“Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures”
~ Lewis Carroll

 

WHERE TO NEXT?

Dear Traveler,

Have you finished your holiday shopping yet?

I have not. I usually have plans to be done early, but somehow still have many things left to buy.

In the spirit of helping both me and you, I created this week’s newsletter.

Today is all about gifts! I have collected a variety of “the best of” gift lists and shared them with you below. I have also made my own list by selecting a few items from those lists and combining them with:

  • gifts I’ve previously given
  • friends’ recommendations
  • other gifts I’m giving this year
  • things I personally covet

A special shout out to Suzi Curtis, a friend and the owner of Woody’s Mercantile in Woodstock, VT. She has more design sense in the tip of her little finger than I will ever have in a lifetime. Her shop in Woodstock is so beautiful, TikTokers are now using it as their backdrop to showcase the Vermont lifestyle. This year she has an online store – check out her items below or follow her on instagram.

You will find so many inspiring ideas for teens, college kids, friends, spouses and who ever else you want to purchase a gift for.

If you click on the photos, most have links to purchase. None of these are affiliate links – just things I think are terrific!

They range from tiny – perfect for stocking stuffers, to experiential – Sugar Glider Kitchen cooking classes, to gigantic – a 217 foot yacht charter. There is something for everyone!

Personally I think pairing a tangible gift with an experiential one (travel!?) is an ideal combination! And we love helping you come up with creative ideas – just ask!

Simple starter ideas:

  • Make an Italian gift basket and pair it with a trip to Tuscany
  • Wrap up yoga clothes with a week at a destination spa
  • Combine a pair of Ororo heated mittens with a weekend skiing in Aspen
  • Gift sunglasses, a beach bag and flip flops with a long weekend in St. Barths or Punta Mita

The possibilities are truly endless!

Caveat – I have purchased/tried/seen many of these, but not all. If you do buy any, would you send me a note and let me know which and how you or the recipient likes it? And if you have other great ideas that aren’t on here, please send them to me – the more the merrier!

I hope you find items that you want to buy for someone (or for yourself – that’s ok too) or I hope these inspire other ideas.

If you are having trouble making a decision, consider taking Gretchen Rubin’s Gift Giving Quiz. Answer 8 questions about the recipient and you’ll learn what types of gifts they appreciate.

And if you love these ideas – please take 3 seconds to share these ideas with your friends! Simply push the forward button on your email. You will receive good karma and a thank you from me.


I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving with your family! Our trip to Mohonk Mountain Lodge was a success. More details to come on that in January when I have more time to write.

I’m now in Santiago. Our flight was on time and uneventful (just how I like them). 10.5 hours from JFK non stop to Santiago is the perfect length of flight to get a full night’s sleep.

I love cities where you can do a proper hike from town and Santiago is one of them (Dubrovnik is another favorite). Yesterday we did an adventurous hike up San Cristóbol Hill and took the teleférico down. Great exercise and beautiful views!

With only two days in the city, I am having trouble narrowing down all of the incredible dining options for our limited meals. Today we have lunch with one of my friends and dinner with another. I’ll have much to share in the coming weeks!

Tomorrow at 3:15am we will be picked up to go to the airport for our flight to Patagonia – an additional 3.5 hours south. A bit early for us but we are so excited!

What places are on your bucket list for 2024?! Don’t just dream about it, plan it!

Happy holidays!

Warmly,

Below:

  • The best gift ideas for 2023!
  • Other gift guides

East Coast sweatshirt
Woody’s

My daughter has this and loves it! Comfy and cool.

Vuori Performance Jogger

For college daughters! They all love how comfy and soft Vuori is! And they make men’s clothes too.

Skytrak golf simulator

If, like us, you live in a part of the world where golf is not a year ’round activity, this is a perfect gift! Luckily Jason has a friend with one so he is able to practice even when it’s snowing.

EXPERIENCE: Sugar Glider Kitchen cooking classes

Gesine Bullock Prado lives near us in VT. Her classes are so popular they sell out in minutes. Not only do you get credit for a great gift idea, but also securing something highly coveted. She also has a new cookbook, My Vermont Table.

Passport cover
Woody’s

Luggage tag
Woody’s

AWAY Everywhere Zip Backpack

I have three pieces of Away luggage and I’ve been eyeing this one for my new travel backpack. Spacious, comfy straps, laptop compartment, hidden passport pocket and trolley sleeve.

Tumi Celina Backpack

Another option I’m considering. Similar features to the AWAY bag but with more pockets and compartments.

EXPERIENCE: Intro to hang gliding or paragliding lessons Morningside Flight Park

My friend and I gave these to my son Trevor and his best friend a few years ago. They loved it! A great gift for older teens!

Lapis & Turquoise Bracelet
Woody’s

Beautiful colors in muted earthy tones.

Aquamarine & diamond studs
Von Bargen’s

Gorgeous jewelry is always a welcome gift! What I love about Von Bargen’s is that you can share your recipient’s style and vibe and they will help you hand pick the perfect piece!

Mark & Graham Leather Charger Roll Up

For corralling your many cords.

Lasdun Wool Block Throw
Woody’s

Wintertime=cozy & comfy

Johnnie O’s Quarter Zip

For the guy who likes to soft and comfortable clothes.

Sporting equipment

Pickleball, ice skates, basketball, ping pong, football

Picnic on a mountaintop by Sanbrite

Surprise your favorite person with the most incredible picnic in a spectacular setting on a trip to the Dolomites.

No. 12 Cast Iron Skillet, Smithey Ironware
Woody’s

According to Woody’s owner, Suzi, this is the best cast iron skillet!

Chainmail scrubber
from Woody’s

For keeping your cast iron skillet it perfect condition.

Petite Hammered Disk Necklace
Von Bargen’s

Elegant, simple, beautiful.

Long spa weekend
at Miraval

A destination for couples, friends, mother/daughter or solo.

Bath products from your favorite hotel

My favorites – Molton Brown and Malin & Goetz. Others: L’OccitaneGuerlainLe Labo

Grinch ornament
Woody’s

Just cute

Jetsetter ornament 

For the travel lovers

Apple AirTag

Great stocking stuffer! Essential for those that check luggage while traveling.

Book about Italy

Or other country they want to visit.

Gourmet lunch at the Black Diamond

A long way off the beaten track, take a guided horse trek to a gourmet, private lunch at the remote Black Diamond in New Zealand. The full glass front gives you spectacular views while you enjoy being in the moment with your favorite person.

Aviator Nation sweats

For the teen/college kids in your life.

Gift a book by one of your friends to another of your friends

And buy it from your local, independent bookstore.

taylorswift.com

Taylor Swift Eras Tour tickets

Make it an excuse for an adventure to… Tokyo, Melbourne, Sydney, Singapore, Paris, Stockholm, Lisbon, Madrid, Lyon, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, Dublin, Amsterdam, Zurich, Milan, Munich, Vienna, Toronto, Vancouver She’ll be in all of the above cities before the end of 2024!

Sporting event tickets

Professional soccer game in Europe, the Olympics, the French Open, F1, Rugby World Cup

Concert tickets

Noah Kahan is a favorite in our house. Find out your kids’ current favorite artist and score great seats

Board game

We played this over Thanksgiving and it was universally loved by teens, college kids, young adults and adults.

Drone

I don’t know how to work them, but I love when someone else does.

EXPERIENCE: Lessons – kite surfing, e-foiling, wake surfing, surfing

In the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Turks & Caicos, Greece, Costa Rica

Books based on their interests

I was gifted this a couple of years ago and love flipping through it for inspiration.

Dinner at the #1 restaurant in the world
Central – Lima, Peru

Extending your visit to the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu or the Amazon is a great idea!

Conti Pouch
Goyard

This company has been around since the 1700’s making items for royalty and presidents. One key bit of info…”Maison Goyard does not engage in e-commerce” which gives you the perfect excuse to plan a trip to Paris!

Algae ribbed long underwear
Copenhagen Central 

Comfy and environmentally friendly. Why not pair it with a surprise trip to Zermatt or St. Moritz?

First edition for the person who has nostalgic memories about a specific book.

Hot chocolate or other sweet

Perfect for cold winter days!

Poldina Pro Table Lamp
Woody’s

One of Woody’s top sellers. Cordless lamps=light wherever you want it whenever you want it. Perfect for entertaining or reading in a cozy spot.

Magnetic cable ties

You can tell from this list I’m focused on organizing my cords this year! I’ve not used these but they remind me of my friend’s – very similar.

Charter a 217 foot yacht

My favorite over the top yacht! This can of course be done on a smaller power yacht or catamaran. And it’s also super fun to do a flotilla of boats with your friends or another family.

The details:

  • 11 guests
  • 17 crew
  • water sports center
  • winters in the Caribbean
  • owner’s master bedroom with folding balcony and VIP suite
  • 6 meter contraflow swimming pool
  • inside outside dining room
  • cinema room
  • fitness room

Water toys:

  • 2 jetskis
  • 2 seabobs
  • wakesurfer
  • kneeboard
  • e-foil surfboard
  • 2 SUP
  • 2 kayaks
  • wakeboard
  • waterskis (kids and adults)
  • banana boat
  • Aquaglide junglegym
  • inflatable couch
  • inflatable aqua glide runway
  • fishing gear
  • snorkel gear
  • dive compressor
  • full beach set up
  • 2 tenders

Paravel 

The perfect extra bag to bring on your trip for the things you buy and don’t fit. Folds up to small ultra lightweight pouch and has a trolley strap. I’ve purchased but haven’t used it yet.

Mashburn

Gorgeous elegant carry on Italian leather tote with trolley strap. (I love a trolley strap!)

Mini Heart Case
Cuyana

So sweet! Maybe save this idea for Valentine’s Day? Better yet, also take her to a show in the West End on a trip to London.

Vinyl stickers

Teens and college kids love to put these on laptops and water bottles. Another great use – as an easy identifier on your hard sided luggage.

Crimson

The ideal cashmere travel poncho comes in 21 colors! Made in Scotland.

Airfly

Bluetooth transmitter for using your Airpods or Beats wireless headphones with in flight entertainment.

Tile

The Neptune Slim tracker – perfect for items where a AirTag is too bulky. Ideal for a wallet or passport.

Cookbook 

Pick one about their favorite type of cuisine.

Fibound cord organizers

Helping you stay organized and stress free on the go.

Extraordinary Experiences for
Adventurous Families

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