Struggling to buy for the traveler in your life these holidays? They're a picky bunch -- which is exactly why we've put together this great collection of hand-picked products to help you out. We've found 13 practical, genuinely useful pieces of kit that doesn't cost a fortune -- in fact, they're all under fifty bucks!
From blankets to tripods, coffee makers to car chargers and much more, any one of these items will make the perfect stocking (and carry-on) stuffer these holidays.
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Kenu’s Stance smartphone tripod is small, light and useful – a combination not often found in travel gear. With versions for almost every smartphone, the Stance keeps the device stable in both portrait or landscape mode for maximum versatility.
The ball-and-socket joint lets it rotate freely without having to move the legs, and non-slip feet keep it firmly in place.
Whether taking low-light shots, capturing that perfect timelapse or just watching a favorite TV show, the 1.2oz Stance is the answer. Small enough to attach to a keyring, it even includes a bottle opener to open that cold beer at the end of a long travel day.
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Best known for their travel planning and guidebooks, Insight Guides has recently come out with a range of attractive journals for travelers to record all their experiences.
With “Mountains”, “Countryside” and “Beach” themed covers, the journals include well over a hundred blank pages, plus travel checklists, coloring pages with images from around the world, travel phrases in different languages, destination information and more.
These journals are built to last, with a durable hard cover and an elasticated band to keep them closed while on the move,
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For a water holder with a difference, check out the Bubi Bottle. Made from flexible BPA-free plastic, the Bubi can hold hot or cold liquids, and is microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe. It can even be safely held over a fire to warm up the contents.
It can be used as a hot or cold compress, pillow, or dry bag for things like matches, food or small electronics. It folds up to save space, and comes in several colors (or a personalised design).
There are 14oz, 22oz and “Babi” sizes, and a range of accessories like sports caps and caribiners.
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If someone you know can never remember where they parked, they’ll appreciate the ZUS Smart Car Charger.
As well as a pair of high-power USB ports for fast charging of phones and tablets, the ZUS saves its location and pairs with an Android or iPhone app to guide forgetful drivers back to their vehicle.
The app includes useful extra features like a parking meter alert to help avoid tickets, location sharing with friends and family, and a car battery monitor. Costing little more than a standard car charger, the ZUS delivers much more.Continue to 5 of 13 below.
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Watching Netflix or Hulu on the hotel room TV has never been easier, thanks to the latest version of Roku’s Streaming Stick.
It’s packed with travel-friendly features, especially the “Hotel and Dorm Connect” mode that deals with the web-based logon screens so beloved of airport and hotel Wi-fi networks.
There’s a physical remote, but the companion app can also control the stick from a smartphone or tablet. Audio can even be streamed to a mobile device, enabling the use of headphones without having to sit a foot away from the television.
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Let’s face it, transporting fragile items is a big hassle. Liquids are especially troublesome for air travelers – they can’t go through security in hand luggage, yet often spill when checked.
Enter the Vinnibag, a flexible, inflatable bag that protects whatever’s inside in a cushion of air.
The Vinnibag conforms to the shape of the items it’s protecting, and with an airtight seal, also prevents damage to surrounding items if the worst does happen.
Wine bottles, perfumes, electronics, medications and other fragile items travel much more safely, and the bag can also be used as a pillow when there’s nothing inside it.
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For those who prefer to travel with a minimum of stuff, the CardBuddy Deluxe will be right up their alley. This slim leather wallet sticks firmly to the back of a smartphone or case, with enough room for three cards and a little cash.
Drop in a credit card, ID and hotel swipe card, and head out for the day (or night) without a bulky, pickpocket-attracting wallet in a back pocket.
Available in four colors, the CardBuddy Deluxe fits any phone or case 62mm wide or more. That’s any recent iPhone other than the SE, and almost all Android phones.
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Beach and poolside vacations are fantastic, but keeping valuables safe while you’re in the water is always a challenge. For those who worry about leaving their phones and wallets unattended, the AquaVault Portable Outdoor Safe provides simple peace of mind.
This durable safe is large enough to store keys, sunglasses, phones, keys and more, and locks securely over 95% of beach furniture (and other items). A combination lock keeps intruders at bay, and the high-impact thermoplastic will withstand even aggressive removal attempts.
There’s also a flexible, slash-proof model, the FlexSafe, that attaches to an even wider range of heavy or immovable objects.Continue to 9 of 13 below.
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Staying hydrated while traveling is a challenge, due to increased activity, often in hot or humid conditions. Sure, a plain old water bottle will do the trick, but for a more versatile option, check out Takeya’s ThermoFlask instead.
This insulated stainless steel bottle comes in five colors and sizes, ranging from a slimline 14oz model to a 40oz version that can handle even the thirstiest of travel days.
The double-wall system keeps liquids cold for up to 24 hours, or for those traveling in cooler climates, hot for up to 12.
All ThermoFlasks include a leakproof lid with a spout, that can be unscrewed for easy cleaning and adding ice cubes.
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For those traveling overseas, electricity is rightly a concern. Rather than packing a bunch of different travel adapters, Ventev’s Global Charginghub 300 can plug into the wall in over 150 countries, and also includes a pair of 2.1amp USB ports for charging mobile devices.
It’s a lightweight, easy-to-use accessory, that makes charging simple. Like most travel adapters, it doesn’t convert the voltage, so be sure to check the requirements for non-USB powered electronics.
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Espro’s TravelPress is the perfect gift for the caffeine-addicted traveler in your life. Let’s be honest, when faced with yet another 6am flight or endless layover, sometimes it’s good coffee that’s the difference between a great vacation and a total meltdown.
The TravelPress uses a double micro-filter to brew your favourite tea or coffee right inside the press, with all the flavor of a traditional French press without the grit or sludge.
For those who prefer pour-over style, inserting one of the included paper filters makes that possible too.
Pressing the plunger down immediately stops extraction, and the double-walled stainless steel construction keeps the drink hot for 4-6 hours. The TravelPress makes 10oz of coffee or 12oz of tea, and can also be used as a standard 15oz travel mug.
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For nervous flyers, or just those with time to kill on long travel days, Wandertooth’s range of travel-focused adult coloring books make an ideal gift.
Two new destinations have been added to the “Travel Between the Lines” range this year, Mexico and Rome, to compliment last year’s globally-focused book.
Each single-sided page is created from a photo taken by the authors, and then hand-traced using a tablet and stylus. With 40+ intricately-detailed images in each book, in a range of difficulty levels, there’s enough distraction for even the lengthiest layover.Continue to 13 of 13 below.
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There’s nothing better than an impromptu picnic or sunbathing session while traveling, but most vacationers don’t throw a picnic blanket in their daypack “just in case”.
The MatadorMini Pocket Blanket elegantly deals with the issue, being small enough to fit in a pocket or on a key ring, yet folding out large enough for two people to sit side by side.
Equally useful for dusty or wet ground, the water and puncture-resistant blanket weighs 1.3oz and measures just 3”x 2”x 1” when packed away, yet folds out to 44” x 28”.
The “Easy Pack Pattern” shows exactly where the blanket needs to be folded to fit back in its pouch – always a nice touch.