paramedic, a translator, a logistics expert, an intelligence analyst and a security advisor. It’s like having a protective detail on standby, prepared to help when you need medical or security advice or a field rescue. Annual Global Rescue travel services memberships start at $329. 

Global Rescue is the world’s leading provider of medical, security, evacuation and travel risk management services to enterprises, governments and individuals. Founded in 2004, Global Rescue has exclusive relationships with the Johns Hopkins Emergency Medicine Division of Special Operations and Elite Medical Group. Global Rescue provides best-in-class services that identify, monitor and respond to client medical and security crises. Global Rescue has provided medical and security support to its clients, including Fortune 500 companies, governments and academic institutions, during every globally significant crisis of the last decade. For more information, visit www.globalrescue.com.