Ned’s 10 great holiday gifts for travelers

It’s December, when we are thinking of gifts for friends and family. With the holidays coming up fast, it’s time for my annual holiday gift roundup for travelers.

I’ve put together a list of high-tech and low-tech items, expensive gifts and inexpensive stocking stuffers. All are great for the road warrior and frequent travelers you know.

Quiet Comfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones ($299.95) — Bose noise cancelling headsets have been on my list for years. This year there are two Bose QC25 noise cancelling headsets, a black/white version, or a custom color version for an additional $100. Inside they’re both the same high quality headset Bose has been producing for a long time. They block out most outside noise well, are comfortable and produce a quality sound for listening to music or video. They use a AAA battery, work with most smartphones and tablets, and can be plugged into many airplane sound systems.

iHM79BC Portable Stereo Speakers from iHome ($48.99) — These speakers are great for bringing life to your music or video from almost any smartphone, tablet, or laptop computer. They connect to your devices via a standard 3.5mm stereo audio plug. The speakers charge via a USB cable (all cables supplied). With the speakers popped-up they sound like much larger speakers. They’re small and light enough to take on any trip.

Travel Duct Tape 2 Pack ($4.76) — The ultimate low tech travel aid, duct tape has 1,001 uses. When my suitcase’s internal stiffener cracked in Ireland this fall, I was able to duct tape it together and re-bolt the base rest through the taped stiffener. It held up until I got home, through two hotels and an international flight. This is a terrific stocking stuffer.

Mophie Powerstation XL ($129.95) — This whopping 12,000mAh battery is capable of charging virtually any smartphone, digital camera, or tablet which charges through a USB cable. It easily recharges the big batteries found in typical tablets to keep it going on a long flight, watching videos or playing games, and still have some power left over. It weighs about 3/4 lb. and is a bit bigger than a deck of cards. It comes with a cable to charge the battery, but you supply the cables to charge your devices.

SKROSS PRO PLUS USB World Adapter Dual USB ($47.99) — For an international traveler, this is the ultimate universal plug adapter and can be used with its dual USB adapter to charge electronic devices through a USB cable. The adapter is suitable for all earthed and unearthed 2 & 3 pole outlets. This isn’t a voltage converter. It’s only a plug adapter. I carry two of them when traveling internationally.

Monster MP OTG400 BK Outlets To Go Power Strip ($11.12) — There are never enough outlets where you need them in your hotel room, especially when traveling internationally when you use plug adapters. This power strip, which Monster states will work at 100-240V, 50-60Hz power, makes one outlet into four, for US plugs. I’ve used one for a couple of years.

Hearos Ear Plugs – Xtreme Protection Series, 14 pairs ($6.49) — Have you ever stayed in a room with a leaky faucet in the bathroom, thin walls between you and the adventurous couple next door, or been in a central city hotel with all night street noise keeping you up? These comfortable foam ear plugs can rescue you. This is a great stocking stuffer.

Humangear GoToob Travel Bottles 3 Pack ($17.70) — Lately I’ve found that airport security in some countries is getting tough about liquids containers. In October, I had my 3oz liquids bottles confiscated. I had used them since the liquid limits for carry-on use was instituted. Why were they confiscated? The security agent claimed the bottles didn’t say 3oz on them, so weren’t legitimate. I now use these terrific Humangear “no-drip” squeezable silicone bottles for liquids which plainly say 3oz on them near the cap. They’re perfect to carry your shampoo, liquid soap, and other liquids in your carry-on.

ScotteVest Travel Vest for Men/Women ($125) — A vest can be an ideal “third” carry-on when needed while traveling. The men’s vest with 24 pockets, and the women’s with 17, are ideal for carrying extra gear into an airplane cabin when you’re required to lighten your carry-on, and keep you organized with everything you need while flying. It’s good looking and well made. I never travel without my travel vest.

Day Passes for GoGo Internet ($16/each) — Do you know an air traveler to whom you want to give a really great gift, who flies somewhat regularly and stays on the Internet for more than a couple of hours while aloft, and flies on Air Canada, Airtran, Alaska, American, Delta, United, US Airways, or Virgin America? If so, you could purchase them a series of GoGo Internet day passes. GoGo is the ISP for those airlines. Each pass is good for 24 hours of Internet use on a single airline so it’s even good for many connections. Each pass expires one year from their date of purchase.

(Image of Bose QuietComfort® 25 headphones courtesy of Bose Corporation)