10 Holiday Gifts for Travelers – 2015

10 Holiday Gifts for Travelers – 2015

It’s that time of year again when people are scrambling around to find gifts for the friends and loved ones on their lists.  While you are supposed to be in the holiday spirit these next few weeks, let’s face it, we all know the added stresses and pains that come along with trying to find gifts, shopping and, of course, navigating the mall parking lot.  Because let me tell you friends, there is nothing worse than when you see a car backing out of a spot, you put your blinker on and someone else comes flying in from the other direction and THEY TAKE THE….., but I digress.

The holiday season is supposed to be about having fun and spending time with your loved ones.  Seeing their eyes light up when they unwrap something they love is just icing on the cake, or in this case, holiday cookies.  To help make this time of year a little less stressful, Sundance Vacations has again compiled a list of the 10 Best Holiday Gifts for Travelers.  When it comes to the traveler or travel lover on your list,  we’ve got you covered.

Last year’s list was a big hit and featured a number of must-have travel tech and a few out of the box ideas.  Should you want to take a look at that list and see if you missed anything last year, you can see it here: “Sundance Vacations – 10 Holiday Gifts for Travelers – 2014”

So here, without any particular ordering, are this year’s picks for the traveler in your life.  Let us know what you think in the comments below or feel free to reach out to us on social media!

1. NomadPlus Charger for iPhone (Regular $39.95, on sale $19.95)

This handy little invention is perfect for that traveler who is always on the go and rarely has time to stay plugged into a wall.  This compact, measuring 2.2 inches tall and 1.3 inches wide, device can fit in a bag, pocket or purse easily and doesn’t need any more accessories than what you already have.

Once unwrapped, you simply insert the iPhone wall adapter into the Nomad and plug it into the wall.  You’ll then plug in your USB cable to the front of the Nomad to charge your phone normally.  So what’s the advantage to the Nomad you say?  Well, while it normally charges your phone, it is also filling up a battery inside of itself that can be used later to fully recharge your iPhone while on the go.  Awesome!  No more sitting on the floor next to an outlet at the airport or crying when your phone runs out of juice mid-flight.

Another part of this gift that’s awesome is the price point.  The Nomad’s regular retail price is $39.95, but is currently on holiday sale on the company’s website for 50% off ($19.95)!  The charger is also available at Best Buy, but as of right now they are still selling them for full price.  Head over to the Nomad website to learn more and purchase it: “NomadPlus Charger for iPhone”

2.  Scratch-off World Map or Cork Globe ($28.95-129)

For the sentimental travelers who need a little extra something to spice up their apartment or home decor, this idea could be a stroke of genius!  It will allow your favorite traveler to show off everywhere they have been in a very stylish and cool way, plus you don’t have to be a hipster to think these items are cool!

The map works similarly to your favorite scratch-off lottery tickets.  The picture of the world map is covered in a bland tan color, but as you scratch off the countries, states and areas that you have been to, the map reveals way more interesting colors.  Travel will then become a sort of game for you and your friends.  You can see who has been to the most places and you’ll be excited to return home from your trip so you can scratch that next destination off.  The map is made of 100 percent recycled paper for those that care and at uncommongoods.com it’s only $28.95 (which is cheaper than most places!).  To order it click the following link: “Scratch-off World Map”

Another idea for the home-decor department could be this cork globe, also from uncommongoods.  Your traveler can put in push pins to places they have been, or even different color pins for places where they are planning or want to travel to.  Add in some colorful string to connect the pins and you’ve got yourself a pretty stylish way of showing off where you have traveled to.

This item is a little more pricey than the map however, coming in at $129.  If you are interested in purchasing the globe follow the link to the uncommongoods website: “Cork Globe for Travelers”

3. Leather Earbud Organizers ($15.99)

Now this may seem like the simplest thing in the world to most, but anyone who owns a pair of earbuds knows how much of a pain in the butt it can be when they get tangled up.  Enter the hero of the day, or in this case, your bag!  Just wrap the headphones up and clip them in one of these stylish, and quite handy, earbud organizers before putting them in your pocket or bag and it will keep them tangle free until the next time you use them.

SimpleFraction, which is a shop on Etsy.com has a very nice leather version of these.  At first I thought the price point was a little steep for a single earbud organizer, but upon further reading I noticed that you actually get three of them for the $15.99 mark.  Quite a deal.  Plus, you can always give one or two of them away as gifts and then keep one for your own pair of earbuds to make sure that you too stay, tangle free.  This particular shop also allows you to engrave their leather organizers with a personalized note, a favorite travel quote or even the traveler’s initials.  Although small, these little organizers can make for a perfect stocking stuffer.  If you are interested in buying a few, click over to this link: “Leather Earbud Organizers by SimpleFraction”

4.  A Great Book ($1-??)

Contrary to popular belief, not all gifts now a days have to be digital or have to do with technology.  Maybe I’m a little old fashioned here, but a good book can be great while traveling.  You can take it out and read while at the airport, on the plane or even in your room before you go to bed at night.  A book that you don’t want to put down can be invaluable to a traveler who loves to read.  The best part is, there are tons of options!  With multiple types of books and a whole bunch of authors in the world, there is sure to be something that will tickle your traveler’s fancy.

Perhaps a great fiction story about traveling or even a non-fiction book with tips and helpful ideas about the location they will soon be traveling too, either way, you can’t go wrong.

For the pet lovers, who also hate to leave their four-legged friends at home when traveling, this book could be perfect.  “A Ruff Guide to the United States” by BringFido.com has a 365 ideas for places to travel to that are great for you and the dog.  They have locations listed in all 50 states across the nation and all of them have some great activities for the traveler and their dog to take part in.  Right now, the hardcover version of this book is on Amazon.com for $24.99, but should you feel the need to get the digital version, Amazon also has it available for Kindle for just $9.99.  Click the following link to find out more: “A Ruff Guide to the United States Book”

If you need some additional ideas for books, check out this article from the New York Times detailing the “The 10 Best Books of 2015”

5. Solar Power Panel or Backpack ($49.99-199.99)

I have to admit, as a hiker/camper, this gift idea really sparked my interest.  Imagine the ability to hike to a remote location but still be able to power lights, charge your cellphone or even watch some videos?  Crazy right?  Not really, thanks to the people at Solar-Gear.

They offer a wide array of products from single portable solar panels to backpacks with built in panels and water pouches.  The base model of their solar panel is only $49.99 and houses a 5000mAh lithium battery that is perfect for charging iPhones, iPads, Android phones and even cameras.  They are also waterproof and shockproof meaning that they are pretty durable and designed for outdoor use.

The backpacks come with a higher-level panel, which includes a bigger battery that will hold enough juice to charge your smartphone fully at least six times.  The material is Nylon and Kevlar meaning your backpack will be super durable and even includes a two-liter water bladder so you can stay hydrated while on the go.  To be honest, I’d wear this around normally, just to have the ability to charge my smartphone back up.  With more features comes a higher price however, the backpacks will set you back $199.99.

For the awkward dads that travel on your list, perhaps the solar fanny pack is more their taste.  Yes, that’s right, fanny pack.  They come with a smaller battery, but trust me, that will not affect your traveler’s style!  These cost $64.99.

Regardless of what option you choose for your traveler, you have to admit, these are pretty cool.  You can find the full selection of products by clicking the following link: “Solar-Gear Items”

6.  Logitech Keys-To-Go Bluetooth Keyboard (Regular $69.99, on sale $49.99)

Have you ever tried to type a lengthy email on your phone?  Or tried to get some work done that involved typing on a tablet?  Well, as a writer, I have experienced this pain time and time again and boy does it stink!  What would take you a few quick minutes to type up in front of your laptop or desktop computer, ends up taking way longer, autocorrect screws up things you are trying to say and you end up with more typos than you can imagine.

While there have been a number of wireless/Bluetooth keyboards on the market, this one from Logitech is truly great, the product has a 4.7-star rating on both Amazon.com and Best Buy’s website.  The Keys-To-Go keyboard is super light, weighing only 6.3 ounces, and has a internal, rechargeable battery that seems to last for just about forever between charges (reportedly three months).  No more worrying about getting caught without your laptop.  Plus most tablets can stay in bags while going through security check points, meaning that taking this portable keyboard along with your tablet will save you time at the airport as well.

One drawback however, is that the Keys-To-Go is only compatible with iPhones and iPads.  Android users will unfortunately not get to take part in the awesomeness that is this keyboard.  You can find it on Amazon and at other retailers, but currently the Keys-To-Go in black is on sale for $49.99 at Best Buy.  Head in to your local store or check out this page on their website: “Logitech Keys-To-Go Bluetooth Keyboard”

7.  Carry On Cocktail Kits ($24)

Have you ever just really wanted a drink while on a plane?  Perhaps craved an Old Fashioned or a Moscow Mule while in the air?  Well, no need to worry anymore.  These handy Carry On Cocktail Kits are just want you need for those long flights.

Each tin, which costs $24, will come with almost everything you need to make a drink at 30,000 feet.  They will include: the tin itself, a recipe card that will teach you how to make the drink, a spoon/muddler to mix, additional ingredients needed to make the drink and even a linen coaster to set the drink on.   The only other thing that you’ll need along with this kit is the booze, which the traveler can usually get on the airplane.  Currently the company making these offers kits for the following drinks: Old Fashioned, Gin and Tonic, Moscow Mule and they are taking pre-orders for Champagne Cocktails as well.

Another gift that would be great for a stocking stuffer, these kits can be used as a gag or for real.  Either way the traveler will have the chance at mixing themselves a drink to calm their nerves, relieve some stress or relax while on a long flight.   You can still order for delivery by Christmas Eve on the W & P Design website, click the following link to see all the options they have: “Carry On Cocktail Kits”

8. Delphi Connect for Verizon ($99.99-199.99)

For the car guy or girl as well as the constant road trip taker, the Delphi Connect would be an ideal gift for the holidays.  They are super easy to install, which means even non-car lovers can use them too, as all you need to do is take it out of the box and plug it into your cars OBD II port.  This is the same port that is used for those insurance monitoring devices and is usually located under the dashboard right above the pedals on the driver’s side.

Once plugged in, travelers can monitor everything thing going on with their vehicle right from an app on their smartphone.  Even better, the $199.99 version of this device is perfect for road trips!  It will not only allow travelers to monitor their car, but it also adds in a 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot that allows up to five devices to be connected to the internet, making road trips with kids a lot easier.

The device does require a separate Verizon plan as well as a Delphi subscription plan ($5 per month) and it generally only works with cars, trucks, minivans and SUVs that are model year 1996 or newer.  Another drawback is that it only works with Verizon so AT&T and Sprint users are out of luck.  Regardless, it’s still a pretty cool item that not many people know about and it has won numerous awards for innovation.  You can check out both models on the Verizon website and see if they are compatible with your car or learn about them in store.  Click on the following link to head to the Verizon site: “Delphi Connect for Verizon”

9.  UE Roll Wireless Speaker ($99.99)

For the music loving traveler what could be better than a portable speaker?  Well, how about a waterproof, 360 degree projection, “made for adventure” wireless speaker?

The UE Roll is quite a unique product as it’s a wireless speaker that most people have been waiting for.  You can throw it in the pool on a hot summer day while you swim, yes in the pool, and it will float along side you, pumping out your favorite jams.  It comes with a bungee strap attached, which means you can also strap it or hang it anywhere you need to.  While there are a number of other wireless speakers on the market, that may have better sound quality, none of them are able to do what the UE Roll does.  Nor are they waterproof and made to handle harsh conditions.

It comes in a variety of crazy colors and designs, so your traveler can show off their tastes and is priced at $99.99.  You’ll be able to find the speaker on the company’s website or at most nation-wide retailers.  As it is a hot item right now, it will be tough to find it anywhere cheaper than the base price, but check out the UE Roll page on the web: “UE Roll Wireless Speaker”

10.  View Master Virtual Reality Slider (Regular $29.99, on sale $24.99)

Here’s a bit of a blast from the past, remember the old-school, slide-show devices called View Masters?  You used to slip in different cards into the View Master and pull the tab down to change the slides.  Each card had exotic locations and cool things to see in places you may have never been before, that’s what made them so great.  Well guess what, they’re back and way cooler than you remember them.

You’ll need to purchase the View Master (or Google Cardboard) and a few of the slider cards to get started.  You’ll also need to download the app for your smartphone.  Using the amazing technology available to us, you’ll slide your smartphone into the View Master.  Once inside you can look at the cards and choose where or what you want to learn about.  The best part is that it is totally immersive 3D, you’ll be able to look up, down and all around you to see all sorts of things.  Plus you can use the buttons on the View Master to bring up videos, interactive games and facts about the things you are seeing.  For travelers I’d recommend getting the Destinations Pack to get started, which will set you back another $15.

This gift would be great for kids ages seven and up, but they may need to borrow your cellphone to use it.  It would also be perfect for the nostalgic traveler in your family who will remember the old View Master that they used to have as a kid.  You can pick one up at Walmart in store or online and save $5 while doing so: “View Master Virtual Reality Slider”

Honorable Mentions

1.  Bose Noise Canceling Earbud Headphones ($299.95) — Voted as a Traveler’s Choice in 2015, these earbuds get rid of excess noise in the area, but the price is what kept them off the list.

2.  Packing Cubes ($18.74) — These bags, that go inside your suitcase, are designed to help make packing easier and more organized.  The question I have is, if you already have a suitcase, why do you need mini suit cases to put inside of it?  The items redundancy plus the fact that I would feel bummed if I opened these on Christmas Morning is why they are not on the list.

3.  Selfie Stick ($6.88) — It seems like the craze for these has died down a bit, but that’s not exactly the reason why they aren’t on the list.  Frankly, I just don’t see a need for them and furthermore, Yahoo Travel released a story earlier in the year that noted more travelers have died due to selfie sticks than had from shark attacks in 2015.  Yikes.

4.  Packable Pails ($14.99) — These are actually pretty handy and cool.  Pails for the beach or that would be perfect to take hiking to fill up with water for your dog or camp site that can collapse down to a flat form, making them easy to transport.  I feel as though these are slightly more of a summer item, thus the honorable mention.

5.  Luggage (???) — A traveler can always use a great set of luggage, but I also feel that it could be on the list every year.  We put it on the 2014 list, so I figured we’d leave it off this year.  Still a solid gift provided you are getting the traveler what they want.

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10 Holiday Gifts for Travelers - 2015
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10 Holiday Gifts for Travelers - 2015
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A look at what Sundance Vacations thinks are some of the coolest gifts for travelers this year during the holiday season.
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