Gift Guide for the Adventure Traveler

Traveling is a big part of my lifestyle, even since I’ve moved to the west coast this past year. My travels have taken me up and down the west coast quite a bit already and I’m looking forward to exploring even more in the new year. I wanted to share with you below some of my favourite travel accessories that I’ve been using lately. These are great gift ideas for the adventure travelers you know!

1) Saje’s Travelling Farmacy – This is one of the latest kits that Saje has released. It’s the ideal kit for those who travel as it contains all of Saje’s greatest remedies in miniature format. The Travelling Farmacy contains Peppermint Halo, Stress Release, Eater’s Digest, Immune, Pain Release, Quick Study, Energy and Sleep Well, all of which come in handy when you’re on the road.

2) Ucon Acrobatics Lotus Series Backpack – This backpack is the perfect travel companion. This Brandon Backpack from the Lotus Series is not only is it made fromphthalate free PVC but it is also waterproof. It also contains a 15“ laptop compartment on the inside and has tons of different pockets where you can store all of your accessories and gear while traveling. This 20L bag is also incredibly lightweight and robust making it not only great for flying but also for any adventure you may be going on during your travels.

3) TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller mini – This is the best foam roller for traveling hands down. It’s small and easy to pack in your bag and oh-so-useful when traveling. If you’re like me and you keep active while traveling, you want this guy in your carry-on or backpack, especially if you’re leaving for a long period of time. The TriggerPoint Foam Roller is crucial for muscle recovery, pain relief and improved flexibility.

4) Hydro Flask Water bottle – The one thing I cannot travel without is my reusable water bottle. I take it with me absolutely everywhere! Hydro Flask has amazing durable products that are great for travel and adventuring. The Hydro Flask 18 oz Standard Mouth bottle is always in my backpack. You can choose from tons of fun colours and different caps (flex cap, sport cap, etc.). They also have a full line of tumblers, coffee, food and wine containers that you can also purchase.

5) GoPro Hero6 – Though I just only recently got my hands on this new camera, I already know this will become a go-to when traveling. It’s the perfect lightweight and high-quality camera that you can use to document all of your travels and outdoor adventures with. From 4k video to slow motion, photos, time lapses and more, the GoPro Hero6 is sure to be able to follow you no matter what you get up to. Check for a full review coming soon!

6) Women’s Terradorra Wintershell Waterproof MID – These boots were my go-to all summer long. I brought them with me on every single trip I went on. KEEN has just released a winterized version of the Terradorra for these colder months, it’s a good boot for trails, powder and any kind of weather you’ll run into this winter. These boots are also completely waterproof, so they’ll keep your feet nice and dry.

7) Columbia Women’s Luna Vista Hybrid Jacket – This is a great jacket to layer underneath pretty much anything this winter. It packs light and keeps ultra warm. Great for those hoping to venture outdoors a lot during the colder months or just a great piece to relax in after skiing/snowshoeing or a long day of travels. The Luna Vista Hybrid Jacket comes in a variety of colours and is made from breathable and flexible material.

8) Pelican Marine Case – This case is ideal for all climates. Whether you’re going to the snow, the water or the desert, it will protect your phone no matter the elements. The Pelican Marine Case is waterproof, tested to survive multiple drops as well as scratch resistant. MEC has a bunch of similar cases for your phone, so perfect for the adventure traveler.

9) Black Diamond Spot Headlamp – Chances are if you’re going out adventuring this winter, one of these Black Diamond Headlamps will come in handy. Because the sun sets so early in the winter, it’s perfect for trail runs, cycling, hiking, snowshoeing and whatever other crazy excursion you might be going out on. The headlamp has 6 modes: white proximity, bright white distance, dimming, strobe, red proximity and red strobe. It also has an indicator that tells you how much battery there’s left in the headlamp.

10) MEC Hut Booties – These were a lifesaver for me this fall when I went out camping in Mount Baker. They’re super easy to pack and will keep your feet nice and toasty if you’re tent camping, van camping or they are even just the best thing to put on after spending your day outdoors adventuring. These MEC Hut Booties come in a bunch of different colours and sizes, so you’re sure to find a pair that fits.



Carry-On Essentials

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With so much traveling coming up in the next couple of months, packing and re-packing will be one of my realities. One of the things I love most about packing is getting my carry-on ready. From traveling so often in the past couple of years, I’ve come to realize the smaller the carry-on the better. The less annoying you’ll be to everyone on the plane, the easier you can shove it under your seat and keep all the things you need with you and the lighter it’ll be to carry. For a while after my teens, I hated bringing backpacks as carry-ons, they were always so ugly and bulk but with so many awesome and stylish backpacks now available, I have a renewed love for them. You can now travel with a backpack without feeling like you’re going to school. Having run so many times from gate to gate while trying to catch a connecting flight, I ONLY bring a backpack now,  Though my carry-ons items vary depending on where I’m going, there are a few things that I ALWAYS bring with me…

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1) FJALLRAVEN KANKEN Backpack – Great sturdy backpack that has different storage pockets including a pocket for a computer or iPad. Love this neutral grey color.

2) Urbanears Humlan Mulberry headphones – Love these headphones because they’re noise-cancelling, they also have a second jack so that I can share what I’m listening to with my travel partner. They can also be washed in the washing machine.

3) MODA:KO Blair iPad case – Super cute and functional iPad case from a local Toronto brand. This case also has a pocket for extra storage. I love it because it has padding that really helps protect my iPad.

4) Dream Water – I read about this on Sosasha‘s blog. I used it on my recent travels to Europe and it really helped me relax on my overnight flights and also helped with the jet lag. I was also surprised by how good it tasted!

5) KIND Bar – I always bring snacks with me when I travel to avoid buying unhealthy airport and airplane food. I usually have a variety of sweet and savoury snacks as well as fresh fruit that I’ll buy in advance. The only thing I will buy at the airport will be something to drink but I make sure that my drink is healthy. I recently discovered these while running with the Nike Run Club in LA. They’re so incredibly yummy and only contain ingredients that you can actually read 😉 Yup, my new policy with food is: if I don’t know what’s on the label and I can’t read it, then maybe I shouldn’t be putting it in my body!

6) The Good Bean – Found these at Fiesta Farms in Toronto last weekend, love trying out new snacks. These are coconut and lemongrass flavoured and are organic, gluten free and non-gmo. They’re also a good source of protein but don’t fill you up too much!

7) iPad – I used to not use my iPad very often but lately I grew a lot fonder of it when I started uploading films and games to my iPad for traveling. It’s a lot less bulkier than carrying a computer around, can fit in pretty much any bag and pretty much has all the same functions. Before I leave on any trip now, I always stock up my iPad with tons of new books, magazines, apps, games and movies. So even if I’m taking a long flight with the crappiest airline that doesn’t have an in-flight entertainment system, I’m A-OK!

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8) Kaia Naturals Juicy Bamboo facial cleansing cloths – Recently got these all-natural facial cleansing cloths from The Ten Spot Beauty Bar on Queen West in Toronto. They’re individually wrapped and perfect for travel. I always have one or two with me so that I can remove my makeup and freshen up after a long flight. They’re paraben, alcohol, sulfate and synthetic fragrance free!

9) F. Miller Skin Care – I’ve talked about F. Miller’s products on the blog several times already. Her face oil is a MUST for me when I’m traveling. There’s nothing that really replenishes my skin after a long flight quite like it. It really makes my skin feel smooth and hydrated. Her lip balm is also amazing and all-natural. Both are always in my backpack!

10) Maybelline Pumped Up! Colossal Mascara – One of the only mascaras that I found lately that doesn’t really leak and that keeps my lashes smooth and not clumpy. Lately, I’ve been on the lookout for a good natural mascara, so if you have suggestions, please post them in the comments below!

11) Avène Eau Thermal Spray and Moisture Mask – I recently posted both of these on my Friday Faves blog posts. Love this little bottle of thermal water, it’s less than 100ml and a few spritz of this makes you feel alive and awake after a long flight! The moisture mask is also a great thing to put on during a flight, if you don’t mind going back and forth to the bathroom to rinse it off before you land.

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12) GoPro Hero – Even if this isn’t the newest and greatest GoPro, it’s actually one of the best things I’ve ever gotten. I’ve been bringing it everywhere with me since I got it a couple of years ago. It’s perfect not only for sports (surfing, snowboarding, etc.) but also for traveling in general because you can take it out in any kind of weather. It’s also super small and easy to place anywhere with all the different mounts.

13) Maison Scotch – I purchased this passport carrier a few years ago and have been using it every time I travel. Maybe it’s weird, but I don’t like people seeing my passport. I also know that there are all sorts of scanners in airports so I’m always more discreet when carrying my passport around. Plus this faux-croc case is beautiful and classy.

14) Komono Red Leopard Watch – I always have a watch on me while I travel especially if I’m changing time zones. I try not to rely so much on my phone and more my watch to tell time. Not only is it really practical to have a watch (duh!) but a watch like this is also a beautiful statement piece.

15) Philistine gold sunglasses – Offner often makes fun of me because as soon as I see a ray of sunlight, I’ve got sunglasses on. Doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter. I’m particularly found of these gold retro shades I found last summer at Philistine’s in Toronto on Queen West. They’re definitely my favorite pair!

16) US phone – Is really a piece of crap but has been such a lifesaver when I travel. Maybe it’s old-school to have a “Pay As You Go” phone but with so much time spent in the US, buying a US phone has been the best purchase. Though I could have opted for a better phone (this phone was incredibly cheap – I got it at a Radio Shack in LA for $50), this phone has emails, data, calling and texting… Don’t really need anything else since I also have an iPhone with me at all times. Until Canadian cell phone companies really get good plans for US travelers, I’ll keep using this phone!

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17) ANKER portable charger – I got this off of Amazon before the holidays and it’s been a lifesaver not only during my travels but also during winter in general because of the crappy battery life of my iPhone during winter. Being outdoors for long periods of time in the winter just kills my phone so having this portable charger with me has been heaven! It take a couple of hours to charge but it can then be used to recharge your phone 2-3 times with just one charge.

18) Stance Bglam Socks – Something that you may not know is that I’m ALWAYS freezing and especially on airplanes. Even in the summer, I can’t take a plane without wearing socks or my feet will freeze. Love these socks because they’re super chic and also warm!

19) Sleep mask – Nabbed this at Dollarama but does the trick! Even if I don’t always use it on the plane, it’s good to have when traveling. I sometimes have no idea what my sleeping situation will be so I bring it just in case. I honestly couldn’t care less what people think and on long overnight flights, it not only helps me sleep but prevents me from getting disrupted by anyone on the plane.

Other things you’ll also usually find in my carry-on: toothbrush and toothpaste, ear plugs, something to drink, chargers, etc.

What are some of your carry-on essentials? Share them with me below.

This Week’s Ear Candy

Each week I’ll be posting some of the musical discoveries I’ve made during the past couple of days.  Hope you’ll be able to discover some new acts as well through these postings.

Totally fell on this first track by accident earlier this week. It’s from a rad London, UK band called Visitor. They have a new EP coming out next month.  Check out “Coming Home” –

I’m heading on a surfing trip next week, so when I saw the video for this next song, it totally hit a sweet spot.  The video was filmed in Hawaii and is as dreamy as the track itself.  Taken By Trees is from Los Angeles and will be releasing a new record October 2nd called Other Worlds. Check out “Dreams” –

Lot’s of buzz surrounding Madeon these days.  He’s a French electro musician from Nantes, France.  He just posted a new super dancy track this week called “Finale”.  I can totally see this track in a future GoPro or surfing/snowboarding video.  Hope you like it as much as I did –

That’s it for this week.  For more ear candy, check out my daily posts on my twitter: @melsays.

I’m off to Guelph for the Hillside Folk Festival this weekend to shoot my show BRBR. Looking forward to chatting with Dan Griffin, The Deep Dark Woods and Walk Off The Earth.

Have a lovely weekend!

Mel xo