It’s that time of year again – the holidays! This past year I’ve had plenty of opportunities to try out various travel gizmos and gadgets — some were awesome, others not so much. Today, I’ll recommend 5 of the awesome ones as potential gift ideas for the holiday season:
Whenever I talk about my Steripen I feel like I’m pitching it on an infomercial, but I honestly could not be happier with the product. If you’re in a country where the tap water is not potable, this is the perfect solution. It’s fast, easy and small to carry. You simply put the pen in your water, stir for about a minute and then your water is safe to drink. It saves you money by not having to buy bottled water and it’s great for the environment because you don’t have all of those plastic water bottles to put into land fills. Mine uses 4 AA batteries, so I use rechargeable batteries and carry my small recharger.
When I saw how cheap these were on Amazon, I thought there was no way they were going to be good quality, and even if they were, they wouldn’t last. I was wrong. These things are awesome, durable and have lasted about a year with almost daily usage. I’m able to fit all of my clothes in 3 of these bags. So when I unpack I simply pull the 3 bags out and I’m done. They’re easy to repack and after you roll the air out and they pack very small.
I had a tough time finding a good daypack. I wanted something that could hold a good amount of stuff, but not be a pain when I had my main backpack (or suitcase). Eventually I found these great nylon backpacks. When empty they can easily be folded and stored in my main bag. As a daypack, it’s plenty big to fit a couple water bottles, a guide book and some snacks. (Note: This picture isn’t exactly what I purchased, but was the closest one I could find on Amazon. Here’s a real picture.)
It’s difficult taking pictures with you in it. The Gorilla Pod makes it really easy. The flexible legs allow you to put the camera practically anywhere. (Tip: Look on eBay for a knock-off. They’re basically the exact same thing, but a quarter of the price.)
This one may seem a little strange, but it’s a lot of fun seeing how many steps you take in one day of sightseeing. On any given day, you’re supposed to get in at least 10,000 steps a day — which is actually pretty difficult if you’re sitting on your computer all day long. But in a solid day of sightseeing it’s possible to do 30,000 steps if not more.
Jason Demant is the founder of UnAnchor.com, where you can find detailed do-it-yourself travel itineraries for your next trip. For the latest on travel-writing you can follow him on Twitter @UnAnchor, or join the I Love Travel Writing Facebook group.
Full Disclosure: All links to Amazon are affiliate links and by using them you support my travel habit. You’re awesome!