2016 Holiday Gift Guide for Travel Buffs: Day 2
Our ultimate, somewhat-reasonable, rather esoteric, yet unabashedly biased holiday gift guide continues, with an emphasis today on mobility. Here are some of our favorite curated finds, along with our own touch of shameless self-promotion.
If you’re anything like us, you’re amazed how much your mobile phone has become your go-to camera when traveling. Don’t get us wrong: we love our prosumer SLR. But (many) more times than not, it’s our iPhone we turn to for those spur of the moment, gotta-move-fast photos. The one thing our phones haven’t been is a photo-party-to-go. Readers of a certain age (we won't say if that includes us) will remember the old Polaroid Instamatic that enabled folks on the go to snap, print and share photos—little souvenirs that you can’t buy from a shop. As Uncommon Goods puts it, “Retro appeal meets high-tech design in this easy-to-use instant photo printer.” We’re feeling wistfully new-fangled about our next trip already.
Trakrs are great. These little Bluetooth tags help us find our keys, especially in those black holes called hotel rooms. That is, when we haven’t lost our mobile phone, too. Of course, these little beacons won’t help you find your lost luggage if it’s out of Bluetooth range. For that, our readers may already know that our Barracuda Carry-on Bag has an optional Bluetooth/GSM/GPRS tracker, so you can see your bag, wherever it is in the world. Which might still happen with a few airlines these days, but we aren’t naming names. We’re secretly hoping the dev team here in Barracudaville has plans for an airline ticket sleeve with tracker, too. Because if we forget to stuff our tickets into our Barracuda Carry-on as we go through Security, it’s surprising how often we lose ‘em.
Okay, the business travelers in your life probably already have a Mophie Juice Pack, the popular brand of case-and-extra-battery charger packs for mobile phones. We do—partly because they’re a travel essential for anyone who’s busy taking photos, using Google Maps, Snapchatting the kids, and texting the love of our lives (yes, that practically always means you). And partly because it’s just fun to say the word “Mophie” out loud. But here’s the deal: We’d probably stick with the Mophies we have, instead of going out of our way to get a new one. So, that’s where the aforementioned "you" come in. As Extra Pack of Peanuts points out, the Mophie Juice Pack Air is new this year, and it essentially gives you 200% more battery power. Between that and the optional 10,000 mAh USB battery pack in our Barracuda Carry-on (enough to juice our mobile phone 5X) we should be ready to conquer the world. Or at least not go crazy trying to find an airport power outlet.
Maybe it’s just us (wouldn’t be the first time), but it just isn’t the holidays without “It’s a Wonderful Life,” a bottle of 25-year-old Bowman Islay single malt scotch, and our favorite stocking stuffer—the thoroughly unsexy, but hugely appreciated iTunes Gift Card. The higher the cash value, the better, of course. But wait. Isn’t this antithetical to the whole idea of giving a personal, heartfelt gift? Whatever. For travelers, long flights are a lot more bearable when you’re able to pull up your own choice of inflight entertainment, instead of whatever’s offered by the airlines (no, we don’t want to watch “Sully” or “United 93” inflight). Trust us, don’t even think about it: Get us an iTunes Gift Card.
To go along with aforementioned iTunes Gift Card. And the Speck Pocket VR, now that we think of it. These puppies pack noise-canceling features and Bluetooth connectivity so you can tune out your seatmates and enjoy a great movie of your own choice with as much clear sound as possible. Add in that Carry-on Cocktail Kit we posted about yesterday, and suddenly even coach isn’t sounding so bad.
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And look for more of our 2016 Gift Guide for Travel Buff Series though December 25!
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