TripIt says I’ve made 20 trips over 96 days in the last year, and I still have two trips left before the end of 2015! With nearly 1/3 of this year spent traveling, I’ve figured out a few items that definitely make the voyage easier. Do you have a favorite traveler on your holiday gift list? Here’s help.
Many of these items were reviewed by me this year (links are in the product titles), or I purchased them and liked them so much that I wanted to share, or I found them and want one! See what you think, and if you have any other great gifts for those who are impossible to buy for, please mention them in the comments. =)
Simply put, I do not travel without TripIt. When I get new flight or hotel information, I email them to firstname.lastname@example.org, and they are instantly added to my profile, ready for me to insert into their proper travel plan slot. I have had a Pro membership for the past 4 or 5 years, and while the basic account is okay, the $49 Pro account is worth every penny. Not only does the Pro account include notifications about next connections, delays and cancellations with other flight options (and more), it also alerts me when tickets purchased go down in price! TripIt Pro is a travelers best friend.
My criteria for a backpack that I’ll use for longer than during the review period (and that I’ll continue to enjoy carrying) is pretty basic: it needs to be light when empty, durable, good-looking, well-organized, and it must be comfortable to wear when it is inevitably overloaded. The booq Cobra squeeze meets all of my needs and then some. I’ve been all over the world with this $195 backpack, and it has not let me down.
Want to share larger files from your iPad with a friend? Want to back up iPhone content without uploading to the cloud or to a computer? Want to stream movies for the kids to watch on your next car trip? The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick was created so that you could do all that and more. The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick is available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB sizes, and it retails for $25.99, $39.99, $49.99, and $99.99 respectively
I’ve tried on many of the current Android watches, and while I have found much to like about many of them, my favorite by far has been the Huawei Watch. It’s large without being too large on my wrist, it’s round (which I prefer over square), it’s got fantastic build quality, it doesn’t have the “flat tire effect” that other round Android watches have, and although it is a little thicker than I’d prefer, I still think it looks great. Starting at $349.99, it’s not the least expensive smartwatch available, but it is far from the most expensive. I bought an Apple Watch, but if I had it all over to do again, I would have bought this one.
There are roughly one and a half extra charges included in the 5000mAh this battery holds, and that is easily enough extra power to get me through even the most grueling day. I like that I don’t have to press any buttons for it to begin charging my iPhone; it’s just plug and go. Most importantly, the $89.95 Techlink Recharge 5000 fits inside my smallest purse with plenty of room left for my phone, a tube of lip balm, and keys. That, my friends, makes it my favorite power pack. I do not leave the house without it!
Separate BT keyboards are nice, but they are an extra piece of equipment to carry, and they don’t allow for working without a table or other flat surface (incidentally, that is my issue with screen cover keyboards like the one on the iPad Pro or the Microsoft Surface). The $149.99 ClamCase Pro takes all of the things I love about my iPad, but it makes my tablet into the complete laptop replacement package.
The Twist Plus is available in two models: one includes the world adapter and four USB ports; the other includes the world adapter, four USB ports, and a MacBook charging port. The Oneadaptr Twist World Travel Adapter retails for $44.99 without the MacBook plug or $49.99 with the MacBook plug, and it is available from Bite My Apple.
Weighing in at just 2.6 pounds and measuring 12? wide x 7.9? deep x 0.6? thick at its widest point, the XPS 13 is only a little bit bigger than the extremely portable 11? MacBook Air. I realize that it might seem odd to compare a 13? laptop to Apple’s smallest netbook, but because they are so close in size (and because the 11? Air is the smallest laptop I own), the comparison is one that just feels natural for me to make. The fact that the Dell XPS 13 is gorgeous and can hold its own when placed next to other beautiful hardware doesn’t hurt, either.
One of the things I most enjoy on the Dell XPS is its gorgeous 13.3? Quad HD+ 3200 x 1800 touchscreen infinity display. I still marvel at the fact that this screen has such a slim bezel, and I find myself wondering why all other computer manufacturers don’t follow a similar tact.
The XPS 13 comes in various configurations; prices start at $799.99, and the top of the line version I have sells for $1449.98.
Dan and I both absolutely love our Escort Passport Max radar detectors; he originally reviewed it, and then I wrote a follow-up post about the way I use mine in conjunction with the Smart Cord Live. Now Escort has released the upgraded Passport Max2. Want!
Let’s get one thing straight from the start: If someone means to steal your gear, it really doesn’t matter what you stick or attach to it, they are going to remove it and carry off their new acquisition. But I think that the majority of people who come across a bag or mobile device are honest, and the only thing that might keep them from being able to get your gear back to you is that there might not be any way for them to figure out who to contact. The Standard HomingPIN pack retails for $20, and it is available directly from the manufacturer. There is also a Starter pack that includes one loop and tag, one key ring, and four stickers available for $10. I have HomingPin stickers or loops on everything I care about; thankfully I haven’t lost anything since I started using it, but if it happens, I’m ready!
I backed this on Indigogo for Kev, and even though they won’t be here in time for Christmas, a gift certificate saying that a set of these is on its way would be most welcome by anyone who travels regularly. It’s Zipperless Rolltop Luggage with USB charging (carry-on only), a built-in digital scale, and optional location tracking. The set of carry-on and checked luggage goes for $675; the carry-on by itself is $325, and the checked bag is $350; $60 more on each will enable the GPS tracking. Have you ever lost your luggage or had it stolen? If so, then you know this is a totally worth it option. Safe travels!
Nomad Pod for Apple Watch
Get rid of any anxiety you might have that your Apple Watch will die during long flights or crazy days; recharge it with the Nomad Pod. Available in an 1800mAh size ($59.95) or a whopping 6000mAh size ($99.99). The smaller can recharge your Apple Watch repeatedly over a long weekend, and the larger can charge both your watch and most iPhone’s twice! I bought the smaller version, and of course the larger recently came out. Maybe I can re-gift the smaller one (shhh!) and take advantage of the 10% savings on the Nomad site (when you enter your email address) to order the larger Pod — with free shipping, of course. Would that be too terribly tacky? Nahhhh. Decisions, decisions. 😉
Are you inspired? Good luck with your shopping, and have a fantastic holiday season! =D