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10 Perfect Christmas Gifts For The Traveler In Your Life

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Do you have a traveler in your life? Are they hard to buy for? I am both of those things. My Mother is constantly complaining about how challenging it is to buy me a birthday present or a Christmas gift. I normally just ask for cash or a gift card to go out and purchase what I need. Not this year. I have put together a list of what I think are the 10 perfect Christmas gifts for the traveler in your life. They range from a DIY kit that costs under $20 to make to a $1000 camera. Full disclosure; this is my Christmas Wish List so feel free to get me any of these, wink wink. Oh and to help your budget some of these may be on a great Black Friday sale. Happy shopping.

Gifts for the frequent traveler

1 Carry On Luggage $399 + – For the past two years all I’ve done is travel with just my carry on luggage and a backpack. It is paired down traveling to be sure, but I focus on my trips and not my outfits. My dream carry-on suitcase comes from Tumi. The Tumi Vapor Lite International Carry-On is perfect. It is the right size for any airline carry-on measurements, it is light, durable as it has a polycarbonate shell and it looks great when you are wheeling it through airports.

Tumi Vapor Lite International Carry On

2 Camera $800+ – Most of us are happy using our smartphones for our everyday photos, but for the serious traveler a great camera turns a nice photo into a great photo. During a recent adventure in Palm Springs, I had the chance to try out the Sony Cyber Shot Digital RX 100. I fell in love with this camera. It is the perfect camera for those wanting a point and shoot (me) camera and those with more experience who want to make every adjustment manually. Check out the photo I took at Joshua Tree with it. No filters, no touch ups.

Sony Cyber Shot Digital RX 100

Joshua Tree in Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree in Joshua Tree

3 Back Up Phone Battery $39.99 – No traveler should be without a backup battery for their smartphone. One of my travel buddies, John Biehler, has what I think is the best one. The Anker 2nd Gen Astro E5 16000mAh External Battery (Black) will do more than power up your phone; it will power it up seven times. It will power up your iPad Air twice, and the best thing is it uses its Power IQ Technology to power up your device as fast as possible. You will never run out of battery life on your smartphone as long as you have this battery around. Oh and it’s small enough to fit in your back pocket.

Anker 2nd Gen Astro E5 16000mah external battery

4 Go Pro – I actually have a GoPro, but I haven’t used it to it’s potential yet. If the traveler in your life is the type that likes to surf, hike, paddleboard and more the GoPro HERO4 Session Video Camera (Canada Version) may just be for them. It is the newest, smallest and lightest GoPro yet. A trick I’ve learned is that it’s all about the GoPro Accessories. A GoPro without accessories is like a little black dress with no jewelry.

GoPro Hero 4

5 Rocky Mountain Soap $$ various- Most people think to buy a toiletry bag, I’m more interested in the toiletries than the bag myself. Rocky Mountain Soap Co offers high quality locally made products, many of which are the perfect size for traveling. What’s best is that they also carry a few items like Body Butter, which is a moisturizer in stick form. Why is this important? As a solid it is not a restricted item so you can exceed the 100 ml or 100 gram limitation of a liquid. Besides these products are just really nice to have period.

Rocky Mountain Soap Co travel essentials, Body Butter, Lip Balm and Soap

Rocky Mountain Soap Co travel essentials, Body Butter, Lip Balm and Soap

6 Portable Bluetooth speakers $69 to $79.99 – I love to listen to music in the morning when I get ready and these days I turn to Spotify and Apple Music for my tunes. Packing my own speaker gives me the freedom to move around my hotel room while enjoying my favourite songs. Space is a big issue when I’m packing though so the speaker has to be compact. My favourite one for sound and size is the Sony SRSX11 Ultra-Portable Bluetooth Speaker (Blue). It packs a real punch for its size and it measures 2.4 inches square at only 215 grams. Perfect fit for my carry on luggage.

Sony SRSX11 portable bluetooth speakers

7 Backpack $39 to $200+ – Now picking out the right Backpack for someone is a real challenge. We all have different needs, tastes, and body sizes. A good backpack is as much about the features it offers as much as it is about how it fits. My best advice is to go shopping with the person you are shopping for. What do I look for? Something that is light and durable has enough pockets so I can organize my belongings and is breathable so that after wearing it all day I won’t have huge sweat stains all down my back.

Hex Convoy Backpack

8 Waterproof phone case $130 (on sale Black Friday for under $80) – Three times I’ve gone snorkeling and each time I’ve relied upon someone else to take my photos. Why? Because I don’t have a waterproof case for my iPhone. If I had the LifeProof Fre Power iPhone 6 Blue Case not only would my phone be waterproof it would also have 2x the battery life. I’ve seen this case in action, and it works fantastically. I wouldn’t dive 100 feet below the surface of the ocean with it, but it is great for almost anything you could encounter on a day trip adventure.

Fre Power for iPhone 6 waterproof case

9 Water filter bottle  $42 – We’ve all heard about traveler’s diarrhea, and no one wants to get it. You are out on a great hike; you’ve drunk most of your water and the stream right beside you looks cool, clean and oh so refreshing. DON’T do it unless of course you have the LifeStraw Go Water Bottle with Integrated 1000-Liter Filter. Fill it up, let the filter do its work and you are ready to rehydrate. I think this is a great gift for the adventurer in your life, especially if it saves them a few trips to the bathroom.

Lifestraw Go Water Bottle

10 DIY emergency kit – A First Aid kit is a brilliant idea for adventures, but what about less life threatening injuries? How about making up a few small emergency kits. Small enough to be included into every backpack, suitcase, purse, shoulder bag, and laptop bag a person can travel with. What should be in the kit? Here are some suggested items I know I’ve needed on various adventures. Pack them up in a small drawstring bag and you are all set for any minor crisis you may encounter on the road.

  1. Bandaids
  2. Antacid tablets
  3. Tylenol, Advil or Aspirin
  4. Benedryl Tablets
  5. Anti-Bacterial wipes
  6. Dr. Scholl Foot cushion pads
  7. Safety Pin
  8. Q-Tips
  9. Burt’s Bees Lip Balm
  10. Sewing Kit (get this from your hotel room)
  11. Emergency contact number

So there you have 10 perfect Christmas Gifts to choose from to give the traveler in your life. It is always better to give than to receive, but I’d be pretty happy if I received any of these items under my Christmas Tree this year.

Happy Travels and Happy Holidays.



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About Author

Marc Smith is a former event planner turned vagabond adventurer. He loves strong Americano's, great wine, cold beer and zip lining over tree tops. Formerly of Vancouver, most of Marc's time when not travelling is in Canada's largest city, Toronto. Follow along on his nomad adventures and discover places to stay, things to do and where to eat & drink as he explores the world one city and region at a time.

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