Travel Planning. Expert Advice.


November 26, 2013

5 Gifts Every Traveler Should Ask Santa For

Christmas is nearly upon us. Whether you are at home with family or in some far flung corner of the world, you have no doubt seen the warm glow of Christmas lights in shopping centers. You might even be ready to attack someone if you hear “Jingle Bells” one more time.

Whatever way you slice it, however, Santa’s coming, and, for those of us that have been good, he’s loading his sleigh with gifts. (For those of you who haven’t, Santa may give you the travelers equivalent of a stocking full of coal: a broken down bus, a delayed flight, or a missed train.)

Stumped about what to ask the big man in the red suit to bring you this year? Here’s a list of five things that will make your travel life that much simpler. (If you aren’t a traveler yourself, think of this as a helpful list for the traveler in your life)

Timbuk2’s Classic Messenger Bag

I absolutely LOVE this bag, and think that it’s the perfect day bag for travelers (Read my full review here).

Security is no problem with Timbuk2’s Classic Messenger Bag. Not only is it nearly impossible to open without being noticed, but you can swing it around to your front on a crowded bus, and it would be nearly impossible to slash.

Top that off with it being incredibly comfortable, and showing almost no signs of wear after 2.5 years of daily use, and you have a real winner.

The ExOfficio Air Strip Lite Long-Sleeve Shirt

I’ve written a longer post about this before, but I’m a big fan this shirt. You always hear that you should take a long-sleeve shirt with you whenever you go to places with a mosquito problem, but those places are always really hot.

The ExOfficio Air Strip Lite Long-Sleeve Shirt solves the problem though, providing you with a ton of venting options and being constructed of a really light-weight and breathable material.

I highly recommend picking up this shirt if you have plans to go to the tropics.

iPod Touch

Being an electronic junkie and unashamed Apple fan, I find my iPod Touch to be invaluable when traveling abroad. After all, there are a ton of uses for it.

You can use it to research destinations when you are sitting in a coffee shop, talk to mom and dad via Skype, download a phrase book or translation guide, take a picture, read a book, or use it to play games and listen to music. You could even take it as a substitute for a larger and heavier laptop on your next trip.

My iPod Touch is one of the few things that I take with me everyday when I’m traveling. (If you feel the need to take a cell phone when you travel, an iPhone is an even better idea).

E-Book Reader

E-book readers have become all the rage over the last few years, and they provide a lot of advantages for the backpacker. Weighing less than most paperbacks, e-book readers, like Amazon’s Kindle allow you to carry hundreds of books at a time. You can even download your favorite guidebooks directly onto your Kindle, and cart them around more easily.

Need a new book, no problem; just find somewhere with wireless internet and you can download a new book in just a few minutes. If you do get one, don’t forget to get a protective case.

This is a great gift for the bookworm backpacker.

Water-Proof Camera Case

Having worked in retail electronics for four years, I know how sensitive electronics are to water. So, the next time you are taking a speedboat to a Thai Island, whitewater rafting down a river, or heading out during monsoon season, you’ll be glad you have one of these babies.

Having a water-proof camera case is a fantastic way to make sure that you camera arrives at your destination safe and protected. Heck, you can even take it out and snap a few shots with the case on. Just keep in mind that you will suffer a decrease in picture quality until you get the hang of using it. However, consider the alternatives: no pictures or a very wet camera.

This is a perfect stocking stuffer for any traveler.

Note: While all these products are ones that I personally use and enjoy, many of the links in this article are affiliate links. Help keep going and purchase a few things from these links.


  1. Caroline

    Waterproof camera case is already on the top of my wishlist!


      You’ll be very happy to get one. The one I linked to is the one I have. It’s a nice generic case, but does decrease picture quality to a certain extent. Gets the job done in a pinch though, is cheap, and doesn’t take up much room.

      Thanks for the comment.

  2. Good ideas here. I’m like you and take my iPod Touch and Kindle with me wherever I go. I do have the 3G kindle though which is great – I don’t have to go looking for a wifi connection I can download new books from virtually anywhere.

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