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11 Brilliant Gifts for the Traveler in Your Life

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Not all of us get to explore the world as frequently as we’d like—but we all know someone who does. Surprise the globe-trotter in your life with a gift guaranteed to give them better mileage.

1. ORVIS ENGRAVED LUGGAGE TAGS; $39 FOR 3

These brass tags make scanning the luggage carousel for the right bags a little easier. The clips hold firm to zippers and can be engraved with your giftee's name and phone number in the event that they wind up on the wrong side of the world.

Find it: Orvis

2. PRIORITY PASS; $99/YEAR

Airports can be crowded, noisy hubs of activity—but you can help a traveler get a break by opting for a Priority Pass. Membership grants entry into over 850 private lounges (including most major U.S. airports) that offer free drinks, snacks, wifi, and charging stations. And members are allowed to bring a guest, so travel companions don’t need to be left behind.

Find it: Priority Pass

3. GRAND TRUNK ADJUSTABLE PILLOW; $18

Anyone who has ever struggled to adjust a bulky airline pillow to their preference will appreciate Grand Trunk’s innovative design. The travel pillow comes with a cinch cord that allows the user to pack down the filling and create a smaller, firmer head support.

Find it: Amazon

4. NEST CAM; $184

One guaranteed way to distract from the travel experience: constant concern over what’s happening back home. Nest’s HD security camera streams directly to the user's smartphone, allowing them to keep tabs on their property while away.

Find it: Amazon

5. CARRY ON COCKTAIL KIT; $24

Alcohol at 20,000 feet is something of a custom, but travelers can sweeten their drinks above and beyond a flight attendant’s abilities with these kits, available for Old Fashioneds, Moscow Mules, Gin & Tonics, and more. Flavored syrup, napkins, and a mixing spoon are enough to make anyone feel like Don Draper. (Just so long as they don’t actually behave like Don Draper.)

Find it: Amazon

6. OLLOCLIP IPHONE LENS; $80

Smartphones can take incredibly detailed pictures, but their lenses aren’t nearly as versatile as the ones found in commercial cameras—which is where Olliclips comes in. The brand offers clip-on lenses that allow the user to experiment with ultra-wide, macro, and telephoto options.

Find it: Amazon

7. AQUAVAULT; $39

Lock in affection from your favorite traveler by gifting them The Aquavault. The portable safe can be attached to lounge chairs (or bikes) for secure storage of keys, wallets, and other personal items.

Find it: Amazon

8. CORK GLOBE; $129

Tracking past and future travels is as easy as placing a pushpin with this cork globe.

Find it: Uncommon Goods

9. CORD TACOS 5-PACK; $35

Packing up cords for electronic devices can make the inside of a suitcase look like an old mainframe computer. Cord Tacos eliminate the tangle by bunching up wires with one easy-snap enclosure, keeping them from getting knotted together.

Find it: Amazon

10. SOUNDFREAQ BLUETOOTH TRAVEL SPEAKER; $99

Portable gadgets have become a traveler’s constant companion, but many suffer from the same flaw: built-in speakers on tiny devices aren’t designed to impress. Soundfreaq’s sound bar wirelessly connects to a device to offer full, rich audio for music or movies. It’s even splash-proof and water-resistant so your giftee can take it poolside without worrying.

Find it: Soundfreaq

11. BODUM TRAVEL FRENCH PRESS AND MUG; $25 AND UP

If there’s one universal truth of traveling, it’s that hotel room coffee is the worst. Bodum has provided relief to caffeine junkies, whether they're in a suite or at the top of a mountain, with this portable French press that allows for fresh coffee in a 15-ounce stainless steel mug.

Find it: Amazon

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Amazon
15 Smart Gifts for Administrative Professionals’ Day
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Amazon

Without the tireless work of administrative professionals, offices would surely fall apart. This holiday, formerly known as Secretaries Day, is all about showing thanks for their great contributions. It falls on Wednesday, April 26 this year, so there's still time to pick out a thoughtful gift for the people in your office who make life easier for everyone.

1. NESSIE TEA INFUSER; $13

Steeping loose tea is a lot more fun when you can create a cryptid sighting right in your mug. This dishwasher-safe, silicone tea infuser looks just like a baby Loch Ness monster that stores tea leaves in its belly.

Find it: Amazon

2. KNIGHT PEN HOLDER; $30

With this regal display, a good pen will always be close at hand. The resin knight statuette comes with its own refillable black ink pen and works as a nice reminder that the pen is mightier than the sword.

Find it: ThinkGeek

3. MIRA WATER BOTTLE; $19

Give the gift of hydration: These 17-ounce bottles are perfect for carrying water, coffee, or tea. The insulation will keep drinks cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours, and its leak-proof top makes it a mess-free travel companion.

Find it: Amazon

4. CAFFEINE SOAP; $7

Morning showers can be a lot more energized with bars of soap charged with caffeine. The peppermint-scented soap is infused with caffeine, which can be absorbed through the skin (at roughly 200 milligrams per washing) to give a little pre-latte jolt before work. 

Find it: ThinkGeek

5. HANDICORN; $8

Downtime at the office can now mean a visit from a friendly unicorn. The five piece set comes with four hoofed feet and a unicorn head that fit neatly over most fingers.

Find it: Amazon

6. SOLITAIRE CARDS; $18

It's just like the computer game, but in real life! This deck of cards from Areaware uses the original artwork of Susan Kare from the Windows 3.0 Solitaire game. Kare even designed joker cards just for the physical set of cards.

Find it: Amazon

7. RETRO PENS; $7

Note taking is about to go old school with these cute, retro-styled pens. The set of five click-top pens come in satisfying muted colors that would dazzle any '60s corporate employee.

Find it: Amazon

8. PICTURE HANGERS; $11

These paper clips are topped with the recognizable Facebook icon, letting owners give a thumbs up or thumbs down to pictures in real life. Each pack comes with seven clips and a string for hanging up all the best pictures, and perhaps the worst reminders on deadlines.

Find it: Amazon

9. SHEEP PUSH PIN HOLDER; $14

At first glance, this is just a sheep with a lovely wool coat. In reality, this sheep is covered in white push pins that can be easily removed and replaced. The clever pin holder is great for any animal lover with a constant need for thumbtacks.

Find it: Amazon

10. CAT POST-IT HOLDER; $6

Here's another helpful animal office product: A cat that dispenses sticky notes. The whiskered feline comes with one pack of Post-Its and can be refilled with any 3-by-3-inch notepads.

Find it: Amazon

11. 30 DAY CHALLENGE; $12

This charming little note dispenser spits out encouraging words and advice. Geared toward self-care, each note suggests one thing the reader can do to slow down and enjoy each day.

Find it: Urban Outfitters

12. SPACE NOTEBOOK; $4

Jot down notes that are out of this world! This astrological notebook has a nice matte cover and an elastic band to keep it shut. The notebook comes with 256 lined pages for plenty of thoughts on the cosmos, extraterrestrials, or conference call numbers.

Find it: ModCloth

13. CACTUS CANDLES; $12

For the coworker who just can't seem to keep a desktop plant alive, these cactus-shaped candles are almost too cute to light. Each box comes with six candles in three different styles.

Find it: Amazon

14. HEAT SENSITIVE PAC-MAN MUG; $11

Pouring hot liquid into this mug is a lot like turning on an arcade game. As the mug heats up, a Pac-Man game emerges—cherries, ghost, and all.

Find it: Amazon

15. SCRATCH OFF BOOK POSTER; $35

This helpful chart recommends 100 different classic books, dating back to 1605. Each book is illustrated and coated with a gold foil design, which proud readers can scratch off to keep track of—or show off—how many tomes they've tackled.

Find it: ThinkGeek

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Uncommon Goods / Amazon
11 Brilliant Gifts for the Hostess
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Uncommon Goods / Amazon

Sure, you could just buy another bottle of vino. But if you really want to impress that friend known for their Pinterest-worthy fetes, scan this list for a unique gift they’ll want to put on display.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. NEIGHBORWOODS MAP COASTER; $36

Help your pal raise a glass to their beloved hometown or adopted ‘hood! Representing 14 major cities across the U.S. (plus a few in Europe), each cedar coaster in the set of four is etched with a different section of town and serves as a great conversation starter.

Find It: Uncommon Goods

2. BARREL AGED VERMONT MAPLE SYRUP; $20

Consider it a head start on the morning after breakfast. The organic syrup is aged in barrels normally used for rum or bourbon. And while it likely won’t work in a hair-of-the-dog situation, it does make for a delicious pancake topper.

Find It: Uncommon Goods 

3. SUGARFINA 3-PIECE BENTO BOX; $25

A photo posted by Sugarfina (@sugarfina) on

Fill the three slots of this decorative box with a mix of your BFF’s preferred candies—anything from champagne-infused gummy bears to chocolate bacon toffee.

Find It: Sugarfina

4. POETRY MATCH STRIKER; $25

 

They’ll need a way to fire up all the gingerbread- and Christmas tree-scented candles they’re sure to receive. Help them find the light with this glass, apothecary-style jar filled with 120 four-inch matches (there’s a piece of flint on the side for striking) and printed with an inspiring phrase.

Find it: Uncommon Goods

5. ALTER ECO SEA SALT TRUFFLES; $7

Give ‘em a treat they won’t feel compelled to share with their guests. Made with Ecuadorian dark chocolate and a sprinkle of sea salt, these truffles are the perfect salty-sweet combo.

Find It: Thrive Market

6. JANE BAKES COOKIE JARS; $10

Slaving over homemade Christmas cookies not your thing? Save yourself some time and snag a mason jar of these whole grain, high fiber confections. (Read: They’re slightly healthier.) Choose from flavors such as vanilla bean or coconut and caramel.

Find It: Jane Bakes

7. EVERY PERSON IN NEW YORK; $16

Your bestie will make room for this one on the coffee table. The 408-page tome is packed with thousands of artworks Jason Polan sketched during his mission to draw every person in New York. Former Saturday Night Live cast member Kristen Wiig provides the foreword.

Find It: Amazon

8. HOMESICK CANDLES; $30

Provide a scent-sational reminder of their hometown. These soy wax candles (burn time: 60-80 hours) are packed with fragrances reminiscent of each state. New York’s candle has hints of the Adirondack forest, apple orchards, and pumpkin, while Michigan’s has notes of cherries and chocolate.

Find It: Homesick Candles

9. VEGA COFFEE HOLIDAY GIFT BOX; $30

A great buzz: This java is roasted, packaged and shipped from Nicaragua, where climate conditions are ideal for coffee growing. The direct-from-the-farm-to-your-cup setup keeps costs down and helps farmers earn more.

Find It: Vega Coffee

10. STATE SLATE CHEESE BOARDS; $20

Let them serve up that triple crème brie with a side of state pride. You can buy these slate boards—naturally cool to keep the fromage fresh—in the shape of any state or Washington D.C. Or take a stab at unity and buy one shaped like the whole U.S.

Find It: Uncommon Goods

11. VINTAGE BOOKSHELF SCRABBLE; $35

Perfect for your book club host—or just your most verbose pal—this vintage Scrabble game board folds to be stored inside a linen-wrapped book.

Find It: Amazon

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