Stop us if you’ve seen this holiday movie before: There are just a few days before Christmas. You have done hardly any of the shopping you said you were going to have completed by this point. Now you’re stressing. You’d rather not hassle with local mall crowds. You don’t want to blindly go shopping online, either.
But don’t worry. Forbes Travel Guide editors have found some of the best presents for the globe-trotting loved ones on your list. From the functional to the downright fairytale, these are the last-minute gifts that will prove right on time come December 25.
Dazzle the foodie in your life with what’s billed as the world’s most expensive chocolate bar. This $355 bar is meant to be savored like a fine wine. In fact, it’s made like a fine wine, too, with single-origin Ecuadorian dark chocolate that’s aged and released in harvests. Our favorite is the Single Malt Islay Cask. Aged for two years in a Laphroaig Scotch whisky cask, the chocolate picks up a strong, peaty taste.
Genius Pack Commuter Backpack
We’ve had stylish bags and functional ones before, but with this brilliant number from Genius Pack, we finally have both in one. Thanks to two exterior pockets and three spacious compartments, this savvy, waterproof bag doubles as a carry-on without ever breaking a sweat. Even better, its TSA-approved laptop sleeve means you don’t have to remove your computer at airport security.
Aston Martin Getaway
Let Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Rosewood London whisk your loved one away on an over-the-top getaway. During a three-night stay at the London hotel, a helicopter will bring him to Aston Martin’s Gaydon headquarters. Then he’ll sit with the company’s chief creative officer to customize his own sleek, state-of-the-art DB11 V12 coupe and get a performance training session. This is what James Bond would want for Christmas.
Escape by Gray Malin
In photographer Gray Malin’s second coffee-table book, you will find his famous aerial sand-and-surf shots (that’s Bora Bora on the cover). But he goes beyond the beach with dreamy photos of snowy Whistler mountains dotted with skiers and flush-with-green Hyde Park in London. Escape takes you to 22 destinations across 11 countries and will inspire you to start planning trips for 2018.
A Maui Culinary Adventure
Get the ultimate culinary adventure from Five-Star Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. A helicopter sweeps you above waterfalls and dormant volcano Haleakala before landing at Hana’s Ono Organic Farms for a tour and tropical fruit tasting. Next, swim in the lava caves at Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach or hike to a waterfall in a bamboo forest. Cap it off at Hana Ranch, where a local feast awaits along with wine hand-selected by the Maui hotel’s sommelier.
Thompson Hotels Signature Scented Candle
Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Thompson Chicago is a sleek, tailored hotel — even down to the aroma in its public spaces. If you want to stow some of that smell with you in the luggage, the company’s 5.75-ounce Velvet candle (a masculine mix of leather, tobacco and amber notes) makes for a fragrant stocking stuffer.
Ritz Paris’ The Art of Tea Collection Teapot
Madeleines will forever be tied to Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, in which the cookie-sized sponge cakes set off a childhood memory. Trigger more memories with Five-Star Ritz Paris’ elegant, modern teapot, a tribute to Proust, who was a frequent hotel guest. Crowned with a golden madeleine, the French pot is used during the Paris property’s Salon Proust tea service.
The Balvenie DCS Compendium Chapter 3
This new collection of five rare bottles — including a 55-year-old European oak Oloroso sherry hogshead, the oldest whisky ever released in The Balvenie’s history — will top every whisky connoisseur’s wish list. If you can’t get your hands on it, bring your giftee to Four Seasons Hotel New York. The Five-Star hotel’s Ty Bar exclusively carries three of the selections, which are available by the flight or individual pours.
Airpocket Personal Travel Carry-On
Seatbacks are notoriously inefficient. Airpocket designers put their heads together and came up with this neoprene carry-on that cleanly displays your laptop, travel documents and new book in the seat pocket. Take that, reclining guy in front of you.
Glenfiddich Winter Storm
Adventurous scotch sippers will want to taste of Winter Storm, the first single malt to be finished in Canadian ice wine casks. After soaking in the sweet wine casks for four months, the 21-year-old whisky emerges with a tropical lychee flavor that stands up to the scotch’s oakiness.
Nature lovers, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes will appreciate a donation made to the National Park Foundation in their name. Your gift will help protect more than 400 parks and ensure that treasures like Montana’s Glacier National Park remain for generations.
If your loved one is having vacation flashbacks of mornings at the neighborhood café, replicate the experience back home with this niftily designed appliance (available in black, gray, white, red and other shades) brewing coffee and authentic espressos at the touch of a button.
Passport Travel Holders
Our passports, in their uniform-blue blahness, aren’t much to look at. So, when we do get the chance to add a pop of personality to them — like these durable holders from Jane that come in bold colors like pink and caramel — we hop at the opportunity.