The Adventurers Holiday Gift Guide For Travelers – 2014
*Note* This post contains affiliate links and/or we may have received something of value in exchange for our review for certain items listed in this post. However, all opinions are our own 🙂
It should come as no surprise to you that experiences are at the top of our holiday wish list this year. In fact, the two of us have set aside our traditional Christmas list in exchange for an extra-special trip to enrich our lives in ways a bunch of stuff just couldn’t match. We are taking a trip to Disneyland in California to run in the first ever Star Wars Half Marathon and we can not wait!
Despite our belief that experiences always trump things we would be remiss if we didn’t put together our own list of traveler must haves as we recognize that the right things can make those trips and experiences even more special. Whether they are things you need while on the go, or things to do when you get there, we have tried to cover all of the best things that any Adventurer would be happy to have! Be sure to bookmark this page for easy reference for later on when you are doing your holiday shopping!
1- The Right Jacket
For our next big trip, we will be traveling from the frozen state of Michigan to warm and sunny California in the middle of January. We are going to need something to keep us warm before we leave and after we return. A winter jacket would be WAY too bulky to fit in our precious luggage space so we need a warm alternative. This fleece-lined full zip jacket is both warm, and compact so it will be perfect for getting through airport security and stowing it in our luggage. Not to mention, it pays homage to our home state with the embroidered design on the front of it so we can represent our “Mitten Love” even out in SoCAl. This awesome jacket is only $36.98 and is available online from one of our favorite places to shop in Northern Michigan, Grandpa Shorter’s!
2- A Good Camera
There comes a time when you have to ask yourself, is my camera really good enough? Now some people without question have all kinds of expensive equipment to take professional photos… but the average every day “Joe” may still be toting that old point-and-shoot camera they picked up at the dawn of the digital age. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a camera in order to get a great picture. DSLR cameras are great but they also take up a lot of room. You may want to check out the latest in point-and-shoot technology and get yourself up to date. This particular camera is the one we use, it’s not the best there is but for the price it takes some incredible photos. All of the Adventurer’s pictures have been taken with this particular camera so you can see the quality. Right now it sells on Amazon for $189, you can find it by clicking here.
3- A Portable Battery Backup
Nothing is worse than a dead cell phone while traveling in a strange city! It’s not always easy to find a plug to charge up and even when you do… you are now stuck there until you get enough of a charge to carry on. So why not carry your own backup power supply? They are lightweight and compact. We use the Lifeguard Mini 1 and have found it to be perfect for our needs. It has enough energy to fully charge a single device or it can be used to boost the charge on multiple devices so that everyone had enough juice to make it through the day. For Chris’s full review on the Lifeguard Mini 1, click here. The + Lifeguard Mini 1 sells for $24.97 and is available on Amazon.com
4- A Travel Journal
A journal is a great way to keep track of your adventurers. Sometimes those vivid memories fade and get foggy as you cram more and more experiences into your trip. Why not record the moment: what you did, how you felt, so that you can relive those memories for years to come. OR, as in our case… we are into Letterboxing and use our journal to collect stamps from hidden places along throughout our trips. We purchased a nice bound journal for around $5 at Target and it should serve us well for years to come.
5- Road Trip Entertainment
Nothing passes the time like some good old fashioned Mad Libs! I mean, what could be funnier than inserting butt and fart jokes into a poor unsuspecting story?! With Chris being a huge geek we (naturally) go for this Star Wars themed book of Mad Libs from Think Geek. At only $4.99 it makes a great stocking stuffer for any kid, or in our case… a grown man lol.
6- A Good GPS
These days every smart phone has a GPS and navigation app available, but using it eats away at your data, drains your battery, and ties up your phone so you can’t do much else. That’s why every traveler should have a stand alone, portable GPS.While there are many on the market, in our experience, nothing beats a Garmin. The latest versions of these units even include real time traffic alerts which we have found to be indispensable. Finding you way around an unfamiliar city can put added stress onto what is supposed to be a relaxing trip. Anytime we travel, whether it is a road trip or a flight we are always sure to pack the Garmin. A decent unit will run you about $100 with unlimited lifetime maps and traffic and can always be found on sale on Amazon.
7- Photo Books For The Memories
We got one of these little books after our first trip together as a spur of the moment, sweet, romantic gesture from Chris. Little did he know that his gesture would start a new tradition. Now after every trip, we document the occasion with a matching photo book from Shutterfly. A 12 x 12 book runs $32.99 and they always run plenty of sales so you are bound to catch a good deal!
8- The Gift Of Experiences!
What better gift could you give than memories that will last a lifetime? Let’s face it, travel is expensive and sight seeing can eat up a lot of money very quickly! One of the first things we do after we choose a destination is to see if there are any discount packages available. Two of our favorites are the City Pass and the Smart Destinations Go Card. Between the two of these they have most of the biggest travel destinations covered and in some cases you have your choice between the two. So far we have made use of these awesome discounts four times in three cities (we did Chicago twice).
Three out of the four times we have chosen the City Pass. In San Francisco, not only did our pass give us unlimited travel on the cities public transportation, but we were also able to see 2 museums, take a cruise, and go to an aquarium as well! The San Francisco City Pass is only $86 per person which is a savings of 50%! To learn more about the SF City Pass visit their website by clicking here. For Chicago, for $94 you can visit 5 of the city’s greatest attractions including the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum! Like San Francisco, this is also a savings of 50% off but the time you save with the line jumping privileges is priceless! To learn more about the Chicago City Pass visit their website by clicking here. There are 11 total cities that offer City Pass discounts so be sure to check them out to see what they have to offer.
Smart Destinations Go Cards are a bit different than a City Pass. They offer unlimited free entry to a huge number of attractions in each of their cities and instead of a single charge they have a per-day pricing system. In Miami, we had 32 activities to choose from for just $65 for the first day. The 2 things we had planned on visiting, Zoo Miami and the Miami Seaquarium, had a cost equal to that of the Go Card so for the same price we were able to visit the Vizcaya Gardens and take a sight seeing cruise at sunset as well! They offer discounts in 9 major cities and you can learn more about them by visiting their website by clinking here.
So there you have it! The Adventurers Holiday Gift Guide For Travelers! Our only hope is that this has inspired you to go out and have your own adventure this holiday.