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For many, the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. For those of us who struggle with finding the perfect gifts, it can also be the most stressful, full of frantic catalog flipping, manic Amazon scrolling, and hectic trips to Target (which we all know are the worst kind).
But if you have a mom or dad traveler on your list, even kids who love to explore and wander, we’re here to help you find them the perfect gift, with tried and true ideas that any traveler would be thrilled to unwrap this year. From sanity-saving headphones, to the perfect vessel for all those road trip coffees, and even gifts to keep you healthy while they travel, we’re breaking down our favorite travel-inspired gifts for the holiday season. You can take advantage of the Black Friday sales to get a good deal on one or all!
The Avid Skier — Favorite Ski Slope Art
My brother and his wife are avid skiers and have bummed their way to ski slopes all across the country, from Montana to Vermont, Colorado to California. They have become quite the discerning ski slope enthusiasts and are always on the lookout for new trails to hit next.
But among their favorites is Sugarbush, a ski resort in Vermont that is popular among New Englanders. So for Christmas last year, my husband and I bought them a canvas print of the Sugarbush ski runs from Circle Square Diamond Art. It was reasonably priced and turned out really cool. And my brother and sister-in-law absolutely loved it.
Circle Square Diamond Art has a wide collection of slope art for slopes all over the world, so you’re guaranteed to find your skier’s favorite slope. There’s also the option of a traditional art print or a canvas print and each option comes in a variety of sizes.
The Road Warrior — Yeti Cooler and Mug
Whether you’re driving cross country or just cross county, Yeti coolers and mugs are the ultimate luxury. Their Roadie 24 Hard Cooler is compact and lightweight, but with the thermal performance that Yeti is known for, making it ideal for trips to the beach or lake.
And their travel tumblers are the absolute best for transporting hot or cold beverages. I’m not sure what kind of voodoo magic the people at Yeti are concocting over there, but their mugs have the ability to keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for hours on end. Trust me. I’ve done the consumer testing. Many a mug of coffee has been left in our car in a Yeti mug while we embark on a “quick” Target trip (that lasts two hours) and when we come back, it’s just as hot as it was when we left it.
The Adventurer — Bose Frames
My family and I like to explore on our trips — whether that’s hiking the trails or walking down all the side streets, riding bikes or kayaking in the ocean waves. We’re not exactly ones to sit still for long.
One of the things my husband and I can’t live without on our exploring expeditions is our Bose Frames. They’re Bluetooth sunglasses that allow you to play music and take phone calls through your sunglasses, no headphones required, and they’re seriously awesome. The glasses use vibrations in the part of the frames that rest on your ears to help you listen to your podcast or music without disturbing anyone around you.
So why is this better than standard headphones? We like it because we can still hear what’s going on around us. They’re great for family hikes, walking around on busy streets, or going to the beach because you can still be aware of your surroundings, order a latte at the café, and be a part of conversations but have your music going in the background.
My husband wears them when he goes golfing and I love to use them on bike rides. They’re some of the best Christmas gifts we’ve ever received!
The Backseat Drivers – Amazon Fire Kids Tablets
Have pint-sized navigators in your back seat who are constantly inquiring about when you’ll reach your final destination? Any parent knows keeping your kids occupied on a long car or plane trip can be a daunting part of traveling and can make or break your trip.
Any parent knows keeping your kids occupied on a long car or plane trip can be a daunting part of traveling and can make or break your trip. Here’s what will do the trick.
So give your mini travel companions the gift of entertainment this year (and yourself the gift of travel sanity) with the Amazon Fire Kids Edition Tablet. Instantly get access to over 20,000 kid-friendly apps, games, books, videos, and audiobooks with endless hours of content to help keep your kids occupied and give them something to do on long trips.
With a kid-proof case that keeps it protected from everyday wear, and parental controls that let you limit screen team and set educational goals, it’s a device everyone can feel good about.
The Fashionista — Most Comfortable Travel/Lounge Pants
You can’t control flight delays or rooms that aren’t ready when you arrive to check-in. One time, my flight was so delayed, I had to attend the opening ceremony of my conference in the sweat pants I had worn for my 22 hours of travel. Not the most stellar way to make a professional impression. After that, I was determined to find something that would marry comfort and class. Betabrand pants are that perfect something. They fit like cozy yoga pants but are designed to look like dress pants. They’re amazing. By far the most comfortable pants I’ve ever worn. They have many styles to choose from.
The Germaphobe — An Essential Travel Kit
OK, let’s be real. After a 24/7 newsroom feed of all the ways COVID 19 will kill or maim you, we are all in this category. If you’ve hunkered down as long as you can and are ready to place faith in the strict cleaning protocols hotels, airlines and restaurants have put into place, then the following will only up your game.
Our pediatrician turned us on to a saline nasal spray with xylitol called Xlear. The saline moisturizes your nose as air travel can be notoriously dehydrating. The xylitol prevents germs from sticking to your mucus membranes. So, you know all that crap floating around? It won’t stick to your nasal passages. I squirt it as I sit down in my seat a couple times and right before or after I’m about to get off the plane.
I recently purchased a tray cover but haven’t used it yet. It looks good and seems like a great option. I’d still spray everything else down though.
Also, a recent new discovery is an airlplane seat cover. Yes, a pair of African-American sisters invented an anti-microbial slipcover called Slumber Bliss that goes over your airplane, bus or train seat so you don’t have to share germs with the last 10 passengers who sat in your seat before you.
Buy them all individually and put them in a nice tin. Golden.
The Frequent Flier — Bose Noise-Canceling Headphones
For people who are frequent jet-setters (or will continue to be when it’s safe again), Bose Noise-Canceling Headphones are absolute game changers when it comes to travel and I honestly can’t remember what my life was like before I started traveling with them.
They drown out just about everything. Woman talking on speaker phone in a crowded airport? Check. Tipsy business man seated behind you on the plane who keeps laughing a little too boisterously at his travel companion? Check. Snoring husband seated beside you? Check. Kids fighting over the tablet? Check.
They come in a variety of styles, including earbuds and wireless over-the-head headphones. The best thing about them is they hold a great battery charge and can easily be clipped to your carry on for quick access. They’re also lifesavers for two business professionals working from the same 1200 square foot city loft (#quarantinelife).
The Documenter — Go Pro Camera
Know a traveler who loves documenting their trips and adventures? Sometimes you need a little more than a smartphone camera to capture those “can’t believe I did that” moments.
If you’ve ever tried taking a smartphone video while mountain biking or snorkeling, I’m guessing you know what I mean. They’re great for most things, but for all those really cool moments you want to be able to relive, you can’t do better than a Go Pro.
Go Pro cameras are designed to be taken everywhere. And we do mean everywhere. They’re water proof, drop proof, spill proof, and pretty much everything proof. And they come with a variety of accessories to help you capture the moment without missing the moment, like chest straps and handlebar mounts.
With GoPro 8 Cameras starting at $249.99, they make the perfect special gift for the adventurous traveler in your life. And during the holidays, you can get yours for a sweet deal!
The Travelers with Four-Legged Co-Pilots — Dog Seat Cover
With all the road travelling our family has been doing this year, my husband and I have been thrilled to be able to take our dog along on more family trips. But as anyone with dogs can attest, they’re hard on your car. Between the fur and the drool and the nails, the interior of our car was taking a beating.
Until we got our Meadowlark Dog Seat Cover. This thing is such a lifesaver. It lays across the back seat and hooks over the headrests to create what looks like a hammock or giant basket for our dog. It’s super easy to install and remove and can be adjusted to cover half the backseat (if you have kids or a car seat that need to occupy the other half) or the whole backseat.
The thick fabric protects the seat upholstery and the high sides ensure that our darling, yet destructive, Ruby can still look out the windows without scratching up the interior of the doors. If there are ever any accidents or spills, all we do is remove the hammock and spray it clean.
As a traveler with pets, it’s hands down some of the best $50 I’ve ever spent, making it an ideal gift for all the traveling pet lovers in your life.
For the travelers on your list, you can’t go wrong with any of these awesome gifts this holiday season. As travelers ourselves, we’ve tested them all and can attest to how great they’ve been in making our travels more fun and enjoyable!
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