Start your list of gifts for travelers here.
How do you find the best gifts for travelers on your shopping list? Ask some travel writers. I test quite a lot of stuff every year and some of it turns out to be awesome. Here’s my list of things I played with in 2016 that are gift-worthy for your travel friends. Below my list look for links to the lists of a few of my fellow travel experts.
Never leave a charging cable in a hotel room again.
The Skross cable has a built-in alarm that squawks at you if you unplug the phone and leave the charger plugged into the wall. It also acts as a security measure for charging at a group charging station like the ones found in airports. It is ideal for quick overnight hotel stays, but I did find it annoying on trips where I stayed in the same room for more than one night and wanted to leave the charging cord plugged in but take the phone with me for the day. Still worth the price if you ask me– even at $27+ it’s cheaper than buying several replacement cables. Here’s the link to find it on Amazon.
Here’s more juice for your favorite traveler.
There’s nothing worse than discovering that your cell phone battery is not going to reach your destination with you. I have been Instagramming my way through a tour only to frantically realize that my battery is shot and I’m at the back of a bus with no way to juice back up. Travel writer rule number 37: always travel with a backup charger. This cool one by Oaxis is not only a charger– it’s a luggage scale! I know it seems pricey as a luggage scale, but it literally has two phone charges built in. I did not believe them until I tested it on a recent trip to Puerto Vallarta. Two. Charges. And it solves that problem I always have of not knowing if I have over-shopped and over-weighted my luggage for the return trip home. Here’s the link to get it on Amazon.
Give the gift of travel sleep. Whether it’s noisy hotels or overnight flights, there are times when you really need to drown out the world and get some shuteye. The folks at AcousticSheep have figured out a way to let you listen to your favorite playlist or white noise app without the headache of uncomfortable earphones. I have been using SleepPhones for years and LOVE them. I keep a sleep playlist on my phone and start using it to fall asleep at home several days before a big trip. That way my brain is trained to doze to the music. Works like magic every time. Here’s the link to the classic version on Amazon. They now come in a wireless version as well. Here’s the link to the wireless version.
Gifts for travelers that like to stay dry. This Columbia rain coat in the high-tech Outdry line is an amazing choice for travelers. It is lightweight so it packs well, and really keeps you DRY! I have been using it all year at home and on the road. Here in Texas where I live, we have had one of the wettest years on record. This coat can be worn in the heat of summer or as an outer layer in a winter rain. There’s no sweat factor, even in a hot environment. Here’s the link to get it on Amazon.
Lend your favorite traveler a hand keeping up with their stuff. This funky gadget called a Kangeaux (can-go) was sent to me to test and it took me a bit to learn to love it. I took it along on several trips and found it to be invaluable. I have used it to strap a GoPro to my wrist while snorkeling, to hang a water bottle from a camera bag, and to provide extra security for my cell phone while ziplining, because you know what happens if you drop your cell phone over a rainforest– bye bye iPhone6s. It is now a permanent fixture in our camera bag and I am sure we will find more uses for it on every trip. Here’s the link to get it on Amazon.
And for the traveler with even more to carry. My Travel Pulse story on this super secret carry-on bag that pilots love has been one of the hottest stories of the fall. The beauty of the bag is that it is actually a bag system that lets you add or subtract components as your travel dictates. It could be the life-changing gift you have been seeking for your favorite traveler. I know I’d love one. This is the one thing on my list that is actually on my Christmas list. I never got to test one out for myself. It’s really that secret. Here’s the secret code to get one on Amazon.