The holiday season is nearly upon us, and it’s time to start thinking about what gifts we want to give our friends and family. For the travelers in our groups, there are plenty of tech-friendly tools and toys that would make the perfect gift or stocking stuffer.
Let’s look at some of the best tech travel gifts of 2018.
1. Amazon Kindle Fire HD 10 ($100)
There’s nothing worse than being stuck on a long flight without a book to read or access to Netflix. For the traveler who spends a lot of time in the skies, consider an Amazon Kindle Fire HD 10. This 10-inch tablet can do anything the smaller fires do, with the added convenience of a 10-inch HD screen. It’s on sale for $100 — $50 off the list price — for Black Friday, so you’ll need to jump on this sale quickly!
2. Solgaard Lifepack ($159)
No one wants to get stranded with a dead phone battery, especially when the nearest charging outlet is miles in the opposite direction. The Solgaard Lifepack is a high-quality backpack that doubles as a charger for your electronic devices. You don’t have to plug in this backpack though. It’s got a solar panel that charges the onboard battery pack. If you’ve got someone on your list who spends a lot of time in the wilderness, this product can be a great gift option.
3. HP Sprocket ($119.95)
Cellphones are great for taking pictures when you’re on the go, but not as good at printing these memories so that you can keep them forever. The HP Sprocket is a portable printer that can be synced to a computer or phone and allows you to instantly print your pictures on 2×3″ sticky-backed paper.
4. Sunsheln TPMS Tire Pressure Monitoring System ($35.99)
Getting stuck with a flat tire can sideline an entire trip. This solar-powered tire pressure monitoring system by Sunsheln allows you to remotely monitor the pressure in each tire so that you can catch problems before they leave you stranded. It can also save someone money on their road-trip-related fuel costs — keeping your tires properly inflated can improve your car’s fuel economy, meaning that you can go longer between trips to the gas station.
5. GoTenna ($109.79)
For those friends who like to go off the grid but still want to stay in touch while they’re out there, there’s GoTenna. These little devices sync to your phone and allow you to send text messages or even make phone calls when there’s no cell signal — as long as you’ve got another goTenna device nearby. The partner app also includes offline maps for many areas in the world, making it a useful tool for hiking or traveling in unfamiliar countries.
6. MeFoto Backpacker Air Travel Tripod ($119)
A tripod can help even hobbyist photographers take amazing photos, but hauling one with you while you’re traveling can be a nightmare. The MeFoto Backpacker Air Travel Tripod folds up to just 10.4 inches and weighs next to nothing, so it’s easy to stuff it into your carry on bag or backpack.
7. Altec Lansing Mini LifeJacket Bluetooth Speaker ($69.99)
When it comes down to it, phone speakers just don’t cut it for listening to music. The Altec Lansing Mini LifeJacket Bluetooth Speaker is about the size of a water bottle, provides awesome sound quality and has 16 hours of battery life per charge. Plus, it can double as a phone charger if you’re out in the wilderness and well away from the nearest outlet.
8. GoFar ($149)
Gas mileage in a car will vary depending on driving conditions, car maintenance, and even tire pressure — you can’t always go by what was on the sticker when you bought the vehicle. GoFar is a nifty little device that sits on your dash and tracks your car’s fuel efficiency, both with LED lights on the device and through an app on your mobile phone. If you’ve got a traveling friend who’s concerned about the cost of gas, this is a great gift idea.
9. Trac-Grabber ($49.99-$120)
If you’re traveling off-road — or even on-road during snowy conditions — traction can be a problem. If you get stuck, you might not have enough of it to pull yourself out, which is where Trac-Grabber comes in. You simply wrap it around the tire, and it gives you some additional traction for pulling yourself out of sand, mud or snow — anywhere you might get stuck. Then, just pull it off, stash it in the handy bag, and you’re on your way.
10. Google Daydream View ($99)
If you’ve got a friend who would love to travel but doesn’t have the time or money to do so, the Google Daydream View can be a great option. It turns your phone into a VR headset and allows you to travel to far away or even fictional places. Sure, you can use it to fight off zombie hordes or save a damsel in distress, but for someone who wants to travel and can’t, it can be a great alternative.
Buying gifts for your friends or family members who love to travel doesn’t mean you have to buy them plane tickets or luggage. A techie gift like the ones we’ve listed above can be a great alternative, so get shopping!