Exchanging gifts is a fun part of the holiday season. I always enjoy selecting gifts based on the interests of my family and friends, and am rarely surprised but always delighted to find travel gear with my name on it under the tree. If you’re looking for a unique gift for a traveler in your family, we have a few ideas.
One of the fun things about writing a travel blog is that sometimes we get to try brand new products that haven’t been on the market long. Three of these products fall into that category, which means that the traveler on your gift list doesn’t already have one! Even better, all of these items are under $60, so they are budget-friendly.
We only promote products that we have personally tried and genuinely recommend. I road-tested Eco Vessel and Nomadix Universal Towel. Katie tried The AirHook, Hip City Sak and The Traveler’s Essential Kit.
Want to know more about these travel gifts? Read on.
I tried a prototype of The Airhook on a flight this summer, and I will never fly without this handy contraption again. The Airhook is a brand-new stable drink holder and secure hook to hold your electronic devices that does not require the tray table to be down. Brilliant for parents with young children crawling all over them, or anyone who feels cramped by a lap tray. I fell in love with the Airhook when my 4-year-old needed a quick exit to the bathroom and I didn’t have to juggle drinks, tray table, etc. as I whisked him off to the bathroom. The adjustable electronic device holder held my iPad securely for a movie. With some headphone splitters, two of my kids watched a movie while I relaxed and read a book. Pick a few up for your favorite jet-setting family.
- Website: www.theairhook.com
Hip City Sak
The Hip City Sak is a stylish hands-free bag for girls on the go. This purse belts snugly around the waist so your little girl can fill it up with her treasures, or snacks and a water bottle, and carry her own things for the day. My 6-year-old daughter gave the Hip City Sak two thumbs up, and so do I because she cannot set it down and lose it while we are out and about. The Hip City Sak is great for travel, but also can be worn around town and comes with fashionable accessories that can be attached to the belt when you do not need the purse. This high-quality product reminded me of some of my favorite American Girl items. I think the Hip City Sak will become my go-to birthday party gift from now on.
This is the best water bottle we have ever owned. The lightweight and attractive Eco Vessel water bottle is so well insulated, ice cubes were still frozen and the water was still cold after five hours in a hot parked car during our last trip to California.
I have the Eco Vessel BOULDER Water Bottle, which has a nifty strainer that fits in the mouth of the bottle. Fill the bottle with fruit, tea bags or ice and the strainer will keep them all in the bottle, just letting the liquid through when you drink. Last summer, I tossed in a few fresh blackberries from our garden and enjoyed easy fruit-infused water.
Eco Vessel specializes in high-performance water bottles and sells many varieties, including sippy cups for young children. All of Eco Vessel’s bottles are BPA and phthalate free, recyclable and environmentally friendly. For travelers who prefer exotic or remote locales, Eco Vessel offers portable water filter bottles that eliminate most common waterborne parasites in addition to removing unpleasant taste and odors.
Nomadix Universal Towel
Nomadix Universal Towel is new on the market and I was excited to give it a try on our last road trip, where we had planned a day at the beach. The first thing I liked about Nomadix is that it takes half as much space in a suitcase or beach bag as a regular beach towel. Size-wise, it is longer but narrower than our basic beach towels – adequate for the average adult. It served its purpose well during our day at the beach.
Nomadix is a 100% recycled polyester-nylon blend. So far, it is sturdy, absorbent, and has a soft texture. It washes well. The only area where the traditional beach towel out-performed Nomadix was that the terry cloth was better at brushing sand off our bodies than the smooth texture of Nomadix. However, it was easier to shake out Nomadix before heading back to the car.
The Nomadix Towel would be a good option for yoga or camping. It is slip resistant and anti-microbial. A variety of patterns are available and ours has a different pattern on each side – light or dark – making it reversible and more versatile outdoors.
The Traveler’s Essential Kit
My Essential Kits offers five products in a compact box that you may not have known you needed, but once you use them, you will find it hard to live without them. The Traveler’s Essential Kit comes with two locks, a collapsible water bottle, a sealer, and a quick-drying towel. I had never considered how much I would love a collapsible water bottle, but after road-testing this one, I’m hooked. It holds its shape well, but when empty you can roll it up and toss it in your purse or backpack. My teenager “called” this water bottle for the next backpacking trip.
The compact and quick-drying towel can double as a swim dress. As a dress, I think it would fit up to a size 10 comfortably. The thin fabric worked well as a towel but folds up smaller than a t-shirt, so you can take it anywhere.
The sealer is designed to quickly heat up so you can seal plastic quickly. When traveling it works well to seal bags with toiletries, wet clothes, etc. Tonight I used my sealer to seal up a half-eaten bag of graham crackers so they would not get stale. The possibilities with this little tool are endless.
My family will use these two locks when we backpack and leave our packs in camp, or when we snorkel and leave a few things behind on the beach for an hour or two.
Surprise the traveler in your life happy with the essential kit they may not know they need.
Disclosure: We were given complimentary samples of these products for the purpose of review, and this post contains affiliate links. When you purchase one of these products through Amazon.com, we receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you pay. We only promote products that we have personally tried and genuinely recommend.
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