The Tropical Travelista's Holiday Gift Guide

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind us the holiday shopping season is in full swing. And if you’ve got a tropical-focused travelista on your list (or if you’re one yourself!) you’re probably on the hunt for the perfect present. Which is why I’ve rounded up a bunch of things I’d love to see under the Christmas tree – and use under a palm tree! – that you might, too. From body oil to beach sheets to bag charms, there’s something for every taste and budget. So let the shopping begin!


I can’t think of a more stylish way to support hurricane recovery in the Caribbean in general – and the U.S. Virgin Islands in particular – than by wearing this limited-edition V.I. Love hook bracelet from St. Croix jewelers Joyia Inspirational Designs. Available in hammered sterling silver, gold or a combination of both metals, the iconic Crucian bangle has cut-outs of all three USVIs on the front of the medallion, with “All Ah We” (“all of us”) engraved on the back. (Tip: When you’re going through airport Security, there’s no need to take this – or any other – hook bracelet off completely. Just unhook one side, leave it on and walk through the scanner. No beeping, I promise!) From $130

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Yes, you could buy a whole lot of quart-sized Ziploc baggies for the price of this Anya Hindmarch inflight case, but are they even half as stylish? I think not! The British handbag designer offers (albeit pricey) practicality and portability with this leather-trimmed transparent plastic case, which has elastic holders to keep bottles upright and opens on both the "Take Off" and "Touch Down" sides so you can easily slip in your cabin-sized cosmetics. Bonus: The tote is also available in Anya's bespoke range, which allows you to personalize the leather nameplate with up to 18 embossed characters for $30 more.  From $275


Measuring a generous 90 x 100 inches, Island Company’s cotton beach sheet is … well … bananas. The a-peeling print means you’ll have no trouble finding your spot on the sand, and when you’re finished, simply shake it off, stash it in its drawstring pouch, and toss it into your beach bag. (I'm thinking of buying this just for the fabric and making a sundress out of it. Good idea, right?!) $65

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OK, so at more than $1,000, Gucci’s sparkly sunnies are serious splurge. But LOOK. AT. THEM! All that rainbow crystal deliciousness in an oversized square frame; the rainbow tinted lenses; the slim golden arms – be still my sunglasses-loving heart! These specs are sure to be showstoppers in the airport, on the beach, at the supermarket and wherever else you go. (Because, let’s get real, you’re gonna need to wear them everywhere to bring down that cost-per-wear!) $1,175

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It’s impossible to visit Haiti and leave unchanged. And you certainly can’t leave without buying at least one locally made piece of art. My pick: Yanvalou Designs’ lightweight cashmere/modal blend scarf, which features a colorful guardian eye print painted by celebrated Haitian artist Frantz Zephirin. There are five other wraps in the series, each with a print by a Haitian artist, so you're sure to find one to suit your taste. Bonus: Part proceeds from the sale support local women’s health programs. $119

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Back in the ‘90s, Jamaican dancehall diva Patra’s “Romantic Call” was the theme song for many a hot ‘n’ heavy long-distance relationship. And now it’s the name of a luscious body oil made by Caribbean-inspired company Balmyard Beauty, which incorporates Jamaican ingredients and healing methods into their product line. Formulated with coconut, shea, sweet almond and hibiscus oils, this blend is perfect for soothing sun-scorched skin – yours and his. $82


Which woman doesn’t love a bag charm to personalize her everyday tote? And which woman wouldn’t appreciate this colorful Haitian-made fellow, a hand-beaded bird known locally as a “tikit,” who’s said to bring good luck when he roosts in your garden’s trees? Attach this beauty to your travel bag strap and I’m confident that compliments – and good luck – are sure to arrive. $65

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In Jamaica, the term “box juice” refers to any sweet and fruity drink that comes in a cardboard box. And Baughaus Designs’ handmade porcelain box juice jug – shown here with coordinating bowls and spoon, and available in six colors – is a witty take on the humble island container, perfect for serving milk, water (and yes, juice!) at even the most sophisticated of tables. $50

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Experienced travelistas know that when you find an outfit that’s comfy, easy to care for, and makes you look like a million bucks you buy it in bulk. And I’m pretty sure that you or the fashionable traveler in your life will feel the same way way about Bene Caribe’s Trinidad-designed Audrey dress, which features a bold batik pattern, pockets and a flattering and on-trend off-the-shoulder neckline. $110


Collapsible, capacious and finished with durable leather trim, Paravel’s Stowaway suitcase is the perfect holdall for those souvenirs you simply couldn’t resist. Folded flat, the waterproof canvas case easily fits in your checked bag; expanded, it’s the perfect carry-on for your vacay bring-backs. The sturdy leather handle makes for comfy carriage, and hand-painted monograms make it uniquely yours. $325


When its months until your next tropical adventure, tide yourself over by staring at the dreamy, be-here-now photos from the staff shooters at The 8 x 10 limited-edition matte prints, each signed by the photographer, feature images including St. Lucia’s Pitons; St. John’s Trunk Bay; The Baths on Virgin Gorda; and Bottom Bay on Barbados. And for a limited time, Islands will donate 10 percent of all sales to the American Red Cross’ hurricane relief fund. $50