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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Dad & Grad Travel Gift List

It's that time again! Time to celebrate fathers and kids becoming adults and venturing out into the world. We like to honor them with gifts, letting them know how special and proud we are of them. If you've got a dad, grandfather, brother, son, or graduate in your life that likes to travel, I've come up with a list of suggestions for you that can all be here before June 18.

If you've got a dad, grandfather, brother, son, or graduate in your life that likes to travel, I've come up with a list of suggestions for you.
Photo by Sherman Yang on Unsplash

When my dad was alive, he and my mom loved traveling on his motorcycle. Even growing up we did tons of road trips. He loved gadgets and I inherited that love. With travel coming back, new travel items and gadgets to make upcoming trips better are always a welcome gift.

Masks are going to be a travel staple for a long time. Some airlines are still requiring them. Many destinations are still requiring them. And they're a good idea when going anywhere during cold and flu season, or when going somewhere there is a large concentration of people. Keep them safe, but also stylish.

MaskC Deep Hues KN95  $36 for 10
When in crowded spaces, like the plane, I always choose a KN95 mask. Their form is not only more breathable, but it's also more comfortable with the extra room in front. You may opt for black or colorful ones, but I also really love these solid dark hues.
When I'm out and about, I always have two masks - one that I'm wearing and a backup. While you can use a plastic bag, it's nicer to have something a little better looking and also have a place to stash your mask while eating or walking around outside without it getting dirty. These are pretty and also can clip right onto a bag. 
Yes, I have a lot of different masks in my house. As much as I think disposable masks have a place for travels, I also love a great reusable mask, because you can wash and reuse them while on a long trip. They enable you to pack a little lighter and show your style a bit more. I have several Vida masks, including the sport masks and the artist prints. The all come with filters and are really comfortable.
The Barrier Method Neckie $35 & Winged Mask $45
I love the Winged Mask, but the Just the Mask and Neckie are more suitable for many destinations. They are lightweight, but still anti-bacterial and have built-in UPF, so you don't get sunburned on your face and neck, especially when sitting in the window seat where the sun's rays can be much worse. There is a mask for everyone. You may recall that I started wearing my Winged Mask before masks were even required. You can see my review here.

The right accessories can really make a trip much better. I have a stash of tried and true items that I take for all trips, or just some trips. Here are some of my favorites.

Stasher Bags $45.96 for a set, but less if you only want specific ones
While traditional zip-top bags are great, they aren't that awesome for the environment. I have started replacing things with Stasher bags. They're spendy, but well worth the money.
Anyone who travels outside of the country needs an adapter for their electronics. Most US electronics are dual voltage, so you don't have to worry about a converter. This adapter is affordable and can be used everywhere, so you no longer have to buy different adapters for each region. I loved this one I purchased and it has 4 USB outlets for your phone and other small electronics, so everything is always charged.
Several years ago I backed Pivo on kickstarter, because it looked exactly like a thing I could use for taking outfit photos and more. Cut to now where I've been using the original with ease and have just upgraded to the Pivo Lite to get more features and have a funky new color that I can keep in my travel bag. Pivo allows you to use your phone as a whole photo and video studio + you can use it take group pictures without asking a stranger to help.
Aeropress Go $39.95
The AeroPress Portable is as great as the original, but everything is compact enough to fit inside it's own coffee cup, which is pretty amazing. As a person who travels quite a lot and tends to stay in places that have terrible coffee makers or none at all, being able to get a good cup of coffee is very important to me. If you have a similar coffee lover on your list, this is a must. You can see my review on it here.
Swell Insulated Food Container $24.99 for 24 oz or $50 for nesting bowls (shown)
Wherever I go, I have snacks of some kind. Long trips call for many snacks. A lot of airlines still haven't brought back food service, so you're kind of on your own, and granola bars and chips can get pretty boring. I have several insulated food containers and they're awesome for bringing along things that are more substantial or need to be kept hot or cold. I especially enjoy chees and fruit, so these Swell containers are fantastic for allowing me to take those things on long plane rides, but they're also good for theme park visits and road trips.
When you're out all day snapping pics, using your GPS to get around, and posting jealousy-inducing photos to social media, your phone battery can drain pretty quickly. Having a decent sized battery backup like this one can make sure you can always charge up your phone. In fact, we carry two similar ones and each allows us to charge up fully at least twice during the day (we play a lot of games as well).
Every flight attendant will tell you how gross the seatback pocket on the plane is. They get cleaned out, but never cleaned, so you're putting your headphones in the same pocket that may have just had a dirty diaper in it a few hours earlier. Airplane Pockets fit over your tray table, making it antibacterial, and give you four pockets - one large one and three smaller ones - to fit everything you need for a flight. After you land, slip it off, fold it up, and toss it in your bag.

Bags and Toiletries
I love bags and things that go in my bags to keep me organized and these kinds of gifts are always welcome, to the well-seasoned traveler, but also for beginner travelers that haven't really ever had to try packing light or more efficiently.

Has your dad been using the same beat up carry-on for decades? Or your grad doesn't even have a real piece of luggage? Then this bag works for either. The hardside shell gives it extra strength to keep their belongings safe, the spinner wheels make it easy to take even on cobblestones, and they can't overpack, though you can expand it for extra purchases and check it home. 
Travelon Anti-Theft Metro Carryall $85 on Amazon | $95 on Travelon (take 20% off with my code SHEREENTRAVELS20%)
Maybe your dad takes a lot of overnight, business, or weekend trips. If so, then this carryall is ideal for a few outfits, a pair of shoes, and still have some room leftover for small purchases. When he's on longer trips, he can use this as an underseater for all his entertainment and snacks.
I don't know why, but I have always loved a pannier bag. It's one that fits on the side of a bicycle. If your dad/grad enjoy biking everywhere, or even just on vacation, Timbuk2 makes amazingly heavy-duty and stylish bags for every need. This weather-proof lightweight pannier is great, but if you're looking for something a bit more upscale, the Convertible Backpack Pannier has more features and is just $159. The only downside is it's not waterproof, so it's not ideal for rainy destinations, but I guess neither is bicycling.
Travelon's Greenlander Insulated Water Bottle Bag $40 on Travelon (take 20% off with my code SHEREENTRAVELS20%)
Make sure they stay hydrated and have a place to stash some cash with a water bottle bag. This one is insulated, keeping things cool, and has an anti-theft zipper pocket and a comfy adjustable shoulder strap. You can view my review here.
Matador Flatpak Bag $39.90 for 3
One of the most annoying things about taking liquids on a trip is that the bottles don't get smaller when you use product, so you end up taking half-full bottles back or throwing them out. Quit doing both of those things with these pack-flat bottles. They are leak-proof and can hang in the shower with their snap loops. Not only do they pack better than traditional bottles, but they get smaller when you use product. 
In my travels, I've had a lot of tubes and containers, but none have been as awesome as GoTubb. I use these for anything I can't find a smaller version of, so I can pack light. They don't leak and they hold a lot more than you expect, but in a small size. These come in small, medium and large, so they can be used for practically anything, from snacks to pills to moisturizer.
Packing light can be a challenge, but strategic packing items can help you get a little more in your bag. Packing cubes are kind of a necessity, and even if your dad/grad has some, if they don't have compression cubes, it's time to upgrade them. Get 30% more in your bag, or save that extra room for other necessities, like your toiletry bag and shoes. I love the Specter line from Eagle Creek. They cost more, but they are top of the line and have a compression function, so you get even more in your bag.

I hope you've found something awesome for the dad and/or grad on your list, or maybe for yourself if you're a dad or just need something for the upcoming summer travel season. 

What has been your favorite travel gift to give or receive? 

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links that may result in monetary compensation, which helps me to keep running this blog for you. Thanks in advance for anything you buy.

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