Now that the holiday season has arrived, we know you’re in the throes of gift shopping. Like all good trekkers and globetrotters, each year our minds form pictures of the perfect gizmos and gadgets to enjoy or to take with us on travel adventures. And we know we’re not alone. To quench our curiosity, we’ve done some research and come up with 10 travel-themed gifts that would be perfect for taking on your next trip, near or far.
Happy exploring, and happy holidays!
1. Moleskin Travel Journal
This handy little journal measures approximately 3.5in x 5.5in, and is the perfect size for small sketches, maps inserts and quick lists of sites to see as you start your trip. Available in all colors and a variety of themes on the Moleskin website or on Etsy.
2. Two-in-One Backpack/Waistpack
Every trip requires the use of luggage or backpacks to carry around your possessions, new purchases, gear or any other fun things you bring with you. This lightweight bag from Eagle Creek has the added advantage of being both a backpack and a waistpack, so it’s convenient for carrying bulky belongings or small daytrip items. Available in standard black or the more fun “flame orange” on Amazon.
3. Designer DSLR Camera Strap
Along with great travel goes great photography. Just like any trekker, I love taking photos of the unique destinations I visit; they make the trip last long after I’m home and unpacked, and make for great memories. Sometimes the most exhausting thing about snapping away can be an uncomfortable camera strap. This upgraded camera strap is comfortable and can adjust up to 60” in length, with release buckles that allow for additional use as a hand strap. Available in multiple colors and designs from Amazon.
4. Four-Port USB Wall Charger
Traveling with multiple devices? Hey, it’s the modern world, and we know the drill. Rather than queuing up to wait to charge, this nifty tool allows all your devices to charge simultaneously. Now you won’t need to hog the outlets, or miss taking a great photo due to a dead battery. Good for phones, tablets and other USB-charged devices. Available in multiple styles and wattages from Amazon.
5. Waterproof Adjustable Bluetooth Speaker
Like music on the go? So do we. That’s why we’ve put this next gift on the list. You can loop it around an object, you can suction-cup it to the wall or even go swimming with it. (Yes, swimming.) This waterproof portable speaker is about the size of your fist, boasts up to an eight-hour battery life and comes in a few different sizes and packages. Available at Polk Boom.
6. Picnic Backpack
While you’re set up at one of your favorite destinations, the last thing you want to do is leave your spot to go in search of food. With this picnic backpack, complete with dishes, cups and silverware, you can enjoy setting up a meal wherever you are. When you’re done eating, simply pack up your utensils in their respective compartments, sling the bag over your shoulder and move on. Available from Picnic World.
7. Food Truck Road Trip: A Cookbook
Know any trekkers who also love food? And cookbooks? This one, written by three foodies who traveled from state to state in search of the best food trucks in the country, will be right up their alley. It features recipes from chefs encountered along the way, and fun stories about the ride. Follow their route across the U.S. and recreate the diverse flavors in your own kitchen. Available on Amazon in hard copy or digital (Kindle) version.
8. Themed Sleeping Bags
Whether you’re pitching a tent at Yosemite (see Discover America’s list of seven ultimate camping destinations in the U.S., including Yosemite), or setting up camp at one of Maryland’s many camping hubs (see a list of campgrounds on the Visit Maryland site), you’ll want to be set up for a siesta a la nature. Why not treat the kids to camping in style with a themed sleeping bag? These adorable animal-themed sleeping bags come in a variety of characters including lions, bears, raccoons and -– my favorite –- a fox. Good for kids ages 3 and up, available at The Land of Nod.
9. Passport to the U.S. National Parks
The United States has some truly fantastic scenery -- some of it in your own backyard -- and as you’ve seen throughout the destination products Miles creates, it’s all available for you to visit. With the America The Beautiful Annual Pass (offered by the National Park Service), you can visit more than 400 national parks and 2,000 federal recreation sites across the country free of charge. Traveling with family or friends? No problem; each annual pass admits the passholder(s) and three adults. (Children under 16 have free admission.) Passes are available online on the U.S. Geological Survey website, and are discounted for military members and seniors.
10. See America! Calendar
What better way to welcome the New Year and get organized in travel style than with a beautiful calendar featuring scenic areas around the U.S? The See America! Calendar is part of the Creative Action Network’s See America project art campaign that has produced more than 725 illustrations by over 200 artists from all 50 states, and celebrates the country’s national landmarks and treasured sites. The calendar features a dozen designs from the campaign and highlights places like Yosemite Valley, the Great Smoky Mountains and Cape Cod National Seashore. To learn more about the project. The calendar is available on the Page-A-Day website.