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Amazon / UncommonGoods

11 Brilliant Gifts For The Traveler in Your Life

Amazon / UncommonGoods
Amazon / UncommonGoods

Many of us have at least one loved one who never can stay in one place for too long. For that frequent traveler in your life, heavy books or gift cards to local restaurants probably aren’t going to cut it. This holiday season, get them one of these products that are made to complement their adventures.

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. ZENDURE PORTABLE CHARGER; $30

Long-haul flyers can take solace in always having a little extra juice for their phones and e-books. Zendure’s portable charger raised more than $216,000 on Kickstarter, for good reason. It’s crush-proof, so no need to worry about it getting squished in suitcases or overhead bins. It turns on automatically when you plug your device in, and it can hold 95 percent of its charge on stand-by for up to six months between trips. It comes in silver or black, and for a few more dollars, you can upgrade to more battery power.

Find It: Amazon

2. THE NEW YORK TIMES: 36 HOURS EUROPE; $40

The wanderlust-prone are sure to find a city they’ve never been to in The New York Times’ book-length collection of their popular “36 Hours” travel series. The newly updated European edition features 130 cities across the continent, with itineraries that highlight the best that each destination has to offer—and shares a game plan for visiting each of them in just one weekend. For those whose travel horizons extend beyond Europe, there are also U.S. and Latin American versions.

Find It: Amazon

3. POLAROID CUBE +; $150

This tiny HD camera will fit in any suitcase, no matter how full. It’s just 1 cubic inch, but can shoot video in full HD or capture 8-megapixel images. It’s waterproof and shockproof, so it’s perfect for rugged adventures and city travels alike. Plus, with a 128° angle lens, it can capture more of the scene than a regular camera.

Find It: Amazon

4. BOSE QUIETCOMFORT 25 ACOUSTIC NOISE CANCELLING HEADPHONES; $300

Every traveler needs a way to block out some of the less glamorous aspects of jet-setting. Bose’s headphones come with a high recommendation from The Wirecutter, whose reviewers spent 30 hours testing 20 different noise-cancelling headphone models. The lightweight, comfy QC25 model has great noise-cancellation, and collapses down to a smaller size for storage.

Find It: Amazon

5. RIFLE PAPER CO. PASSPORT POCKET NOTEBOOKS; $11

Rifle’s passport-themed notebooks are a stylish reminder of the joys of travel. The miniature booklets are the perfect size to carry around in a back pocket or small bag, with 64 unlined sheets and natural vellum pages. They come in packs with two different designs, so if you really like them, you can even keep one for yourself!

Find It: Amazon

6. LOGITECH KEYS-TO-GO ULTRA-PORTABLE BLUETOOTH KEYBOARD; $45

It’s easier to write those emails home on a standard keyboard rather than tapping away at a touchscreen. For those who don’t bring a full laptop on their trips and opt for a tablet or iPad instead, Logitech’s Bluetooth keyboard—available in black, teal, or red—has full-size keys. It's also still light, easy to carry in a bag or even a large coat pocket, spill-resistant, and can be used for up to three months on a single charge.

Find It: Amazon

7. ESPRO STAINLESS STEEL 12 OUNCE TRAVEL PRESS WITH COFFEE FILTER; $35

Road-trip lovers can enjoy great coffee no matter what pit-stops they counter with Espro’s travel brewer, essentially a fancy French press in an insulated cup. It has a two-filter brewing process that eliminates the grit that accompanies French presses, and halts the extraction process once the plunger is pushed down all the way, so your coffee doesn’t continue to brew. No need to strain it out of the cup. The insulation keeps it warm for four to six hours. The cup comes in a few different colors as well as a version made for brewing tea.

Find It: Amazon

8. NATIONAL PARKS EXPLORER MAP; $55

For the roving outdoor explorer in your life, consider this map of some of the best wilderness destinations in the U.S. It comes with tree stickers so they can mark off the national parks they have checked off their bucket list. With 59 parks in total, the vintage-style design shows off the many places that could serve as their next vacation plan.

Find It: Uncommon Goods

9. CITY MAP GLASS; $14

Let your favorite cross-country explorer celebrate their favorite city with tumblers depicting the street grids of some of the biggest metros in the U.S. Designed by the Boston-based Brian Johnson, there are currently 17 different city glasses to choose from, each etched with part of the urban street grid, neighborhood names, and the city’s geographical coordinates. Whether you’re looking to honor someone’s hometown pride or future travel plans, these cups make it easy to toast to some of America’s most exciting destinations.

Find It: Uncommon Goods

10. TRUNKSTER CARRY-ON; $345

The price tag on this one may seem high for a suitcase, but this isn’t just a bag. You can track its location via a smartphone app, and it has a built-in scale to ensure you never go over your maximum weight. There’s a removable power bank with USB ports to charge your devices located on the top of the suitcase. Plus, it’s exactly the size of most airlines’ maximum carry-on luggage allowance.

Find It: Trunkster

11. MEN'S ORGANIZING TRAVEL 4-PACK & WOMEN'S ORGANIZING TRAVEL 4-PACK; $46

Keeping organized on the road can be tough, but these cloth bags make it easy to keep essentials separate and handy. They’re printed with images of what should go inside, whether it’s underwear, a hair dryer, or dirty clothes. There are two sets—labeled as men’s and women’s—with different images, in case your favorite traveler needs a bag for earbuds more than one for a hairdryer.

Find It: Uncommon Goods

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11 Brilliant Gifts for Outdoorsy People
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Research suggests that exposure to nature has a number of health benefits—and at this time of year, your friends and family could probably use all they can get. Make their journey into the great outdoors fun and fuss-free with these gear picks, suitable for a variety of skill levels—from urban glamper to backcountry expert.

1. FJÄLLRÄVEN KEB TOURING DOWN JACKET; $450

These lightweight, intensely squishable down jackets for men and women will keep your camping buddies extra-warm. The outer layer of recycled polyamide features reinforced panels on the shoulders, lower sleeves, and back, while the insulation of 95 percent ethically produced goose down and 5 percent feathers has a toasty 800 fill power. The whole jacket weighs only 150 grams (5.3 ounces)—perfect for ultralight backpacking as well as roasting marshmallows around the campfire.

Find It: Amazon

2. GOAL ZERO LIGHTHOUSE 400 LANTERN AND USB POWER HUB; $80

This compact lantern emits 400 lumens of LED light for spotlight-level brightness, while the dimmable directional lighting feature saves power for extended use. It also recharges fast using USB, solar, or hand-cranked energy. The built-in USB port can juice up phones and other small devices so your pals never miss an Instagram post.

Find It: Amazon

3. BIKE-MOUNTED BOTTLE CARRIER; $40

Handmade in Boulder, Colorado from upcycled bike inner tubes and tent fabric, this convenient six-bottle carrier mounts over a bike frame and safely transports craft brews from fridge to frontier. The insulated sleeves cushion each bottle separately and the carrier includes a handle for toting on foot. Creator Davidson Lewis makes each carrier by hand, so colors and patterns vary.

Find It: Uncommon Goods

4. REI CO-OP FLASH 22 DAY PACK; $55

Ideal for camping or commuting, this 22-liter lightweight pack features a roomy top-loading main compartment with an inner sleeve for hydration reservoir (or laptop or folders), zippered exterior pockets for small items, and two deep side pockets for bottles. The padded mesh back panel, detachable waist and sternum straps, and stretch-mesh shoulder straps offer breathable comfort even when the pack is fully stuffed.

Find It: Rei

5. HESTRA SPORT CLASSIC DEERSKIN PRIMALOFT RIB GLOVES; $130

Inspired by nature's materials, these durable gloves are hand-sewn from North American white-tailed deer skin and insulated with Primaloft polyester for weather-resistant warmth. Hestra's attention to detail is obvious in the super-soft pair's elasticized knitted cuff—which helps the gloves stay on while keeping heat in—and pre-curved fit.

Find It: Amazon

6. YETI HOPPER FLIP 18 COOLER; $300

There are many reasons why Yetis are the coolers du jour: They keep food and drinks ice-cold for days, thanks to their superior insulation, even when the outside temp climbs. They're extremely durable and packed with convenient field-tested features. And, let's be honest, they have elevated the utilitarian fishing cooler to an object of desire. The Hopper Flip 18, measuring about 10 by 13 by 16 inches, can stash 20 cans of beer with plenty of ice for bonfires on the beach, kicking back post-trek, or a weekend off the grid.

Find It: Amazon

7. BIOLITE HOLIDAY BUNDLE; $250

BioLite Energy holiday bundle
BioLite Energy

A one-and-done gift for the coffee-addicted adventurer in your life, BioLite's limited-edition bundle contains everything necessary for a perky morning. BioLite's wood-burning CampStove 2 generates electricity for the attached battery and USB charger as well as heat for cooking. The bundle includes two accessories: the KettlePot, a grab-and-go cook pot; and the CoffeePress, a French press-style coffee maker. In addition, the lucky giftee gets two Miir 12-ounce insulated camp mugs and four single packs of Kuju coffee portioned specifically for the BioLite system. Best of all, these gifts give back: each brand has a humanitarian mission baked into their products.

Find It: Biolite Energy

8. LIFESTRAW UNIVERSAL WATER FILTER AND ADAPTOR KIT; $35

Your giftee can turn her fave water bottle into a powerful filtration system with the Lifestraw Universal. The two-stage filter first removes water-borne bacteria and protozoa (in up to 1000 liters), then improves water quality and taste with a replaceable activated charcoal capsule (up to 100 liters), meeting EPA drinking water standards. In addition to the filter and carry bag, the adaptor kit includes two cap sizes and two mouthpieces that are compatible with most Nalgene, Camelbak, Klean Kanteen, Hydro Flask, and other standard bottles.

Find It: Amazon

9. KICKER EB400 WATERPROOF BLUETOOTH EARBUDS; $100

Let your friends rock out to Taylor Swift in the great outdoors without preventing anyone else from enjoying peace and quiet. Kicker's earbuds are both waterproof and wireless, and they won't fall out of one's ears during strenuous activity in any climate. Their 8-hour battery life means users will be able to complete a day hike without needing to power up in the middle. The earbuds come with anti-skip Bluetooth technology to connect to phones and tablets, a microphone for calls, and three pairs of color-coded silicone tips for a custom fit.

Find It: Amazon

10. TENTSILE VISTA TREE TENT; $385

A mashup of a traditional tent and impressive treehouse, the Vista is a triangular three-person tent that connects hammock-style to anchor trees at three points, letting campers sleep suspended above wet, rocky or uneven terrain. This three-season model features open sides and a central floor hatch for entry, plus a removable insect net. The rain fly/roof can also be removed so users can lie directly under the stars. (The above photo shows an un-roofed Vista mounted below a roofed Vista.) The ingenious design can be put up by a single person in about 15 minutes and packed down into its carry bag for easy transport.

Find It: Tentsile

11. PENDLETON THREE-NOTEBOOK SET; $13

Three Pendleton notebooks

Great for jotting down field notes, this set of three 6-by-8-inch notebooks features Pendleton Woolen Mills's heritage blanket patterns on the covers. Each center-stitched book contains 64 pages of lined, uncoated paper for a slim profile that will fit in your giftee's pocket or pack without adding too much weight or bulk.

Find It: Pendleton

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11 Thoughtful Gifts for Your Office Swap
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Along with buying gifts for friends and family, there's always that one extra innocuous present you have to find—the office swap gift. Whether your company opts for white elephant or pulling specific names from a hat, these gifts are suitable for bosses or underlings alike.

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. KOH-I-NOOR DRY MARKER HIGHLIGHTER PENCIL; $2 EACH

Koh-i-Noor Dry Marker Highlighter Pencils
CW Pencil Enterprises

For the colleague who keeps copious, color-coded lists and agendas, these vibrant pencils will brighten up any Monday morning to-do list. And, at about $2 each, you can buy all six without going over any agreed-upon spending limit.

Find It: CW Pencil Enterprises

2. AIR PLANT ON GOLD-DIPPED QUARTZ; $18

Air plants on gold-dipped quartz.
Etsy

Air plants are the perfect greenery to liven up a desk—they don’t require messy soil and regular misting will keep it fresh and healthy. Plus, the blinged-out base will satisfy both the healing-energy and the decorative tchotchke crowds.

Find It: Etsy

3. MOO HARDCOVER NOTEBOOK; $20

Spread of Moo notebooks.
Moo

This practical notebook features a thick book-quality cover to prevent damage and a special Swiss binding, which allows it to lay flat regardless of where you’re trying to write. And the color options—charcoal gray, midnight blue, wine red, or three “zingy” brighter shades—just enhance its timeless appeal. 

Find It: Moo

4. FELIX CARD WALLET; $20

Herschel card wallet
Herschel

No one wants to have to drag a purse or bulky wallet along when popping out for a quick snack or coffee run. Help your coworkers out with this compact card wallet. There’s plenty of room for an office ID, credit card, cash, and even some business cards, so they can enter you all to win a happy hour sometime.

Find It: Herschel

5. L'OCCITANE HAND LOTION; $24

Bottle of L'Occitane lotion
Amazon

During these dry winter months, your Secret Santa will appreciate having some moisturizing hand lotion that’s just an easy pump away.

Find It: Amazon

6. RUBBER BAND BALL; $9

Black and white rubber band ball
Need Supply

For the coworker who needs utilitarian office supplies like rubber bands, but also keeps a Pinterest-perfect desk: This black and white take on the classic rubber band ball is as display-worthy as it is practical.

Find It: Need Supply

7. ZADIE DRIVE ALLIGATOR LETTER OPENER; $40

Zadie Drive Alligator Letter Opener
Kate Spade

Upgrade someone’s letter-opening experience with a quick swipe of this golden alligator tail. It’ll leave envelopes far more cleanly cut than those scissors ever did.

Find It: Kate Spade

8. WATER SUCCULENTS LAPTOP SLEEVE; $37

Water succulents laptop sleeve
Society6

Lugging a laptop to and from the office may seem like a little less of a chore if it's dressed up in watercolored greenery. This lightweight sleeve is fully lined in microfiber and made to fit 13” or 15” computers.

Find It: Society6

9. PERSONALIZED STARBUCKS TUMBLER; $10

Personalized Starbucks coffee tumblers
Etsy

What to get the most caffeinated among us? A personalized, BPA-free, reusable cup is a gift that keeps on giving. Not only will your office pal be helping the environment when they go on their afternoon coffee run, they’ll save 10 cents each time they use it at Starbucks.

Find It: Etsy

10. PREVIOUSLY, ON…: GUESS THE TV SERIES; $19


Amazon

For the colleague who is always the first to ask “so did everyone watch [insert any culturally relevant show] last night?”, this illustrated card game puts all their knowledge of classic and prestige television to the test.

Find It: Amazon

11. KILNER FOOD-TO-GO JAR; $15

Kilner Food-To-Go Jar
The Container Store

Help your coworker keep their 2018 resolution to bring their lunch to work more often—this Mason-style glass jar features a removable cup for dressings or other toppings under its stainless steel lid, so they’ll never have to worry about soggy salad again.

Find It: The Container Store

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