Category: Gifts & Gear for Travelers

Product Review: Gemz Solid Shampoo

Product Review: Gemz Solid Shampoo

Sometimes, Facebook advertising really does work

I recently saw a Facebook ad for a solid shampoo product called Gemz. It showed how a small disc transformed into lots of lathery suds for washing even long hair. I was skeptical, but I decided to try it, since I am heading to Paris in two weeks. These discs will take up less space than a shampoo bottle, won’t leak onto my clothing, and won’t have to be put in a clear baggie at the TSA checkpoint.

When I went to the Gemz website, a couple of things really stood out:

  1. Gemz solid shampoo is fairly inexpensive, at roughly $1 per disc. Granted, given that one disc = one shampoo, it’s not as economical as using regular shampoo. But for traveling without the issues that liquid shampoo present, that’s a price I would happily pay.
  2. Shipping is free. Gotta love free shipping!
  3. Gemz solid shampoo is environmentally friendly. Not only is there less packaging than with a liquid shampoo, Gemz provides a postage paid envelope so you can return your empty packaging to them for recycling.
  4. Gemz offers multiple formulas – one for colored hair, one to tame frizziness, one that won’t weigh hair down, one to add volume, etc. They also offer solid conditioners.

So I placed an order – seven discs for $6.99. Prior to checkout, an offer to get a total of 14 Gemz solid shampoo discs for $11.99 popped up, which made the individual cost go from $1 to 86 cents. Normally, I wouldn’t take a risk on making a bigger purchase for a product I had never tried, but bargains are my kryptonite! I purchased 14, rationalizing that I could because of the free shipping.

I should note that I purchased these items myself. Gemz did not sponsor this post and has provided me no monetary compensation or free products. Everything I’m writing here is my 100% honest opinion without input from anyone else.

The Reveal – Part 1

I placed my order on a Wednesday and received a confirmation email saying that I could expect my package to arrive in 7-10 days. It arrived two days later! The contents of the box were:

Gemz solid shampoo is TSA approved and environmentally friendly

I got the 14 Gemz solid shampoo discs in a pretty mesh bag, a booklet about the product and how it works, and the postage paid return bag for the empty containers.

As you can see, I chose the “grandiose volume” shampoo because, well, I’m a child of the 1980s and I like big hair. There, I said it. Don’t judge.

Gemz solid shampoo - this tiny disc provides enough lather to wash even long hair.

I admit, I was a little nervous. The phrase “trying something new” is not one I usually utter in reference to my hair. I’ve had enough bad hair experiences over the years to know that trying something new, more often than not, will end in disaster. How can something that fits in the palm of my hand provide enough suds for my long-ish hair?

When it came time to give Gemz solid shampoo a try, I peeled back the foil seal and found this:

Gemz solid shampoo - minimal packaging and they will even recycle it for you

It looks a bit like a sponge, doesn’t it? Well, according to the directions, it kind of is. After removing it from the container, you place the disc in your hand and add water. Wait a few seconds and – voila! – you will have a pile of suds where the disc once sat.

Gemz solid shampoo - add water and wait a few seconds for the disc to turn into shampoo lather

Still, I was skeptical. That doesn’t look like enough to wash my hair. But I tried it. And guess what?

It was enough. I washed my hair thoroughly and completely with that little disc! (Also, as an aside, it smelled great!)

The Reveal – Part 2

I can’t say whether the Gemz solid shampoo really added a lot of volume (so few volume-boosting shampoos ever do with my hair, unfortunately). However, I dried and styled my hair as usual and I’m pretty pleased with the results:

My hair after using Gemz solid shampoo Grandiose Volume.

As you can see, that’s a good amount of hair to wash, and I had enough suds to do the job. I did find one bit of undissolved disc in my hair after it dried, but I am certain that was an error on my part and not a defect of the product itself.

I failed to make sure that the disc had completely dissolved before applying the suds to my hair. The video demonstration that Gemz uses to show how their products work shows a woman rubbing the disc/suds in a circular motion. I did not do that as thoroughly as I should have.


I would highly recommend Gemz solid shampoo for anyone, but especially for my fellow travelers! It’s a good product that you can feel good about using.

Product review of Gemz solid shampoo on
10 Must-Have Mother’s Day Gifts for Moms Who Love to Travel

10 Must-Have Mother’s Day Gifts for Moms Who Love to Travel

Gifts for the Traveling Mama

As I write this, Mother’s Day is just over two weeks away. Rather than put off buying a gift for the woman who raised you until the last possible minute, why not put in a little advance thought and get her a gift that she will really love? I’ll even make it easy for you. Here are the best gifts for moms who love to travel. (I know, because they’re on my own wish list!)

NOTE: You can click on any of the images below to get details on personalization, cost, shipping, etc. Because I participate in Etsy’s affiliate program, if you make a purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

1. Travel Journal

There are so many travel journals to choose from. Leather bound or paperback, personalized or generic, plain pages or embellished, specific to a certain destination or suitable for travel anywhere.  And most of them are just stunning. There are journals for listmakers, for those who want to write long flowery paragraphs, for travelers who like to save scraps of paper like ticket stubs, and for those who want to turn the journal into a scrapbook by adding photos.  No matter what kind of traveler your mom is (or aspires to be), you can find a travel journal to suit her. Here’s my favorite:

Great gifts for moms who love to travel - a beautifully hand-crafted travel journal.
Isn’t it gorgeous? Who wouldn’t want to preserve their travel memories in a cool-looking book like this one?

2. Wanderlust Jewelry

There are so many gorgeous pieces of jewelry for travel-loving moms.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Great gifts for moms who love to travel - Enjoy the Journey charm bracelet.
Great gifts for moms who love to travel - City skyline bracelet

Great gifts for moms who love to travel - Compass necklace

3. Passport Cover

Immigration/TSA officials aren’t big fans of the passport cover, but they add a little mystery and elegance to an otherwise boring legal document that contains a less-than-flattering photo of you. Also, moms like me end up holding everyone’s passports, and a cover makes it easier to know which one belongs to each person. Finally, passport covers with slots for debit cards, cash, boarding pass or other items are pretty darn practical. Here are two that I love:

Great gifts for moms who love to travel - Wanderlust passport cover

And I especially love this one for its corny humor:

Great gifts for moms who love to travel - Alpaca my bags passport cover


4. World Map with Pins

What better way to showcase your adventures than with a handsome map of the world and pins marking where you’ve been. This particular one features personalization and a color key – so that individual family members’ travels can be marked and color coded.

Great gifts for moms who love to travel - Our World Travels personalized map with pins

5. An End to Cord Chaos

One thing that drives me crazy when we’re traveling is trying to maintain some semblance of order when it comes to our cords, chargers, outlet adapters, etc. This nifty organizing pouch not only has a gorgeous map on the outside, it also has a neatly sectioned interior for storing such items when not in use.

Great gifts for moms who love to travel - Cord organizer with world map design

It could also be used for toiletries, pens & notepads, or pretty much any small items that can get easily lost or disorganized.

6. Luggage Tag

Have you ever really taken notice of how many black suitcases go for a ride around the airport baggage carousel?  A lot. So help her luggage stand out with a distinctive luggage tag.  Here are two that I especially like:

Great gifts for moms who love to travel - City at night luggage tag


Great gifts for moms who love to travel - Air mail luggage tag

7. Graphic Tee

There are some seriously cute graphic tees out there for women who love to travel! Here are just a few:

Great gifts for moms who love to travel - Wanderlust and City Dust Tee


Great gifts for moms who love to travel - Airplane Mode Tee


Great gifts for moms who love to travel - Live, Love, Travel Tee


8. A Secret Pocket

This is a great item because it’s stylish and practical – an infinity scarf with a hidden pocket for ID, cash or credit card. No need to worry about pickpockets with this!

Great gifts for moms who love to travel - Map print infinity scarf with secret pocket.


9. Vintage Style Travel Poster

Why not get mom a poster/print of one of her favorite destinations (or one that she’s dreaming of visiting some day)? The vintage style prints hearken back to a time when every town had a travel agent on the main street, enticing passersby to come in and book their next adventure.

Great gifts for moms who love to travel - Retro style Belize travel poster

Great gifts for moms who love to travel - Retro vintage style Egypt travel poster.

Great gifts for moms who love to travel - Retro style Peru travel poster


10. Neck Pillow

Take it from me, it’s a lot harder to sleep comfortably when traveling as you get older. So how about a neck pillow that will provide comfort and a little style, too?  Check these out:

Great gifts for moms who love to travel - Squirrel neck pillow

Great gifts for moms who love to travel - Wonder Woman neck pillow.


Great gifts for moms who love to travel - Dachshund neck pillow.


So there you have it – ten great gifts for moms who love to travel. For more inspiration, check out Etsy’s Mother’s Day Gifts for Wanderlust Travelers. Just be sure to order far enough in advance to ensure delivery by Mother’s Day! presents Mother's Day Gifts for Moms Who Love to Travel