No one travels because they like packing a suitcase (ok maybe one of you does). No one flies because they like those cheap airplane seats. No one wants to be stuck to a map their whole trip. These aren’t the reasons we travel. We travel to explore, party, meet people, experience, and learn. Everything else just gets in the way. But why let them? Although these gifts can’t emilinate all those hassles entirely, they’ll certainly make everything a whole lot easier.

National Geographic Phone Plan:

National Geographic Phone PlanDoes your traveling beloved one not call home enough? Do they always say “I didn’t have service” or “it’s too expensive”?  Here’s a gift that gives them no excuse. The National Geographic phone plan service lets you buy or rent a world enabled phone or buy a sim card for your own world phone all for a flat rate. Enabled to work in over 200 countries, they are going to have to call home. When they are truly in the outback, you can leave them voicemails or send them text messages for when they return. No service plans or contracts makes the phone ideal for both the frequent traveler who rapidly moves from country to country or the dabbler who goes on their yearly vacation. Compact and lightweight, the giftee can’t even use that as an excuse. With flat rates, you’ll always know how much it costs you, and free calls are available in over 70 of the most traveled to counties around the world.  With the option to keep your own number, the frequent traveler may even want to permanently adopt the National Geogrpahic plan. Preloaded with $30 of credit, this also makes the perfect safety gift for your loved one abroad. Even as an emergency device, the phone is indispensable. Able to be loaded with more minutes on the go, instantaneous world wide connection is a breeze. Starting at $59 for the phone or SIM


Trackstick Mini:

Trackstick Mini

Trackstick Mini

Have you ever heard someone say “I wish I could remember where I took this picture”? Or perhaps, “I’m not sure exactly where I was but…”? Or, “I wish I could find that spot again”? If so, the Trackstick Mini is exactly what they need. This is the most hassle free “where was I” product out there. From jungle trekker to around the world flyer, the Trackstick takes all the work out of travel tracking. The ultra small, Li-ion gps tagger automatically tracks wherever it goes. All you have to do is drop it in a purse, backpack, or pocket, and it will take care of the rest. With 80 hours of battery life and a vibration sensor designed to tell when it’s on the move, it can last over a week of constant travel without needing a charge. When your trip is over, simply plug it into your computer, and it will generate a google map of precisely where it’s been. With the freely included software, you can upload your pictures and it will automatically geotag them. No more head scratching or “where was that?”. Rugged enough to handle the roughest, wettest journeys, you can literally take it anywhere. Altimeter, temperature, and velocity measurements give you more accuracy than you ever need. Buy now from Amazon $189.00.


Eagle Creek Pack-it Specter Folder:

Eagle Creek Travel Gear  Specter Packing Folder

Eagle Creek Travel Gear Specter Packing Folder

Whew.  That’s quite a mouthful. So what does it do? It’s a clothes folder. Unless you’ve ever worked for a clothing store and had to fold shirts all day, you’re probably like the majority of us travelers and have no idea what you’re doing when it comes to folding shirts. Whether bought as a gift or for your own use (perhaps just get two?), this will save all those last minute packers who need to catch a flight in an hour or check out of a hotel five minutes ago. Fold and stack a whole traveling wardrobe in minutes, then stick the convenient package directly into your bag. You or your traveling partner can keep out the wrinkles while easily organizing your clothes. For heavy packers, compartmenalization for all styles is a breeze, and you can even save one for laundry, as the water resistant, durable plastic will seal off odor or keep fresh clothes fresh. For business travels, fold up your business shirts or pants, keeping them wrinkle free, and stick the Specter in your briefcase next to your laptop.  Buy now from Amazon $32.00.


SOG Powerassist Multitool:

SOG Powerassist Multitool

SOG Powerassist Multitool

Anyone who has ever looked into buying a multitool will have found that there are hundreds of available options, all of them nearly identical. So where do you begin?  How about we just skip to the end: the SOG Powerassist. Sure, it comes with the same basic instruments as every other Multitool, but a few key features set it apart. The ultra-durable blades and pliers will make short work of whatever you need to cut through or manhandle. The powerassisted, locking blades allows for fast access and safe use. The upgradable design makes cleaning and customization a breeze, making it the perfect gift for even the pickiest person. The Powerassist comes in many makes and models, including one with a C4 punch. Your everyday traveler probably won’t need one of those, but the eleven tools in the base model should be enough for nearly every situation from trekking emergencies to fixing the leaky faucet in your guesthouse bathroom. Buy now from Amazon $55.99.


Bose Quiet Comfort 15:

Bose Quietcomfort

Bose Quietcomfort

Although these are great headphones for any occassion, the Bose QC15s are the perfect pair for the frequent flier. They actively listen to incoming ambient noise, then create antinoise to cancel out all those unwanted distractions. What does this mean for the wearer? The headphones dramatically cut down the constant drone of airplanes, busses, and airports, seemingly creating a bubble of near silence around the wearer.  This means that one can listen to any music they want without having to blare it into their own ears. While these headphones will cut out a lot of noise, they won’t entirely drown out all sound, so you can still hear the flight attendant asking you of you want a beverage. Designed for excellent sound quality and long-use comfort, you might find the giftee wearing them far after they deplane. Buy now from Amazon $299.00.

While these gifts, meant for both the seasoned traveler and the globe trotting novice, won’t help your plane go any faster or your hotel room any cheaper, they will certainly help you get more for your time and money. Traveling isn’t always stress free, but it can be hassle free.


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