In the last year we travelled around Michigan, drove to Georgia, flew to California (twice), flew to Oregon, and drove to Nova Scotia via Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick before moving to Mongolia. As we were finishing up partnership development we stayed in people’s spare rooms, basement, guest houses, and hotel rooms.
We’ve gotten pretty good at travelling and good at figuring out what kind of versatile produces were most helpful as our family travelled domestically and internationally. With the holidays approaching, we thought we’d share some of what we learned and the products that have been most helpful for us. Maybe they’d be a great gift idea for someone on your list!
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1. Quality Carry-on
These carry-ons are lightweight and easily convert to backpacks, making it easy to navigate airport terminals and taxis. I opted for the Osprey Porter 46 in mineral teal, Cory got the larger Fairpoint 55 with detachable daypack in jasper red.
2. Anti-Theft Backpack or Purse
We’ve been warned by nearly everyone we’ve met here about pick-pocketers. We know we’ve been targeted at least once (you can read about how Cory foiled a pick-pocketer here) which means we’ve probably been targeted many more times.
To limit the possibility of being pick-pocketed we each got PackSafe backpacks and I got a Travelon Purse. They have locking zippers so pick-pocketers can’t easily open them, mesh sewn into the fabric to prevent slash-and-grabs, and RFID protectors.
We love our backpacks. We use them for school and for shopping (we put the heavy cans and bottles in our backpacks and keep the lighter stuff in the grocery bags). My only regret is that my bag (LX400, Tweed Grey) doesn’t have an external pocket for my waterbottle like Cory’s does (Vibe 20, Black).
I chose the Travelon Heritage Hobo Purse because it has multiple locking pockets, was big enough for a book or tablet, and was flexible fabric. It’s perfect for when I don’t want to carry my backpack but still need to take my stuff with me.
3. Kindle (with case!)
I love paper books. I love to read them, I love the way they look, I love the idea of them. So it hurt me to get a Kindle. But, because we’re now live in a country with limited opportunities to buy paper books in English, a Kindle provides access to almost all the books I want to read (including loans from my local library!).
I opted for the paperwhite with this simple case because I wanted it to be small and look as much like I was reading a paper book as possible. I like the no-glare screen and have recently connected it with GoodReads. If I could do it over, I’d probably get the waterproof one (it seemed like an unnecessary luxury at the time but I can see how it’d come in handy).
Cory and LeYanna got Kindle Fires with the capability to read books and comics in color, watch videos, and listen to music. LeYanna, especially appreciates the color. We saved some money by buying refurbished Kindle Fires.
Cory and LeYanna both opted for this thin, simple case. I got a cute one that’s no longer for sale…and has a little crack in it already, so I wouldn’t recommend it anyway.
4. Scratch-Off Map of the World
We got this map as a Christmas present for our college-aged niece last year for Christmas. She loved it! And she’s been able to scratch off a few countries already.
5. Water Bottle with Filter
In many countries, including our new home, it’s unsafe to drink the tap water. This is a simple and cheap water bottle + filter combo. It was helpful for us in our first few days here and will be helpful when we travel to the countryside.
What other great gift ideas do you have for travelers? Leave your favorite gift ideas in the comment section below.
As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. That means if you click through one of the links above or below and buy something, we’ll get a small commission, which we’ll probably use to buy Christmas presents or more books for our Kindles 🙂 Again, this costs you nothing. And we only recommend products we use an like and think might be helpful to you.
These links below are supposed to be pictures…if they’re not, I’m sorry…I’m still trying to figure this thing out 🙂