HC Travel Gift Guide by Julia Leach
Since I’m currently traveling, I thought it would be appropriate to post the holiday travel gift guide. When I was thinking of who I could ask to contribute their travel gift suggestions, Julia Leach, the founder of Chance was the first person who came to mind. She always seems to be off somewhere and they only way I can keep track of her is via her Instagram account. It could be NYC, or Los Angeles, or France but I can count on her car spotting pics and the fact there is probably a pool. She was actually worried because that she didn’t have any traditional holiday photos because spends Christmas in Mexico every year. I think it’s the perfect reminder that not everyone celebrates in the snow. And after last winter, I don’t blame her.
Before I get to Julia’s picks, I had to post this photo of her father in his 1954 MG. It’s clear that the apple doesn’t fall from the tree in Julia’s family.
Figue Flying Elephant Pouch – A great gift for any traveler (you can never have too many pouches) and bonus, designer Stephanie von Watzdorf will contribute 30% of each sale to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to help protect these beautiful beasts.
Various Key Tags – Amusing phrases on cool little tags make this everyday item fun and personal (and handy for keeping AirBnB keys straight if you’re traveling with friends). Great stockstuffers ($15 each, $20 for a custom phrase) – I’ve given these as gifts again and again.
LAFCO Celery Thyme Travel Candles – Whenever I travel, I pack one of these to burn in my hotel room…they remind me of the smell of my mom’s house in the French countryside. A great gift and other scents to choose from at this travel size too.
“The best holiday gift I ever received was a horse.” – Julia Leach
[Editor’s Note: This is not the actual horse but a statue in Sweden that Julia photographed.]
Armand Diradourian Travel Blanket – Armand Diradourian’s timeless travel blankets always get put to good use. I love that they’re both luxurious and endlessly useful.
National Geographic / Around the World in 125 Years, published by Taschen – For the friend who isn’t traveling for the holidays, enable them to travel fireside. National Geographic never ceases to amaze, and this set of books chronicling their travel photography looks incredible.
Chance Signature Boatneck – With adventure at the core of the Chance spirit, I’m always honored when people tell me it’s become their uniform whether at home or while traveling. The navy stripe is timeless and the green is a fun twist during the holidays, tropics or mountains.
[Editor’s Note: Many people try to do stripes but no one does them as well as Julia!]
Fuji Instax Printer – Photos are so ephemeral these days, it’s nice to be able to print them out quickly and easy with this smart little printer – great for the Instagrammer in your life who still appreciates sharing images the old fashioned way as well. Also packable.
[Editor’s Note: I’ve never seen this printer before but how fun would it be for a holiday party or other event.]
Chance Foutas – These handy and affordable textiles tuck easily into a suitcase and are great for the beach, as a bedspread, or as a tablecloth. A pair in different colors is a great combo gift for a couple.
[Editor’s Note: I have some of Julia’s foutas and they are great because they don’t take up as much room in your bag as a traditional beach towel. They are even great for taking to Central Park]
Roll-Up Bartender Set – If you have a friend who enjoys beach or boat picnics, or just mixing drinks on the go, what a great gift this is for her (or him). I know just who I’ll be giving one to…
“Christmas Eve around the tree at the Brooklyn home of friends, Elliott, Hugo, their daughters, along with an annual cast of characters, then leaving for Mexico early Christmas morning. On the beach by 2:00pm and Christmas Day dinner under the stars.” – Julia Leach
Kendall Conrad Weekender in Chocolate leather – Nice to park the rollie luggage and travel with this sumptuous, enduring weekend tote from California-based designer Kendall Conrad. A very special gift for a very special someone.
[Editor’s Note: It was Julia who told me I must visit Kendall’s shop in the Brentwood Country Mart when I was visiting Los Angeles and I’m so glad she did. It’s a chic little jewel box filled with amazing leather goods and jewelry.]
Maison Martin Margiela’s Claustrophobic Journal – A clever gift for anyone who simply has to get out and travel, this notebook forces a person to take it one day at a time (the cover, then the pages are ripped and released one at a time by the user). Great for as a journal or for doodling on the beach.
Daydreams Rocky Beach Mirror – Last but not least, perhaps give this one to yourself…a tranquil seaside scene printed on a mirror that will transport you every time you walk by it, capturing your image in the reflection.
“Back in the days of CDs, I gave a special someone a 100 CD player with 100 CDs, an assortment of music that was so fun to pick out.” – Julia Leach
Natalie Martin Cover Up – No trip to warmer climes is complete without a cover up. Natalie Martin’s collection has several that would make great gifts – this one is my favorite.
“I’d love to see an original print of one of Jeanloup Sieff’s nudes or portraits under the tree this year.” – Julia Leach
I couldn’t end without including a few more of Julia’s Instagram photos.
Happy Holidays and Safe Travels!