By Annette Brooks
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.”
Written by the fourth-century philosopher Saint Augustine, these words ring as true today as when he wrote them. Most of us have friends and family who have caught the “travel bug,” which makes holiday gift-giving for them fun and relatively easy. From convenient gadgets to DIY travel books and handy items that make packing a snap, we’ve put together a list of gifts for the adventurers in your life, perfect for the holiday season or any time.
Portable UV Light Sanitizer Wand: Call it a sign of the times, but a handheld UV wand small enough to slip into a handbag or a pocket, such as Mobile Klean, is an ideal gift for travelers. Fast and easy to use, the UV light kills germs, viruses, and other contaminants, perfect for disinfecting airline trays, door handles, toilet seats, and other surfaces. Available at MobileKlean.com.
Google Play Gift Cards: Using the right apps before and during a trip can help make the whole travel experience more convenient. With so many travel apps to choose from, adventurers will make good use of a gift card that allows them to pay for one-time charge apps as well as subscription-based software. Available at most retailers that offer gift cards.
Books: Available online through retailers like Uncommon Goods and REI, She Explores is a coffee table book of photographs and the stories that go with them. It’s also a manual of sorts for outdoorsy gals that includes tips and advice for women planning solo trips. 10 Years a Nomad, written by Matt Kepnes, founder of Nomadic Matt, entertains with everything from hilarious stories to thoughtful, life-changing advice on traveling long-term.
Portable Charger: Most of us travel with electronics, including smartphones, tablets, and cameras, all of which need to be charged. That’s why a portable charger, such as the Anker PowerCore 13,000, comes in handy. About the size of a thick credit card and with quick-charge technology, it can fully charge a smartphone up to three times. Available at Amazon and Anker.com.
Travel Cord Organizer: Speaking of gadgets, including a portable charger, most of them will need to be plugged in and charged at some point, which means carrying various cords. A simple travel cord organizer like the Bagsmart Electronic Organizer lets you easily pack your electronics cords and other items such as in-ear headphones and keep them tidy and all in one place. Available at Amazon.com.
Scratch Travel Maps: Many of us have bucket lists that include not only specific destinations but countries and states. A fun way to keep track is a scratch-off map like the Scratch Map Deluxe from UncommonGoods.com, starting at $32. It’s also a great way to teach kids about where they’re going and geography.
Gift Card for an Online Photo Book Maker: We might share a few travel photos on Instagram and Facebook, but what about all the images stored in your cell phone or transferred to your computer? Unlike the DIY photo scrapbooks of the past, photo bookmaker websites with easy-to-use templates such as Blurb.com, enable you to make high-quality bound photo books with just a few clicks of a button.
Packing Cubes: When you zip up a suitcase crammed with a jumble of clothes and other items, you know it could be a potential disaster zone when you unzip it at your destination. Packing cubes to the rescue! Lightweight, compression packing cube sets like the Pack-It Specter Tech Cube Set ($40) found on EagleCreek.com not only save space but help travelers stay organized.
Security Door Stop Alarm: Personal safety and security are important whether we’re traveling near or far. Snuggle in for the night feeling at ease by using a security door stop alarm. The battery-powered Sabra HS-DSA door wedge, for example, offers extra security by emitting an extremely loud 120 dB alarm when door pressure is applied to deter intruders. Available on Amazon.com.
Water Sterilizer: What do you do when warned, “Don’t drink the water!” Either buy bottled water or use a water sterilizer. There are many products on the market that use UV to sanitize water. Perhaps the best known is the Steripen Ultra (available at Rei.com), which is easy to use and carry. Just put it in a water bottle, glass, or cup filled with water and turn it on for under a minute. The UV light sanitizes the water, making it safe to drink. If your adventurous friend or family member usually carries a water bottle when traveling, CrazyCap, an insulated, stainless steel bottle with a UV light in the cap, could be a good option. Available at TheCrazyCap.com.
Compression Socks: Several things help combat swollen feet while flying on a plane or sitting in a car for hours, such as keeping legs uncrossed and walking around when possible. Compression socks are another solution because they help promote blood flow from the feet to your heart and help your veins and muscles circulate blood more effectively.
Travel Gifts for Kids: Most of us think of coloring and reading books, puzzles, and typical age-appropriate travel games, but kids also love binoculars, instant cameras, walkie-talkies, specialized play and fun mats (Doodle Mat, Dinosaur Mat, Piano Mat, and so on), and even their own travel nightlight for little ones.