10 Online Stores With the Most Unique Gift Ideas
There's something about shopping for gifts in person that feels a little magical, especially during the holiday season. Christmas markets, local boutiques, and even department stores just have that extra bit of cheer. Perhaps it's the festive décor? The jolly, jingling soundtrack? The thrill of discovering that perfect-for-them present after wandering aisle after aisle? That's a tricky feeling to replicate when shopping online — unless you know where to look.
For gift shoppers who want to go the extra mile in thoughtfulness but would prefer everything be shipped directly to their doorsteps, here are some of the very best places to find unique gifts around the web. If you're particularly strapped for time, we've even picked a standout gift travelers will love from each site — from tech essentials to stylish, every-trip accessories.
Ahalife has gathered up the most unique products from designers and artisans around the world, so you’ll get to discover tons of brands and items you never even knew existed (see: a portable espresso press). They’ve even got a travel gifts category, which is where we found this striking, minimalist art book set by Juniper Books (ahalife.com, $450). The Boulder, CO–based company creates custom, shelfie-ready jackets for sets like Taschen’s Cities volumes.
To shop: ahalife.com
Much more than an online stationery store, Paper Source also has an incredibly cute gift section where you can shop by personality, gender, and more. We’re fans of their cities collection, which offers a ton of artsy finds for travelers. And they curate gift-y bundles, too, like this tech set (papersource.com, $40) that includes a super handy converter, cord wrap, and tech taffy to help keep devices dust-free.
To shop: papersource.com
As its name suggests, Uncommon Goods is a gold mine for out-of-the-ordinary ideas. You can use the site's Gift Finder for helpful hints or sort gifts by interest. In the travel gifts section, we're coveting this compact camp grill by Biolite (uncommongoods.com, $200). You can use it to boil water, to grill some dinner, or even to charge electronics thanks to the built-in USB.
To shop: uncommongoods.com
Amazon Interesting Finds
There are some wild and delightful things on Amazon if you know where to look. In the Interesting Finds section, the e-tailer curates and categorizes some of its coolest inventory — like this packing list notepad (amazon.com, $7), allowing you to sort by broad trending topics like smart home, daily carry, gadgets, and, of course, travel — and then you can drill down into even more granular lists put together by users like Have Baby/Toddler, Will Travel and Theme Park Essentials.
To shop: amazon.com
We’d be willing to bet the majority of, “Oh my god, where did you find this? It’s perfect!” gifts come from Etsy. The online marketplace is a force for finding special (and often fully customizable) presents, both big and small from millions of makers worldwide. On the small side, we love these personalized leather luggage tags from SoGoodSoWood (etsy.com, from $9).
To shop: etsy.com
Cost Plus World Market
It’s essentially the online version of a bazaar where you can find handmade treasures (think: Moroccan leather babouche slides and porcelain sakae rice bowls from Japan) all at affordable price points. There are 50 smart finds in the travel gifts category, like this affordable travel set that comes with a reversible wrap, eye mask, and carrying pouch (worldmarket.com, $30).
To shop: worldmarket.com
The Grommet is sort of a shoppable "Shark Tank," enabling you to meet innovative new products from small businesses and craftspeople. The bonus? Every single product is tested before it makes it on the site. There are tons of clever gift ideas, like this handbag light and portable charger by SOI (thegrommet.com, $35). It turns on automatically when it senses motion, and will stay lit for about 10 seconds while you find what you’re looking for.
To shop: thegrommet.com
World Wildlife Fund
The World Wildlife Fund allows you to "adopt" an endangered animal of your choosing, the proceeds of which go towards the protection of the species through global conservation efforts, making it the perfect unique gift for anyone dedicated to the protection of animals and nature. They'll receive an adoption kit complete with a stuffed version of their adopted animal.
To buy: worldwildlife.org, $55
If you're gifting any foodies this year, look no further than Food52 for all your high-quality, editor influenced and approved home and kitchen supplies. From ceramic dinnerware to a foldable and portable picnic table, Food52 has everything on your contemporary baking and homemaking friend's wishlist.
To buy: food52.com