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In this 2 day itinerary, you’ll learn to spend the perfect weekend in Paris.

Paris. The name alone conjures up images of decadent food, sumptuous wine, Renaissance architecture, and of course, the iconic Eiffel Tower. Many people dream of visiting this famous city, and for good reason!

Spend 2 days in Paris and see for yourself what this magical place has to offer

With a weekend away in Paris, you’ll be able to enjoy the history, art, food, wine, markets, and shopping — there’s a little something for everyone in the French capital.

We spent 5 days in Paris during our travels around Europe, but not everyone has that amount of time to spend in the city. Even if you have just 2 days, plan a weekend in Paris — you won’t regret it.

With so many cheap (direct) flights from North America and Europe, getting to Paris is simple. 

river seineThe beautiful River Seine runs through Paris Here’s my perfect weekend itinerary for 2 days in Paris to help you plan your trip. Paris in a Weekend: Day 1 

Waking up in Paris is such an exciting feeling! You’ll want to start your day off right with a tasty breakfast and coffee.

Unless you’re a real breakfast person, I suggest doing as the Parisians do and keeping your first meal simple — pastry and a coffee. Then, get on with your day.


Start your day with a buttery, baked good at one of the many Patisseries. I recommend Notre Patisserie in the 7th Arrondissement which has delicate baked goods on offer. 

I don’t know about you, but having an authentic, Parisian croissant or a pain au chocolat was high on my list when planning our trip to Paris.

bakery in parisAll the yummy pastries at Notre Patisserie

The women working in this cute little shop are kind and welcoming. A croissant and a flakey pain au chocolate will set you back about €2.50.

For coffee, if you find yourself in the 7th, I recommend the Bleu Olive cafe (the staff here speak English and the coffee is good), or Terres de Cafe — the owners pioneered specialty coffees in the country.

If you’re in Le Marais area (the 4th), check out The Caféothèque of Paris and if you’re in Montmartre (the 18th), don’t miss The Hardware Société.

Insider tip: coffee is quite pricey in Paris (think €4 – €6 for a small latte), so you may want to see if your hotel or Airbnb accommodation has coffee on offer or a coffee maker in the room. 

After you’ve had some breakfast, it’s time to go on a free walking tour of Paris to get yourself orientated with the city and to learn some of the basic history. Joining a free walking tour is one of the best things to do in Paris when you first arrive.

There are a few companies that you can go with, but we chose SANDEMANs and enjoyed the experience. There are a few time slots throughout the day, but try to join the 10:30am one so you can maximize your weekend in Paris.

The tour ends outside of the Louvre and the Arc de Triumph, which, since you’re trying to see a big city in a short period of time, means this would be a good time to visit the Louvre Museum.

louvre with 2 days in parisThe impressive Louvre Museum

But first, lunch.

Afternoon in Paris

By this point in the day, your pastry will have worn off and you’re probably ready for a meal. 

A great lunch spot that I recommend is Bistrot Victoires, located in the 1st Arrondissement just an 8-minute walk from the Louvre. This buzzing spot offers delicious, affordable meals. And, there is an English menu available.

Order the tender duck confit with garlic fried potatoes and salad (€12.50), or the fall-off-the-bone roast chicken with homemade mashed potatoes and gravy (€10.90). You can thank me later!

Wash it all down with a glass of wine, or a craft beer and you’re all set to keep exploring.

Before you enter the Louvre, walk 7 minutes from the restaurant to the Église Saint-Eustache — an impressive gothic church, which is free to enter.

gothic church parisThe incredible Église Saint-Eustache

From the church, it’s a 10-minute walk to the Louvre Museum, which is the largest art museum in the world — housing around 38,000 objects.

Now, if you’re an art lover or a historian, you’ll want to spend some time here admiring all of the pieces. You may even want to join a guided tour to fully understand all that the Louvre has to offer (and to not get lost in the 72,734 square meter / 782,910 square foot building!). 

Since we’re not big on museums, we only spent 1.5 hours in the Louvre ticking off the highlights — the Crown Regent, the Mona Lisa (from a distance because the line up was massive), Venus de Milo, Victoire de Samothrace (Winged Victory), and many more paintings and sculptures. 

If you don’t book a guided tour, you’ll need to purchase your entrance ticket beforehand and I recommend getting a skip-the-line ticket, as the wait times can be huge. We purchased this ticket and were able to enter right away. Click here for details.

things to do with a weekend in parisThe amazing ceiling in the Louvre – we only spent about 1.5 hours, but you could spend a whole day in here… Late Afternoon

From the museum, make your way to the Eifell tower, the iconic symbol of Paris!

While we personally didn’t climb up the tower, many people want to get that amazing view of the city and enjoy the experience of being in the Eifell Tower.

You’ll need a special ticket for that, click here for a skip-the-line pass with access to the second level. 

After checking out the Eiffel Tower, it’s time to hop on a boat and take a 1-hour cruise down the River Seine (which departs from near the Eiffel Tower).

Pass by famous monuments, such as Les Invalides, Musée d’Orsay, the Notre Dame, Louvre Museum, and Grand Palais — while learning about these sites from your audioguide. 

The one hour boat ride is a great way to see the city from a different vantage point. Not to mention, it’s very affordable. Click here for details and to book your boat ticket online.

eiffel tower paris weekendThe iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris! Evening

Finally, to round off your first day in Paris, enjoy dinner at Constant Cafe.

This restaurant is located in the 7th Arrondissement and is run by Michelin Star chef Christian Constant — who owns 6 restaurants in Paris. Plus, he was actually a judge for 4 years on the French version of Top Chef.

To be honest, I didn’t know any of those things about the restaurant before we decided to visit. I just read one blog that suggested going to Constant Cafe, and I’m glad I found that article. 

The small Bistrot style restaurant offers comforting, hearty, French dishes at affordable prices. It’s a casual place, so you don’t have to worry about dressing up in your finest clothing to enjoy fantastic food. 

With homemade dishes such as French beef filet with mignonette pepper, scallops roasted with salted butter, and free-range chicken roasted with herby butter, and potatoes with bacon and baby onions…the only problem is deciding what to order! 

beef stew in parisThis beef stew at Constant Cafe was so tasty!

I personally recommend the beef stew, escargot, cream of pumpkin and chestnut soup and the profiteroles with chocolate sauce. Make a reservation as this place fills up fast. 

Weekend in Paris: Day 2

Get up early and enjoy your last full day in the city.

Morning in Paris Itinerary

If you’re enjoying a weekend in Paris, you’ll definitely want to visit the Bastille Market on Sunday Morning. If you’re spending 2 days in Paris during the week, this market is also open on Thursday.

The Bastille Market opens at 7:00am, but since you were probably out a bit late last night, you don’t have to arrive when it opens. Plan to be at the market around 9:00am, which is when many locals arrive as well. 

This is a proper market with residents stocking up on their food for the week. 

The outdoor Bastille Market is one of the best we’ve ever been to. Located on Boulevard Richard-Lenoir with the Place de la Bastille’s Colonne de Juillet (monument commemorating the Revolution) as the backdrop, you’ll find over 100 stalls selling everything from artisanal cheese and meats to fresh fruits and vegetables.

bastille market parisThe bread stand…one of our favourites!

Plus, there’s an area of the market dedicated to housewares and clothing. 

After browsing and shopping (and sampling!), it’s time to move on.

Make your way by foot to Le Marais neighbourhood (in the 4th Arrondissement), passing through the stunning Place des Vosges, and the National Archives Museum and Garden.

Continue wandering through the narrow, crooked alleyways, while passing by boutiques, vintage shops, museums, art galleries and more.

Prior to Napolean, all of Paris looked like Le Marais, but these days, this quarter is all that’s left of the medieval streets and pre-revolutionary buildings. 

a weekend in paris visit national archive museumStumbling upon this National Archive Museum was a nice surprise

Spend some time here enjoying the twists and turns and unique shops before grabbing a bite to eat.

Keep lunch simple today and grab a falafel to go at one of the many popular shops on Falafel Street in Le Marais — I recommend Chez Hanna for its falafel. Or, opt for a tasty crepe at the highly-rated La Droguerie.  

Afternoon in Paris Itinerary

In the late afternoon, it’s time to explore another beautiful neighbourhood in Paris — Montmarte in the 18th Arrondissement

Walk to the Etienne Marcel station in Le Marais and take Metro 4 to Montmarte.

Perched on a hill, this is the artist district of the city and is a place where you’ll see artists painting in the plazas, musicians on the street corner, and street art on the walls. In fact, famous artists such as Picasso, Modigliani, Monet and Van Gogh all lived around here. 

montmarte neighbourhood parisMontmarte is an area of Paris you don’t want to miss on your weekend visit

Since the neighbourhood is on a hill, there are quite a few steps to reach the Sacré-Coeur — the 1914 basilica that towers over Montmarte. If steps aren’t your thing, you can always hop on the funicular and ride up!

After wandering around the quiet lanes and visiting the Sacré-Coeur, make your way to Le Mur des Je t’aime (Love Wall), which is a wall painted with “I Love You” in numerous languages. Snap a photo and carry on.

If you’re looking for a little “pick me up” at this point, pop into The Hardware Société for a coffee. 

sacre coure parisThe Sacre Coure dominates Montmarte Evening in Paris Itinerary

To round off the weekend in Paris, enjoy a fabulous homecooked meal by an awarded French chef! We found this experience on Airbnb and can’t recommend it enough. 

Chef Nick greeted us at his atelier (private workshop/studio) and immediately, we felt like we were having dinner with a friend.

Nick is welcoming, funny and full of interesting stories about Paris and France as a whole.

I won’t give away the menu or share any photos as he likes to keep it a surprise, but it’s a stunning 3-course meal with wine. I’m a bit of a picky eater and I loved everything on the menu — so I’m sure you will too!

This won’t be a private dinner (unless you book it that way), and we had one other traveller who joined us. It’s a great way to meet new people from around the world, while dining on tasty food in a fantastic setting. Click here to learn more. 

Other Things To Do With a Weekend Away in Paris

The weekend in Paris itinerary I set out above is pretty jam-packed, but if you’re the type of person who can get up early and go to bed late, you might have time for more.

Or, maybe you’re not interested in the suggestions above. Here are a few other fun things to do with 2 days in Paris. 

The Catacombs 

Descend 30 meters below ground into the catacombs of Paris.

These are the old limestone quarries, which were turned into mass graves when the cemeteries became full. There are 200 miles (320 kilometers) of tunnels under Paris, housing the bones of between 6 and 7 million people! 

paris catacombsThe catacombs are an eerie, but interesting experience to have in Paris

If you get claustrophobic or are creeped out by skeletons, this tour won’t be for you.

We both really enjoyed the eerie experience and recommend getting the audioguide, otherwise, you’ll have no idea what you’re looking at. Click here for a skip-the-line ticket with an audioguide. You can find the Catacombs here on the map.

Walk Along The River Seine (a must-do with a weekend in Paris)

If you don’t want to take the river cruise, it’s still nice to walk along the river. This is a great way to get away from the traffic of the busy streets and enjoy a quiet stroll. 


Yes, there’s a Pantheon in Paris, not just Rome! Located in the 5th Arrondissement (Latin Quarter), this stunning mausoleum houses the remains of many important French citizens.

While the exterior is stunning, inside you’ll find pillars, decorated domes, and artwork. Find it on the map, here

Luxembourg Gardens

These gardens are huge! Dating from the 17th century, these formal gardens (which spans 25 hectares) are a great place to relax and people watch or go for a walk. Here you’ll find ponds, trees, orchards, greenhouses, 106 statues, and much more. If you’re feeling active, you can also play tennis here. Find the gardens on the map, here

luxembourg gardens parisThe pretty Luxembourg Gardens are a great spot to chill out for a while Getting to Paris from The Airport

Before you can enjoy your Paris travels, you first need to get into the city from the airport. You should know that there are 3 airports in Paris, and I’ll list how to get from the airport to Paris for each one.

Charles de Gaulle Airport (the main one)

If you’re flying in from North America, Australia, South America or Asia, you’ll most likely land here. This is the major international airport in Paris, it’s also one of the largest in Europe.

To get into the center of Paris, you can take the Metro (RER), a taxi, the bus, Uber, or a private driver.

Metro (RER): The metro (RER B) operates from Charles de Gaulle to Gare du Nord (in the 10th Aronndessemont). It’s about a 35-minute journey. That the metro runs from 04:50 to 23:50, so plan your trip accordingly. Click here for a detailed post on getting from the Charles de Gaulle Airport to Paris.

Taxi: If you’re arriving late, or if you don’t want to deal with figuring out how to take the metro (while being jet-lagged!), then just hop in a taxi. Follow the signs from arrivals towards the taxi stand. There’s a flat fee depending on which part of the city you are in. Rates are between €50 – €65 euros, with the journey taking about 45 minutes to the Eiffel Tower (7th Arrondissement).

Bus: The Roissy Shuttle bus takes about an hour to get into the city and runs from 6:00 am to 8:45 pm, every 15 minutes, and 8:45 pm to 00:30 am every 20 minutes. The bus picks up from Terminal 1, Terminal 3, Terminal 2AC,  Terminal 2D and Terminal 2EF, and drops off at Opera in Paris. 

Orly Airport

This is the main domestic airport in France, with Air France and Transavia France operating out of here. 

From this airport, your best bet is taking the Orly bus which links the airport to Denfert-Rochereau in the 14th Arrondissement. The bus runs from 6:00am to 12:30am, with departures every 15-20 minutes. The ticket costs €8.70 one way.

Another bus option is Bus Line 1, which runs from Orly Airport to Gare Montparnasse (with stops at the Eiffel Tower, Trocadéro, and Etoile/Champs Elysées). This journey takes between 30 and 40 minutes. It’s €12 euros one way, or €20 for the return journey.

Paris Beauvais Airport

If you’re taking a budget airline such as Ryan Air or Wizz Air, this is where you’ll arrive. While the cost of the flight might seem cheap, you have to take into consideration that this airport is farther away from the center, with longer journey times, and that you’ll still need to get from the arrival point in Paris, to your hotel. 

From the Beauvais airport, hop on the Beauvais shuttle bus which departs from the airport and arrives at Porte Maillot. The journey is 1 hour and 15 minutes (traffic permitting), and tickets can be purchased in advance or when you arrive. From Porte Maillot, you’ll need to take a taxi, or the metro to reach the center.

The cost is €17 euros each way. Click here for details.

montmarte street artStreet art in Montmarte Now You Know How to Enjoy a Weekend in Paris!

The City Of Lights truly is a dream destination, it’s no wonder it’s one of the top places to visit in all of France. If you get the chance to visit, jump at it.

While two days isn’t a lot of time, it’s enough to see the main highlights of Paris…and eat some delicious cuisine while you’re at it!

My biggest tip would be to walk as much as you can so you see all of the “in-between” bits. It’s about the journey as much as it is the destination. Paris might not be the cheapest destination in Europe, but it’s worth every euro. Bon voyage.

*The lead image in this article is courtesy of Shutterstock, a top website for finding royalty-free images and videos. 

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The Christmas holiday season is a whirlwind of visiting, shopping and partying. Once the rum and egg nog haze has lifted and you’ve come out of your turkey coma, it’s time to start thinking about somewhere to travel (detox?!) after the busy festive season. If you’re looking for the best places to visit in January, this list has you covered.

December is meant for getting together with friends and family, but after that, it’s time to find the best places to go in January so you can recoup and (if you’re from the northern hemisphere), take a break from the freezing cold weather. 

If you’re trying to figure out where to vacation in January, look no further.

best places to visit in january grenada
Time to book your trip for January!

There are many beautiful places to visit in January, but in this post, I’ll list the top 15 for 2021 based on price and things to do.

Plus, I’ll list a mix of beach destinations and winter holidays.

Update December 2020: With the current situation in the world, you may not be able to travel to many of these destinations. However, I’ve done my best to add a few places to go in January that are open to travellers.

Consider whether or not it’s responsible and safe to travel during this time. Is a vacation absolutely necessary right now? If you do decide to take a trip, you must follow the local measurements and rules that are in place to ensure the health of yourself and those around you.

1. Argentina 

Update December, 2020: According to this article, as of right now, Argentina’s borders are closed to foreigners, except citizens and residents of neighbouring countries, who can only visit Buenos Aires and must show proof of a negative PCR test.

Why is Argentina one of the best places to visit in January?

  1. Weather is great
  2. Costs are low in Argentina right now thanks to a recent currency drop 
  3. It’s hiking and fly fishing season

Having spent 3 months in Argentina in 2017, it’s safe to say that we know a few things about this incredible (and large) South American destination. Whether you’re into culture and history, nature and landscapes, lakes and fishing, or cities and wine, Argentina has something for you. 

Since Argentina is such a vast country, with a wide variety of landscapes and regions, it can be visited year round. But, it’s one of the best places to travel in January if you’re looking to do some hiking and fly fishing. In fact, it’s one of the best countries to visit in January no matter what type of trip you’re planning.

The northwestern region (around Salta) might be a bit wet during this time, but the rest of the country is dry and warm. 

Argentina is known for being one of the top fly fishing destinations in the world. If you’re an angler, you’ll be happy to know that fly fishing season in the Lake District of Patagonia is best in January & February due to the warm weather, and ability to fish all waters during this time. 

There are some stunning lakeside and riverside lodges you can stay in. Don’t miss Correntoso Lake and River Hotel and Rio Hermoso Boutique Hotel

For trekkers, January is a good time to lace up your boots and hit the mountains of Patagonia. El Chalten in the south is dry and has temperatures around 20°C (68°F), perfect for checking out the peaks of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre, exploring waterfalls, drinking beer on patios and much more. 

Don’t miss nearby El Calafate and its popular Perito Moreno Glacier, which calves massive chunks of ice every few minutes! Although January is high season at Perito Moreno Glacier, you can avoid the crowds by visiting before 9:30am or after 5:00pm – take the later shuttle bus, or rent a car to explore at your own pace. 

best places to visit in january argentina
El Chalten is a great place to hike in Argentina

While you’ll miss the grape harvesting in Mendoza (it happens in February), January is still a great time to visit because the vineyards are green and the grapes are everywhere.

Be prepared for hot temperatures (30°C / 80°F+), fantastic wines, great hiking around Parque Provincial Aconcagua (2 hours from Mendoza), picturesque parks and plazas, and some awesome restaurants. There are many things to do in Mendoza to keep you busy. 

If all of these places to visit in Argentina aren’t enough to spark your interest, maybe the cost will.

When we travelled to Argentina in 2017, this was the rate: $1 USD = 18 Argentine Pesos

In September 2018, the rate was $1 USD = 41 Argentine Pesos.

In December 2020, the rate is: $1 USD = 83 Argentine Pesos.

You would think that this drop in currency means that travelling to Argentina would cost you half of what it cost us in 2017. But, many of the restaurants and hotels have started listing prices in USD to help with the economic crash. 

There are still many discounts to be had due to the currency conversion, however. 

Argentina isn’t known for being one of the cheapest countries to visit, but with the current instability of the peso, you can definitely save some money by visiting now and help out the local economy along the way. 

? Looking for accommodation in Argentina? Check out and Airbnb for the best room rates (don’t forget your Airbnb coupon code). We personally use these two booking engines for all of our stays and highly recommend them.

2. Sri Lanka

Update December, 2020: According to this article, as of right now, Sri Lanka’s borders are closed to non-nationals. 

Why is Sri Lanka one of the best places to visit in January?

  1. Great weather
  2. Affordability 
  3. Numerous Historical Sites

This teardrop-shaped island located off the southeast coast of India is often overlooked by travellers. If you’re searching for the best places to visit in January that offer national parks, wildlife spotting, pristine beaches, fantastic cuisine, ancient sites and friendly locals, then make sure you add Sri Lanka to your holiday list.

As a bonus, this country is very affordable.

Since the average temperature in January is around 30°C (86°F), you’ll want to hit up the coast!

Don’t miss the stunning Unawatuna beach, with its calm water and numerous accommodation options. Just 15 minutes away, the nearby fortified town of Galle is an amazing spot to sit and watch the sunset from the UNESCO listed fort walls. 

best places to travel in january sri lanka
Sri Lanka may be small, but it has a lot to offer travellers

If you’re into surfing, check out the breaks at Hikkaduwa on the south coast of Sri Lanka. Even if you’re not a surfer, this chilled out beach town offers bars, restaurants and some safe swimming spots as well.

If you’re in search of the best places to travel in January that offer historical sites, you’ll be happy to know that Sri Lanka has those in spades. 

Check out Anuradhapura (where Buddhism was first introduced to the country), Sigiriya (rock fortress towering 200m above the trees below), Cave Temples of Dambulla (built in the 1st century BC, and filled with over 100 Buddha statues) and the city of Kandy (an important Buddhist city, home to Buddha’s tooth). 

For a pretty mountain village, don’t miss Ella and the surrounding tea plantations and hiking opportunities, including Little Adam’s Peak. 

For such a small country, Sri Lanka really does have a lot to offer travellers. And, with an average travel cost of around $30-$50 per day, per person, you really can’t go wrong. 

? Looking for accommodation in Sri Lanka? Check out and Airbnb for the best room rates (don’t forget your Airbnb coupon code). These are the two platforms that we always use for booking rooms and highly recommend them. 

Looking for flights to these top places to travel in January? Check out websites like JustFly to compare flights from numerous airlines. I found a return flight from New York to Colombo, Sri Lanka for just $627. If you have any questions or issues with booking, JustFly has a great support team that you can actually call to ask for help.

3. Mexico (one of the best places to visit in January for North Americans)

Update December, 2020: The COVID numbers are quite high in Mexico and there are many measurements in place. You must wear a mask being the main one. The country is on a “stoplight system” based on the number of hospital beds available. The colour of the stoplight can change and closures and lockdowns can occur. Mexico is currently open to visitors. Learn more here.

Why is Mexico one of the best places to visit in January?

  1. Great Weather
  2. Whale Watching Season
  3. Proximity to North America 
  4. Costs

There are endless amazing places to visit in Mexico, and there’s really no bad time to travel here. Since this is such a large country, the climate varies depending on where you are, and which time of year you plan to visit. 

best places to visit in january mexico
Guanajuato is one of the prettiest cities in Mexico

Hurricane season runs from June to November and the cities at elevation can be cold during the winter months (November – February).

But, for the most part, Mexico is a great place to visit in January if you’re looking for warm beach weather — which is good news if you’re from the northern hemisphere! 

Having spent over 10 months travelling through Mexico, on numerous different occasions, we rate Mexico as one of our favourite countries.

This is a place where you can dine on one of the world’s best cuisines, visit a Wonder Of The World, swim in pristine water and explore Spanish colonial towns…all while not breaking the bank.

Venture away from the typical, 1-week all-inclusive holiday and explore the real Mexico. Trust me, the food and the experiences you have will be far more memorable. 

If it’s cities and towns you’re after in January, places like Mexico City and San Cristobal de las Casas will be quite chilly.

But, you can enjoy all of the things to do in Oaxaca City, including a visit to the impressive Monte Alban ruins, or check out the colourful towns of San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato, both of which have comfortable temperatures at around 21°C (70°F). 

For people from Canada, the United States, and Europe, what really makes Mexico one of the top places to visit in January is the beaches! 

Don’t miss Puerto Escondido or Huatulco in the State of Oaxaca. In the Riviera Nayarit, check out San Pancho, Sayulita, Bucerias and all of the beaches and other awesome things to do in Puerto Vallarta.

best places to visit in january puerto vallarta mexico
The sunsets in Puerto Vallarta are spectacular

Further north, explore the Baja peninsula including Cabo San Lucas and La Paz (January is the best time for whale watching.) 

If you’re planning on spending time in the Yucatan, which is home to some of the best beaches in Mexico, check out the powdery sands of Isla Holbox, Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen and Cancun. At around 28°C (82°F), it’s definitely beach weather in the Yucatan! 

On top of the fantastic beaches and pretty towns, the food in Mexico is one of the best. In fact, it’s listed by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. Try the various regional dishes, the street food and of course, the drinks. Going on a food tour is one of the best things to do in Mexico

On the budget end, expect to spend around $40 / day. For Midrange, $60+.


? Looking for accommodation in Mexico? Check out and Airbnb for the best room rates (don’t forget your Airbnb coupon code). These are the two platforms that we always use for booking rooms and highly recommend them. 

4. Chicago, Illinois 

Update December, 2020: Who can enter the USA is a little bit confusing. It depends on where you’re coming from, which passport you hold and more. Once you arrive in the USA, you may be subject to 14 days quarantine depending on which State you are visiting. Learn more here. For domestic travellers, now is the time to explore your home country!

Why is Chicago one of the best places to visit in January?

  1. Numerous Festivals
  2. New Year’s Eve Party
  3. Winter Wonderland
  4. Lower Costs 

Since the USA is so large and diverse, I had to break it down and list just a city, rather than a whole country. And, when it comes to American cities, Chicago is a top choice!

There are so many fun things to do in Chicago to keep you busy for a week, or more. Since the city experiences cold winters (lows of -6 ° celcius), you’ll need to bundle up to visit, but it’s still a great place to visit in January. 

During the high season (June – September), you can expect clear skies and warm temperatures…but with that comes many tourists and high room costs.

When it comes to accommodation in Chicago, even if you book on Airbnb, it’s a pretty expensive city (don’t forget to claim a free $55 Air bnb coupon). 

Luckily, if you visit in January, you can expect huge discounts on hotels. Occupancy is low in the winter months, meaning that hotels offer big drops in room rates — even the luxury accommodation is on special. Expect discounts of around 50% off.

best places to visit in january chicago
Chicago is enjoyed year-round, but expect discounts and awesome events in January

Not only will you spend less on your room, but you’ll be able to avoid the crowds at the popular sights. And luckily, the museums, observation decks and art galleries are all inside. Plus, you can enjoy one of the many festivals and events happening in January.

If you can make it to Chicago for New Year’s Eve, you’ll be able to experience an epic firework show, parties at numerous hotel bars and restaurants, and the Chicago Resolution Gala at the Navy Pier.

There’s a free firework show over the lakefront and riverside, which will be choreographed and synchronized to music. Click here to learn more about New Year’s Eve in Chicago.

With numerous places to eat in Chicago, you’ll never go hungry. The city is known for its culinary delights, diverse cuisines, and Michelin starred restaurants. Brunch is a favourite of Chicagoans, and you must try the deep-dish pizza, hot dogs, popcorn, and other Chicago snacks.

For those who like a cocktail or two, you can still enjoy some of the best bars in Chicago along the riverwalk. It might be cold outside, but see-through domes are erected to cover the tables and heaters are placed inside. Magical!

For foodies, you’ll be happy to know that January is Restaurant Week in Chicago. That’s right, you might have to brave the cold weather, but in return, you get to experience the city’s biggest restaurant event of the year. Click here to learn more about the festival. 

For sports fans, check out a Chicago Blackhawks hockey game, or a meet-and-greet and autograph signing with some of the Cubs players at the Cubs Convention (only in January).  

Bundle up and enjoy Chicago in January. 

best places to travel in january chicago and try the pizza
You must try the deep dish pizza in Chicago!

? Looking for accommodation in Chicago? Check out and Airbnb for the best room rates (don’t forget your Airbnb coupon code). These are the two platforms that we always use for booking rooms and highly recommend them. 

5. Greece 

Update December, 2020: Currently, if you would like to visit Greece, you will need to provide proof of a negative PCR test, complete a Passenger Locator Form, and self-isolate in your accommodation for the first 3 days. Learn more about the entrance requirements here.

Why is Greece one of the best places to visit in January?

  1. Have the ancient sites to yourself
  2. Mingle with Greeks, rather than tourists
  3. Affordability

Greece is a destination that you could return to again and again. It’s most known for its ancient sites, such as the Acropolis in Athens, and its stunning archipelagos, but there’s much more to see and do in this European nation.

If you’re looking to laze on the best beaches in Greece, with a cocktail in hand, January isn’t the time to do so.

But, if you’re interested in having the awe-inspiring historical sites to yourself, enjoying the local vibe in Athens, wandering around popular islands without the hordes, and doing some skiing, then January is a great month to visit.

We’ve always visited Greece in the shoulder/off-season and while it’s a bit chilly, we love exploring without the crowds.

The summer months in Greece can be unbearable due to the number of tourists – both foreign and local – cramming together on the beach and trying to find space at popular sites. Why not visit in January and have the place to yourself?!

best places to visit in january greece
Greece in the winter can be beautiful

Athens is a very comfortable temperature (around 10 °C / 50°F) during January, and the city doesn’t see much rain this month either.

Walking around Athens is a great way to experience the city, and during January you won’t overheat and you’ll be able to have genuine encounters with the locals you meet along the way.

The Acropolis with the impressive Parthenon is the top site in all of Greece. If you put it on your list of places to visit in January, you’ll be able to enjoy the site in a relaxed atmosphere. 

For those who simply must visit an island when travelling to Greece, a good bet in January is Santorini or Crete — both still have things going on in the winter months.

However, on Santorini you won’t want to stay in the popular Oia town, but rather, choose to stay in the capital of Fira. The island isn’t dead during January, but many restaurants and bars outside of Fira shut down for the winter months.

In January you can enjoy all of the usual top things to do in Santorini, except for swimming and tanning. You will have pleasant, sunny days (15 °C / 59°F) and can enjoy sightseeing without the masses of tourists.

Hike the caldera path which runs between Fira and Oia, enjoy sampling various wines, hike around the volcano, see the ancient Akrotiri village which is now in ruins, hike the path behind Perissa to see Thera (the ancient capital), or simply enjoy a peaceful dinner with a view!

On the island of Crete, you’ll want to stay in either Heraklion, Chania, or Rethymnon, as there is a large local population here.

Even though it’s chilly (16 °C), local life still moves along. Enjoy wine tastings, beachside picnics, cafe culture, and the ruins of Knossos. Try ski mountaineering, winter hiking or simply wandering around the towns. There are lots of fun things to do in Crete to keep you busy in January.

Hotel prices in January are significantly reduced in Greece and you can enjoy having a more authentic experience.

6. Barbados

Update December, 2020: Barbados is one of the most beautiful places to travel in January. However, there are currently entrance requirements in place. You will need a negative PCR test if coming from certain countries, and in many cases, a second PCR test will need to be completed once you arrive. Learn more about the current entrance requirements here.

Why is this one of the best places to visit in January?

  • Warm weather
  • Stunning beaches 
  • Festivals & Events

If it’s crystal clear, turquoise water and blindingly white sand beaches you crave, Barbados is a top choice when thinking about the best places to travel in January.

Spend your days lazing on the incredibly calm Carlisle Bay (one of the best beaches in the Caribbean), which is close to Bridgetown. Browne’s Beach here offers pristine swimming options, a couple of beach bars (check out Cuz’s fish cutters), and lounge chairs with umbrellas for rent. 

Harbour Lights is a popular nightclub/bar, which is also located on Carlisle Bay. If you’re in Barbados for New Year’s Eve, this is a fun spot to party, complete with Carnival dancers, calypso music, rum drinks, and fireworks on the beach. 

Other must-visit beaches are Rockley / Accra Beach (don’t miss the boardwalk), Dover Beach, Mullin’s Bay and Paynes Bay. The best beaches in Barbados for swimming are located on the south and western side of the island, the east is much wilder and is great for (pro) surfing. 

best places to travel in january barbados

There are numerous things to do in Barbados to keep you busy. After you’re done lazing on stunning beaches, head to Oistin’s Fish Fry on Friday nights, go for a Hash (hike) one of the many trails, join a rum tour, or simply chill out at a funky beach bar with Banks Beer in hand. 

In January, you can enjoy Open Homes, Jazz Festivals, Barbados Sailing Week and the Barbados Independent Film Festival. 

Bajans are friendly, the food – both international and local – is amazing, the sunsets are stunning and the beaches are out of this world. Barbados is definitely a top pick for the best places to visit in January.

If you’re from Canada or the USA, you can find many direct flights to Barbados. From Toronto, non-stop return flights with West Jet are just $500 and from New York, Jet Blue operates non-stop flights at around $400 return. 

Barbados is in the hurricane belt, with the season running from June – November, and while you’re not guaranteed to see zero rain during the month of January, devastating storms are very unlikely. 

For accommodation in Barbados, check out and Airbnb for the best deals.

7. Whistler, B.C. Canada 

Update December, 2020: Again, Whistler is a great destination for domestic tourism right now! Canada’s borders are currently closed to foreigners, unless they hold dual citizenship with Canada, are a permanent resident of Canada or are a family member of a Canadian citizen. Those entering Canada must undergo a 14-day quarantine. Learn more here.

Why is this one of the best places to visit in January?

  1. Skiing and Snowboarding
  2. Quieter Ski Hill
  3. Events at the Village

You’ve probably heard of Whistler, it’s where the 2010 Winter Olympics were held. If you’re into skiing or snowboarding, you’ll want to hit up Whistler and Blackcomb in January. Why? Because for a week after the holidays, it’s one of the quietest times of the year at the hill.

The mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb are located right next to each other and offer 200+ trails, with runs for all levels, plus one of the largest networks of chair lifts anywhere in the world.

The village is an amazing place to chill out and enjoy some fine dining, with twinkling lights in the evening. 

In January, there are numerous events up at the hill as well. Check out the free fire & ice show, king of the rail, Pride and Ski Festival, and lots of racing events. 

Book a lodge, get a lift ticket, and enjoy Whistler and Blackcomb. Click here for more about Whistler Blackcomb.

Bonus: take a 1.5-hour drive to Vancouver and check out the events on offer. Free ice skating and polar bear swims, or light shows and hockey games…there’s something for everyone in Vancouver in January. Click here for more. 

Click here to search for accommodation options in Whistler on and click here to check out Airbnb.

8. Tanzania

Update December, 2020: Tanzania is open to foreigners right now, making it a great destination to visit in January. Learn more about the requirements here.

Why is Tanzania one of the best places to visit in January?

  1. Safaris 
  2. Beach Weather 
  3. Scuba Diving Season

This country in Eastern Africa is one of the best places to travel in January if you’re looking for a mix of adventure and relaxation, with a lower price tag.

Tanzania experiences a “long” dry season and a “long” wet season. January is considered the “short” dry season.

best places to visit in january zanzibar
Empty beach in Zanzibar

You’ve probably heard of the Great Migration which is when millions of wildebeest cross Tanzania and Kenya each year in search of greener pastures and drinking water.

In January, you’ll spot the wildebeest in the southern Serengeti during calving season. Expect to see lots of baby wildebeest, numerous animals grazing on the greenery, and predators lurking in the bushes… 

Safaris aren’t cheap, but if you go in the short dry season (January), which isn’t as popular as the long dry season, you’ll be able to save some money on tours and lodging.

Zanzibar is a premier scuba diving destination. This island off the coast of Tanzania offers large marine life (sharks, whale sharks, turtles, dolphins, rays), excellent coral, shipwrecks, and macro sightings as well.

But, it’s not just about scuba diving. Zanzibar island offers stunning white sand beaches and the historic Stone Town — with Arabic architecture, delicious cuisine and narrow alleyways for exploring. We loved our stay in Zanzibar and would definitely return to Tanzania.

best places to travel in january zanzibar
Beautiful architecture in Stone Town

For a bit of city life, head to the capital of Dar es Salaam. This bustling city offers wonderful Indian food restaurants, huge fish markets, craft markets, museums, churches, and more.

Tanzania offers a great mix of city, culture, beach, and wildlife. And, if you book in January, you can save yourself some cash on big-ticket items. 

Hotel rooms here are affordable, with many around $30 / night on, while on Airbnb you can find apartments and guesthouse villas for around $40 / night. 

9. Harbin, China

Update December, 2020: China is partially reopening to visitors, but a 14-day quarantine upon arrival is in place and you must show proof of a negative PCR test. Learn more here.

Why is Harbin one of the best places to travel in January?

  • Ice Sculpture Festival

Every year from December to February, the northern Chinese city of Harbin has the most incredible ice sculpture festival.

When we were teaching English in China, one of our friends was from Harbin and she said we must travel north to her home city and experience it. Sadly, we didn’t have a chance, but after researching and seeing photos online, I wish we had. 

These aren’t just regular ice sculptures. 

In Harbin, you’ll find 600,000 square meters filled with ice carvings of castles, buildings, and people, some of which are as tall as 46 meters! The lighting adds to the beauty of the intricate carvings, which are best visited in the evening.

The only downside to visiting Harbin in January is the temperature. Expect -24 ° celcius. However, that’s why the sculpture festival is perfect for this city, they don’t melt! Bundle up and enjoy this winter wonderland.  

best places to visit in january harbin china

Have a look at where to stay in Harbin on, or see places to stay in January on Airbnb.

10. Miami, Florida

Update December, 2020: Covid numbers are high in the USA, and who can enter the USA is a little bit confusing. It depends on where you’re coming from, which passport you hold and more. Once you arrive in the USA, you may be subject to 14 days quarantine depending on which State you are visiting. Learn more here. For domestic travellers, now is the time to explore your home country!

Why is Miami one of the best cities to visit in January? 

  1. Great Weather 
  2. Festivals
  3. Golf Season

Gorgeous beaches, amazing international cuisine, a Latin flare, and hot nightclubs — there are numerous reasons to visit Miami. 

June to November is hurricane season in the Atlantic, and Miami has seen its share of hurricanes pass through. During those months, it’ll be hot and sunny — but also quite humid, with the possibility of destructive storms.  

Miami is one of the best places to travel in January due to the warm weather (more comfortable than the summer months), the festivals on offer, and the fact that it’s a great season for golf.

It’s also considered the high season, as many Americans flock to this southern city to escape the cold up north. 

The good news is that it’s not as humid in January making walking around Miami much more enjoyable. The sun will be shining, people will be sitting out on patios, and it’s a great time of year to be active. 

places to visit in january miami
Miami in January is looking pretty good!

It’s no secret that the south of Florida is known for being a haven for golfers, and January is considered one of the best months to hit the greens.

With that comes higher price tags for a round of golf, but if you’re on a budget don’t worry, there are a few courses that won’t break the bank. 

The Country Club of Miami offers 18 holes for just $45 – $48 if you’re playing on a weekend. Greynolds Golf Course offers 9 holes for just $25 including a cart. There are lots of options in the surrounding municipalities of Miami. Just hop in an Uber and head to one of the cheaper courses. Click here for more details. 

Check out the Jam Cruise, which is a popular music festival aboard a cruise ship! Cruise from Miami to Belize, to Mexico and back to Miami, all while listening to an incredible line up of musicians.

For some land-based festivals, check out the South Beach Jazz Festival, Art Deco Weekend, and the International Chocolate Festival. Plus, if you’re into basketball, don’t miss a Miami Heat game.

There’s always something going on in Miami. 

Find out where to stay in Miami on, or on Airbnb.

11. Grenada

Update December 2020: In order to enter Grenada, you must apply for a Pure Safe Travel Certificate, and show proof of a negative PCR test on arrival. If you plan to stay in your hotel ONLY, you don’t need to do a second PCR test. However, if you plan to explore the island and leave your hotel area, you must receive a second test on day 4 of your stay. You also must have a pre-approved accommodation booked. Learn more here

Why is this one of the best places to travel in January? 

  1. Billfish Tournament
  2. Sailing Regattas
  3. Great Weather 
  4. Scuba Diving

I had to put our adopted home on the list!

The little island of Grenada is one of the southernmost islands in the Caribbean. For such a small place, there are many things to do in Grenada to keep you busy. The reason this is one of the best places to travel in January is due to two events (and great weather!).

Don’t miss the Budget Marine Spice Isle Billfish Tournament and the Grenada Sailing Week.

best places to visit in january grenada
Don’t miss Grenada! The scuba diving is awesome as well ?

Last year marked the 52nd anniversary of the 4 day Billfish Tourney, and it was another successful event. Hook into dorado, tuna, blue marlin, white marlin, sailfish and more.

For the Sailing Week, the 4-day race starts at Port Louis Marina with 2 days of racing in Grand Anse and up to Secret Harbour. One day of relaxing, followed by 2 more days of racing on the east coast of Grenada, leaving from Secret Harbour. 

Of course, for both events, there will be lots of parties and rum…lots of rum.

If you’re not partaking in the events, you can still watch from the shoreline as the sailboats cruise around the coast. Aside from sailing and fishing, January is a great time to visit Grenada due to the dry, warm weather.

Spend your days chasing waterfalls, lazing on one of the many pristine beaches, hiking through National Parks, and dining on freshly caught fish at sunset with a rum punch in hand. Or, head out on a scuba dive or snorkel trip with Dive Grenada, or a sailing trip with Savvy.   

Best places to travel in january grenada
Hiking on one of our favourite trails in Grenada

It’s high season here, so don’t expect discounted room rates or tours. For accommodation, check out Mount Cinnamon Grenada or click here to see a list of other rooms available on the island.

Grenada is one of our favourite places in the world, and January is without a doubt a great time to visit.

12. Costa Rica

Update December, 2020: Costa Rica is allowing foreigners to enter the country, making it a great place to visit in January. You will need to fill out a “Health Pass” before you land and have proof of travel insurance. Learn more about entrance requirements here.

Why is this one of the best places to visit in January? 

  1. Yoga Retreats
  2. Detox 
  3. Great Weather
  4. Wildlife Spotting

Costa Rica is one of the best places to chill out, detox, or be active after a crazy, over-indulgent holiday season. This Central American country is known for being a great place to practice yoga, do some meditation and go surfing.

The Pacific coast and central valley of Costa Rica are dry in January, while the Caribbean coast is still wet during this month. It’s best to keep your travels to the west and central part of the country in January.

It’s the high season, which means that prices won’t be low, but you’re basically guaranteed great weather. Book early to get better prices, and try to book your trip for after the first week of January. 

best places to travel in january costa rica
Sunsets in Costa Rica are pretty epic

Click here for numerous retreats that combine juice detoxes and plant-based detoxes with yoga and meditation. Get your body feeling alive and healthy again. 

For those of you who want to be more active in Costa Rica, try surfing along the north pacific between Guanacaste – Nicoya. Tamarindo and Playa Grande are great spots for all levels of surfers.

If it’s wildlife you seek, January is whale watching season in Costa Rica, while sloths, toucans, turtles and dolphins can be spotted pretty much year-round. 

There are numerous things to see and do in Costa Rica, and due to the amazing weather and wildlife sightings, January is one of the best times to visit.

13. The Best Places To Visit in January For Safari

Update December, 2020: See the entrance requirements for Kenya here and for Uganda here. PCR tests are required, there’s a curfew in place (late at night to early in the morning), and no quarantine is required.

Nick and I are safari lovers. It’s true that once the safari bug gets you, you’ll be hooked for life.

January is the perfect time to join a safari not only in Tanzania (as listed above), but in Kenya and Uganda as well. So if you fancy heading to Africa this winter, January could be the perfect time to do it.

places to visit in january for safari
A safari is a good bet in January

The animals in the parks are generally congregating around watering holes, there’s plenty of action in the grasslands and you’re pretty much guaranteed to spot the animals you’re hoping to see.  

14. Colombia (one of the most diverse places to travel in January)

Update December, 2020: Colombia is open to foreign visitors. Learn more here.

After spending 6 weeks in Colombia, it’s safe to say that it’s one of our top destinations to visit. 

Whether you’re interested in trekking to ancient ruins set deep in the jungle, experiencing a Caribbean vibe, lazing on gorgeous beaches, exploring the Amazon region, learning about coffee production, or wandering around cities — there’s something for everyone in Colombia.

places to travel in january colombia
Beautiful Colombia

Not only does the country have a lot to offer travellers, but January is outside of the hurricane season (the north coast can get hit with storms). December to February are the driest months in the country.

On the budget end, expect to spend around $60 per day for a couple. Double rooms are from around $20/night. Have look at options available on or on

If you’re just starting with your freelance career, it can be difficult to find work. That’s why I’ve put together this list of the best freelance websites for beginners to help get you started.

These websites are the perfect way to attract more clients to your services and gain referrals so you can grow your business even more.

I started my own freelance business in May and have now been freelancing for 8 months as both a graphic designer and social media manager.

It’s been a true delight, and I can’t see my life being any other way. Luckily, my business started on the right foot because I utilized lots of these freelancing sites for beginners when I first started.

best freelance websites for beginners to work abroadKrystianna in Florence, Italy. With freelance jobs, you can work from anywhere

The internet is covered with job boards, but I’ve helped you out by putting the best freelancing websites for beginners here in one place. Some of them might surprise you. Did you know about #6?

Here’s my list of the 15 best freelance websites for beginners.  What is Freelance Work?

Freelance work is perfect for those who want to be their own boss, give themselves their own job title, and work in a variety of different industries sharing their zone of genius.

Most freelancers work from home so they can live anywhere they want as long as they get the job done, while others are actually freelancers in-house, which is another possibility.

At times it can be hard to find work as a freelancer, so even those who are far along in their freelancing career look for clients on beginner freelance websites to get some leads.

To be a freelancer, you have to have solid time management skills, people or customer service skills, and a strong drive for success.

Freelancers are their own boss and usually own their own small business — there isn’t anyone that’s going to cover for them if they decide to slack off.

Freelance work is incredible if you have the right kind of personality and diligence in your work ethic. It can be enriching because you can help tons of other business owners reach success by utilizing your services.

Remote Work vs. Freelance Work

Don’t get this type of work confused with working remotely.

With remote work, you are usually an employee for a company, so workers of this kind report to a supervisor or boss throughout the day. Plus, there are teammates to rely on if you need help or collaboration. 

Remote work often also pays less (this isn’t always the case, but normally is) which is why freelance work can pay off if you work hard.

Freelancers work for themselves and are essentially an expert in their field. This means being able to charge a lot more for their projects versus someone who works as a salary job.

Imagine being able to set your own hourly pay or a fixed rate for projects — as a freelancer, you can do just that!

Looking for more Freelance articles? What to Look For in a Freelance Website

When looking on freelance websites, there are a few things to look out for. First of all, most freelance sites that act as job boards for potential clients do take a cut.

For instance, one of the most popular sites, Upwork, does take 20% of a freelancer’s pay for the first $500 they make working with each client.

The longer they work together, the more that percentage goes down. But, it’s just something to keep in mind because you might want to have slightly higher rates to make the same amount you would off the platform.

Some sites also have someone handpicking the jobs, or they’ve created their own software that works to find jobs that aren’t being applied for as often.

These unique qualities are usually what make the platform stand out.

upwork best websites for beginner freelancersUpwork is one of the top freelancing websites for beginners (but, they do take a cut)

A majority of freelance websites also require you to be vetted to apply for jobs or even join the platform. Going back to Upwork as an example, which requires you to apply to the website before you can start applying to the client postings.

Don’t get discouraged if you aren’t automatically approved because they try not to have too many people offering the same services to give the freelancers on the platform a fair chance.

Last but not least, some websites might also require you to pay to join them.

This is a case of risk versus reward, so you’ll have to decide if it’s worth it to access a larger (often higher-quality) client base by paying a small fee.

8 Tips For Being Successful When Searching Freelance Websites

Of course, there are also some tips for being successful when searching for freelance sites for beginners. Be sure to keep these in mind when applying for positions that clients need help with.

  1. Remember that you aren’t an employee. As a freelancer, you are your own business owner who is collaborating with another business owner to help them achieve success. Get rid of the employee/boss relationship idea immediately!
  2. Keep a lookout for red flags. If a job seems way too good to be true, then it probably is.
  3. Charge your worth. I made the mistake of lowballing myself for a few of the first interviews I had with business owners who wanted to use my services just because I wanted to make that sale and start a stream of income. But, the amount of time you lose is completely not worth it.
  4. Let your personality shine. This can be part of a magnetic pitching strategy when trying to get clients to want your services. 
  5. Have a clear idea of what type of business owners you want to work with. This can really help you to not have awkward conversations down the line if you end up working with someone that you had a funny feeling about from the beginning.
  6. Don’t say yes to everyone. Your ideal client will show up eventually, you don’t need to say yes to every job.
  7. Create a portfolio. If the type of service you offer can be best shown in a portfolio, make sure that you have one that you can easily share with potential clients. They love seeing your work in action because it can prove that you’re an expert at what you do. Better yet, create your own freelance website that showcases what you offer. 
  8. This is more of a general tip, but try to set aside at least 1 hour a day sending proposals and pitching to clients who are interested in your work. 
What Are The Best Freelance Websites for Beginners? 

It can be tough trying to find work as a beginner when freelancing. It’s best to start with searching on freelance websites because you can quickly find clients in need of the services you offer.

Eventually, you might want to make your own freelance website and have a content marketing strategy to get your ideal clients to find you instead of the other way around.

Here are 15 of the best freelance websites for beginners:

1. FlexJobs

While FlexJobs is mainly for remote jobs, they do offer some freelance positions as well if you do a thorough search. This site currently offers 30,000 different jobs in a variety of industries, from fashion to travel.

You do have to pay a small price to access the positions posted on FlexJobs, but that’s because the site works to stop spammers from applying to positions and also uses the money to stop ads from being shown on their site.

No matter what position you’re interested in, you can pretty much find it on FlexJobs. Just make sure that it’s one that says “freelancer” on it and not “employee”. Click here to learn more.

Use promo code NOMAD to receive 30% off the membership fee. 


2. SolidGigs

SolidGigs is one of the best freelancing websites for beginners if you’re looking for hand-picked jobs.

This means that the platform will find jobs best suited for the services that you offer and make sure that you know about them so you can apply!

A site like this is perfect for beginners because it can save you so much time that you can focus elsewhere, such as on your own outreach on other platforms and making connections.

To join SolidGigs, all you have to do is enter your email and get on the list — it’s as easy as that.

For reference, SolidGigs currently features positions such as Freelance Guest Blogger, Senior Marketing Designer, and Media Consultant. Be sure to check and see if it’s for a full-time job or if it’s freelance since this site offers a variety of both.

Click here to try Solid Gigs for just $2.


3. 99Designs

If you’re a design freelancer, then you have no reason not to be on 99Designs.

This platform allows clients to find your personal profile and hire you. Or, a client can host a competition to see how each person would approach a project before hiring.

To join, sign up on their website and get designing! It’s as simple as that. Just be sure not to spend all of your time participating in just the contests.

4. Upwork

Upwork is said to be one of the best freelance websites for beginners, if not the best, because there are so many jobs on there at any given time no matter your skillset.

Essentially, freelancers use tokens called “connects” to apply to different positions and try their chances at getting hired by a client.

It’s a great site for beginners because it’s near impossible to not get at least one client with your first 80 free connects if you use them wisely.

There are a multitude of jobs on the platform, including virtual assistant positions, digital marketers, copywriters, and more. You can even find freelance photography positions on there if you happen to live in the same area as the potential client!

Read my review of Upwork and see if it’s right for you. 

5. Fiverr

This platform works opposite of Upwork. A freelancer can join and create their own custom packages (usually with the first package starting at $5, hence the name) to attract clients.

So, the site works as a search engine, and clients can find someone offering exactly what they want for their price range.

Some example positions on the site right now include UX designer, brochure creator, and blog writer. However, since you’re the one who creates the posting, you can make it for any of your skillsets. Learn more about how to make money on Fiverr.

6. Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups are often overlooked as a great spot to find freelance gigs for beginners. If you know what kind of client you’d like to work with, then you can pretty easily find jobs on the platform.

For example, if you want to work with travel bloggers, then search for Facebook Groups that are created for them. Don’t just start posting in the group sharing what you do, but wait until someone asks a question about your expertise and leave a comment answering their question.

Sometimes, the person who asked the question will want to know more and ask you about your services.

In Facebook Groups, you can find lots of blog writing, virtual assistant, and social media manager jobs. Be on the lookout for jobs that are charging way too little and remember to know your worth.

how to find freelance work online websites

7. PeoplePerHour

PeoplePerHour is another one of the best freelancing sites for beginners.

Keep in mind that the name of the site is a bit misleading because there are postings for both fixed price and hourly jobs on the site. Pay close attention as to whether the job you’re applying to is for a fixed price or hourly pay.

There are around 5,000 different jobs posted at any time, including positions for virtual assistants, translators, graphic designers, and more.

This site is perfect for beginners because there are constantly new jobs being posted, so be sure to always check in on the site when you have the time.

8. Dribble

Dribble is an amazing spot for freelancers who are looking to offer creative services of any kind. For example, a lot of the jobs on this site are for web designers, graphic designers, and branding strategists.

Companies both big and small post what kind of services they’re looking for on this site.

There is a general job board that offers both freelance and full-time gigs, but you can pay a small fee to get access to the exclusive freelancer-only board.

9. Behance

Many people don’t know this, but Behance, Adobe’s portfolio website, actually has its own job board that is perfect for beginner freelancers.

Oftentimes, the jobs are posted by individuals or small business owners who need help with tiny, one-off projects. These can be great for getting your foot in the door and having more testimonials to share with future clients.

One important thing to note is that if you’re looking to apply for jobs on here, make sure that you have your own Behance profile and portfolio fully updated because that’s what gets sent to the client when you apply.

It’s not a good look if your entire profile is empty or very outdated!

Similar to Dribble, Behance is catered towards creative job postings, in fields such as animation, photography, app design, and even fashion design.

10. Freelancer

Freelancer is a great website for those starting their career in freelancing — in fact, I used it often to apply for jobs myself when I started.

At this very moment, there are 19,000+ different job postings on Freelancer, so there are lots of clients in need of help with services just like yours.

With Freelancer, users can apply to jobs with a “bid” and then clients can choose whoever they feel is the best fit for their project. Some example positions on the site include proofreader, SEO expert, and logo designer, and many others.

11. TopTal

TopTal is an exclusive freelance job board that you have to apply for, and they only accept around 3% of their applicants.

However, as a new freelancer, don’t let that discourage you because if you have strong skills from your old job, then you can absolutely be admitted to this site.

TopTal posts freelance positions with companies like Airbnb, Zendesk, and Shopify, among others. The site is actively looking for freelancers who specialize in design, developing, finance, and project management.

12. Media Bistro

Media Bistro, while it offers full-time and part-time positions, also has a specific part of its site dedicated solely to freelancers.

All users have to do is create their own freelance profile, and they can apply to any of the freelance jobs on the site.

There are tons of remote and in-person freelance positions on the site, ranging from freelance production assistants at NBC Universal to 3D animators. This is a great way to start getting experience as a new freelancer.

13. Angel List

Angel List is somewhat of a hidden gem of a website, and it’s one that I’ve consistently used to find new leads and apply to jobs ever since my freelancing career started.

This site is super easy to join, and you can look for both in-person and remote freelancing jobs.

The great thing about Angel List is that it only allows job postings from startups, so if you know you want to work with smaller businesses, this site can be a gold mine for you.

14. LinkedIn

Believe it or not, many people post about freelance positions they need to be filled on LinkedIn all the time.

These are often on the LinkedIn job board, but you can also do a quick search using the search bar on the platform to find and connect with people who want your services.

The only downside to LinkedIn is that because there are so many people on the site, you’ll most likely be up against quite a few other people when applying to jobs.

That’s why it’s important that you apply across a wide variety of platforms and find what works best for you.

15. Guru

Guru has almost 2 million different job postings for freelancers, with a majority of them in programming, translation, and the arts. If those are one of your services, then you will find an abundance of potential clients on this site!

It’s pretty simple to join and is great for newbie freelancers because of the wide variety of job postings, and the fact that there are so many.

Freelancers won’t be up against as much competition as they would be if they were to apply elsewhere.

10 Best Freelance Jobs

If you’re considering starting a freelance business but don’t know what job to offer, then this part of the post is for you. Here are some of the best freelancing jobs (and the highest paying).

1. Freelance Writing

Do you have a knack for the written word? Well, you can actually be a freelance writer. The great thing about this is that if you have a specific niche, you love working with, like fashion or travel, then you can easily find jobs for that industry.

Freelance writing can include copywriting, social media caption writing, blog writing, and even ghostwriting novels.

2. Translation

Translators are always in high demand. If you are bilingual and can speak a second language well, then you’re in luck when it comes to searching for freelance jobs.

3. Teaching English Online

If you love teaching others and speak English, then teaching English online can be a great way for you to make money as a freelancer. There are tons of great resources out there if this is the specific type of job that you’re interested in as well.

Unlike other jobs on this list, be prepared to be vetted to teach English online to make sure you know your stuff.

woman teaching english onlineTeaching English online is a great job for freelancers 4. Graphic Design

Graphic designers are always in high demand. With design, you’ve either got an eye for it or you don’t! If you’re one of those lucky people who do have a knack for design, you can charge quite a bit for your services, especially as you become an expert in your field. Beginners tend to make around $25/hour.

Learn more here:how to make money as a graphic designer.

5. Social Media Management

Social media management is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing today, and many small business owners don’t have the time to commit to it. So, needless to say, social media managers are always needed like graphic designers.

If you’ve got an eye for creating fun social graphics and you love caption writing and growing accounts with organic growth methods, then this might be a great freelance career path for you. Learn more about making money as a social media manager

6. Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants essentially do exactly what it sounds like — they are an assistant to business owners and they work virtually. VAs complete a variety of small tasks throughout the week.

The great thing about being a virtual assistant is that one day you could be creating graphics while the next day, you might be helping to build an email marketing sequence. Learn more about how to become a virtual assistant

7. Instructional Designer

E-learning is one of the most up and coming industries at the moment, and for a good reason.

More and more people are switching to online learning, and lots of service-based business owners are even starting to sell their own online courses sharing their knowledge so that they can make a bit of passive income.

This is a great freelance career to pivot into if you’re a teacher and are looking for a change.

8. Web Designer

Since this is a digital world, almost every single company has its own website, and it’s important for them to stand out from their competitors. Web designers do just that and build sites on Squarespace, WordPress, and Wix.

best sites for finding freelance workMake money creating websites for clients 9. Branding Expert

Having a logo and a strong, cohesive brand identity is essential when it comes to having a business of any type, whether it has an online presence at all.

Branding experts create logos, mood boards, and really work to help showcase everything that a brand is about in just one single image.

10. Accountant

Accountants are always in fairly high demand and are commonly the first position to be outsourced by small business owners who don’t have the time to keep up with their business’s financials. If you’re a money person, you’re in luck because there’s always an abundance of these positions online.

What Are the Pros and Cons Of Being a Freelancer?

Unfortunately, being a freelancer isn’t all rainbows and butterflies, but it does have its perks.

  • You are your own boss. No more having someone else constantly tell you what needs to be done!
  • If you have a freelance remote job (like most freelancers do), then you can work from anywhere. Yes, that even means from your favourite beach.
  • Freelancers can make a lot more than they would at a desk job doing the same services.
  • Successful freelancers get to grow and expand their team. Imagine that – having your own business with people who align with your vision and want to help your business grow.
  • A lack of time management can completely ruin your business and lose you, clients.
  • If you find yourself sick one day, you can’t necessarily find someone else to do all the work for you if you have a deadline.
  • There can be weeks sometimes where absolutely no work is coming in.
Now you know the best freelance websites for beginners

The key to success as a freelancing beginner is to keep putting yourself out there. Be sure to frequent these freelance sites often and always check in with them at least once every few days to see if there’s a client that is looking for services like yours. 

I hope you found this list useful. If you did, please leave a comment below and share this article with your social media contacts. Happy freelancing!

The post 15 Best Freelance Websites For Beginners appeared first on Goats On The Road.

Finding unique gifts for travel lovers can be a daunting task. Not only do you need to find a gift that they’ll like, but something they’ll actually use.

As travellers ourselves who have been on the road for more than 10 years now, we’ve got the inside scoop on useful and fun items for travel that would make great presents.

Whether it’s a birthday, Christmas or a going away gift you’re after, you’ll find some gift ideas for travel lovers in this article.

In this post, I’ll list 12 unique, fun and practical travel gifts for your special someone.

On another note, we recommend also looking at the small businesses in your community and seeing if there are any products or gift certificates you can purchase, or other ways that you can support them this year ?

best gifts for travel lovers this year

This article has been updated December 2020 to list gifts that your travel-loving family and friends will enjoy, but aren’t necessarily presents that could only be used while on the road. 

This post contains some affiliate links to Amazon and other companies. If you purchase a product using our link, we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!

1. Airbnb Experiences (online or in-person)

This is my top choice for gifts this year.

Sure, many people aren’t actually travelling at the moment, but what better way to keep the travel dream alive than joining an online Airbnb Experience?

These online experiences make for very unique travel gifts.

While you may not actually be in Italy, England, Mexico, or India, you can join an online class with people from there! Here are a couple of the top-rated options you can choose from:

Making Pasta With an Italian Grandma (a travel gift for foodies!)

If you love Italian food, you’ll want to join this cooking class. Travel virtually to an Italian grandma’s home and learn how to make pasta from scratch — from the experts.

Gnocchi, lasagna, ravioli, fettuccine and more. You’ll be sent a list of ingredients and the tools you’ll need to participate. Click here to learn more about this highly-rated, yummy class.  food gifts for travel lovers

Fun fact: at the beginning of 2020, Nick and I actually did this Airbnb experience in person in a village outside of Rome. It was a great cooking class, the grandmas were so fun, and we were SO full by the end of it! Highly recommended. Find out more here.

Gin Cocktail Class With a Mixologist

If you’re into gin, you’ll want to check out this cocktail class with an expert from the UK. Expect to learn some unique gin cocktails, play some drinking games, enjoy some jokes and laughter, and a fun night with new friends.  

This is a fun experience for singles, friends, couples, families and groups. You’ll be sent a list of ingredients and tools you’ll need in order to participate. Click here for details about this highly-rated class.

gin cocktail airbnb experience 

Taste Of India – Tea and Food

Learn more about Indian culture and cuisine with this online cooking class. Each day offers a different menu, so just choose the one that you think your travelling friend will enjoy. 

Whether it’s butter chicken, matter paneer, vegetable biriyani, paneer butter masala or samosas, there’s something for every Indian food lover! Of course, masala chai tea is also on the menu. 

JD is from Delhi and his family have owned a restaurant for three generations now — your special someone will be in good hands with this experience. Learn more here

airbnb experience travel gift ideas

Other Travel Gift Ideas Online

Those are just 3 of the MANY amazing online experiences found on Airbnb. If you’re looking for a gift that isn’t food and drink related, there are many others — music, dancing, magic, storytelling and more. 


2. JBL Portable Speakers

We’ve tried numerous Bluetooth portable speakers over the years, and as far as affordable electronic travel gifts go, these speakers are the best.

Everyone has a smartphone these days and connecting to these JBL speakers is easy. Plus, it weighs in at just over 1lb, making it practical for travellers.

Many people like to listen to music while they’re at the beach, chilling out by the pool, or having a relaxing night playing cards with new friends. Bluetooth speakers are a must. These days, we also use them for watching Netflix on our laptops. 

We’ve owned the JBL Flip 4 and Flip 5. Both are great, but the Flip 5 is waterproof and sounds excellent. This is an affordable gift for travel lovers.


3. Portable Espresso Machine

Not only is this travel gift great for those who love to wander, but it’s an excellent idea for coffee addicts.

If you’ve gone on a long-term trip before, or if you travel on a budget, you’ll know that the coffee available at hostels and guesthouses is usually sub-par filter coffee.

Or, if you’re camping, hiking or living out of a small vehicle, this is a great gift to get that coffee fix!

Portable, handpump espresso machines can be taken on the go. They’re small, compact and all you need is some hot water and some espresso grounds.

You simply add the grounds to a little pod, add some hot water, pump up the machine to build up some pressure, press the release button and voila, a shot of espresso appears. 

You can then add more hot water to your cup to make it less strong, or, add milk.

We’ve used the Handpresso machine, our friends prefer the AeroPress, while the Wacao Minipress is popular on Amazon. Click here to learn more about handheld espresso machines. 


4. Natural Body Care

With products for all sexes, and unisex items, you can find natural body care items from companies like Lush or Ethique.

Products are vegan (or vegetarian), handmade and nothing is tested on animals.

Not only that, but the ingredients are all-natural, and for the responsible traveller in your life, they’ll be happy to know that many of the items don’t have any packaging — plastic or otherwise.

When you’re thinking about gifts for travel lovers, consider the shampoo, conditioner and soap bars, body lotions and face wash — many of which come in nice packaging, perfect for a present. 

These items are great for travellers for many reasons:

  1. There’s no plastic waste. 
  2. No liquids so they can easily be brought on board a flight — great for those who fly carry-on.
  3. Takes up less space in luggage than a shampoo or conditioner bottle.


5. Travel Hammock

Travel hammocks are great for those are looking to sleep under the stars, or on remote beaches. It’s also great for campers or for those who like to do some multi-day trekking (provided there are trees around to hang the hammock from!).

A travel hammock is also an excellent travel gift for those who just plan to backpack around.

Setting up a hammock on the balcony of your beachfront hut, setting it up for a break mid-hike, or bringing it to the beach for a day of chilling out between two palm trees is the ultimate in relaxation.

There are numerous travel hammocks to choose from, just make sure you get one that is lightweight and rolls up into a small package. Travellers like small items!

With more than 20,000 positive reviews, the Wise Owl Outfitter hammock is a great choice. Click here to compare prices and reviews on numerous travel hammocks.

6. Bluffworks Clothing

Bluffworks brand of clothing is a good option whether you’re on the road or at home. The clothing items are quick-dry, stylish and the best part…they don’t wrinkle!

For business travellers, or those who jet-set, having a nice set of clothing in your luggage is essential. Even if the person you’re buying a gift for plans on budget backpacking around the world, it’s always a good idea to have 1 nice dress shirt and 1 nice pair of pants.

You never know what can happen on the road. We’ve been randomly invited to weddings, found ourselves in the area when a new bar was opening up and were invited to enjoy a 7-course fine dining meal.

Shorts and a t-shirt simply wouldn’t meet the dress code.

Nick has owned the “Original” pants in charcoal for about 6 years now, and he wears them whenever there’s a “fancy” event happening — and they never wrinkle. Click here to learn more about Bluffworks clothes.

bluffworks pants are one of the best travel gifts for men they can be worn at a weddingBluffworks pants in action at a wedding! 7. Airpods/Earbuds

Having a set of Bluetooth speakers is great, but having your own set of headphones these days is a must.

Listening to music and podcasts while bumping along on a bus, hiking or working out. Chatting to a friend on video calling, or for those flight days when you want to watch a movie, headphones are a must-have and make great gifts.

Look for earbuds that offer noise cancellation and a mic, and also make sure that the earbuds you’re purchasing are compatible with your travel friend’s smartphone or tablet.

We now both have Bluetooth Apple AirPods and although we can’t use them when connecting to the TV screens on airplanes, we watch our shows on our smartphones or tablet using them.

Plus, when walking, chatting on the phone, and working out, it’s nice to not have cords in the way. Click here to compare the different styles of AirPods. 

8. Tinggly

When it comes to travel gifts, this unique idea from Tinggly is a good bet. Visit their website and choose a category that’s relevant to the recipient of the gift — “Key to Europe”, “Perfect For Him”, “Perfect For Her”, “Merry Christmas”, “Ultimate Collection”, “Bucketlist”, etc.

best travel gifts for tours and adventure

In each category are numerous tours and experiences for your travel-loving friend to choose from (in some cases, there are over 700 options).

Once they’ve chosen the event that interests them, they have 5 years to redeem it.

Experiences and tours are available worldwide, so just ensure that the gift you choose is offered in the country the recipient is going to.

When it comes to travel gifts, you really can’t go wrong with a wine tasting in Tuscany, a helicopter flight over Las Vegas, a day at the spa in Bali or volcano exploration in Hawaii! As travellers ourselves, we can say we definitely prefer memorable moments over possessions.

You can opt to send a physical box to the gift recipient, or send a voucher by email. Click here to learn more about this fun gift idea.

9. Travel-Sized Instrument

One of the best gifts for travel lovers, and musicians is a travel-sized instrument. What better way to connect with people than by singing, dancing and playing music?! 

Whether enjoying songs around the campfire, jamming on the beach at sunset, or travelling abroad, in many cases having a small instrument is more practical than a full-sized one.

A travelling ukulele or guitar are great options. 

Musician Authority has some great posts on some easy songs for beginners and beginner’s guides to playing the ukulele.

For guitar players, you can’t go wrong with Martin, and luckily, this company has a travel version guitar. Weighing in at around 2.5 pounds, and fitting in the overhead compartment of planes, the Martin Steel String Travel Guitar is perfect.

Another option is a ukulele which is already small enough to be a travel item. This 21-inch ukulele is lightweight, small, and includes a carrying case and tuner. A great present for travellers!


10. Prana Clothes

Another clothing company that is an excellent travel gift. The travel, adventure and yoga clothes that prAna makes are practical, stylish and ethical. This brand cares about fair trade and sustainability.

I personally wear the Halle pant on about 95% of our flight days and I’ve always worn them when trekking — they’re stretchy and comfy.

I also own a sporty tank top, a cotton t-shirt and a hooded sweater, while Nick has a polo shirt, a dress polo and some loose cotton yoga pants. The clothes have lasted us for 7 years so far and are still going strong!

best gifts for travellers prana clothing for hikingStopping for a water break while trekking Torres del Paine in Chile – wearing Halle Pant

I wholeheartedly recommend this brand as a gift for the traveller in your life. Click here to see all Prana products on their website. They offer free shipping and 10% off new orders receive 

*Update December, 2020: I fell off my bike and got a hole in my Halle Pants that I’m wearing in the photo above. So, after around 6 years I finally had to purchase a new pair, this time I went with black but in the same style. And, they are still built just as well as when I purchased my first pair 6 years ago. Also, for those women who are tall like I am (5’10”), these pants come in a “tall” length!

11. Water Purification Products

When it comes to travel gifts, this might not sound like the coolest idea out there, but it can be a lifesaver and is something that travellers need to have in their bags.

When travelling to more offbeat destinations where the drinking water is questionable, it’s imperative that water from the tap is purified before being consumed.

Similarly, when you’re camping, cycling or trekking in the wilderness and the water source isn’t safe, it’ll need to be purified. We used a SteriPen when trekking in remote locations in Kyrgyzstan and it worked very well.

Not only do products like SteriPen or Lifestraw remove harmful bacteria and microbes from water, but travellers don’t need to purchase bottled water, which helps to save cash and the environment.

With SteriPen, you simply fill a (reusable) bottle with 1 litre of water and “stir” the pen around for 89 seconds. As you stir, it gives off UV rays that kill harmful bacteria.

Once you see a smiley face on the device, the water is safe to drink. There are different models of SteriPen, some charge via USB, others with batteries.

The Lifestraw is only good for one person as it is a personal straw, which has a filter inside of it.

It’s small and lightweight and is a good option for drinking straight from streams or puddles in emergency backcountry situations — it also filters out debris.

I think of it as more of a survival tool, which could be a cool travel gift if someone is going on an expedition. Click here to learn more about the SteriPens available and click here to learn more about Lifestraw.


12. Games (fun gifts for travel lovers!)

If you’re looking for fun travel gifts, then purchasing a game (or 2) is a good idea! These gifts can also be used for people travelling in a van/RV, going on camping trips, or simply for weekends at home.

If the person is travelling solo, then games for 1 or more are preferable but consider games that can be played with a group over a few beers.

We always have games in our backpacks and play when we’re waiting for flights, for our meals to show up, or when we’re in our accommodation. Keep in mind that travel games need to be somewhat small and lightweight.

For us, our go-to travel games are Cribbage, a simple deck of cards, pass the pigs, and dice for playing Yahtzee.

Our latest purchase is Bananagrams which is kind of like Scrabble but without the board, and it’s more fun. Other hilarious adult games include Cards Against Humanity (a great way to get to know people – and their sick humour), and The Game Of Nasty Things (travellers would just bring the cards and not the actual box, obviously).

Other great options are Monopoly Deal and Skip-Bo.


13. Bonus! Mini Projector

This is one of the more unique travel gifts on this list. 

For people who are travelling around in a van (which is very popular right now), who are travelling slowly or living abroad, or for those who want to set up movie nights in their backyards — get a projector!

These small machines project quality images, making it fun for a group of people or a simple movie night.

Because the projectors connect to your smartphone or laptop, you can also watch YouTube, Netflix, look at your photos on the big screen and more. 

We’ve used projectors with a proper pull-down screen, but we’ve also used a plain white wall and a white sheet and that works also. 

Have a look at this pocket-sized projector (yes, it fits in your pocket!) and this one which is a little bigger but is still considered a “mini” — it’s a highly rated, quality product. 


Other Gifts For Travel Lovers

There are a few gifts ideas that I want to suggest here — but they won’t be available to everyone. I’m recommending them as they are items that are created by good friends of ours, and we want to help support small businesses whenever we can!

Here are a few items to consider:

Handcrafted Caribbean Gin

Owned and operated by our good friends in our adopted home of Grenada, Bluelight Gin is the only gin distillery in the Caribbean. They’ve worked hard to create tasty bottles of booze, with a tropical vibe.

A portion of their profits goes towards helping keep our oceans clean as well. The gin is now available for delivery in the UK. The perfect addition to your camping trip, van life (while parked!) or weekend at home. Get your bottle here

Beautiful Paintings

Our talented friend in Grenada has started offering her paintings on Etsy. Paige creates unique pieces with love — from flowers, plants and landscapes, to portraits, animals and fruits. Plus, she can make a one of a kind piece of your pet.

Just send her the photo of your furry friend and consider it done. Learn more on her Instagram account here, or directly on Etsy. Items are shipped from the USA, and there are small-sized prints available, perfect for hitting the road.

One Of a Kind Greeting Cards

Again, more of our talented friends living on the island of Grenada! Lily and Lauren run Pickalily cards, which are hand-drawn and filled with hilarious puns. These unique cards are available online through Thortful for the UK only. See if there is a travel-related, or Christmas card for you. Learn more here

Happy Gift Giving

There you have it, 12 fun, unique and (more importantly) practical gifts for travel lovers. In reality, no matter what you give your travelling friend, I’m sure they will love it.

But hopefully, this article gave you some good ideas for products that can actually be taken on the road or enjoyed at home this year. Every time your friend uses your gift while they’re away, they’ll think of you. 

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