The 10 Best Travel Gifts From Queer-owned Businesses Start at Just $8

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Queer-owned business gift round-up

While equality for queer people recently progressed thanks to the historic signing of the Respect for Marriage act, there’s still a ways to go for LGBTQIA+ people in business. Like many BIPOC-owned businesses, LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs often have trouble getting funded and seeing their dreams of owning a company come to life. 

 So this year, whether you're searching for a holiday gift or require something less seasonal but equally thoughtful, it's admirable to support businesses owned or founded by members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Not only does this support the community economically, but it also helps to elevate their voices and contribute to a more inclusive and diverse marketplace. 

In this gift guide, we've curated a selection of gifts from LGBTQIA+-owned businesses, offering a range of options for everyone on your shopping list, from children exploring the world on their first passport to well-traveled, highly discerning adults. From innovative accessories to home goods and weather-combating beauty and wellness products from greats like Malin+Goetz, this gift guide features a wide variety of gift ideas that are sure to please your recipient regardless of who they choose to love. 

Graf Lantz Hana Canvas Boat Bag

Hana Canvas Boat Bag

graflantz

There's undoubtedly a beach or at least a pool in your gift recipient's future, and with Graf Lantz's Hana Canvas Boat Bag, they'll be set for plenty of warm days soaking up the sun. Made of a heavy gauge canvas, this bag proves that the durability of Graf Lantz's products remains unmatched, despite somehow getting better looking and softer with age. Apart from being an ideal beach bag, this hand-dyed tote is a great carry-all overnight bag, laptop bag, or stroller bag — it fits a whole lot. Accented by tanned leather straps and containing an interior pocket, the bag’s simple shape is juxtaposed by frayed edges and bright hues, including poppy red, turmeric orange, citron green, and a lovely fig purple. Otherwise known for their innovative merino wool felt, Graf Lantz was created by a gay couple that designs and makes their products locally in Los Angeles. Their appreciation for German and Japanese design principles and culture makes them a worldly addition to any wardrobe or home. 

 To buy: graflantz.com, $138

Malin+Goetz Essentials Kit

MALIN and GOETZ Essentials Kit

bloomingdales

Malin+Goetz Essentials Kit is a lifesaver for Insta-obsessed travelers. The brand was founded by queer couple Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz, dubbed the "first couple" of grooming. Their kit's convenient selection of cleansers and moisturizers comprise the brand's six best-selling skincare products to keep your recipient glowing and 'Grammable through their travels, even when faced with skin triggers like changing humidity, temperature, or air quality. Delicious scents like grapefruit, bergamot, and peppermint are featured in the kit, and each 1-ounce recyclable aluminum tube easily passes through TSA security checkpoints. Best of all, they're entirely free of harmful ingredients like sulfates, phthalates, parabens, and petrochemicals. Order now for just $34 plus shipping.

To buy: bloomingdales.com, $34

Bokksu Snack Box

Bokksu Snack Box Subscription

Bokksu

Experiencing another culture doesn't have to mean leaving the comfort of your home, and for someone who is unable to travel or can't get out there as often as they would like, the Bokksu Snack Box Subscription is the ideal gift. This inspiring company supports small family-run businesses in Japan by delivering carefully curated snack boxes to doorsteps around the globe. Each box comes with over 20 Japanese snacks, candies, and tea, along with an in-depth culture guide detailing every unique product's origin and flavors. Started by gay entrepreneur Danny Taing in 2015, it's a fun, authentic way to satisfy wanderlust cravings without getting on a plane — or even simply to bring a taste of your favorite destination home.

To buy: amazon.com, $45 for one month; other pricing options available 

Ghost Democracy Peptide-packed Dewy Toning Mist

Dewy Toning Mist

ghostdemocracy

Any adventurer on the go needs a great hydrating mist to counteract the drying effects of travel. Enter Ghost Democracy's Peptide-Packed Dewy Toning Mist. Created by queer entrepreneur Rex Chou with the inspiring philosophy "that everyone should have access to high-quality, affordable skin products, regardless of gender," this lightweight 3.4-ounce product is the perfect travel companion. Your giftee will appreciate its clean, blended formula that gives skin a plumper, firmer, and even-toned appearance. It also contains powerful ingredients like blue copper peptides, blue-green algae extract, and vitamin B3 as they mist themselves mid-flight, and the breakthrough product hydrates and strengthens all skin types.

To buy: ghostdemocracy.com, $36

Roverlund Pet Carrier

ROVERLUND Airline Compliant Pet Carrier

amazon

There are lots of travelers who can't go anywhere without their precious furbaby, and really — why should they? Roverlund's Airline Compliant Pet Carrier, Travel Bag, and Car Seat is a versatile gift that marries style with durability and convenience. Capable of holding most pets up to 20 pounds, the award-winning carrier features spacious storage pockets and a removable fleece-lined interior dog bed, so your buddy stays comfortable in-flight. It also has a bonus leash and a flexible frame that can conform to various aircraft requirements. Sturdy, chic, and lightweight, the product was designed by queer artist and entrepreneur Jamie Knowles.

To buy: amazon.com, $159 

Flipstik Defy Gravity Cell Phone Stick & Stand

Flipstik Defy Gravity Cell Phone Stick & Stand

target

Flipstik is a phone accessory that one reviewer called "a must-have for smartphone carriers as a whole." Great for those content creators who are always on the road, the simple, affordable, and highly practical Flipstik allows you to stick your phone to any surface for hands-free use. From GPS surveillance to plane selfies, Netflix binging, and more, Flipstik effortlessly allows smartphone streaming and capturing. The genius invention was designed by queer entrepreneur and Shark Tank special guest Akeem Shannon, who aims to "change the world and make it better" with his products. Available at Target, this affordable gift makes for a great stocking stuffer and comes in various colors and styles (including a luminous opal and a gorgeous rose quartz). 

To buy: target.com, $8 (originally $10) 

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Vodka Serving Bowl

VODKA SERVING BOWL

mitchell gold + bob williams

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams is a luxe home goods brand founded by Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams, a gay couple who didn't last in love but certainly have lasted as business partners for more than 30 years. Their vodka serving bowl is a handsome addition to any home or for a special event that requires traveling (like a wedding or honeymoon). The classy bowl elevates serving vodka in shot glasses and is an excellent way to chill your alcohol in style. Crafted with mirrored stainless steel, this sophisticated take on the ice bucket comes with six standard shot glasses and makes a chic addition to any adult gathering. 

To buy: mgbwhome.com, $76 (originally $95) 

Me-est Me Journal

Me-est Me Journal

merishop

Quieter moments and introspection are a reflective part of travel, and this journal (or train or subway car) companion called Me-est Me Journal is a lovely gift. The Austin-based Shana Rehwald founded the journal to help you reconnect with and embrace your true self. It contains 88 pages of prompts centered on reflecting, gathering, exploring, and pausing. It's the perfect accessory for any wanderer searching for self, especially those who see the world through their unique lens. As Rehwald states, "I wanted to create something anybody could use to reconnect with themselves and celebrate their version of the me-est me, no matter who they are." The journal is available for $29 at Verishop.

To buy: verishop.com, $29

Andrew Fitzsimons AF1 Restructuring 10-in-1 Leave-in Conditioner

AF1 Restructuring 10-in-1 Leave-In Conditioner

ulta

Travelers expose their hair to heat and sun, not to mention drying cold and mountain climates, too. Created by gay Andrew Fitzsimons, a celeb hair stylist to the stars — including Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Megan Fox, and more — this deeply moisturizing leave-in-conditioner is an on-the-go pick-me-up for frizz, damage, dryness, and general fatigue. Made with coconut oil, the deep-conditioning treatment further strengthens with ceramides and castor oil for strong and smooth tresses.

To buy: ulta.com, $14

Slumberkins Bigfoot Snuggler, Card, and Storybook Set

Slumberkins 14" Bigfoot Snuggler

amazon

We can all use a travel companion from time to time, and this snuggly set of products is just that. Co-founded by Callie Christensen, who identifies as queer, it's designed for children of all ages to help them develop a sense of self-confidence and self-esteem, making it a great gift to bring along on a trip with the little ones as they explore a new and unfamiliar place. The set includes a plush Slumberkin — a soft and cuddly companion that's machine washable — plus a book and affirmation card to encourage children to feel comfortable and confident in their skin. Available on Amazon Prime, the accompanying book offers children positive affirmations and self-esteem-boosting activities to help them develop a positive outlook on life, with reviewers commenting that they have received compliments on “how unique” the gift is.

To buy: amazon.com, $52

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