10 Holiday Gifts for Travelers – 2014

10 Holiday Gifts for Travelers – 2014

As the holiday season is in full swing, many are still struggling with the question of what gifts to get for the people on their holiday shopping list.  With just a handful of shopping days left before gifts are exchanged, Sundance Vacations wants to make sure that you have the traveler in your life covered!

Although ideally we’d love to see everyone unwrap a Sundance Vacations package during the holidays, we know that there are a lot more gifts that people may want to use on those vacations that are just as much fun!

After hours of research, a few cups of coffee and 13 As-Seen-On TV purchases I’d rather not mention, Sundance Vacations has compiled a list of what we believe to be 10 of the coolest gifts for Travelers this holiday season, in no particular order.  Take a look and let us know what you think!


1.  Digital Photo Printing Service Subscription ($3 monthly)

Digital cameras seem to have gone by the wayside lately, especially with the convenience of the modern smart phone.  The problem is what to do with all the great photos stuck in your phone after you snap them.  A newer company named GrooveBook, which has recently been acquired by the popular Shutterfly, allows you to upload your photos from your mobile phone and have them printed into a keepsake book for only $2.99 a month.  For the Instagram users in your life, consider the Prinstagram service, they allow you to make anything from stickers to t-shirts and everything in between out of your favorite Instagram photos.  It’s a cool way for your traveler to get his or her vacation photos turned into something cool.

2.  Photo Lenses for Their Smart Phone ($20)

Further following the photography trend, perhaps consider a set of lenses that attach directly to a smart phone.  These lightweight items can be easily stored in your pocket, purse or backpack, making them great for a traveler.  They are magnetic and allow you to easily change them out or remove them completely.  Companies like Photo JoJo offer these types of lenses for as little as $20 dollars each.  With a number of options like fisheye, telephoto and wide angle, these can end up being the perfect gift for that traveler that loves to snap cool and unique photos all while leaving the bulky camera gear at home.

3.  GoPro Camera ($199)

If adventure goes hand-in-hand with your traveler recording their vacation, well then a GoPro camera is probably the best possible gift they could ever ask for.  A water-proof casing allows you to take the GoPro into areas that you may not be able to take any other camera.  The company also offers a number of mounts so that you can record your adventures no matter where you are going.  The lowest model of GoPro, the Hero3+ White edition, records in full 1080p, has a number of accessories and is waterproof up to 131 feet.   This gift can be a little more expensive, with different models to choose from, but the Hero3+ White edition will set you back $199.

4.  Portable Phone Batter Charging Pack ($50)

Let’s face it, we’ve all been there.  On vacation and your cell phone battery dies.  Now what?  What if you get lost and need directions?  What if you need to call your fellow vacationers?  What if you miss a great opportunity for a photo? So many “what ifs”!  Rather than spending most of their free time tethered to a wall with a charging cable, perhaps a portable cell phone charging battery pack is just what your traveler needs.  Mophie sells one for just around $50 that is small enough to fit on your key chain, but powerful enough to charge up to 60% of a phones battery.  Mophie works exclusively with iPhones so you may need to check other retailers for Android phones.  Recently a lot of these are popping up in big-box stores, so they are easily accessible for you to purchase, making this a simple and easy gift for you to pick up.

5.  Fitbit fitness tracker ($96)

For the active traveler on your shopping list, an investment in a fitness tracker is a great option.  We all know that people who like to work out will find a way, no matter where they are, to do so.  These lightweight tracking devices can count steps, calories burned, hours slept, the quality of that sleep and even the distance traveled in a day.  Whether they are running marathons, going on hikes or just monitoring their daily health, your health-conscious traveler will be sure you get a ton of use out of this.  A number of companies make these now, including the Nike (Fuel Band), Jawbone (Up) and Fitbit (Flex).  Looking at the Fitbit, (which our company has used before, during the 2014 “Sole Survivor” Health Campaign) it has a rubberized design which makes it easy and comfortable to wear.  It is also water resistant, so your traveler doesn’t have to worry about breaking a sweat, or showering after.  At a price just under $96, this could be a great, somewhat affordable gift for your active traveler.

6.  Travel Headphones or a Portable Speaker ($99-$299)

If your traveler spends a lot of time on car rides, buses, trains or airplanes, an ideal gift may be a pair of headphones for them to listen to their music or movies on while remaining in a public setting.  The new Solo2 Headphones from Beats by Dr. Dre are lightweight and now wireless.  That way your traveler doesn’t have to worry about getting tangled up in cords.  With a 12 hour rechargeable battery and Bluetooth technology built it, you can see why these are so popular.  You can even answer phone calls on them with a built-in microphone.

If the headphones are a bit too pricey, or your traveler wants a speaker that will broadcast tunes to everyone in his or her group.  A Bluetooth speaker maybe be a better choice.  Easily pairable with your devices, your traveler will be able to crank up the volume and listen to their favorite playlists on the go.  These have also been showing up in the big-box stores and are readily accessible for your holiday shopping pleasure.  The mini Jambox, made by Jawbone, is pretty good quality, has a number of features and the price point isn’t too bad either.  At $99 (for a limited time), you can select a color to customize it to your traveler’s style.

7.  A Journal for Them to Keep Their Adventures in ($19)

If you happen to have a traveler that likes to keep a record of what they do and where they have been, or a budding writer on your hands, consider something as simple as travel journal.  With a pen and paper, they can literally write their own story, jot down places they loved visiting and record a bunch of memories that will become more near and dear to their heart each and every time they read them.  Consider a little bit better quality notebook, to make into a journal.  The Moleskine line of notebooks is known for their quality and durability.  Although it may seem pricey for a notebook, think about how long it will last and the memories that will be stored inside.  That is something no one can truly put a price on.  These are widely accessible and can even be purchased at Barnes and Noble.  For just under $19 you can have an affordable and highly thoughtful gift for your special traveler.

8.  A Lightweight Laptop ($329)

For the more digital traveler, a lightweight laptop can be the perfect gift.  As technology has seemed to take over every aspect of our lives, a laptop can actually be a travel necessity for some.  Your traveler can still keep track of adventures and memories (maybe encourage them to start up a travel blog like ours!), upload photos, use social media, check for directions or even keep in touch with their loved ones via services like skype.  A business traveler may appreciate this gift even more as they probably are working while on the go.  Most laptops these days come with all the features you need, like wireless and a webcam, to do whatever you need, wherever you are.  Laptops have become a lot cheaper than they once were, in this example we used the Toshiba Satellite C50.  Weighing only five pounds, it has a built-in webcam, wireless, DVD drive, 15.6” screen and comes with Windows 8.   There are cheaper alternatives like Chromebooks and other brands of laptops, it may be best to check around for what will fit your traveler’s needs.

9.  Travel Gift Cards (Whatever You Want to Spend)

Some say that gift cards are a thoughtless gift.  In the case of travel, we believe it is just the opposite.  Giving your traveler the freedom to choose when and where they want to go is an important factor, mostly because everyone has different schedules and tastes in vacations.  Airlines like United and Southwest are offering gift certificates that can be used to redeem flights, allowing your traveler to choose what destination they want to go to and when.  Other considerations may be hotel gift cards, rental car gift cards and, for the road warriors, the all-important gas gift card.

The best part about this gift is there is no limit, too low or too high, that you need to spend.  You can choose an amount that you think is adequate and the traveler can decide when they want to use them.  Giving them total control over where they go, or the freedom to choose, is one of the greatest gifts you can give.

10.  Luggage and Backpacks (Depends on What You Buy)

These items are a universal idea for travelers.  When people travel somewhere they usually bring a lot of stuff with them.  What better way to transport all of their stuff then in a suitcase or Backpack.  Suitcases and carryon luggage are great for people who may travel via the air more so than on land.  Backpacks can be considered for the light travelers or for people who may use them for hiking and the like.  There really is no best guide out there for people to choose luggage, it all depends on the person that you are buying for.  Take a look, or even ask them, what their individual needs are.  Perhaps they like lighter luggage with a lot of pockets for gadgets, or maybe they want a huge hulking suitcase for those long trips they take.  It is entirely dependent upon their needs and since the gift is for them, letting them pick it out may be the best way to go.

If you didn’t have any ideas before reading this post, hopefully you have come away with something from the list above that will make an ideal gift for your special traveler.  Most of the items on this list are very accessible in terms of shopping, which means, even if you are last minute shopping you will be able to find these somewhere.

Keep in mind these are just some suggestions that we think are cool.  Feel free to let us know if you have any other suggestions for gifts for travelers in the comments below

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10 Holiday Gifts for Travelers – 2014