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Caroline’s Favorite Things 2017

caroline's favorite things

It’s that time of year again! It’s time to recommend my favorite travel products for the traveler in your life. I have traveled at least a week out of every month this year so I’ve tested these products firsthand. These are all items that I regularly use and most are no more than $150. This year, I’ve included less items, but ones I recommend highly. As with last year’s group, you get what you pay for in terms of quality. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom to win some of these products for yourself! There are also discount codes you can use to save on gifts and treats for yourself.

Clothing and Accessories

The Lion’s Drawer Customized Baseball Hat, $27 USD

caroline's favorite things

The Lion’s Drawer Hat

Every traveler needs a good hat for those bad hair days and this one is mine. I have gotten so much wear out of my Atlanta pride hat from this local Etsy shop, especially on my trip to South Dakota, pictured. The colors are perfect for Braves games, but she also makes custom hats for any airport code! Choose your own color combination and letters.

Buy your own hat on Etsy and use the code HIFLYER for 15% off.

Basics from Alternative Apparel, Varies

caroline's favorite things

American Apparel shirt

One of my goals for the year was to decrease my environmental impact, especially when it comes to clothing. I have a pretty minimal wardrobe as it is and I buy a lot from secondhand stores. But after seeing landfills in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Nicaragua where fabric is one of the main items, I decided to seek out brands that shared my distaste for “fast fashion.” Alternative Apparel uses recycled and eco-friendly materials, uses less water, and follows fair labor practices worldwide. They’re also based in the Atlanta area, so locals can take advantage of their warehouse sales. So build your travel wardrobe with pieces that are fashionable, affordable, and responsible.

Buy your own on or enter to win a gift card below!

Manhattan Portage Vintage Messenger Bag, $75 USD

caroline's favorite things

Manhattan Portage bag

There are few items I’ve had since I was 15, but this Manhattan Portage messenger bag is one of them. Originally purchased to take to “shows” and cover with pins from my favorite bands, it’s now the perfect size carry on because it has both a flap and a zipper to keep out snatching hands. The minimalist look can function as a purse or a day bag and doesn’t make you look like a tourist. I find the medium to be the perfect size.

Buy your own on Amazon or use code SALE for Black Friday on their website.


Monster Clarity HD In-Ear Headphones, $45

caroline's favorite things

Monster Clarity headphones

I have gone through a few pairs of headphones, but I got these Monster Bluetooth headphones in an event gift bag. I love that I can walk around my house while still listening to music. They hold a charge for a long time as well. The in-ear aspect can take some getting used to, but their noise canceling quality is great for people who work in public spaces like me.

Buy your own on Amazon.

Podo Bluetooth Camera, $69 USD

caroline's favorite things

Podo camera

I actually received this handy device earlier this year thanks to my friend Brooke’s support of their Kickstarter. The pocket-sized camera from Podo Labs has a sticky backing that can attach to just about every surface and is ready to go again after a quick clean. Simply download their smartphone app, which you use as a remote. It’s how I was able to take pictures of myself in Israel, Virginia, Chicago and beyond this year, the solo traveler’s greatest selfie weapon!

Buy your own on Amazon.

Pixter Clip On Smartphone Lenses, $30 USD

caroline's favorite things

Pixter smartphone lenses

If you’re looking to upgrade your smartphone photo game without actually upgrading your phone (damn you iPhone prices!), you’re in luck. Pixter is a French brand of attachable smartphone lenses that are made just like the ones you’d attach to your DSLR. They come in wide angle, telephoto, macro, and fisheye varieties and can clip onto any phone.

Buy your own on Amazon.

Stocking Stuffers

Airportag Packing Bag, $20 USD

caroline's favorite things

Airportag zippered bag

You can never have enough bags for your odds and ends when you travel, especially if you have as many chargers and cords as I do. I’ve found that the best way to keep track of it all is to have a specific place for each item so that you always know where to find it. Airportag is one of my favorite brands for gear for travel geeks and their city pride.

Buy your own on their website or enter to win your own below!

Landmass Goods National Parks Scratch Off Map, $45 USD

caroline's favorite things

Landmass Goods map

Scratch off maps have been all the craze in the last few years, replacing the pin versions. Earlier this year, Landmass sent me one of their national parks maps and I’ve slowly been crossing off the ones I’ve been to, most recently including the Badlands in South Dakota! Of course, if you prefer, they also sell world maps, United States maps, and accessories for travelers. Best of all, they donate a portion of their proceeds to help students travel abroad. They’re currently offering free shipping for offers $50 or more and buy one get one free maps for Black Friday!

Buy your own on their website or win one below!

Hydroflask Water Bottle, $25 USD

caroline's favorite things

Hydroflask water bottle

I’ve gone through so many water bottles in my years of travel, but I may have finally found the one. Hydroflask sent me a few pieces to review on Her Packing List this year, including a water bottle and a travel mug. I’ve carried both on recent trips. I was especially glad to have the water bottle on a hike in South Dakota as it kept it ice cold during the entire time! I recommend traveling with one to avoid piling up the plastic bottles.

Buy your own on Amazon.

Lonely Planet Books, Varies

caroline's favorite things

Lonely Planet books

It’s likely no surprise to learn that I am a total guidebook junkie. I have one for every destination I’ve been to and others I haven’t. And while I’m not necessarily brand loyal (except to Rick Steves for all things Europe), Lonely Planet is my pick for best guidebook for travelers. There are a few reasons why they’re above the rest. Content is about the same for all companies and can have some information that is inaccurate due to lead times for book production. But I like that LP offers e-book versions of their guidebooks, as well as chapters. That means you don’t have to buy, or carry, what you don’t need. The “GreenDex” in some editions recommends environmentally responsible companies. And they frequently offer sales!

Buy your own at and get 20% off by signing up for their newsletter!


1 Scratch off map from Landmass Goods

1 $25 Alternative Apparel Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway


1 Airportag zippered bag

Click here to enter

Which of these items is on your holiday wish list?

I make a small percentage of sales through affiliate links within this post that help run this website, but they won’t cost you any additional amount.

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2 Responses to Caroline’s Favorite Things 2017

  1. Kristin November 29, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    Great list! I like a lot of the little stocking stuffer ideas! :D

  2. Anita November 29, 2017 at 2:32 pm #

    I’ve always wanted one of the scratch off maps! Great giveaway, hopefully this is my chance to finally get one haha

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