This travel gift guide series features useful products that we hand-selected for all types of travelers. We’re big on practicality and usability that can suit the needs of any travel style, so these items are perfect for a road trip, weekend getaway, international trip, or any other type of vacation. In fact, while you’re buying these items for a friend or family member, you may even want to consider treating yourself. Stay tuned for Best Gifts for Travelers, Part 2 — coming soon.
Editors’ Pick: Travel Coffee Press with Tote Bag
Let’s be real, you can’t get a good cuppa joe everywhere you travel, so why not make your own? As coffee drinkers, we both love the idea of a portable press. You’ll not only save money in the long run, but you also don’t have to wonder when the last time the coffee maker in your hotel room was cleaned (metallic-tasting coffee is the worst!). Since this press can be taken apart and zipped up into the handy travel bag that comes with it, it fits nicely into a suitcase or backpack.
The Aerobie AeroPress brand in particular has gotten rave reviews for quality and ingenuity, which makes this portable coffee maker more attractive than others. Wired summed up their review with: “Brews the perfect cup every time. Clean-up takes seconds. Endless variations on method. Lots of optional accessories.” While you’re at it, buy some Trang Nguyen coffee grounds (a high-quality Vietnamese brand) to make a delicious brew.
Editors’ Pick: Packable Daybag
• If your checked bag is too heavy, throw some clothes into the day bag and carry it on instead of paying an overweight baggage fee.
• Going on a bus ride and need to stow your luggage under the bus? Pack necessities and valuables into the day bag and keep it with you.
• You’re going shopping (for clothes, groceries, whatever) and you need an extra bag. Voila! Just carry this with you and you have it if you need it. If not, keep it packed away.
Smartphone Case with Built-In Storage
Since you’re already going to bring your smartphone with you wherever you go and protect it like it’s your child, you might as well store some other valuables with it, too. This case can hold cash; ID, credit, debit, or business cards; and a car, house, or hotel room key. It’s not a purse replacement (if you overload it, it won’t close properly), but if you only need your ID, hotel key and a credit card when you go out for lunch or to the theater, then this is a great option.
So many people swear by packing cubes, and we don’t blame them. They condense the contents of your bag so you can potentially pack more and also help section off your clothes so they’re easier to find (for example, you can pack the large one with pants, the medium one with shirts, and the smallest one with undies). They come in all sorts of colors, sizes and materials so you can choose the style that’s right for you. Everyone and their mother is selling them on Amazon.
Travel-Size Sudoku Book – or other games!
Distractions are a must when traveling, and it’s so nice to take a break from electronics. Sudoku is a challenging, yet fun, solo game. Like other puzzles, you can buy a small book that contains scores of puzzles with varying levels of play, and it barely takes up space in your bag. Other great travel game options are a simple deck of cards, Yahtzee, a travel-size chess/checkers board, Friday (a solo board/card game) and Onirim (a solo card game).
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Yahtzee! and another fav, Sudoku- necessities!