Travel gifts make great holiday presents. Many are wallet-friendly, most solve an annoying trip problem, and all come with a ticket to dream.
Travel gifts make great holiday presents. Many are wallet-friendly, most solve an annoying trip problem, and all come with a ticket to dream. Unwrap the clever travel pillow, the smart luggage, or the stroller that folds effortlessly as you envision your next journey to a romantic getaway, exotic city, or fun family vacation. Whether looking for stocking stuffers or a big box to place under the tree, consider travel picks for friends, family, and even for yourself. Here are some of my favorite travel finds.
The author's Newfoundland dog, Maggie, proves that the J-pillow is pet-approved.
Forget about floppy head syndrome, that jerk-you-awake movement your head does just moments after you finally fall asleep in your airline seat. Designed by a former flight attendant who observed many bobbing non-sleepers, the pillow, shaped like a three-dimensional letter “J,” rests on your shoulder to cushion your head like a regular pillow. The “tail,” or curvy part of the “J,” curls under your chin, cradling and supporting your neck and chin, thus preventing you from snapping back into startled wakefulness.
AquaVault FlexSafe ($40)
Stowing your smartphone and cash in the 10-inch high, soft-sided case is a much better idea than covering your valuables with a towel and hoping for the best when at the beach or the pool. Just loop the flap of the slash-resistant FlexSafe to the back of your lounge chair, set the combination lock, and hit the water.
Genius Pack Luggage (Beginning at $180)
I’ve frequently been stopped in airports by fellow travelers who want to know where I purchased my carry on that has exterior compartments for my water bottle and umbrella, as well as a strap that keeps my jacket firmly atop the bag, allowing me to roam hands-free. Inside, the Genius Pack luggage is just as clever. Stow dirty laundry in a separate compartment that compresses to save space, re-charge your smartphone with the handy charger, and use the built-in pockets for packing. A basic packing list reminds the forgetful of what they might need. The four-wheel spinner moves so effortlessly that it sometimes gets ahead of me. Genius Pack has a model that comes with an integrated suit holder and so produces luggage that you check, as well as backpacks and carry-on duffle bags.
Babyzen YOYO+ ($420)
Forget about gate-checking the stroller at the airport and then having to tote your tot, plus your carry-ons. The Babyzen YOYO+ fits down the airplane—or train—aisle. If flight attendants allow you, you can roll your child to your seat. Once there, you can still hold him or her since you only need one hand to release the lever that collapses the YOYO+ in thirds, creating a 20.5 x 17 x seven-inch package that fits in most carry-on bins. Use the convenient shoulder strap to wear the YOYO+ like a big purse when you must carry baby and gear up and down stairs and escalators. This year’s redesign features increased storage space.