by Ellen Barone
Wondering what to get the adventure traveller in your clan? Here’s a short-list of gifts sure to please.
TRAVEL TECH ESSENTIAL: Apple iPad
The iPad has quickly transformed the way we travel. A glance across any airport lounge, hotel lobby, or Internet café around the world will confirm that travellers love their iPads. Research hotels. Find a restaurant. Track flight updates. Share photos. Video chat. Learn a language. Watch a film. Read a book. Listen to your favorite tunes. Discover local hotspots. On the road or at home, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one. This is one gift you can’t go wrong with. (Starting at $499; www.apple.com/ipad)
ON-THE-GO ESPRESSO: Handpresso Portable Espresso Maker
Can’t take the prospect of another Nescafe morning in some far-flung corner of the globe? Good news, java junkie traveler: Next time you’re craving a shot of decent espresso, the Handpresso espresso maker delivers a tasty cup of espresso no matter how backcountry you go. Featuring a hand-powered pump that supplies 16 bars of pressure to brew in seconds, the Handpresso works with ground coffee and most easy serving espresso pods. ($129;www.handpresso.com)
UNDER COVER: ExOfficio Give-N-Go Underwear
From boxers and briefs, tank tops and lacy bikinis, travel light in Exofficio underwear. Wash and within hours you have a clean, dry pair of underwear. Lightweight, durable and above all comfortable, pack two pairs and you’re good to go for months. Really. (From $15; www.ExOfficio.com)
PLANET FRIENDLY: People Towels
For those who choose to reuse, People Towels, sustainable pocket-sized towels, are a convenient, budget-friendly gift with a built in donation to a worthy cause. Quick-dry and packable, these towels, made from 100% organic Fair Trade Cotton are perfect for eco-minded travellers and adventurers. ($6.99; www.peopletowels.com)
MAKE A SPLASH: Hummingbird Protective E-Cases
Whether you’re running rapids in the Grand Canyon, heli-sking the Canadian Rockies, or expedition cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage, Hummingbird e-cases protect your travel technology no matter how wet it gets. Every case is individually tested in the factory to withstand a 1-metre submersion for up to 30 minutes. Perfect for iPods, cell phones, pocket cameras, and E-Readers. (From $19.95;www.cascadedesigns.com/hummingbird)
HIGHLY ADDICTIVE: Po-Zu Slippers
Be forewarned: Slip on a pair of Po-Zu slippers this winter and you may never want to take them off. Made from 100% natural materials and über-comfy coconut husk footbeds, Po-Zu produces a beautiful range of sustainable footwear that your feet will fall in love with. Order guilt free. Not only are the slippers entirely biodegradable, but Po-Zu also ships its products in compostable shoeboxes that double up as seed trays. (From €85; www.po-zu.com)
SEE, DREAM, GO: National Geographic Journeys of a Lifetime
Equal parts armchair travel and trip planner this 400-page coffee table book from National Geographic is sure to inspire an adventure. Compiled from the favorite trips of National Geographic’s travel writers, Journeys of a Lifetime spans the globe to highlight the best of the world’s most famous and lesser-known sojourns. Every continent and every possible form of transport is covered. This is definitely a gift any traveler would love to see wrapped under the Christmas tree. ($32.00; www.shop.nationalgeographic.com)
POCKETS GALORE: Scottevest Explorer Shirt (photo not available)
Fancy having a lightweight wrinkle resistant shirt that carries everything you need for the day? Mobile phone. Pen. Sunglasses. Camera. iPod. Mad money. With the Scottevest Explorer Shirt you’ll have 19 pockets to keep your daily essentials handy. Tuck it in. Leave it loose. Sleeves up or down. Layer with a tee. Whether you’re traipsing across India, headed for the coffeehouse, or sitting at your desk, this stylish comfy cotton shirt goes everywhere you do; perfect for work or play. ($85;www.scottevest.com)
FOR THE SHUTTERBUG: Nikon 1J1
Fast, fun and super smart, this clever little Nikon offers serious shooting in a sleek and simple package. With the Nikon 1J1 you can document your vacation in photos and HD movies simultaneously, swap lenses to suit your subject, shoot an amazing 10 frames per second, and capture flipbook style motion snapshots. And for those who appreciate form as much as function, the camera is available in stylish monochrome white, red, or silver color options. Nice. ($649.95; www.NikonUSA.com)
I SPY AN IDENTITY THIEF: Pacsafe RFID Travel Wallet
Embedded in today’s passports and credit cards are RFID chips, tiny radio transmitters that emit a coded identification number when queried by a reader device. While it may speed up your latte purchases at Starbucks or get you through customs faster, you don’t want to be broadcasting your most private information over the airwaves for identity thieves to scan and steal. Block transmissions and keep your information safe with an RFID travel wallet by Pacsafe. ($16.95; www.pacsafe.com)
What's at the top of your list this holiday season? Other than some actual adventure travel!
Ellen Barone is a freelance photojournalist specializing in travel. For the latest travel news, tips, and reviews, visit her website at EllenBarone.com.