It’s been a while since I have done a gift guide. Years, maybe. But this year, after spending the biggest part of the past 24 months traveling, I feel that Rusty and I are pretty reliable when it comes to recommending the best items the traveler in your life could use. We spend countless hours on airplanes, in airports, on trains, in cabs, in hotels, on cruises, and basically just ON THE MOVE. Hopefully one (or more) of these items will help you make your Christmas shopping a little easier! If you have any questions at all about a product, of course, message us! It’s hard to say EVERYTHING about a particular product, but, we have used (and used and used in many cases) all of these items, and we LOVE them. So ask! (And yes, I am including links for you to easily buy them…and sometimes, that link will send me a little commission if you buy it. Not always, but sometimes. It won’t charge you anything extra, promise!)
The Best Travel Adapter
Not all adapters are created equal. For years, I would pick up the $8 multi-plugged, multi-extended adapter from Walmart or wherever. And every time, I would always be fed up with the extra “country” extensions you have to jiggle on the main unit in order for it to work. It always falls, or hangs precariously, and let’s be honest, do we really want to play with electricity?
Let’s not. And did you know you aren’t ever supposed to plug a hair dryer or hair iron into one of these? You are NOT. Be warned!
So, I finally bought this one, and paid $20 for it. Why I love it? For one, you CAN plug all hair dryers and such into it. Two, the different country plugs are BUILT IN, you will never lose them, and it is STURDY. Third, and best of all? It has USB ports IN IT, so, you can plug up your computer, AND multiple phones (which is all you really wanted it for anyway, right?) all at the same time. It is the BEST adapter I have ever had, and I will take it to my grave. If you have ANY international trips in your life, or know someone who does? THIS IS THE GIFT. Trust me. Just do it. Plus, it is ON SALE now for $15.99. Go. I’ll wait.
The Travel Pillow
As soon as I saw the TRTL popping up in my Facebook feed, I knew I had to try it. So, last year, Rust’s mom got BOTH of us one, based on my giddiness to try it. We traveled within a few weeks after getting them, and we immediately put them to use. The TRTL is easy to carry around, as it squashes pretty flat, and I just attach it to the outside of my carry-on backpack. What you need to know? It is NOT a PILLOW. This should be obvious. But, what isn’t obvious? It is comfortable. The way it balances your head/neck is perfect, and you can flip it around however you need to make it most comfortable for you. Rusty wears his like a crazy person, burying his head in it forward, to where it looks like he is smothering.
To each his own.
I like that it keeps my sleeping mouth closed. You know, the embarrassing wide open gaping mouth that loves to appear when you are in the middle seat on a long haul to Bangkok. It stops that.
The Perfect Beach Bag
What sucks about going to the beach? The SAND. It gets in everything. Your towel, your shorts, your shoes, and of course, your BAG. Worst? You take all that sand home with you IN THAT BAG. No more. The CGear Sand Free Tote IV is a miracle. It’s magic, and the sand that gets IN the bag wiggles its way OUT of the bag. Just wiggles out. But Susan? You sit the bag ON THE SAND, so if the sand can get out of magic holes, certainly it gets IN that way too? Nope. The sand does NOT find its way in through the bottom of the bag. Imagine that – the only sand you carry back to the beach house is in your britches.
I can’t help you with that.
The Best Beach Towel
While we are talking sand and the beach, let’s talk about towels. If you are anything like me, you HATE having to take up suitcase space with a big bulky towel. You also hate getting that beach towel wet, and then watching it collect 47 pounds of sand that you have to try to shake out. Repeatedly. Enter the best beach towel everrrr – the Tesalate Sand Free Towel. Is it expensive? Yep. Did I balk at the price? Yep. Did I get one anyway? Yep. And let me tell you, that towel has now been in more countries than most people I know. It folds super small – no kidding – so small – and nothing sticks to it. No sand, no dirt particles. We’ve drug it to the beaches in Pattaya. We have used it as a throw rug in our studio apartment. I wrapped up in it at the thermal hot springs in Budapest, I used it as a blanket in the Sahara Desert after a two hour camel ride. It dries fast, it washes great, and it’s very attractive. If you have a world traveler heading to somewhere beachy, this would be a great gift. They’ll thank you for its flexibility and for all the room it frees up in that carry-on. Pick one up here at Tesalate. It’s $69 but first time orders save 10%.
I am stubborn. I never thought I would need something like compression socks. But let me tell you, I DO. 17 hours on a plane to Tokyo from Houston is a long time, and a long time in a tiny seat means my feet look like elephant feet when I land. It takes days for them to sort themselves back to normal size. It’s uncomfortable, it’s ugly, and it’s really not safe. Compression socks are good for ANYONE who spends a lot of time on a plane, man or woman. I love how colorful and fun these are, and they have tons of other designs. Check them out! $14.99 is a great price for a useful, potentially life changing gift. Yes, family, I want this pair. HINT. There. HINT.
TV on the Go
If you don’t have one already, you SHOULD own an Amazon Fire Stick. We pack ours and take it EVERYWHERE. It works in Thailand (you guys, the Netflix options overseas are incredible, not the same as here!), you can use it in your Airbnb, your hotel, well, anywhere you get Wifi. We watched the entire Haunting of Hill House while it stormed for two days in Tuscany, all with our Fire Stick. Going to your parents house and they don’t have cable? Hello? Your Fire Stick plays movies on Amazon, Netflix, YouTube, and so much more. You’ll be fine. Definitely worth the $39.
If you’re a regular traveler, especially one that has several stops to make on one journey, you NEED Packing Cubes. Undies and socks in one, Outfits by day in the others. It keeps your luggage smart and useful, so that you aren’t digging through everything everyday, and each thing has its own place, so you aren’t stressing out where to look. Because you KNOW. It’s also very convenient if TSA decides to rifle through your bag in front of 437 people, in case you aren’t a fan of everyone oogling your skivvies. This set is available on Amazon at a great price, and in lots of colors…
Hopefully this helped!
Now…do YOU have any recommendations for ME? We are always on the lookout for great items that will make our travel lives easier! Considering we have over 8 months of travel already booked for 2019 (Yes, a full 8 months away!) we would LOVE any advice you may have!