Gift Guide for The Design-Minded Traveler

Happy Monday, all! I thought I would kick this week off by sharing my 2017 gift guide with you guys.

I’ve learned that exploring new places affects how I interpret what I bring into my own home. Travel influences art, and art naturally sets the pace for global design, trends and taste. For my first ever gift guide, I’ve pulled together a few items that I love and use regularly (and/or know I will love and use regularly as soon as my fam sees this list!) for both an adventurous life on the road and a beautiful life at home. I hope you enjoy!


  1. Solo: A Guidebook To Traveling Alone: I’ve been following this LA-based photographer for a long time. She quit her corporate job and taught herself how to use a camera… and now the world is hers to explore behind the lens. The book shows the meaningful—and sometimes necessary—gift of traveling alone.
  2. Sony Alpha a7rii: My go-to travel camera… full-frame, mirrorless DSLR that is lightweight and easy to pack. I travel nowhere without it.
  3. Leather Camera Strap: I LOVE a quality leather camera strap, and this one is simple, timeless and sold by a team of creative people who support creative people.
  4. Daniel Wellington Classic Petite Ashfield watch: Black on black, please. Love the DW collection of watches but this black beauty steals the show this year.
  5. Modern Screw Cuff, Gold: Simplicity is the definition of beauty, and this clean, modern cuff is a statement piece fo sho.
  6. Everlane Modern Loafer: This is the lady loafer of my dreams, and Angelina’s go-to travel shoe—need I say more? Tip: Order a half-size up and tell them Cara sent you.
  7. Away luggage: Unbreakable, has a charger for your phone, and comes with a lifetime warranty. There are several custom options for internal lining (commissioned by colorful artists like Gray Malin) so you can find the piece that fits your unique style and personality!
  8. Calpak Packing Cubes: I have a little OCD (self-admittedly, not always in the good way) and these cubes are on my X-mas list to calm my fragile little packing nerves… because we all know how cray it gets the night before a big trip.
  9. Kiehl’s Lip Balm: I pulled this from an in-flight travel bag (heart you, Delta) a while ago, and it’s been my favorite deep-moisturizing treatment for dry travel lips ever since.
  10. SK-II Hydrating Mask Duo: Top-of-the-line, make-you-feel-like-a-celebrity, in-flight/post-flight… it doesn’t matter. People may give you weird looks in 24D, but this celebrity-endorsed pick-me-up mask will have you ready for the red carpet wherever you land.
  11. Patagonia Ultralight Down Jacket: Introducing my favorite travel jacket for too many reasons to list here. So very packable and light that it even folds up into a small pillow for the road, but still maintains the warmth of a thousand free-range geese. Seriously, though. Free range.
  12. Multi-purpose Travel Passport Wallet: Just go look at the reviews.
  13. Cashmere Sleep Mask: Yep, getting fancy. But who doesn’t want cashmere on their eyes when sleeping away from home?
  14. Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens: Before I got a fancy camera, I had these. And I still love them. This one lens set comes with a wide angle, fish-eye and two macro lenses, all fitted for your iPhone or Android device. Great quality and highly recommended by my fav photog, Chris Burkard.
  15. Cover-Up Laptop Cover: These are just beautiful. Crafted from real wood (sourced from 13 different tree varieties), each one is unique with its own striations and grain patterns. It’s shipped from London, and customer service is top-notch. They replaced mine immediately when the US post office damaged my package in transit. Love this Cover-Up!
  16. Timberland Kenniston: Gotta love the Timbs… the Kenniston is a minimal take on the classic Timberland silhouette, and  lightweight enough to be the perfect boot for the road. I could walk in these all day, and IMHO they add instant cool to any outfit.
  17. DJI Mavic Pro Drone: The wifey can’t wait to get her hands on this. It doesn’t go as fast as her A350, but the A350 doesn’t take 4K video footage of epic coastlines and rocky mountain ranges, either. Here’s to an equal number of takeoffs and landings… and beautiful images in between.
  18. Leather Charger Roll-up: Nothing more convenient than technology, they said. Cut the cable, they said. Here’s ten different cords to charge all the cords you just cut, they didn’t say. Keep your life on 100% battery, but keep it neat for your own sake with this cute roll-up. Monogramming available.



  1. Leather Rhys Chair: Let’s be honest. None of you are going to go buy this $2,000 chair from Anthropology, but it’s on my list… go ahead and add it to yours. (Insert heart-eyed emoji here).
  2. Organic Rimmed Dinner Plates: I picked the black ones because can you imagine how beautiful eating a sweet potato off of one of these would look?! But, if you prefer, they also come in ivory. Love the handmade, but current, feel to this set.
  3. Hex Coasters: Studio McGee is hot, hot, hot right now and so are these coasters. Well, cool, I guess.
  4. Cognac Leather Pillow: This pillow makes me want to channel my inner Madmen… sit back, sip a whiskey neat with an appropriately sized ice boulder and scheme up ways to sell the next big pitch. It also makes me want to sip a whiskey neat and go to sleep. I opt with the latter.
  5. Fiddle Leaf Pillow: I had to choose two pillows because look how pretty! I’m a terrible fiddle leaf mom and have yet to keep one alive in my house for more than 6 months… but this one doesn’t need pampering and still adds a pop of greenery to your space.
  6. Brass Easel and Photo Calendar: Customize this for home or work with your favorite memories throughout the year. Hint: bookmark and watch for flash sales as the holidays near.
  7. Jewelry Pyramids: These are great stocking stuffers and proves that organization can be pretty chic!
  8. Parachute Linen Duvet Cover: I love the laid back California feel of linen linens (meant to do that), and this high-quality bedding from Parachute gets softer and cozier after every wash.
  9. Candle: I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again… I love this candle! It smells sooo good. Also, who doesn’t want to spend Christmas in Hawaii? Get one and you will thank me.
  10. Felt Letter Board: I really love the comeback of these classic schoolhouse felt letter boards. They come with a 290-piece set of interchangeable letters so you can spell out all the apologies, snarky quotes, and life mottos your heart desires.
  11. Wood and Glass Terrarium: I’ve had my eye on these for a couple of years now, and this is the year I’m pulling the trigger. These handcrafted terrariums are all different, and the organic shape makes for a great centerpiece on a foyer or side table. Succulents not included.
  12. Banded Porcelain Planter: Patrick Swayze (RIP) would approve of these fresh-off-the-wheel planters. So, so pretty.
  13. Get It Together: An Interior Designer’s Guide to Creating Your Best Life: Orlando Soria is one of those designers who doesn’t take his art so seriously and I love that about him. He is HILARIOUS and oh-so talented. His new book is available for pre-order now. Highly recommended for a good laugh and some beautiful interior ideas.

Here’s to a beautiful Thanksgiving week, filled with prioritiesyummy food, QT with fam and friends, and really good deals on STUFF!


  1. Nichole
    November 22, 2017 / 5:18 pm

    Love this, friend! You never cease to amaze me. Keep using your talent, woman!

    • caralucas44
      November 25, 2017 / 11:53 pm

      Thank you, friend! 🙂

  2. August 30, 2018 / 10:30 am

    Thanks to the great guide

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