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Saturday, June 1, 2019

Dad & Grad Gift List 2019

In just a few weeks, we'll be celebrating dads all over, and so many kids will be graduating both high school and college. No matter who you have on your list, you're going to want to get them some awesome gifts to celebrate them and their achievements. Lots of dads like to travel or travel for work and plenty of grads want to see the world. If those describe your recipients, then this dad & grad gift list is for you!

Photo by Joseph Chan on Unsplash
I've got some new ideas for you this year, including plenty of cool things I saw, and will hopefully be reviewing for you, at the Travel Goods Show. As always, I have broken them down by price range for you.

Budget: >$50

1. Memory Foam Armrest

Now there will be no question as to who's got the armrest, though there might be an even bigger fight for it. The airplane armrests are always uncomfortable, even when they are padded. Make long flights a little more comfortable with one of these awesome memory foam armrests. They don't take up much room in a bag and can make a big difference towards getting them there a little happier. $15 from Walter+Ray
2. Travel Journal
Help them plan their next trip or keep track of what they've done and seen with a great travel journal or two. I have the This Journal is Going Places and it is fantastic for those who like to plan out everything in advance and keep all their wish list items in one place. You can plan a handful of trips with this and it's color coded for each trip. It's got a slim profile for taking with you everywhere. The Travelogue Journal has scratch-off maps, checklists, itineraries and places for receipts and ticket stubs. This Journal is $16.30 on Amazon | Travelogue is $24.99 from Amazon
3. Compression Socks
All types of people use compression socks, and now they are even more fun to wear with bright colors and patterns. Compression socks are good for long flights, long days of walking, or even running and jogging. I always keep a pair or two in my travel bag and they are lifesavers. Your dad and grad are going to love them on all their trips, just like I do, especially the new fun styles that don't look like you work at a hospital. $26.99 from Sockwell. You can see my review here.
4. Travelon Active Anti-Theft Packable Backpack
It's never a bad thing to have a good backpack when you travel. Travelon has this great anti-theft one that's also packable, which had never been done before! It's a bit heavier than other packable bags, but it is also way more secure and great for using as a day bag or your personal item on a plane. For grads going off to see foreign countries and might be staying in hostels to save money, this is a must for keeping all their valuables safe while they're out and about. You can view my review here. $40 on Travelon's website (but use my code SHEREENTRAVELS20% to save 20% off your purchase)
5. Humangear utensils
So, I'm not gonna lie. I love a good food cart, and I also like to make my own food when out and about, like on a road trip. If your dad is the same or that college grad on your list is just wanting to travel on a budget, then not only do they need these awesome all-in-one utensils, but they will also be eco-friendly on their way, since these are reusable and so much better than plastic forks and spoons - and much more durable. They come in a variety of colors, too. These are very budget friendly at $3.99 on Amazon for one or $10.22 on Amazon for 3-pack {If you're looking for something similar to go with these, Humangear also has squishy silicon bowls or you might want to pick up a set of metal or other reusable straws.}
6. Copper Cow Coffee
You all know I love coffee. Maybe your dad or your husband or your grandpa or your son also loves coffee. Maybe the thought of going backpacking through Europe having to live off Starbucks or instant coffee sounds terrible. Give them coffeehouse quality coffee in a portable pour over pack that they can take everywhere. My favorite pack is the 5-pack of filters with added creamer packs, so you can have a great cup anywhere you are. $15 on Copper Cow website
7. Packable Rain Jacket
I never bring an umbrella anymore. Not only are they bulky and only useful for one thing, they take up space in your bag that could be used for something else important. When we travel anywhere we don't need a regular coat, we always take along packable rain jackets. They enable you to stay dry and keep both your hands free. If it's not raining, but it gets a bit chilly, you can use it as an extra layer. They also pack small when not in use. I have both a Columbia and an Eddie Bauer rain jacket, which you can find on Amazon, but this unisex jacket runs just $26.99 on Amazon
8. Laken Thermos Bottles
Hydration is very important when you travel, and it helps you save money to not have to keep buying beverages all day. Laken bottles will keep your beverages hot up to 8 hours (and cold for up to 24). I use mine everyday at work for coffee and if I haven't finished drinking it, it's still warm by mid-afternoon, because we all know there's nothing worse than cold coffee if it didn't start out that way. Depending on the size you buy, these run $17+ on Amazon

Moderate: $50-100

1. Bracketron Roadtripper
Here's another thing I'll be reviewing. The Roadtripper is a multifunctional travel tool. It is a phone stand, but you can unfold it to also hold your tablet and your phone for viewing videos on the tray table latch, so it's at eye level. If you're on the road and need to use your phone as a GPS, this also works for that...and it's certainly not flimsy like a lot of those other phone holders you buy elsewhere. The roadtripper folds up small and unfolds in different ways for what you need to use it for. $50 on Bracketron, but it is on sale now for $34.99. You can also find it at Best Buy and other stores.
2. Walter + Ray TAB
Getting on the plane and then having to contort your body uncomfortably to get items you want to use in-flight out of the bag under the seat in front of you is crazy! Walter + Ray invented the TAB in response to allow you to pack everything you need for your flight in a slim pocket that has a tab that slides into the seat pocket or a strap that fits over the tray table, even closed, so you always have access to all your goodies and you don't have to hurry to shove them all in the seat pocket and then realize you've forgotten something after you've deplaned. $65 on Walter + Ray's website
3. Benjilock
Regular TSA-accepted locks usually suck, and are easy to forget the combination to, especially if you only travel a few times a year. If that's a problem your dad has too, so he just doesn't use a lock on her luggage, a Benjilock might just be what he needs. Instead of a combination or a key, it opens with a fingerprint. And if he's traveling with several people who are using the same carry-on/suitcase, it can hold up to 10 fingerprints. I'll be reviewing this soon. $70 on Amazon, but can also be found at The Home Depot and QVC and Ace Hardware.
4. My Elios Wanderer solar charger
When out sightseeing all day, you don't really have access to any outlets. While I always carry a portable charger, it's not always possible to recharge that when you travel. If you have a dad or grad that likes to camp or backpack or hike, then they are in need of a good solar charger. The Elios has 4 fold-out solar panels that recharge by the sun, though you can also recharge it with the wall outlet, and then use it to charge your phone or your tablet when you need to re-up. $75 on MyElios website
5. FaceCradle
There are so many travel pillows to choose from, but one of the best I've tried is the FaceCradle. Not only is it perfect for the ever-diminishing airplane space, but it's great for tall people, and for using on trains and in cars as well. It has a bunch of different ways to use it. We have the regular version and the lite version, and we sleep like babies on the plane. You can see my review here. $49.99 on Amazon
6. Cashmere travel blanket
Sure, you could buy them any number of other travel blankets, but add a bit of luxe to their travels, especially those college kids staying in super cheap accommodations, and to make their economy seat a little less awful. I like this one that's a wool/cashmere blend, making it a bit more affordable for your wallet, too. $64 on Amazon
7. Tropicfeel shoes
I backed these as a kickstarter, because they sounded amazing. They are pretty much Spring and Summer shoes (though if the fall isn't cold, you could wear them then too). We travel to Vegas a lot and do a ton of theme parks, which have plenty of water activities. These shoes are like your best sneakers and water shoes in one. I backed them hoping they would be as good as they sounded, and they were. We both have a pair and they are super lightweight, can be worn with or without socks, and look fantastic. They are perfect for all the walking your dad/grad will do on their travels. $78 on TropicFeel (available for preorder.)

Splurge: <$100

1. Anti-theft Tailored Wheeled Underseat Carry-on
This new carry-on with spinner wheels from Travelon is fantastic and has a great wipe-down bottom half that can be cleaned easily after tromping through the airport, the subway, and down the street. It has a ton of room and is easy to stash in the overhead. You dad will love this new classic bag, and he'll be able to pack everything he needs in it. $141 on Travelon (get 20% off if you use code SHEREENTRAVELS20%)
2. Priority Pass
Hanging out in the airport can be fun, but after a while, you wish it could be better. Buy your dad access to all the airport lounges, so he can get some peace and quiet, free snacks and maybe get some work done or catch a shower. You can purchase him the standard pass for $99/year, or upgrade him to the plus for $299, which includes 10 free visits (generally member visits are $32). Right now you can get 15% off memberships on PriorityPass
3. Travelon's new Heritage Weekender

This bag is so beautiful and unisex and user-friendly. It unzips on top and has a phenomenal wide mouth opening, because they know what we all want and need in our bags! It can easily hold a week's worth of clothing with spare shoes and toiletries. The Heritage collection is lovely and wears so we'll. The longer you use it, the more worn and fantastic the fabric looks. Every dude needs this for Father's Day, but everyone's going to want to steal it to use for their trips too. $105 on Travelon (get 20% off if you use code SHEREENTRAVELS20%)

4. Airline 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. $1-infinity: whatever you want to spend.
5. Bluffworks Chinos 
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, on Bluffworks' website
6. CityPASS
I'm sure your dad already has heis next trip planned. Why not help him make it more affordable by giving him most or all of his activities for free? This is also something that a grad will be undyingly grateful for getting to do more for less, so they can splurge a bit more on food. You'll be able to find a lot of participating cities. $50+ on CityPASS website.
7. Thule Crossover 2 backpack
The Thule crossover is a 30L bag that can fit all your gear for a trip, plus keep all your electronics safe and organized. It has RFID-blocking, a water-resistant shell, a sleek profile, and plenty of room with pockets and sections to keep everything in its place. The Crossover 2 Convertible Laptop Bag has all the same features, plus a side handle and removable strap, so it can also be carried like a briefcase. Perfect for business travel and backpacking. From $184 on Amazon

Who's on your list this year and what are your top gifts?

*Dislaimer: this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through one of those links, I may be monetarily compensated + I'll be eternally grateful for your support.


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