Nikon

Holiday gift ideas for the active traveler

Parents hard to buy for? Want to treat yourself? Check these out.

With the holidays approaching, folks are asking about gift ideas for the active traveler. Here are some favorites we added this year that make travel more fun, safe or efficient with links for additional info. You’ll see a theme here – compact and lightweight – which is influenced by my backpacking days and our wish to travel with only carry-on luggage.

Active traveler gift ideas under $25

Power strip with USB charging ports

UPWADE outlet travel power strip with USB charging ports – $15.99
Seems we travel with more electronics than ever, and they all need charging at the same time. Camera batteries, bike lights, phones and tablets used to mean pulling out hotel furniture to get to all the wall outlets, leaving our room a hazardous maze of wires and chargers. Now things are neat and easy. We picked an UPWADE power strip that is super compact, lightweight and dual voltage for trips abroad.

Portable cell phone power bank

Lumina portable cell phone power bank – $24.99
We rely on cell phones for travel navigation whether biking, hiking or city walking. We used to cycle navigation software on and off to stretch the phone’s battery life. Now we travel with a portable power bank that can recharge our phones up to six times before it needs charging. We chose Lumina for its compact size, light weight and its ability to charge two devices at the same time.

Folding baseball cap

Folding quick-dry travel hat – $22.95
Sounds silly, but my folding hat saves space in my luggage and fits in my back pocket when not in use. The material is moisture-wicking and side vents keep my head cooler and dryer than other hats. UPF 30 sun protection is an added benefit.

Folding baseball cap

Active traveler gift ideas around $100

eBags convertible backpack

eBags Mother Lode Weekender Convertible Junior backpack – $89.99
I went searching for a new travel bag that fits under an airline seat to avoid luggage charges from discount air carriers and discovered the eBags brand. It’s rare to find innovation in luggage – most is just slight variations on the same “me too” theme. But the eBags folks have done some different things with design, materials, etc. that have made me a big fan. My Mother Lode Weekender Junior has an organizer for small items, spot for my laptop and plenty of room for clothes and gear. Wear it as a backpack or stow the straps and carry it as a suitcase. When B saw mine she grabbed it for herself and I had to order another. My globe-trotting son-in-law saw the bag and wanted one too. eBags usually has promotional discounts and opportunities to earn credit toward a future purchase.

Amazon Prime membership

Amazon Prime one-year membership – $99
If you or that special someone on your list does not have Amazon Prime this is a great gift for any traveler. Traveler you say? Yes. Once we broke a pair of sunglasses with reader lenses while traveling abroad. Amazon Prime had a new pair delivered to our hotel in two days. Then there was the time in Key West when we wanted a special coffee as a thank you for our housing host. Not available on the island but no problem for Amazon to get it to us with free Prime shipping. Realize you need a couple of last minute things while packing? We’re fortunate to live in an area where Amazon has same-day free shipping on many items for Prime members. Added benefits are free movie downloads for airplane flights and digital music for rocking down the highway.

Gift idea for a real splurge

Nikon D3400 camera

Nikon D3400 camera – $396.95
Even outside our work on the blog, B and I really enjoy travel photography. We’ve traveled with a variety of point and shoot cameras, many of which are excellent. And we’ve traveled with our Nikon pro gear for professional shoots – great shots but very heavy to lug around. This year we sought something in between and landed on the Nikon D3400 SLR camera. It’s easy to operate and can be fully automatic if you wish. The eyepiece makes it easy to use in bright daylight or when your reading glasses aren’t close by.

Nikon D3400

The ability to change lens or adjust aperture and shutter speed give us more creative control. And the 3400’s video rivals that of more expensive systems. I used to breathe a sigh of relief when I got home from traveling and could backup my photos somewhere besides the camera. The Nikon D3400 has Bluetooth that copies photos to your phone and to the web on the fly. This is a great gift for yourself, or a chance for the family to all chip in and buy something special for mom or dad. There are several options of lens bundles to suit your budget and needs.

Disclaimer: We purchased all of the above items after extensive research and are happy to recommend them without reservation. But we do want to disclose that, if you purchase any of these items through the links provided, we receive a small commission. This helps offset future gear purchases and travel. The prices shown were correct at the time or writing, but are subject to change.