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It’s the time for sculpting a new year of active travel plans and how we’ll fit it into our budgets and lifestyle. So I rounded up a list of my latest test drives and innovative travel gear in a travel gift guide for Solo Travelers.
Solo travel can feel tricky. As I have to carry everything I take and be accountable for all my valuables, I have to pack smart, lightweight, safely and strategically. So here’s some fun travel items to save on time and packing space for solo travelers, digital nomads and content creators.
Note: There are affiliate links in this post. It helps me afford maintenance on this blog at no extra cost to you. All products are things I have used and would recommend.
Table of Contents: Must Have Travel Gift Guide for 2020
- 1 1. Yeti Rambler 20 oz Tumbler
- 2 2. Wet brush go
- 3 3. FitBit Charge 3
- 4 4. Echo Dot or Google Mini
- 5 5. DoTerra Motivate roll-on stick
- 6 6. Kao Megurism Eye warmers (aka Japanese Eye warmers)
- 7 7. Insta360 OneX
- 8 8. Manfrotto Lifestyle NX CSC Backpack
- 9 9. SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD
- 10 10. Packing Cubes
- 11 11. Travel Inspira Universal Travel Adapter
- 12 12. Prepaid Credit Cards
- 13 13. Langogo Genesis Pocket AI Translator with eSim
1. Yeti Rambler 20 oz Tumbler
Down with single use plastics! To minimize harmful wast to the environment, I try to take a reusable bottle or tumbler with me when I’m on the go. My favorite: Yeti Rambler 20 oz Tumbler is a heavy duty stainless steel, rugged and durable double-wall vacuum insulated tumbler, which keeps your drink hot or cold for a long time. Perfect for outdoor adventures, I used this when I was driving to the Arctic Ocean (British Colombia) and it was the first tumbler I can honestly say I really love. It kept my drinks warm for hours of driving. My favorite feature of the Yeti Rambler is the MagSlider lid. While it does not prevent leaks or spills, the lock feels sturdy and I like being able to see my drink from the top.
2. Wet brush go
I’ve always packed a Wet brush pop & go brush in my luggage because they come in handy, are compact and gentle to my tangled mane. While they promote it as a brush for wet hair, I feel it performs best when dry. So when I got the larger version- the wet brush go-, I was reluctant travel with it due to size but it is just so damn good. I feel like it actually softens my hair while detangling it, all in a couple of strokes. Must have for travelers with long hair. 45% less breakage, 56% more easy is what they promise. So far, I feel like they match up to what they say.
3. FitBit Charge 3
Ever wonder how much your workout time you’re putting into your traveling? I’ve been a fan of FitBit Charge 2 since last year when balancing my travel, YouTube/blog business and fitness goals became important to me. It measures you activity levels such as steps, calories, miles but also important things like your sleep levels and reminders to take timeout breaks. If you are a highly productive person, having an assistant to help you balance all these things is what the FitBit does well. But newly released is the FitBit Charge 3 and the big difference between the Charge 3 vs Charge 2 is significant. Although they look similar, the FitBit Charge 3 is swim-proof and has longer battery life (at 7 days)! Also, the touch screen allows you to see and choose between two features, allowing you to see more in one glance. With the ability to set weather from different locations and allowing you to get more notifications to your watch, it helps you merge your step and workout time
Check out my past travel gift guides:
4. Echo Dot or Google Mini
These days, we all need a virtual assistant and both the Echo dot and Google Mini have your back. As households switch to Smart Home installations and more things can be controlled by voice activation, Dot and Mini are taking on more responsibilities. From playing your favorite song on Pandora to telling you the time or weather, why not use it for travel I do!
For a travel blogger like myself, I’ve been using Google Mini to help me source quick travel information. I haven’t asked them to find me the cheapest flight prices yet, but that might be next on the agenda.
5. DoTerra Motivate roll-on stick
DoTerra Motivate roll-on stick is an essential oil citrus blend, which you can roll on or tap your pressure points with. Bought it when I did my Arctic drive and wanted to stay awake for those long driving hours. But it was so perfect for just traveling and daily life. The “the fresh, minty aroma promotes feelings of confidence, courage, and belief.” It also helps revive you after a long day of sightseeing or walking.
6. Kao Megurism Eye warmers (aka Japanese Eye warmers)
Tired eyes from spending hours on the computer? These days,eye strain is a problem for many. One thing I’ve discovered traveling Japan are Kao Megurism eye warmers. Each of these eye warmers are individually packaged and fragranced. The moment you remove it from its package it heats up and you’ll can wear them to sleep or for a 15-20 break over your eyes to relax it. The warmers heat up to a comfortable level and there are different scents from a spring sunshine to flowery evening. I’ve even bought a sakura scented one during Sakura season.
7. Insta360 OneX
If you’re a fan of 360 or just want a camera to set you apart from the rest, Insta360 OneX ($399) is for you! You’ve seen my 360 photos in the past taken with my Insta360 Nano ($150)- Review here. This is the super robust version allowing you to film in 360 and then edit in your phone. The Flow State stabilization is amazing and the ability to tweak your perspective in edit allows you to choose any perspective you want to see in your video. The video is 4K but you won’t get a professional looking 4K on a television or computer monitor, but it will look great on social media and on your photo.
8. Manfrotto Lifestyle NX CSC Backpack
Ive been going through backpacks for years searching for the one backpack which can do the work I need it for as a female solo content creator. The Manfrotto Lifestyle NX CSC Backpack merges a camera gear bag with a just enough daypack space to put extra clothes. The secret back pocket and the back entry camera entrance gives me peace of mind that my valuables will be protected from pickpockets.
9. SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD
With the SanDisk Portable Extreme SSD, SanDisk made an SSD to match the extremes of adventurous, traveling video content creators like myself. They know we need to produce regular and massive amounts of content. So they made a drive designed to sustain the rugged rigors of this type of adventure (Check out my review and field test) . An SSD is different from an external harddrive in that the memory is built on a flash memory disk which tends to be small and does not have sensitive gear which can be damaged. You can drop this on the ground, in water, it can accidentally disconnect when you’re using it and it will still be okay. Best of all, it is the size of a credit card and is equally light, so you won’t be adding weight or space to your luggage. It fits in my memory card wallet. If you’re looking for portable reliability, this is it. They sell 500 GB, 1 T and 2T drives. They aren’t cheap but one is all you need to travel with as you leave the clunker externals at home.
10. Packing Cubes
As far as travel essentials go, you cannot go wrong with packing cubes. This is a must. Ever since I learned about Eagle Creek packing cubes, it was game over. Eagle Creek is a reputable outdoor brand and I’ve been a fan of organizing and downsizing my packing with their cubes. You can fit a lot in them and easily separate your dirty clothes from clean. Ebags also offers inexpensive version with additional sizes like this one. Both brands offer durable travel solutions.
11. Travel Inspira Universal Travel Adapter
Universal travel adapters can be chunky, but they’re handy and they offer peace of mind for travelers. I never know when I will fly to a destination at the last minute and need one. Voila! My fave travel adapter is the Travel Inspira Universal Travel Adapter; it has four USB adapters spaced apart, a plug adapter and a Smart IC device, which gauges your battery so it doesn’t over-charge. I’ve tried a few different travel adapters but this is the smartest universal travel adapter I’ve come across yet! Best of all, I can charge 5 devices at once (which means, I also use this at home when i’m not traveling!)
12. Prepaid Credit Cards
Prepaid credit cards are a great gift for travelers and safe too. Rather than bring your credit card out and risk it getting stolen or attracting pickpockets, carrying a prepaid credit card allows you to only use (and lose) the money you have stored on it. You can buy them on Amazon in $200, $100, $50, prepaid quantities.
13. Langogo Genesis Pocket AI Translator with eSim
From travelers to expats living abroad … if you want a dedicated pocket translator and Google Translate is not enough, Langogo Genesis Pocket AI Translator with eSim is a standalone translator with over 100+ languages. I received a Langogo Genesis Translator from Langogo to review and the one drawback feature I didn’t care for was that it required either its own SIM card with internet data plan. It kept me from testing it fully. In its defense, the newer model comes with an embedded eSim, which means all you need is sign up for a e-Sim subscription and the plans I’ve seen are pretty inexpensive. Screen real estate is decent and you can navigate through things quickly. As a translator it seems rather good in detecting different voices and pronunciations although I haven’t tested for too long nor in challenging travel environments I was dependent upon its working. Weight is a little lighter and slimmer than my iPhone XR. There are some settings in Chinese however to remind you that it is not fully western yet. Price point is rather high, but if you’re looking for a dedicated translator that’s a bit better than Google Translate, give this a try.