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Saturday, June 1, 2024

Dad & Grad Travel Gift List 2024

It's that time again. Time to celebrate both the awesome dads out there and the accomplishments of those who have made it to the end (so far) of their educational career. If the dads or grads in your life are travelers or getting started on new travels, then you can help them along with some great things to make those trips better and more comfortable and convenient.

If the dads or grads in your life are travelers or getting started on new travels, then you can help them along with some great things.
Photo by Vasily Koloda on Unsplash

I'm lucky to have a job where I have been gifted a lot of great travel gear, but I also 

Non-tangible Splurge  gifts - Sometimes you have some extra money and can treat that special person. If you do and you can, here are some things I know they would absolutely adore and can be slipped inside a card:

A night (or more) at a hotel

A gift card or an actual hotel booking is always appreciated, because accommodations can be very expensive. Those coming right out of college may not have savings to stay in a nicer place and though there are many great hostels out there, you might want them to stay somewhere more safe if they'll be traveling alone. 

City cards

If they'll be traveling to a destination that is popular, chances are you will be able to find either a Go Card or a CityPASS for it. The more they do, the more you've saved, but it allows them to skip the lines and they won't have to purchase individual admissions for everything they want to do. We've also found really cool activities this way that we would not have done otherwise.

For the Airport and Beyond
There are always things that are going to make someone's life easier when traveling. I have a lot of them and each trip is a bit different and will require some or all of those things. Here are some ideas for the dad or grad in your life:

Hydaway Collapsible Bottle
When you're spending a ton of time outside, exercising more, getting more sun, you really need to be hydrating throughout the day. If carrying a thermos with you seems annoying, the Hydaway Collapsible Water Bottle is one of my favorites, because it can be used for hot, cold, or frozen beverages, which means you can fill it partially and freeze it overnight, then fill the rest with water before you head out, so you have cold water for hours. Once you're empty, you can collapse it down and hang it on your bag or put it in your pocket. It's there for you when you need a refill. It's nice, because even almost empty, it still keeps its shape. $29.95 for 17oz or $34.95 for 25oz

Hydaway Collapsible Bowl
As someone who likes to bring their own food and snacks on the plane, it's nice to have more options than granola bars and apples. When you're on a long flight, having a variety of snacks is nice and makes your trip a lot more enjoyable. I love to bring cheese and crackers as well as grapes, hummus, and carrots. These things don't last very long in a carry-on or at room temp,  but now with a Hydaway collapsible insulated bowl, I can bring those things, then collapse it when it's empty. I've also used food containers on the way home to pack fragile items I've bought, like ornaments. They're also wonderful for camping and road trips. $24.95 for 1.5 cup or $34.95 for 1 quart

Zensah Compression Socks
I have poor circulation in my feet and walking all day or sitting on the plane for hours can cause my feet and ankles to swell and then make wearing shoes and using my feet for anything to be the worst. As we get older, we have different needs, and compression socks are a nice way to take care of your lower extremities and prevent swelling or blood clots and misery. I love Zensah, because you can get both long socks or just leg sleeves (for when you wear sandals with your pants or long skirts). $49.95

GoTubb Containers
Sometimes having your pills for the day is handy, or just having a few aspirin, allergy pills, or your favorite eye serum on your at all times is smart. GoTubbs can do all that and more. They come in multiple sizes and can be used in your carry-on for random things (nuts, candy, CBD gummies, spices) or in your toiletry bag to downsize cosmetics. They are spill-proof, but also easy to open and close, even with one hand, so you don't have to be strong or a genius to figure them out. Pack of 3: $8.99 for small or $11.99 for medium, Pack of 2: large $11.99

Swell Insulated Bottle
Does your dad always have a hot beverage or need ice everywhere he goes? I feel that. I don't enjoy carrying around a lukewarm drink usually. When on the plane, I fill up my bottle with coffee or a sparkling water and it stays the right temperature my whole flight. It's also Earth-friendly, if you're trying to cut down on plastic waste. There are a lot of insulated bottles out there, but I feel like Swell always look pretty and they will last forever (even if you've dropped yours 12,000 times like I have). From $24 17oz+

Travelon Water Bottle Tote
If you're walking around with a water bottle, then you might as well have something to carry it in. I know a lot of people hate carrying around a purse or other day bag, so a water bottle tote is actually the best of both worlds. This one from Travelon is insulated, so if you use it for other things that might sweat, it's not going to leak through your bag, has an adjustable locking strap, is lovely to look at, and also has an RFID zipper pocket to keep the essentials in and then keep extra safe with a locking zipper. $20 with the 50% off sale, or use code SHEREENTRAVELS20% for 20% off other regular price items

Travelon Personalized Air Cleaner
With Covid and all the other gross things going around airplanes and other crowded spaces, keep your loved one extra safe with their own personalized ionizer. It wears like a necklace and keeps the air around you (up to 6 feet) clean of impurities, bacteria, and allergens. So, whether or not you're concerned about Covid, this is great for allergy sufferers, people who can't abide smoke, or just to block all the germs from that coughing guy near you on the crowded train. $21 on Amazon

16" Mini Carry-On
Smaller carry-ons are not only easier to maneuver, but they are lighter and may even fit under the airplane seat. For those with mobility issues or those that can't pick up a heavier/bigger bag, ones that don't have to go in the overhead are a lifesaver. Some of my favorite ones right now are Calpak Hue $165, Travelhouse $89.99, Kroser $68 with a $10 coupon, Hanke $106.99, Bagsmart Tote $35.99

Nomatic Toiletry Bag
There are a lot of toiletry bags out there, but this one is a top contender. It is waterproof and has a lot of spill-proof pockets, so not only will it keep anything inside contained, nothing can get into it either, and you can have it with you in the shower or next to the sink with no worries. It's expensive, but I believe it might be the last toiletry bag anyone ever needs. $74.99 for large version or $54.99 for small version

Coach Seat Luxury Upgrades
Airplane seats and legroom keep shrinking, but that doesn't mean that it has to be torture. In fact, there are ways to upgrade your seat without spending more money to sit in business or first class. 

Airplane Bluetooth Adapter
By now, basically everyone has wireless headphones and I'm not willing to buy some cheapo ones with low quality just to take on the plane. Watch all the shows you want on the seatback screen with a bluetooth adapter. It plugs into the outlet for the earphones and then the screen becomes bluetooth-enabled. You can use it other places, too, so it's multifunctional. $26.99 

FaceCradle Travel Pillow
You need a good travel pillow if you're going to be flying long distances (or even if you're taking a longer train trip or even a passenger in the back of a car. I will never stop touting the awesomeness of FaceCradle. I get such good sleep with this. Eric, who is a very light sleeper, also has gotten some of his best travel sleep with it. It allows you to stretch your neck and back, so you don't wake up needing a massage. $69.99

Cabeau KneedThis
This knee pad is perfect for people who are tall and often find that their knees are jammed in the back of the seat in front of them, or gets knocked a million times when the person in front gets up to use the restroom or stretch their legs. It squishes down when you aren't using it and then unrolls into a nice little squashy pad when you need it. Use it on the plane, long train rides, or even buses and cars that have pockets in the seatback. $24.99

Perilogics Phone Holder
Holding your phone for an extended amount of time while you watch a video or play a game is annoying. Use this Airplane phone holder to keep your phone at eye level and save your neck, while also keeping your tray table up when you don't need it. It can even be used off the airplane. Attach it to a suitcase handle, table, or whatever. $13

Sol Republic Bluetooth Earbuds
While I love some good over the ear headphones, they can be expensive and bulky to take with me on vacation. Sol Republic makes some great products, and these earbuds can't easily fall out of your ears and be lost forever, because they have a strap that goes behind your head. I have some similar to these and they are great while traveling and while at work. $23.99

Fulext Sleep Headphones
If you want to get them something that's more multipurpose, Eric swears by these sleep headphones. You can wear them as an eyemask to listen to your music, podcasts, or sleep apps in bed or wherever you are, but you can also wear it as a headband while running, biking, or working out. The headband is soft and comfortable, the sound quality is great, and they come in a variety of fun colors, or black. $19.99

Airplane Pockets
The seatback pocket on planes can be pretty gross and dirty and the tray table is one of the most touched surfaces on plane. Airplane Pockets are antibacterial and slip over your tray, so you have a clean surface to eat and play on. The other part of the pockets is the actual pockets. There is one big pocket and three smaller ones, to hold all your necessities and keep them organized. $29.99

Serenity Tray Organizer
For those with longer legs or people who don't like things touching their knees while they're traveling, this Serenity Organizer keeps everything on the back of the tray table. Like Airplane Pockets, they are antibacterial, but unlike AP, they are stretchy and turn into a drawstring pouch$45

Living Well On Arrival
Once they get to their destination, there are plenty of items that can make their trip easier and more enjoyable. These are some things I take with me on my own trips.

Travel Espresso Maker
If your dad is a lover of coffee, then it's possible he has the the same problem I have and that's that most in-room makers are terrible, or the coffee provided is weak. If I'm bringing my own coffee anyway, so I don't entirely rely on coffeeshops and go broke, then I might as well bring my own machine. Aeropress is highly rated and the entirety of the contraption fits inside it's own mug. Wacaco uses Nespresso pods, making it easier to use, but it's also heavier. Aeropress Go $49.95  Wacaco $47

Folding Tripod
If your dad or grad loves to take photos, but often goes alone and wants better shots that aren't just selfies or too-cropped pics of just the group and no background, they're going to love this little powerhouse of a tripodtripod. It folds up very small, but it is heavy, so you can use it in a bunch of different positions. Use it as a selfie stick, but also use it as a phone holder or a traditional tripod. I set this up in my room in Las Vegas for taking OOTD pics and I can't recommend it enough. It fits right in your bag or pocket and takes up very little room. $35.95

Keep them healthy and feeling great. There are natural sprays for everything, including those to make your travels way better. Purchase sprays individually, or ones that go together in a kit. They all have a very light flavor. Most are minty and the flavor dissipates pretty quickly. Personal faves include the Sleep Well Kit and the Daily Defense Kit $19.95+ use code SHEREENTRAVELS for an extra 5% off

Lighted Makeup Mirror
A portable Lighted Makeup Mirror is a must for those dark hotel rooms or when someone else is in the bathroom and you're trying to get ready. It has 3 light settings and can mimic natural light, so when you go outside, you look normal and not like a pumpkin or a streaky mess, because you looked fine before you left. This one is rechargeable with a USB and is super slim, so you can fit it anywhere in your bag. $20.99

Laundry Sheets
The easiest way to pack light is to bring fewer pieces and do laundry on your trip. I have all but taken to only bringing laundry sheets with me now, because they take up, virtually, no room in a bag and are pre-measured for convenience. Cheat SheetsCheat Sheets are wonderful for both machine and handwashing. If you know they will have access to a machine, I also suggest TruEarth strips. $11 for 32 TruEarth strips, $5.95 for 10 Cheat Sheets

Pop-up Mesh Laundry Basket
I almost never go anywhere without my laundry basket. It folds down fairly small and it allows me to put it in a corner of my room and use as a hamper until I'm ready to do laundry. Then I can just pick it up and cart it to the laundry room. These basketsbaskets come in a pack of two and have an outside pocket to keep your detergent and quarters in. I always recommend these. $16.99

Travelon Anti-Theft Packable Backpack
A great daypack is really important for getting around, especially if you're spending the entire day out. It can also be used as a personal item on the plane. Travelon knows this and has this great backpack that you can pack in your carry-on to use at your destination or when coming home with a bit too many souvenirs. It zips into itself into a small little block, it's anti-theft, it's a classic black or gray color, has RFID-blocking technology, and is pretty roomy. This could easily be your only bag if you are a super light packer. $55 + a free RFID-blocking wallet, use code SHEREENTRAVELS20% for 20% off, or on sale through Amazon

I hope this list helps you to find the perfect gift(s) for the dads and grads in your life that'll enable them to go far, more comfortably and happily.

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