Gift Guide for Travelers in 2019


Here’s what’s hot for travelers at fair-trade pioneer Ten Thousand Villages

Photos provided by Ten Thousand Villages.

Travelers can be hard to shop for…unless two tickets to paradise is in your budget. Whether you’re looking for gifts for solo female travelers, adventure travelers, or the modern-day explorer, it’s challenging to find the perfect present. We’re often choosy, we usually travel light, and we’ve typically fallen in love with the world and her people, so finding gifts that are ethical, fair trade, eco-friendly and fit our quirky lifestyle and preferences…well, that can be tough.

Luckily, Ten Thousand Villages has this on lock. Recently we told you all about what makes Ten Thousand Villages a pioneer in fair trade, and the high ethical standards to which they hold themselves.

Now, let’s talk holiday gifts.

We’re sharing two gifts lists with you today; gifts recommended by Courtney Kubly of Ten Thousand Villages, and the Rollerbag Goddess traveler gift list for 2019.

Let’s start with Courtney’s Curated Collection, first! She pinpointed several beautiful, unique gifts for travel lovers.

Courtney Kubly’s Curated Collection (from Ten Thousand Villages)


constellation wall hanging
The Constellation Wall Hanging from Ten Thousand Villages.


  1. The Constellation Wall Hanging by CRC Exports.
    When they’ve seen the world, the universe is within reach. Help them stay mindful of our lonely planet’s place in space with this stunning wall hanging. Made in India, this sells for $89.99. And it serves as a reminder that wherever you roam, in Courtney’s words, “We are all under the same sky.” Kubly has watched artisans make this piece in person, and it’s so labor intensive, they can only produce two a day. “It’s my all-time favorite piece.” She says. “You can’t just throw in an order for 80 of them; we run out. It’s not something sitting in a warehouse, and that’s the beauty of it. It’s a craft…we are their only channel for customers in the U.S. to buy, so it’s an exclusive product, one of a kind.”

    sharing plate
    The Sharing Plate, from Ten Thousand Villages.
  2. The Sharing Plate.
    Sold for $34.99, this plate is made in the West Bank. As the plate says, “This plate belongs to everyone wherever it may go, with each new sharing of its gift, the love and blessings grow, so fill it up and pass it on to family and to friends… to start the circle one more time, love’s journey never ends.” Pass the love and blessings, please! The Giving Plate is hand-painted by artisans working with fair trade partner Hebron Glass. 

    bicycle pizza cutter
    The Bicycle Pizza Cutter, from Ten Thousand Villages.
  3. The Bike Pizza Cutter.
    Selling for $20.99, this unique gift is created by metalworkers in India. It’s a very popular item at Ten Thousand Villages.

    sari and leather travel journal
    The recycled sari travel journal from Ten Thousand Villages.
  4. Recycled Sari & Leather Travel Journaland the Earth News Journal.
    Retailing for $24.99 and $18.99, respectively. These journals are both beautiful and functional, and just the right size to fit in a traveler’s bag.
  5. Upcycled Circuit Board gifts.
    Perfect for the tech lover or digital nomad, these upcycled circuit boards have a new life as a tech stand, photo frame, small trinket box, and even jewelry! Check out these unique gifts which support a learning center to prevent child labor, and worker’s families in India. Even better, these gifts also help control waste, “They’d all be sitting in a landfill, and now they serve a purpose,” explains Kubly.
  6. Eco Leather bags.
    Gorgeous bags are always in fashion, and with eco leather they’re also a step up. First, no animals are killed to make the accessory, they are a byproduct of food production. It’s complicated, the ethics of leather, because some research shows vegan leather is actually worse for the environment because of the chemicals used in the process. Eco-leather is made without using hazardous chemicals in the tanning process. Instead, tea bark extracts and waxes, seeds, nuts, berries and onion are used to tan the leather.

That’s a look at Courtney’s top six choices of great gifts for travelers, ethically-sourced and fair trade. But we didn’t stop there! Of course, I had to check out the amazing store as well. Here we go….

Rollerbag Goddess Traveler Gift List 2019

At last, here are the Rollerbag Goddess traveler gift list favorites. I scoured the site for items I would love and here’s what especially delighted me, as a traveler! (In no particular order….)

sacred sari throw
The Sacred Sari Throw from Ten Thousand Villages. Hand crafted by women who have left the Red Light District to forge a new life.
  1. The Sacred Sari Throw.
    These throws are made of repurposed saris by women who have left the red light district. They’re handmade by women who have broken free of the sex trade, and now make their living as artisans. When I’m home, I’m all about comfort. So it’s easy for me to imagine wrapping myself in good karma and beautiful fabric while enjoying the luxuries of home. Truly special.

    true compass necklace
    The True Compass Necklace, from Ten Thousand Villages.
  2. The True Compass Necklace.
    As a traveler, jewelry is always a win, especially travel-themed jewelry. This compass is understated and elegant. “This brass pendant necklace is a beautiful reminder to be your own guide and to trust the path you’re on,” says the site. The jewelry is made in Cambodia, constructed of brass bomb casings from safely cleared unexploded ordnance. Did you know there are still bombs in the earth in Cambodia? It’s a sobering reality, and one for which rural children often pay a terrible price. This turns something horrifying into something beautiful. And since Cambodia holds a very special place in my heart, this necklace as well as the others in this line of brass bombshell jewelry, truly speak to me. Also be sure to check out the Guiding Star Necklaceand Guiding Star Earringsfrom this line. Amazing.
  3. Compasses.
    One of my favorite gifts I’ve ever received was a compass from my mother, who said it was “to help find your way home.” I just absolutely love that. Help the wanderer in your life find their way around the world and home again with any of these simply gorgeous compasses. They come at a variety of price points for any budget.

    all nations necklace
    The All Nations Necklace, from Ten Thousand Villages.
  4. The All Nations Necklace.
    Like any self-respecting traveler, I love globes, maps, and compasses. Yeah smart phones are handy for wayfinding, but can your app look this great? This necklace is handcrafted by artisans in Indonesia, providing income to hard working people who would otherwise struggle to make ends meet.
  5. The Serene Travel Set.
    Long flights and sleep can be like oil and water. But this Serene Travel Set just might be the ticket. It includes a drawstring bag for storing the stinkies, an eye mask for a restful snooze, and earplugs to block out whatever video game that guy in 33F is playing at full volume.
  6. The Longitude Journal.
    They say travel makes you speechless, and then turns you into a storyteller. Help the traveler in your life find the right words with this gorgeous journal, made in Indonesia. It comes with a matching pencil. So refreshingly analog!
  7. The Airplane Charm Bracelet.
    This charm bracelet is both affordable and charming! Made in Columbia, it’s sure to inspire wanderlust, or memories of their latest journey.

    soothing comfort set
    The Soothing Comfort Set from Ten Thousand Villages.
  8. The Soothing Comfort Set.
    After a long journey, there’s nothing quite like putting on your cozy jammies and engaging in some serious self-care. Soothe the weary traveler’s soul with this Tranquil Moments eye mask and neck wrap, which you heat in the microwave to release the soul-satisfying scent of cloves.
  9. Color Your World Poster Art.
    Help your traveler celebrate the parts of the world they’ve seen with this artisan-created map they can color. Made in Bangladesh, the purchase of this item helps support women, their housing and food, and education for their children.

Knowing who you can trust for fair trade, eco-friendly, ethical products can be complicated. Knowing you are making earth-friendly choices, supporting families in developing nations and reducing waste is a great bonus of shopping with Ten Thousand Villages. Hopefully this guide to our recommended gifts from Ten Thousand Villages, as well as our feature about what makes fair trade pioneers Ten Thousand Villages different, helps you find the best holiday gifts for travelers in your life.

Rollerbag Goddess Global Communications never accepts gifts or compensation of any kind in exchange for publicity. We are never sponsored; always honest. So you can rest assured all of our recommendations are fair and objective.

Charish Badzinski and camels in the Sahara, a transformational travel momentCharish Badzinski is an explorer and award-winning features, food and travel writer. When she isn’t working to build her blog, she applies her worldview to her business, Rollerbag Goddess Global Communications, providing powerful storytelling to her clients.

Posts on the Rollerbag Goddess travel blog are never sponsored and have no affiliate links, so you know you will get an honest review, every time.

Find Charish on Twitter: @rollrbaggoddess, on Facebook at @rollrbaggoddess, and on Instagram at @rollerbaggoddess. You can also read more about Charish Badzinski’s professional experience in marketing, public relations and writing.

Rollerbag Goddess travel blog by Charish Badzinski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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