Ideas for Travelers
Over the course of 2019 I’ve seen a lot of travel-related items – some that I thought were brilliant, and some that I thought were completely unnecessary. The following items are the brilliant ones! Make the traveler in your life happy this year! And of course, you should purchase yourself these travel items too… 🙂
myQ Smart Garage Hub
I’m starting my gift guide with the myQ Smart Garage Hub because you should start with it too. I installed mine in under half an hour with our existing garage door opener and, since then, I’ve been able to control our garage door from my phone (via the myQ App) from anywhere. It’s great to be able to let guests or our pet-sitter in remotely, or set them up in the app to have their own access. But just as importantly when you link the myQ App with the Amazon Key App, Amazon Prime delivery personnel can leave packages inside your garage. We tend to purchase things via Amazon Prime when we’re traveling, and now we don’t need to worry about package safety when we’re not at home. And if it’s raining or snowing it’s great knowing that anything we order is nice and dry in the garage.
Note: the myQ app is fully functional from everywhere. Key by Amazon delivery is available in 50 cities/areas now and is expanding. Check your coverage here.
Grip2U Phone Case
I love these cases. They’re thin and solid, but they also have a grip band on the back so it’s harder to drop your phone, and I have the model (on the iPhone 11 Pro) with a kickstand, so I can prop up the phone when I’m watching a movie or show.
The Sky Clip
With more airlines doing away with seatback entertainment, we’re watching our own devices now on most flights. I can prop up my phone on my tray table with my phone case (above), but my kids don’t have kickstands on their cases, and you can’t have your tray table up on takeoff and landing anyway. The Sky Clip is simple and inexpensive, but it works perfectly – either as a stand on a table or clipped to the top of the tray table while the table is up.
We order books from Amazon all the time, including books to inspire our travels and books inspired by our travels. These are some of the best we’ve found this year.
All of the most interesting things around the world, and I haven’t previously heard of the vast majority of them. Sometimes I read a section straight through and sometimes I randomly open to a destination and discover something new and amazing – and then make a note of it for the next time I’m planning a trip! So well-curated.
We really enjoy glamping – basically upscale camping where we’re out in nature but not sleeping in sleeping bags! This book is similar to Atlas Obscura in that it highlights a lot of very cool places that we haven’t heard of before, and it’s made our travel wish list longer. And since it’s limited to North American destinations, it’s easy for us to get to any of them during one-week school breaks.
We travel all the time obviously and we explore the food everywhere we go, through local markets, home-based dinners, cooking classes and restaurants where only locals go. Then, we come home and make our favorite things. But we haven’t been everywhere and my wife is constantly trying to bring more new flavors into our home. I asked her what cookbook she’s purchased in the past year that has stood out – she quickly said Sababa by Adeena Sussman, based on Adeena’s use of flavors and creativity.
National Geographic Atlas of the National Parks
The best book on the National Parks that I’ve ever seen. For every park there’s a map and a detailed description of why the park is amazing, plus of course there are excellent photos throughout. Pure domestic travel inspiration.
We never travel without notebooks, and we use them often – for drawing, games, sketching out itineraries and for occupying the kids while we’re waiting for meals. We generally like Nomatic and Moleskin notebooks, but it really doesn’t matter what kind you get. A nice excuse to get the kids off their electronic devices.
I love Mizzen+Main shirts for travel – they’re good-looking, they don’t wrinkle, and they dry quickly if I need to wash them on the go. I’ve worn them while exploring Italian towns at sunrise and camping in Sweden, at a U2 concert in New Zealand, on several boats, to formal occasions and to beach sunsets with my kids, and I’ve slept in them on many flights. Seriously brilliant.
I did a campaign for Pocketalk this month and used their translation device throughout Asia. It works extremely well in allowing you to have a back-and-forth conversation with someone speaking another language – actually any of 74 languages. English is the de-facto international language of tourism, but English proficiency varies greatly by country and, to some extent, by generation. Going forward I won’t travel without this.
I get questions all the time about our packing cubes. They’re simply the eBags Large Classic Packing Cubes from Amazon. We use them on every trip to both limit what all of us can bring and to organize everything – they make it so much easier to unpack when we reach our hotel!
I should note that we’ve never found much use for the smaller sizes. Large cubes work perfectly for us.
I need gift ideas too! If you’ve found something amazing related to travel, please let me know below!
My gift guide this year is sponsored by Chamberlain Group.