So Valentine’s Day… We Meet Again. Bring Forth the Best Gifts for Solo Travelers (as this lady right here attempts to console herself with a little consumer whore comfort).
Who here has felt personally victimized by Valentine’s Day (My hand shoots up instantaneously because I need retail therapy in the form of the best gifts for solo travelers)? At least I have, and I know I’m not alone because Galentine’s day is like a thing now. But if you see the never-ending assortment of candy hearts, flowers, and teddy bears, that crowd out all essential food items at the grocery store, and kind of want to vomit in your mouth, then can we be besties because I’m right there with you girl. But I’m not bitter (head twitches in response to this outrageous lie)…
Okay in fairness, I feel like Valentine’s Day kinda blows for everyone. If you in a relationship, this commercial holiday forces you to purchase largely useless items at rather inflated prices, (like that singing, dancing teddy bear you just got for $30.00 that belts out Justin Bieber’s baby baby baby, or whatever the hell it is. And yes, I really did get this as a gift one year). However, general discontentment ensues as expectations go unfulfilled and disappointment rears it’s ugly head (unless you’ re one of the lucky ones to which I say, “Can I be you?” Super jelly up in here).
And if you’re single, do you really need to be reminded of your less than desirable marital status, or of all your failed relationships or of the ever increasing probability that you will meet your demise at the hands (or paws) of a herd of cats who will voraciously devour your decaying body when you die alone (I’ve been on Tinder and Bumble, i’ll take my chances with the cats)? Yeah, no one needs that kind of pressure or negativity in their life, and don’t even get me started on that biological clock (Tick tock, tick tock).
So that’s why I’m sending a shout out to all the single ladies (if you’e looking for the best trips for single travelers you’re not alone), and not so single ladies, because Valentine’s Day sucks and damnit, we don’t need to take it any more! So let’s fight the pressures of our consumer driven society and do what else, buy some more stuff to make us feel better!
But I swear, this guide for the best gifts for solo travelers is super useful (Wink, wink. Depends on your definition of useful. Lol). Not only will these gifts help you travel more efficiently, but they won’t make you feel like a Beluga Whale, like eating an entire tub of ice cream and roll of cookie dough will. Time out, where did my “Valentine’s Survival Kit” go because another friend of mine just got engaged? I need a sugar rush to dull the crushing pain of being single (Oh another one just got pregnant. Excuse me while I head to the fridge, if there’s anything left. While I’m at it I’m gonna book some of the best trips for single travelers. BRB). Ahh well, just buy these super awesome gifts for yourself and while your wallet might get a bit malnourished, you’ll feel better and rock all your future travels like a total Girl Boss (or Guy Boss, I don’t discriminate).
Please sir, I want some more… Commercial Merchandise to take Away my Feelings
1. Travel Mug for the Nectar of the Gods (aka coffee)
I hate mornings to begin with and will only engage in non-primordial forms of communication after I’ve had my coffee. Try and talk to me before then and I cannot be held responsible for my actions. Therefore, anything I can do to improve my mornings even modicum is insanely amazing. That’s why, any receptacle that looks pretty and that can help me carry my coffee around while I’m traveling locally, or abroad is totally okay in my book. So grab one of these bad boys and let’s toast to better mornings because if you’re a single, solo female traveler, nobody is around to make the mornings better for you (Womp, womp, womp. Release the post about the best New York City deserts)
2. “Catch Flights, Not Feelings” Apparel
Chances are, if you are a solo female traveler of the single variety then you have probably heard someone say something like, “Who knows, you may meet someone on your trip”. Now, I know this is supposed to be a comfort to me. A piece of positivity that reminds me to never stop looking for love amongst a sea of maladjusted men who send you dick pics and want to, “Netflix and chill” (wink wink). Sadly, I really thought their intentions were pure and that they did actually did want to Binge watch Felicity on Netflix and chill, but I have since learned my lesson (I swear I’m kidding about the Felicity part).
Anyway, my problem with the above statement is that not only do I enjoy solo travel but even if I was looking for someone, does that mean that I should rearrange my life after knowing them for maybe three days, one of my cheap weekend escapes to Europe? Just throwing this out there but it might be a little impulsive to move across the globe to be with someone that I haven’t known as long as my milk carton. Just sayin’. In fairness, this may all be because I am a cynical, bitter woman who is desperately hoping that someone will prove her wrong. However, I still think that I should get to know someone before I haul ass across the world for them, or vice versa. So in the spirit of loving travel and not needing someone else to complete you or make you feel whole, I have scoured the internet and found any and every product with the eternal phrase, “Catch flights, not feelings”. Yes, you’re welcome.
And if you’ve already devoured every pizza on my list of the best pizza places in New York City, and the idea of putting on clothes actually makes you break out into a cold sweat, then check out these non-clothing related items (I know the bloat of emotional eating all too well. You are among friends here).
3. “I am Enough” Jewelry, etc.
Lacking a significant other, life partner, or companion animal of your choosing this Valentine’s Day? Then never fear because the mantra, “I am enough” is here to remind you that regardless of your marital status, you are perfect just as you are. So don’t let the masses or expectations of society get you down because I think you’re hella awesome right at this very moment (reading this post may or may not affect my opinion of you. Lol. So keep reading! Pretty please? I’ll love you and spoon feed you Nutella if you stick around! And no, those pants do not make you look fat, scout’s honor).
4. Tripod or Selfie Stick
Any solo traveler knows the eternal struggle of taking pictures of yourself while traveling alone. Sure, selfies (also known as taking pictures with an iPhone) are all fine and dandy in a pinch, but after posting the fiftieth one on your Instagram feed, you start to feel like taking pictures by yourself is old. And yes, you can ask a stranger to take a picture of you, but inevitably they take the picture and make you look like Jabba da Hud’s granddaughter. Sure, you could ask them to snap another pic but they’ve already taken five and look like they want to do something other than engage in an impromptu photo session that has become a mildly sad episode of America’s Next Top Model.
So what’s a girl to do when you have no Instagram husband/wife and genuinely hate social encounters with random strangers since your picture is next to the textbook definition of socially awkward (I feel like no one really wants to spend their vacation badgering unsuspecting traveler’s to take a) photo? Yeah. I always hate bothering people so that’s why I shamefully use the rather narcissistic and totally infamous selfie stick (doesn’t stop my epic quest to find the best selfie stick). I know, I feel like a total self-absorbed idiot using the thing but there is no escaping it. Actually, I feel like a tripod is a better solution since it feels much less self involved and way more socially acceptable than the loathsome selfie stick of self-involvement. So whether you choose to rock the selfie stick or the tripod, both will help you take better photos when your entourage is MIA and you’re out there enjoying the best tours for solo traveler’s.
5. Compression Socks for Surviving Long Haul Flights
Who said long haul flights couldn’t be fun? Okay, yeah, they kind of suck but at least you don’t have to worry about the circulation in your legs with these bad boys. I mean seriously, who said compression socks had to be orthopedic and boring? Why not treat yourself and jazz it up with my personal favorite, the unicorn pair! I mean, who doesn’t want to embrace their inner spirit animal? And of course my spirit animal is a unicorn. Actually, it could be a mermaid too but those really aren’t animals per se. Well, anyway, these socks will make that long flight a little easier, and you’ll look super cute while you’re enduring the latest budget airline of doom (kidding, I love Norwegian Air) it. At least I think you will, not sure what others will think about it.
6. Passport Holder
Who needs a crumby bunch of red roses, that will die in a few days, when you can get these super cool and super cute passport holders that will protect one of the most essential items in your carry on? Okay, not gonna lie, a bunch of flowers from a non-stalker, secret admirer would be kind of nice, but I guess I can roll with a cute panda instead (and no sad pandas cuz you’re single). Besides, these covers are way better than the lame, navy blue tint of my American passport. I’ll just have to snaz it up with one of these nuggets of adorableness. Yes, I am living by the motto #treatyo’self because that’s how we avert Valentine’s Day induced, emotional breakdowns.
7. Luggage Tags
Are you sitting there at baggage claim, wondering which bag is yours because that damn pink ribbon you tied on the outside fell off? No? Okay maybe not because I know I never check my bags. I can’t be bothered because if I do, I’ll be waiting at baggage claim until I’m old and grey and resemble Gandalf the Gray, but hopefully with less facial hair.
So maybe these luggage tags aren’t super useful to someone like me but first of all, they’re perty and honestly, it never hurts to put your name and address on your bags, just in case they get lost. And while I do attract an insane amount of travel mayhem, luggage tags were a lifesaver when I stored my bags in Stockholm, and inadvertently left my luggage locker open. Long story short, I was able to get my luggage back because I had a luggage tag. That’s why you need to be swagerific like me and get these super cool luggage tags so that we can be twinning at life (Stop, I know you want to be just like me.LoL. Kidding, I swear I’m not that insane).
8. Power Banks
I know you’ve been on a long flight, looked at your phone, and gasped at the horror of having only 20% of your battery left (#firstworldproblems). And no way is that gonna cut it on a long international flight. But then you see the USB plug in front of you and it’s like the heavens have opened up and the angels start singing because a life without a cell phone is no life at all (kidding). You sigh with relief and think, “Dear god thank you. Now I can charge my iPhone and watch my Netflix downloads til my eyes fall out”.
Until, dun dun dun, you plug in your iPhone and it doesn’t charge. What the hell? And of course, because denial is insanely powerful, you unplug and replug your phone about 20 times, just to make sure the outlet doesn’t work. Then you hope that maybe it’s your cable and try another cable that’s stowed in your bag. But to no avail. Its the outlet and you’re stuck in a void of tvless nothing for the next ten hours because we all know that there are never any good movies on these flights. I mean, I am all about unicorns but no way am I watching the My Little Pony movie on repeat while some insane piece of devil’s spawn that call a child irrationally kicks my seat.
Knew it, we’re so alike wth all our travel problems. That’s why I always carry a power bank with me because even if I am sleeping on the plane (thank God for Melatonin), I always like to have music to drown out the ambient noise around me. And with a fully charged power bank, no need to freak out because your phone will live again with this ultra fresh surge of energy.
Sadly though, most of the power banks out there are industrial looking and not a super cute, super fun travel item that you can show off to your friends, til now! Legit, my life is ten times better now that I found a unicorn shaped power bank. I mean, where has this been my entire existence? Okay, it’s not THAT major but these power banks are totally adorable and probably way cooler than the one you have now (Seriously, who doesn’t absolutely need an ice cream shaped power bank? And it won’t make you fat like real ice cream)!
9. Super Cool Headphones
In my socially awkward world, headphones are the only thing that stand between me and painful attempts at conversation from a stranger. I mean, when I talk to a stranger, I never know what to say because the reality is, I don’t actually know you and while I wish you well as a fellow human being that I share this planet with, I don’t need to know all about your daddy issues or that you lost your virginity at the age of 15. I’m never gonna see you again and while I’ll be polite, usually I just smile and nod while silently begging the gods to make you stop talking long enough for me to say I have to go to the bathroom and then run away.
So headphones are my protective barrier against the world. They’re the universal sign for, “Go away because I have no desire to talk to you”. Therefore, having the right headphones to listen to music and avoid human contact is crucial to my emotional happiness while traveling abroad. That’s why headphones like these are a staple in my carryon. Plus, these headphones are adorbz and totally sing to my soul, the soul of a ten year old child. Okay, maybe eight because lord knows I’m not THAT mature.
10. Travel Neck Pillows (hello travelers gifts ideas, we meet again)
You know you’re extremely well adjusted and mature when you have to double check and make sure that all your suggestions are actually meant for adults, not children. But whatever, Valentine’s Day is mildly traumatic and I’ll do whatever I need to do to get through, as I watch Titanic, listen to Adele, and sob about the fact that I can’t just stumble in a field and count on a man to ride up on his horse and rescue me (Sense and Sensibility anyone?). Actually, my standards are not that high. I’d probably settle for a guy who knew my name, could text in full sentences, and who could buy me a meal that wasn’t drive through.
But to dull the pain of being a single traveler on Valentine’s Day, I’ll buy myself an overly cute neck pillow that will not only give my upper back support but remind me that who needs a significant other when you have a unicorn neck pillow. Am I right? Okay, probably not. I probably have some deep seated fears of abandonment but that feels icky so go look, a cute squirrel neck pillow that I need to buy and you should too!! Hold me neck pillow and snuggle me until I feel sadness no more. Woo-who! Three cheers to materialism!
All I am Saying, is Give Material Gratification (or the best gifts for travelers) a Chance
Okay, I am gonna try and redeem myself in this conclusion, and insert a ton of random phrases like “best gifts for female travelers” because that’s how us bloggers make it to the top on Google (please Google, make me your number one for Valentine’s Day and I’ll be yours forever).
Seriously though, I don’t want this post to sound whiny or bitter or whatever, because in truth, if you’re in a happy, healthy relationship, and are totally enjoying Valentine’s Day with your boo, then that is amazing. I really am ecstatic for you and aspire to find something like that in my life.
Plus, I need to remember that not only am I single by choice but there are much worse things than being single. I mean, I could be Voldemort and then no one would love me. Sure people would support me because I could kill them, but no one would truly and deeply love me. Look at me, having a mildly philosophical conversation about (spoiler alert) fictional characters in Harry Potter.
So even if you get nothing else out of this post, then simply take my wish for you to have the best Valentine’s Day ever. I hope you spend it with the one’s you love and know, deep down inside, that this world is a better place because of the love in your heart.
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