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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

2017 Dad & Grad Gift Guide

Father's Day is just 11 days away, and students are in the midst of graduating from high school and college right now. If the dad(s) or grad(s) on your list is into travel - I mean, who isn't? - then something fun and travel-related that will last them on many vacations is way better than, say, that engraved pen, briefcase or tie you were thinking about getting. You know one of those was on your list. Wouldn't you rather have them equate your gift with fun, worldly memories than signing documents and going to work and being a grown up? I know I would rather have something fun (and practical) than something just needed for adult life.

dad and grad travel gifts

I know that not everyone has an unlimited budget for gifts, especially with summer coming and vacations already planned. These gift-giving occasions can seriously creep up on you, or the number of people you end up having to buy gifts for increase quickly some years. Because of that, I have gifts in all price ranges for all budgets. 

Budget (under $50)

More power
Make sure you can follow your grad's travels on Instagram or Facebook by getting them a battery backup for their mobile. You won't have to worry if they got murdered when they can keep their phone charged. Your dad can use this, too, since he's streaming all those videos and looking at all the photos you keep sending him of your kids. We have two of these doodads, which can charge two phones (or tablet or camera) twice during the day. $15.99 

Journal
Don't you like to chronicle your trips to remember later? Get them a moleskine journal where they can write down all their thoughts, notes and drawings. They are sleek and convenient, so they fit in the pocket of any bag or jacket. Get them a fancy pen to go with it and you're golden. $10-15, $20+ for Cross pen

Digital security
If your dad/grad loves to lounge by the pool or play on the beach, then you need to get them a waterproof phone pouch. It keeps water and sand out, floats and still lets you talk, text, play games and take pictures. Last time I was using mine in the lazy river, a lady floating by asked me all about it. This would be an excellent gift to go with something else, because it costs less than $10.

Hoodie Pillow
Sleeping on the plane (or a train or the back of the car) can be difficult. Give them the gift of easier sleep with the awesome hoodie pillow where they can get comfortable, keep their head warm and block out light. I love mine and take it everywhere I travel. $20

Travelon RFID-Blocking Trifold Wallet
There are so many thieves out there looking to steal your money, your identity, your credit card numbers. Protect all that stuff that's in your pocket with a stylish and RFID-blocking wallet. It fits all your cards, money, receipts and more and never gets all bulky. It's real leather. only $30

GSI Outdoors Travel Javapress: Do you need a gift for a coffee lover? I've been so disappointed many times by bad coffee. Wouldn't it be awesome to just have a coffeemaker everywhere you went? I thought so, too. This commuter javapress is like a French press in your hand, but with a mesh strainer that does the same job. I have a review here$22.95

Packing Cubes

(Almost) Everyone likes to be organized...especially when they travel. Get them some of Lewis N. Clark's fantastic packing cubes, like the fun new expandable ones, so they fit everything she needs in her carry-on. These can run $10-44, depending on size and set


Thermos
Hydration. It's important. It's also nice to have a cold beverage stay cold and a hot beverage stay hot...like all day. Laken insulated bottles do just that and come in a variety of sizes. They're really sturdy and you'll still find ice in it hours later. I take this with me everywhere, especially when we go anywhere with the dog. Your dad will be excited that his coffee is still hot when he gets to work, or wherever he's going, even if he gets pulled into a meeting. It's also nice to have ice water available when sitting on a hot, sweaty bus in South America. Plan to spend $30-40 on a good size one

Moderate ($50-100)

Kameleon Rose Travel Dress

Okay, so I have rarely spent $65+ on a dress, but I have done it and have been happy every single time. What if you could spend that same money and get over 20 pieces of clothing? Because that's just what the Kameleon Rose dress is. It can be a dress, a skirt, pants, a top, a poncho and more! I'm loving mine that I picked up at the show and you can see my review here$65-80


Pakems Travel Boots 
These are another Travel Goods Show find. The woman who designed these was looking for a less bulky boot for skiing and playing in the snow and made her own. They are lightweight, still warm, they're cute, and they pack down small, so they don't take up your whole carry-on when you're trying to pack light. I got my Pakems and they are so awesome. See my review here$65

Lewis N Clark Secura Convertipack
Who doesn't love a bag that can be used multiple ways? I'll tell you who. Nobody. And moms totally appreciate a multipurpose bag, especially if it's super cute like this one. The convertipack can be worn as a shoulder bag, crossbody, or a backpack. See my review here$69.99
Chloe Hoodie
This hoodie has so many functions...and pockets! So many pockets! Your lady grad will never take another jacket with them on trips to the laundromat or to Spain. For real. I love this hoodie so much, it's stylish, cozy and lets you walk around without a purse if you want. It isn't cheap, but the construction is rugged, it's flattering and they are going to wear it all the time. If you don't have a girl on your list, SCOTTeVEST has similar ones for men, including the 10-pocket cotton hoodie, the 10-pocket microfleece hoodie and the 13-pocket Knowmadic hoodie. $90

Splurge (over $100)

eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible Junior
This bag will come in handy on a weekend trip to Vegas, a week-long trip to visit Grandma or months in Europe. It doesn't seem like it's that large, but if you mix and match your wardrobe, then you can fit 20+ outfits in here. Perfect for when you need to carry everything with you at all times, including your laptop and other electronics. It can be carried like a backpack, briefcase or a shoulder bag. It fits under the seat on the plane, too, so that's pretty awesome. The bag expands for extra purchases along the way and has a ton of pockets to keep stuff organized. If you need more reasons why it's cool, check out my review$120 on Amazon

Skyroll Spinner Suitcase
This is a great bag for a recent grad and the dad that likes to jetset. It has a removable wrap-around garment bag to allow you to bring suits and other formal clothes without having them get all wrinkly in your bag. The main bag has a top pocket for your laptop (a must, right?) and a top compartment for things you need to get at easily. There's still quite a bit of room in the largest compartment for shoes, your toiletries and more. We took this bag to Europe and it was amazing. Super easy to wheel along and I knew all my belongings were safe, because it had the garment bag wrapped around it. It's a bit of an investment, but it's well made and awesome, so it'll get a lot of use. $299

Bluetooth Headphones
You know what's awesome? Having noise-cancelling headphones that are also wireless and can help you sleep on the plane and are adjustable to fit everyone's head. Get them a pair of Sol Republic Air Tracks and they will love you (even more than they already do). $119

Travel
Give the gift of experience and save them money with either a CityPASS or a Go Card from Smart Destinations. Both save up to 50% off a city's most popular attractions and saves them from waiting in the ticket line, which is always the worst. from $45

Awesome pants
It's nice to have clothing that does double duty. Bluffworks pants are specifically for travel, because they are odor-resistant, stain-resistant, wrinkle-proof and almost indestructible. They look like dress pants, but they're sturdy enough to wear hiking, camping or rock climbing. One pair can work for everything you do on vacation or a business trip. $98 or $125, depending on the style

Lojel Novigo Carry-on
I bet your dad's been traveling with the same old carry-on he's had for decades. Well, why not upgrade him to a fancy new bag with all the bells and whistles and basically a crush-proof shell? I love the Novigo with its locking wheels, shiny exterior, organized interior and smooth spinner wheels. You can read my review here$269.99

Popticals
Ever hear horror stories of lost, scratched or crushed sunglasses? All that money spent on great glasses down the drain! I usually put mine on my head, but then I have to shove them in my purse when I'm at dinner, a movie or on a theme park ride. The last trip I took, I scratched a pair of my favorite sunnies. Sad face. Popticals make this problem non-existent, because your glasses slide closed and the earpieces fold up, then they fit right into a cute little case. I hope to bring you a review of these, because they are super awesome. $199+

Airline/Hotel Gift Cards
Buy a gift card that can be used for their favorite airline or hotel chain (or Airbnb) or rental car company. It's nice because you can customize it and make it a bit more personal than a normal gift card. whatever you want to spend

What are you doing for the dad or grad in your life this year?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your purchases help me bring you more useful blog posts and travel overviews.
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