Well the season is upon us. Last minute shopping has ALWAYS been a forte of mine – nothing like a limited time frame in which to make decisions. Most blogs are going to tell you to get practical and useful gifts for the traveler in your life this season (and we normally would too), but here are a few ideas that might take the yawn out of the inflatable pillow and eye mask giftset.
1) Mifi device. We’re all connected these days, no matter how much we want to log off. These little gadgets make your cell phone a wifi hotspot allowing travelers to have internet access when and where they choose. A god send if you’re trying to skype in the middle of a desert or in a place where internet costs $10 an hour. A cheaper alternative is to tether your phone, but not all phones do this. (Prices vary depending on your wireless provider)
2) Mobile Foodie. Can you put a price on delicious food? While I’m ALWAYS a proponent of street food, I have come across meals that from time to time need a little something. Indeed, we carried around red pepper flakes for part of our RTW trip just to spice things up a bit. Unfortunately the bags were messy and I constantly found small red pepper flakes in my clothes. Enter Mobile Foodie. All the spices you need to make Indian, Thai or Mexican food, tucked into a neatly stacked container that won’t break in your bag. ($22 from Flight 001)
3. Storage Sandal. Check out this ‘Stash’ Sandal by Reef. A slide out draw protects your cash and hotel key while you’re on the beach. Then again it does nothing to protect against the kids that come by to steal shoes just to sell them back to you. Oh well, still its very James Bond.
4. Mini-Tool with USB. Leave it to the Swiss to improve an already awesome traveler’s gadget. Victorinox has created a Swiss army knife with a USB drive. It looks like it can hold up to 16GB, way more than you’d need to upload at an internet cafe. (Available at Amazon.com starting at $48)
5. E-Reader. With downloadable magazines, books and newspapers, an e-reader is today’s answer to the tired paperback swap shelf at your hotel. Do yourself and your travel bud a favor, give them intellectually stimulating activity for the plane/train/bus. (Available through Amazon, B&N.com or your local electronics retailer)