Finding the right gift for someone can be strenuous. Fortunately, if you know someone who loves to travel, the road trip experience, coffee on the go, or the great outdoors, this holiday gift guide might alleviate the tough task of finding the right gift.
Over the years, I have reviewed most of the items in this guide. This year, I wrote about choosing the best Garmin navigation device, a roundup of the best coolers for road trips, and a review of the BioLite FirePit+. If an item is in this guide, it’s because I once placed it on my Christmas wish list.
Field Notes Memo Book
Field Notes co-founder Aaron Draplin is an avid collector of vintage memo books once used by farmers. Based in Chicago, Field Notes memo books are entirely made in America and designed for modern-day use. The small books are perfect for jotting down notes like driving directions, phone numbers, and the name of that place someone told you makes the best barbecue.
Most hotel rooms have safety locks on the doors to prevent unwanted intruders. But what about short-term rentals like Airbnb or a bed and breakfast? Addalock is a nifty device with two components: a metal tab slides into the door’s latch, and once the door is closed, the second piece slides into the first, preventing the door from opening again.
DEVICO Travel Utensils
Plastic utensils are annoying. Whether you’re eating a hot cooked breakfast at the hotel or getting a bite at a roadside deli, any meal can be eaten more easily with metal dinnerware. The DEVICO Travel Utensils are the perfect travel dinnerware – a zippered case stuffed with a fork, knife, spoon, chopsticks, straight strew, bent straw, and straw cleaner.
Fenix Rechargeable Flashlight
When you’re searching for something in your suitcase, the backseat of your car, or any time after dark, it can help to have a powerful flashlight. The Fenix PD36R features a maximum of 1,600-lumen output with five power settings. The 5,000 mAh lithium-ion battery can run the flashlight for three hours on the maximum setting or over a hundred hours on economy mode. When you’re ready to give it a charge, simply plug it into a charger using a standard USB-C cable.
Anker USB-C Charger
There is no guarantee that smartphones and tablets will come with a charger. And most other tech items never did, to begin with. That’s why the Anker USB-C Charger is so valuable today – it can charge two devices simultaneously. The USB-C charging ports output 20W each for fast charging anything from a smartphone or tablet to wireless earbuds.
Victorinox may set the standard for the multitool with their Swiss Army knife – first produced in Switzerland in 1891 – but Leatherman sets the standard for an American-made multitool. Since the company’s founding in 1983, Leatherman multitools have been made in a factory in Portland, Oregon.
The Leatherman Squirt PS4 is pocket-sized at just 2.25 inches long and features 14 useful tools – needle-nose pliers, scissors, three screwdrivers, wire cutters, a metal file, a straight knife, and a bottle opener.
Travel Cocktail Kits
Traveling with a mixologist’s tool set isn’t always feasible. Fortunately, all you need is one of The Cocktail Box Co.’s travel cocktail kits – you just need to bring the booze. Inside the tin metal case, the kits include all the non-alcoholic ingredients and barware needed to make an Old Fashioned, Mojito, or almost a dozen other cocktails.
Travel Magazine Subscriptions
Ranging from regional to entire states and beyond, travel magazines can be a fantastic source of inspiration throughout the year. With monthly issues arriving in the mail, subscribers will be treated to gear reviews, destination guides, and ideas for future travel. Most magazine subscriptions are under $50, and some are much cheaper.
Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Wireless Earbuds
There is no denying the $250 Apple AirPod Pros are the best noise-canceling earbuds on the market. But the price can give anyone hesitation. The Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 wireless earbuds are an affordable alternative. The earbuds feature impressive noise cancellation, clear sound, and built-in microphones for making phone calls. A single charge lasts 7 hours, and the carrying case provides an additional 25 hours.
Anker PowerCore III 10K Power Bank
Most smartphones today feature wireless charging, and Anker’s PowerCore III is a wireless power bank. The 10,000 mAh lithium-ion battery can recharge phones more than a dozen times using a wireless connection. But you can also use the USB-A or USB-C outputs to charge other devices like tablets and earbuds on the go.
SPOT Gen 4 Satellite GPS Messenger
Even in today’s world of 5G cellular networks, coverage is not a guarantee. That’s when the SPOT Gen 4 Satellite GPS Messenger comes to the rescue – or rather, calls for the rescue. The personal locator beacon uses a direct satellite connection to transmit your GPS location to a secure network in case of emergency, and local authorities are notified. Pocket-sized and lightweight, it’s the one item every outdoor lover should carry.
GoPro Hero 11
Twenty years after the first GoPro debuted, they still offer the best action camera. The GoPro Hero 11 features an impressive 5.3K video and 27MP still photo sensor, “HyperSmooth” stabilization, and a waterproof frame straight out of the box. It’s the perfect device for capturing heart-pounding adventures and stunning photos to remember your next vacation.
After the popularity of Tile, Apple developed its own Bluetooth GPS trackers – AirTags. The tiny devices allow the registered owner to track lost or stolen items through the Find My network of Apple smartphones, tablets, and computers. AirTags can play a sound to help you find something nearby, displays on a map when looking for a lost item, and can automatically notify you if the device leaves a certain area.
Slide your smartphone into the ShiftCam ProGrip, and now you can use your phone’s camera just like any other digital camera. The ShiftCam features a comfortable grip with a Bluetooth trigger for capturing photos. The case includes a 6,400 mAh wireless power bank for keeping your phone charged. Rotate the case into landscape or portrait mode, attach it to a tripod mount, or use it as a freestanding dock.
Coffee on the Go
Bodum Bistro Electric Water Kettle
You’ll need boiling water if you want to make espresso or pour-over coffee on the go. The Bodum Bistro Electric Water Kettle is perfect for heating water while traveling. Plug the heating element into an outlet, fill the kettle with water, and you’ll have hot water in about five minutes. The heating element features a retractable cord, making it easy to travel with the device.
Keurig K-Mini Plus
Although not marketed this way, the Keurig K-Mini Plus is the perfect travel coffee maker. The coffee maker uses K-pod coffee, or you can use ground coffee with a reusable K-cup. The water reservoir is filled for each use, and it takes about five minutes to brew a single serving. A removable storage container can hold 12 pods. One of the best features is the retractable power cable – along with the Curmio Carrying Bag, it will be easy to travel with this coffee maker.
Wacaco Minipresso GR
If you enjoy a good morning espresso, the Wacaco Minipresso GR is the best way to make it on the go. Fill the portafilter with ground coffee, fill the water tank with boiling water, and after a few manual pumps of the piston, you’ll have 50 ml of fresh espresso. Along with Wacaco Minipresso Case, it’s easy to travel with this coffee maker.
Cafflano Klassic All-In-One Coffee Maker
The Cafflano Klassic Coffee Maker is an all-in-one coffee maker for creating a savory pour-over coffee. The coffee maker includes a manual burr grinder with a foldable handle, stainless steel cone filter, and a 15.2-ounce tumbler, all in a single body that screws together for easy travel. All you need to add is coffee beans and boiling water to make a great morning brew.
Ember Travel Mug 2
Travel mugs use insulation to keep contents warm. But the Ember Travel Mug 2 uses modern technology – and a lithium-ion battery. Control the settings of the 12-ounce travel mug with an app on your smartphone with up to three hours of use on a single charge. Then, plug the charging coaster into an outlet and set the travel mug down to recharge each night.
Garmin RV 890
Google Maps and Waze are fantastic navigation apps, but they require your smartphone and a strong cellular connection. Although the Garmin RV 890 was designed for RVs and travel trailers, it’s actually the perfect navigation tool for any vehicle. The navigation device comes preloaded with North American maps and uses satellite GPS to track your location. The device features voice-activated controls, turn-by-turn voice navigation, weather reports, and live traffic when connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth.
Hydro Flask Water Bottle
With an 18/8 pro-grade stainless steel body, the Hydro Flask Water Bottle can withstand a little jostling while traveling. Inside, insulation keeps cold beverages chilled for up to 24 hours. With a leak-proof cap and carry handle, it’s the perfect travel companion to keep you hydrated.
YETI Roadie 24
Founded in 2006, Texas-based cooler manufacturer YETI is known for keeping ice frozen for ridiculously long periods in their ginormous coolers. The YETI Roadie 24 is the perfect compromise between size and insulation. With a capacity for 24 cans of your favorite beverage, the pressure-injected polyurethane insulation will keep ice frozen for 3-5 days.
Anker USB Car Charger
Cellphones, tablets, power banks, and headphones. Our lives are increasingly reliable on rechargeable lithium batteries. The Anker USB Car Charger is handy for charging devices while heading down the road. The USB-C port outputs 30W, while the USB-A outputs 12W, capable of keeping smartphones, tablets, and devices charged.
Surviveware First Aid Kit
Hopefully, you will never need a first aid kit while traveling, but if you do, the Surviveware First Aid Kit is the best you could pack. The first aid kit features 200 pieces in clearly marked compartments, making it fast and easy to get what you need in a hurry. The waterproof, durable case will keep the contents ready to use.
Rexing V1P Dash Cam
A dashcam is one of the most essential road trip items for keeping you out of trouble when a car accident becomes a “he said, she said” moment. The Rexing V1P features a 2160P front-facing camera that mounts flush to the windshield and a 1080P camera for the rear windshield. Recording begins as soon as the engine starts, saving footage to a memory card that can be rewritten. Footage can be reviewed, saved, and downloaded to a smartphone using a Wifi connection.
The BioLite FirePit+ is a portable fire pit with a hibachi-style grill grate, adjustable fuel rack for burning wood or charcoal, and a 12,800 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery that powers a fan for the forced air system. Air is pushed through 51 jets surrounding the burn chamber, adding extra oxygen to the fire and creating greater heat that burns off most of the smoke.
And with additional accessories like a cast iron griddle, solid metal lid, and canvas carrying bag, it’s the perfect road trip fire pit. It will be a conversation starter and the centerpiece for long nights of fellowship around a crackling fire.
There are many ways to keep warm while traveling – extra layers, turning up the heat, or a Rumpl blanket. The blanket is made from recycled materials and features the same insulation as sleeping bags. The 52”x75” blanket is also compact, packing into a 7”x16” stuff sack – perfect for traveling.
Adventure Medical Kit .5
Accidents will happen while exploring the great outdoors, and it’s nice to have a great first kit when it happens. The Adventure Medical Kit .5 includes bandages, clean wipes, blister pads, and accessories for treating minor injuries. The kit has a waterproof case to keep the contents in excellent condition until needed.
Black Diamond ReVolt 350 Headlamp
Whether hiking at night or just milling around the campsite after dark, the Black Diamond ReVolt 350 Headlamp can come in handy. The headlamp emits 350 lumens on the maximum setting, and the rechargeable lithium-ion battery can keep it going for 200 hours on the lowest setting. An interesting feature of the headlamp is the option to swap out the lithium-ion battery for AAA batteries, just in case you forgot to charge it.
Unique and Interesting
VinGardeValise Wine Bottle Suitcase
The VinGardeValise Wine Bottle Suitcase solves the problem of how a vinophile flies with wine. The hard-shell suitcase features high-density foam inserts that can hold five 750ml bottles. The TSA-complaint lock will keep the wine secured while rolling through the airport. The suitcase also features a small compartment for personal belongings, enough room for a weekend getaway.
GrowlerWerks uKeg Go Growler
One of the most frustrating aspects of travel is finding great local craft beer only to learn they don’t bottle or can. Growlers are great for taking the beer home, but if you have a long drive – or if you’re road-tripping – it might be difficult. That’s why the GrowlerWerks uKeg Go Growler is so handy. The growler uses CO2 cartridges to keep craft beer pressurized and tasty for days after leaving the brewery.
Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella
All it takes is a single gust of wind to turn an umbrella inside out. But the Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella can withstand the wind and keep you dry. Resin-reinforced fiberglass ribs keep the Teflon-coated fabric secure, while a vent at the top allows wind to blow through instead of flipping it inside out.
The HitchSafe is a nifty way to store a spare key fob, room key, or cash with your vehicle. The interesting device slides into a standard trailer hitch and locks into place. Dial in the customizable four-digit combination to access the small compartment inside.