Gift ideas for the traveler you love

Here are a few things I use regularly and recommend highly for a traveler–either someone you’re buying for or for your own wish list:

Eagle Creek Pack-It Custom Travel Bottle SetQuart-sized zipper bag (with travel bottles). I write bottles in parenthesis because it’s not them I use. The bag might seem expensive, but it’s worth it. I keep my liquids packed, ready to go anytime. This bag is sturdy plastic with a real zipper, so it can be closed on more items the quart-size from the kitchen cabinet, and it won’t pop open under pressure. This is especially good because as Mom, I’m the one with the extra stuff, like itch medicine and first aid cream.


Travelon 1st Class SleeperFirst Class sleeper cushion. I felt really self-conscious the first time I slid this behind me and inflated it. But after using it one time . . . who cares what anybody else thinks? Now I don’t ever want to fly a long flight without this. Used as directed, it has the effect of letting you stretch out like flat in bed, even though you’re diagonal. It puts me in a position for my legs to be straight with my feet under the seat in front, without bumping my knees of the seat in front of me, so while I’m trying to sleep it doesn’t matter how much the seat in front of me is reclined. If I inflate it less, I can fold it in half for a lower back cushion.


No-Jet-Lag - 32 - TabletNo Jet Lag. This is another must when I’m crossing more than 2 time zones. Chew one pill (pleasantly sweet) taking off, then every 2 hours, and when landing. I admit that even without No Jet Lag, I don’t get hit as hard as some by the effects of jet lag. But with the pills, it’s even less.


Voltage Valet Dual Voltage Beverage Heater

Dual-voltage beverage heater. Dual voltage means I can use it in the US and internationally where the voltage is 220. I pack this with a non-breakable mug from home and whatever hot beverage mix we’ll want.


Platypus SoftBottle with Push-Pull Cap

Collapsible water bottle. When it’s empty, it rolls up small. After I go through security in places where water is safe to drink, I fill it at a water fountain–lots less expensive than buying bottled water. When I’m in countries where water needs to be filtered. I might need to go ahead and buy bottled, but sometimes there’ll be a large filter container I can use to fill the bottle.


Energizer 3 LED Headlight

Headlamp. I can’t say enough good things about my headlamp. In places where there often are blackouts, I wear it like a necklace after dark, so I have it ready immediately with my hands totally free for serving, eating, mending, etc. On Joni and Friends wheelchair missions, our mechanics used headlamps regularly in the low lighting of the hall where we worked. For a long time I’ve kept a flashlight in my purse, even at home. Now I just keep my headlamp there instead.


Bandanas by the Dozen (12 units per pack, 100% cotton)

Bandannas. Even when I’m not traveling, I always have a bandanna folded up in my purse (unless I forget to replace one that’s in the laundry). When I’m on the road, I have several. They’re one of my best multi-purpose tools. Napkin. Hand towel. Mop up spills. Sweat wiper. Neck sun protection. Washcloth (and even bath towel in a pinch). Cooler (saturate and wear around neck). Impromptu kid’s game (bandit mask, pirate headgear, cowboy kerchief , peekaboo with a baby . .).


Kindle Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 6

 Kindle. I never have to wonder which books to pack or whether I have enough baggage weight allowance. On my Kindle, I  have hundreds of books with me, including sometimes tour guides for the place I’m visiting.


Kingston Digital DataTraveler SE9 16GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive(DTSE9H/16GBZ)

Flash drive (with more memory than you think you’ll need). I often need one of these, especially for transferring files to someone else’s computer–maybe for printing a document or giving the other person photos I’ve taken of them. The one that’s pictured isn’t one I have, but I like that there’s no cap to lose and that there’s a ring so I can fasten it to my bag (one less thing to wonder where it is.)


2 Pc. Set Grounding Adapters- Convert 3 prongs to 2

Three-prong adaptor. You never know when you’ll run into a socket that only takes 2 prongs. Then what do you do about recharging your laptop? I keep one of these in my everyday computer bag as well as in my travel electronics bag.


Axis 45504 3 Outlet Indoor Extension Cord, 8 Feet (Brown)

Extension cord. This is another way to add spaces to plug at least 3 more electric items. And often, even in nice places, the closest socket is across the room, so the extension cord brings electricity to where you need it.


Monster 4 Outlet Mini Power Strip

Dual voltage power strip. This is the kind I have. There’s space enough between the sockets to allow for those bulky boxes on some of my electronics. Don’t assume that just any power strip you have at home will work internationally. I embarrassed myself by blowing the fuse twice in a guesthouse in Germany before I figured out that it mattered.


Simran SM-60 110V-250V Universal 3 Outlet Power Strip/Surge Protector for Worldwide Travel with Overload Protection, Black

But I just saw this other travel power strip and I love it that it accommodates almost all the different international plugs.


Travel Smart by Conair M-500E Polarized Adapter Plug Set

 International plug adaptors. Even with a cool power strip like the one above, I’d want to take plug adaptors for plugging something in on the other side of the room, for example.


Household Essentials Hanging Cosmetic and Grooming Travel Bag, Black

Electronics bag. At first glance, you might think this is a cosmetics or jewelry case, but you’d be wrong–at least about mine. Each little compartments is labeled with the electronic device or charger that goes into it, so I know at a glance if anything’s missing before I finish packing.


Travelon Packing Squares - Set of 3

Packing cubes. I used to think these would be a waste of money, till I traveled with someone who used them. Then I was sold. I love the way they fill up the suitcase to the corners and compact stuff just enough so it’s not overflowing the edges of the case. And when I arrive, I pull out all the blouses at one time, or all the trousers, or whatever. It’s a time saver, and I don’t arrive home and say when I’m unpacking, “Oh there’s that scarf. I thought it was in there somewhere!”


Tripods & Heads-Sunpak Mini Spider Tripod

Mini camera tripod. This is another of those items that’s in my purse at home as well as with me when I’m traveling. With the flexible legs, it can adapt to uneven surfaces or wrap around a tree branch. My most common times for using the tripod are when I’m setting up for a self-timed photo or for a video.


What are other things you must have when you’re traveling?

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5 Comments on "Gift ideas for the traveler you love"

  1. Emily says:

    Would you use the correct adaptor first and then plug the strip into that?

    In China, I was able to plug most of my appliances in. I enjoyed the 220 voltage.

    In England, I think that my adaptor worked, but I didn’t have a strip to plug into.

    International power is perplexing to me!

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