Frugal Traveler

Stocking stuffers and gifts frequent travelers will love

December 1, 2012 

With the holidays right around the corner, useful gift ideas are on the minds of many. These solutions make perfect presents, and are all available for between $8 and $100.

Incidentals: Gifts suitable for stocking stuffers make perfect light-packing presents. One example is Badger’s $8 unscented, organic balm for sensitive and dry skin. It comes in a solid and is stored in a flat tin for easy storage. Fragrance fans will enjoy Travalo’s travel atomizers and roller ball receptacles. Designed to easily fill by pumping product from your larger, at-home bottles into travel-sized containers, they put portability back into the equation for scents you’re unable to purchase in smaller vessels. Prices range from roughly $13 to $25, depending on the size and model. Colors are available to suit both men and women.

Trying to keep things traditional? Dahlgren has a fun line of blister-reducing specialty socks for travelers, including plain, argyle and confetti patterns. Price points start at around $18 and can go as high as $30, depending upon the style and model. They also make compression socks for frequent flyers.

Supplies: Starter kits for skin-care products provide travel-sized necessities packaged for easy gift giving. For instance, Primavera’s $20 moisturizing starter kit includes trial containers of cleanser, toner, lotion and replenishing cream with an organic cotton bag. I’ve used a similar strategy with a line of powdered mineral makeup that lasted me for nearly of year’s worth of business travel. Since reducing carry-on liquids is such a pressing concern for air travelers, any gift that helps achieve that will likely be well received.

Lush produces some affordable, non-liquid moisturizing products including a facial serum for nighttime use. Additionally, their Tiny Hands solid lotion sells for $7.95. Purchased with one of the small square tins for $3.95, it makes an easy-to-wrap present with an affordable combined price point.

Solutions: Road trips result in a long list of logistical issues. For example, travel fitness can be challenging when limited luggage space leaves you without free weights or workout mats.

A packable gift of Yoga Paws can help put exercise goals on track. For less than $50, this set of non-slip hand and foot accessories lets yoga enthusiasts enjoy workouts on a wide variety of terrains and surfaces, taking up about as much room as a pair of heavy wool socks.

Communication solutions for frequent family adventures can seem heaven sent, particularly when the destination’s out of cell range. Motorola makes two-way radios suitable for use during snowshoeing, hiking and ski vacations when the family wants to break into different ability groups. Their $90, MT350R model includes a mini-USB charger with a Y cable, and two radios that come with built-in LED flashlights and NOAA weather channel access.

Rumpled wardrobe getting you down? Try adding wrinkle-resistant clothing to your holiday wish list. Ministry of Supply makes a number of men’s products suitable for grab-and-go wardrobe changes, including their button-up agent shirt for $85 and their $30 performance base layer.

Myscha TheriaultMcClatchy-Tribune News Service

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