Are you making your list and checking it twice? Instead of including the usual electronics on your holiday wish list, consider the gift of travel. Of course you might need to purchase some additional items to make your trip safe and healthy, so we asked our members and employees for their recommendations to compile a list of some of the best travel gifts.
Here’s a list of 14 must-have gifts for people who love to travel.
1. American Alpine Club Membership.
If you save on gear and clothes, you’ll be able to spend more money actually doing what you love: climbing. That’s the thought behind an American Alpine Club Membership. Members can access national discounts on lodging, clothing brands, guide services and gym memberships. A regular AAC membership is $85. There are options for student, military and family memberships.
2. Outdoor Research Splitter Gloves.
Global Rescue Safe Travel Partner Kel Rossiter of Adventure Spirit Rock+Ice+Alpine Experiences recommends these “crack climbing gloves” to his client-climbers. Eliminating the need for tape, the Splitter Gloves wrap suede and non-slip synthetic leather around the hand, holding in place with finger loops and a wrist attachment.
3. Iridium satellite phone.
If you are traveling in an urban area, your cell phone is sufficient. But if you’re going remote — or there’s an unexpected event where cell phones aren’t an option — you may want to purchase a satellite phone as a backup communication device. Harding Bush, associate manager of operations at Global Rescue, recommends an Iridium satellite phone. This is one of the best travel gifts you can purchase for adventure enthusiasts.
“There are a few different satellite systems but Iridium is the only one that truly has worldwide coverage,” Bush said. “The Iridium satellites are low earth orbit, so the satellites fix on the phone rather than the phone having to remain stationary and fix on the satellites. With an Iridium phone you can walk, drive, sail and fly and still maintain communications.”
Global Rescue also has a helpful breakdown of the different types of satellite phones.
4. Environmental protection for cell phones.
Extreme cold and shifts in temperature can damage and affect the functionality of your phone and its battery life.
“Most smart phones were designed to operate in temperatures above 32 degrees Fahrenheit,” Bush said. “There are numerous products available that resemble wetsuits or sleeping bags for your phone. These will enhance the battery life and functionality of your phone in extreme cold weather.”
5. Buff Multifunctional Headwear.
It’s a cap. It’s a hair tie. It’s a neck warmer. It’s a headband. Buff Multifunctional Headwear can be worn 12 different ways so you can adapt its use to your environment. The fabric, made from recycled bottles, is a moisture-managing microfiber that is wind resistant and controls odor.
6. Luggage Forward.
Send bags right to your stateroom on a cruise ship. Have your skis waiting for you on the slopes. With Luggage Forward, you can ship your luggage — or skis, snowboards, bikes, golf clubs and more — directly to your destination, even overseas. (The electronic customs management system submits all the required forms for you.) You’ll receive a notification when your bags arrive. Pricing depends on weight and destination, but Luggage Forward offers a handy price estimator online.
7. The gift of travel.
Give the gift of travel with &Beyond’s Travel Vouchers for Africa, Asia or South America. You can purchase vouchers in any denomination (minimum value of $100) and they will be delivered to you via a PDF email attachment. WHOA Travel also offers gift cards for the adventurous woman in your life. Any denomination can be purchased and applied to a WHOA Adventure, such as exploring Machu Picchu or standing on top of Africa’s highest mountain.
8. A wrist mounted GPS.
Want to know where you are at all times? A member of Global Rescue’s operations team never travels without his wrist mounted GPS. He recommends Garmin’s Fortrex 401 “because there is nothing to plug in while you are out in remote or austere environments. I just roll some extra triple AAAs in my bag when I’m going out for four days,” he said.
Another option is the Garmin Instinct Rugged GPS Watch, offered by L.L. Bean. It is built to military standards and has GPS, GLONASS and Galileo global navigation satellite systems to track your location.
9. Good Day Chocolate.
It can be hard to get a good night’s sleep while traveling. Doctor-founded company Good Day Chocolate offers a sleep chocolate supplement made with fair-trade milk chocolate, coloring from fruits and vegetables and non-GMO ingredients. Each piece has one milligram of melatonin – you can take one to two pieces 30 minutes before bedtime for a good night’s sleep. Who knew chocolates could be one of the best travel gifts? Individual boxes for travel are available and, during the holidays, a Travel 4 Pack box and an Athlete 4 Pack box.
10. Toughshell Waterproof Upland Jacket.
This is one of Orvis’ toughest, most technical, waterproof jackets. It stands up to briars, brush, switch grass, thorns and withstands any weather Mother Nature offers: wet, windy and snowy conditions. Reviewers applauded the Upland jacket’s design for hunting enthusiasts: spacious shoulder room, adjustable open wrist outlets and well-placed pockets.
11. Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders.
Atlas Obscura, updated in October 2019 with 97 new destinations and 12 new city guides, is chock full of breathtaking photographs, natural wonders, architectural marvels and curious events. Discover wonder without leaving your home — but we can guarantee you’ll be inspired to plan an adventure.
12. Iceland Adventure.
Ker & Downey offers an Iceland Adventure, where travelers can enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Mother Nature’s playground. Soak in a geothermal spring, take a snowmobile ride on a glacier, descend into a dormant volcano, or drive a sledge with a team of huskies and a professional musher. Ker & Downey will create a luxury travel package customized to your personal travel tastes.
13. Nest Cam Indoor.
Need a second eye on your home while you are away? Consider a Nest Cam Indoor security camera. It plugs into an outlet and, once you’ve downloaded the app, sends a phone or email alert when something happens at home. If you’re in a remote area and miss an alert, you can see photos of activity from the last three hours. Nest Cam Indoor starts at $199. The Nest Cam Indoor can be one of the best travel gifts for giving you or a loved one peace of mind when traveling.
14. Global Rescue Membership.
Flu-like symptoms? Twisted ankle? For Global Rescue members, help is just a phone call away. Global Rescue’s life-saving advisory and evacuation services deliver expert help to get you back home safely. Annual travel memberships start at $329.
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