Wallpaper* gift guide: shopping with travel editor Sofia de la Cruz

From a classic cocktail at an iconic bar to stylish carry-ons and a great graphic journal: a gift guide marking the sweet spot between functionality and luxury

scene from movie Lost in Translation, illustrating cocktails at Park Hyatt Toyko for our gift guide
Treat someone (or yourself) to cocktails at Park Hyatt Tokyo's New York Bar, or simply the perfect bottle opener… mine our travel-themed gift guide
(Image credit: Photo by Yoshio Sato - © 2003 Focus Features)

I love approaching gift-giving as a language of love, a gesture of genuine care, for others and even for oneself. Whether it's material treasures or enriching adventures, my focus has shifted towards selecting items that elevate the quality of an experience, merging both luxury and functionality. So, without further ado, here is my curated selection of design-centric, travel-inspired picks.

Wallpaper* gift guide by travel editor Sofia de la Cruz

A glossy green carry-on

carry-on suitcase for gift guide shopping idea

(Image credit: Rimowa)

Rimowa's Essential Cabin suitcase, true to its name, is a must-have. Its structured and minimalist design, highlighted by sharp lines at the front, practically begs to be on your annual gift wishlist. This particular carry-on, sporting a sleek green gloss colour, exudes timeless elegance and is ideal for two to three days of travel. Thanks to its dual interior organisation, keeping things in perfect order during travel is a breeze. Not only is it the world's first polycarbonate suitcase, but it also promises stable and effortless steering, courtesy of ball-bearing mounted wheels with cushioned axles.

£680, from rimowa.com

A stylish urban ride

wallpaper gift guide shopping

(Image credit: Cowboy)

Cowboy's Cruiser ST is the brand's initial venture into step-through models, catering to diverse riding styles, heights, and preferences. It provides an upright riding position, delivering a more comfortable riding experience. Available in five different colours, ranging from pastels to monochromatic options, this e-bike is a must-have for urban riders and those who want to start e-cycling in style.

£2,890, from Cowboy

A trusty travel companion

wallpaper gift guide shopping

(Image credit: Lemaire)

For avid travellers who appreciate versatility, owning a crossover large bag is practically essential. The Lemaire soft game bag, in a rich dark chocolate hue, draws inspiration from the French maison's signature ‘Croissant’ bag. It features a larger shape and a water-repellent body crafted from wadded nylon with a matte surface, ensuring durability and a robust structure that maintains its shape over time. Embroidered eyelets and self-fabric laces secure the bottom, enabling easy volume adjustments. This bag can be comfortably worn either on the shoulder or as a crossbody bag, adding to its adaptability.

£690, from lemaire.fr

A cute cart bag

wallpaper gift guide shopping

(Image credit: Issey Miyake)

Another stylish tote option is the Bao Bao Issey Miyake ‘Cart’. This shoulder bag, in a lovely shade of pistachio green, comes with two adaptable nylon straps and a spacious interior zip pocket. The ‘Cart’ is a convenient, all-encompassing design perfect for everyday necessities or short trips.

£735, from uk-store.isseymiyake.com

Also available from ssense.com

A New Era classic

baseball cap as travel gift idea

(Image credit: MoMA)

Exploring a museum store after a highly anticipated exhibition is a surefire way to elevate your mood. This MoMA NY Yankees Adjustable Baseball Cap was featured in MoMA's 2017 exhibition ‘Items: Is Fashion Modern?’ – an exploration of the present, past, and occasionally future of 111 clothing and accessory items. Crafted by New Era, a company with a baseball cap legacy dating back to the 1930s, this adjustable cap comes in six vibrant colours, adorned with the New Era logo and the MLB (Major League Baseball) emblem.

£35, from store.moma.org

A great graphic journal

blue journal with 1 - 365 on cover

(Image credit: Marjolein Delhaas)

Starting a new diary at the beginning of each year has become a cherished tradition for me. Amidst the endless journal options, this one designed by Rotterdam-based graphic designer Marjolein Delhaas stands out with its blend of simplicity and boldness. With 365 blank pages, each marked with prominent page numbers, the Marjolein Delhaas Journal 365 offers ample space for note-taking, analysis, organisation, and creative expression.

€45.99, from shop.marjoleindelhaas.com

Some light refreshment

wallpaper gift guide shopping

(Image credit: Alessi)

Whether on a leisurely trip or a work-related journey, there often comes a moment to savour a favourite drink, necessitating a reliable bottle opener. Excelling in transforming everyday items into remarkable treasures, Alessi’s ‘Bulla’ bottle opener is the one to have. Crafted in stainless steel and designed by Valerio Sommella, Bulla is a practical and compact tool, conveniently portable for on-the-go use. Its sleek and sophisticated design allows Bulla to double as an elegant pendant.

£35, from johnlewis.com

An elegant travel jewel


(Image credit: Tom Wood)

The Tom Wood Arch Square Black Onyx Ring is a versatile and lightweight accessory that complements any style, making it an essential for travel. Crafted from solid sterling silver with white rhodium plating, this piece draws inspiration from the history of silver and brutalist architecture. The collection follows a modular system, enabling you to customise and craft your unique piece of jewellery. Featuring square-cut natural Black Onyx stones set in a fine bezel, it combines elegance with a touch of individuality.

£519, from tomwoodproject.com

An all-round mood enhancer

wallpaper gift guide shopping

(Image credit: Aesop)

Aesop's Ginger Flight Therapy is a hidden gem on the brink of discovery. This roll-on pulse-point therapy, enriched with ginger root, lavender, and geranium oils, is tailor-made for travel or office settings. Ideal for on-the-go application, simply roll it onto your neck, temples, wrists, behind the ears, or abdomen during moments of stress, nausea, or fatigue.

£25, from aesop.com

A delectable emergency kit

hamper items

(Image credit: ORANJ)

I love the concept of a Christmas emergency kit, and Oranj in London’s Shoreditch has the perfect solution. The Oranj Christmas Survival Hamper includes a bottle of Entre Vinyes Pet Nat Rosé, Kold Sauce’s Fermented Hot Sauce, Perello's Manzanilla Olives, Pratt Schneider's Dijon Style Mustard, and Pyscis Tinned Fish’s Hand-Fileted Sardines. For a sweet touch, there's a bar of UpUp’s Sea Salt & Lime Chocolate. To banish bad vibes, they've included Cremate Mary Mother of God’s incense and a hand-screen-printed Oranj Tote Bag.

£89, from oranj.co.uk

A cocktail at an iconic Tokyo bar

wallpaper gift guide shopping

(Image credit: Park Hyatt Tokyo)

Aside from Park Hyatt Tokyo's New York Bar earning lasting fame through its cameo in Sofia Coppola's atmospheric 2003 film, Lost In Translation (pictured top), the venue offers nightly jazz performances, with even locals dubbing its vibe 'more New York than New York'. The drink menu includes vintage cognac, brandy, classic and inventive cocktails, along with the most extensive selection of Californian wines in Japan. While optional, you might find yourself channelling a young Scarlett Johansson or Bill Murray in this iconic setting.


Travel Editor

Sofia de la Cruz is the Travel Editor at Wallpaper*. She was born in Madrid, Spain but moved to London when she was 14 years old. Being exposed to the city’s creative pulse at such a young age shaped her into the inquisitive professional she is today. Before joining the Wallpaper* team in 2023, she worked for Hypebae and Hypebeast UK, where she focused on the intersection of art, fashion, and culture. Additionally, she contributed to Futurevvorld by covering a variety of sustainability topics.