Miles, Power Packs; Gifts for the seasoned traveler
The Christmas season is fast approaching. Yeah, I know its October; no I don’t care about Thanksgiving and pumpkin spice latte season. I am skipping straight to Christmas.
Bit of an off thing for me to say. I was never much of a fan of Christmas before, there was a lot of emotional trauma built up that was concentrated in that time of the year. Since letting the spirit of the Grinch go, and re-discovering the mystery and excitement of holiday joy, I decided to take Christmas by the horns this year and make it an amazing one.
This was in February, before Covid sent us into what feels a like a perpetual cycle of Emergency Order extensions, proclamations and regulations. I’m not suggesting of course that we will be under strict protocols during the holiday season, but I can’t say that I wouldn’t be surprised if you have to FaceTime kiss bae on Christmas Day.
Outside of your family, opening gifts with people is going to be a task, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still spread holiday cheer, without spreading holiday corona.
I’m sure I’m not alone in saying this but given the inability to travel, I would appreciate travel related gifts even more, so it made me think – what five gifts could you give to the traveler who can’t, and hasn't traveled for a while? Buying tickets may result in cancellations and restrictions, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some other awesome gift ideas for the habitual traveler.
Air miles and reward points are always good gifts. A lot of the larger airline companies offer bundle purchases for a few dollars provided you’re already a rewards program member. Miles are great because they can be redeemed for so many other things outside of airline tickets. You may not be able to fly, but you may be able to take a road trip and use the points to book your rental car. Either way, it’s a gift with a long shelf life and a number of different ways to be used.
Backpacks and carry-on bags are a traveler best friend. I’ve been using the same Victorinox back pack, and Tumi rolling bag for the last few years now and sometimes they are all I need, even for long trips (I am an expert at packing a suitcase for long trips). There are some local Bahamian companies like Hope Town Canvas that make travel bags out of repurposed sails that would make a great gift for a frequently flyer friend.
A mobile battery pack is a great, and inexpensive gift that the seasoned traveler would appreciate and I can guarantee you that every time they have to use it they’ll say “Wow, this is so amazing, and I didn’t get them anything” LOL. Nothing is more annoying that arriving in Hong Kong and needing to use your cell phone only to realize that the fucking thing is dead and you’ve got to sit near a socket to charge up. Yes, I am speaking from experience.
Travel maps especially the ones you can either scratch off the destinations visited, or put colored pins in them will never get old. Adorning your office space (as does mine) or home, it will be a constant reminder of adventures had. You’ll also look at it a lot and say “ya know what, fuck it I’m going to [insert country here]” so try not to stare at it for too long if you’ve got your credit card on you or you may just book a ticket for the hell of it.
Portable and compact tripods are a traveler’s best friend especially if you’re a solo traveler and you’re about that instagram life. The one I travel with is a Joby Gorilla Pod and it does the job just fine. You can fold the legs around different objects, and the top is orbital so there’s no limit to the angles you can capture. You do need an accessory for holding mobile phones, but it’s worth it.