PackThePJs is predominantly a family travel blog – so how could we not put together a Christmas Gift Guide for Travel Lovers? This is our last Gift Guide for 2017. We hope you like our choices, some of which are travel must-haves, and some are just items that are nice to travel with. Enjoy – and Merry Christmas!
Gift 1: CabinZero Classic Flags 44L Ultra Light Cabin Back Pack
We love CabinZero bags. They are really strong, really light – and really trendy! This Limited Edition Classic Cabin Back Pack in Navy particularly caught our eye, because of the flags on it. This is the kind of carry-on luggage I can see Toby having in a couple of years time – he’ll be adding woven badges to it of all the places he’s visited! This bag features a large 44-litre capacity, side compression straps, top and side handles, front zipped pocket, inside zipped and mesh pocket. Additional standard features include: Built-in Global Luggage Tracker, powered by Okoban; Lockable Zippers on main compartment (lock not included); 10 years warranty; Thick padded shoulder straps; Fully Lined.
Link to purchase: CabinZeroLimitedEditionClassicCabinBackPack
Gift 2: GoPro Hero6 Black
PackThePJs invested in a GoPro (Hero5 Black) back in the summer, just before travelling to the Maldives and Abu Dhabi. We bought it because we knew we were going to go snorkelling, and wanted the best chance of capturing some of the underwater sights. I was drawn towards the GoPro because it didn’t require any additional waterproofing – because we were only snorkelling on the top of the sea it was fine to use ‘as is’, connected to a handle and a floaty. We were really pleased with the results.
Of course the GoPro does a lot more than this. It is an action camera – it’s designed for use in all kinds of sports and activities. Using various mounts and connectors you can wear it on your cycle/riding helmet, attach it to your canoe/surfboard/skateboard, attach a selfie-stick to film face-view commentary … the uses are endless. I’ve just seen that you can attach it to a drone too, for aerial filming. The GoPro is very easy to use – very few buttons! We downloaded our footage, using wifi, to our ipad and used a GoPro editing app to chop and add some finishing touches before uploading to YouTube.
The GoPro Hero6 is the new generation of GoPro … it does everything a little better and a little quicker than the 5 that we have. Definitely a worthwhile investment.
RRP: £488.16 (Argos price)
Link to purchase: GoProHero6Black
Gift 3: Derwent Inktense Pencil Wrap
Derwent Inktense pencils are highly versatile water-soluble pencils, which create vivid ink-like colour when combined with water. Highly pigmented dry colour transforms into a pure, translucent ink-like wash which is permanent once dry. Due to its permanence, Inktense can be worked over without affecting previous layers of vivid colour. Suitable for use on paper and fabrics for a wide range of fine art and craft projects. When carried in the roll, they make the perfect travel companion for sketching while out and about.
RRP: £44.99 (currently £34.95 link below)
Link to purchase: DerwentInktensePencilWrap
Gift 4: SockShop BlueGuard & StormBloc Socks
When travelling, especially if hiking is involved, an important clothing item has to be some good, reliable socks. These shown here, both from the SockShop, provide the performance you need to keep feet healthy and happy. The StormBloc ladies performance polyester trainer sport socks have arch supports and terry cushioning. They keep your feet cool and dry during the warmer summer months; keeping feet dry reduces the risk of blisters.
The BlueGuard Anti-Abrasion Durability socks are scientifically proven to last an incredible 46 times as long as a standard sports socks. The anti-abrasion yarn has high tensile strength filament polymers combined with excellent flex, a low moisture absorption and are also quick drying. They have reinforced toe seams, cotton rich bodies and are fully cushioned, with a comfort fit, and with a built-in arch support. You can tell who’s wearing engineered for life Blueguard Anti-Abrasion Durability Socks because of the big, bold shield logo embroidered on the leg!
RRP: £9.99 (BlueGuard) : £4.99 (StormBloc)
Gift 5: Hydro Flask Tumblers & Flasks
PackThePJs were introduced to Hydro Flask back in the summer. As a family that travel a lot on road trips and spend lots of time outdoors camping – their almost indestructible flasks and tumblers have become a godsend to us. Firstly, the colour range is vast, so each family member has their own colour! Secondly the quality is about as good as it gets. The 16oz True Pint tumbler keeps drinks ice-cold by their TempShieldTM double wall insulation technology that eliminates condensation. The same technology is found in the 64oz Growler flask. This also incorporates their Fresh Carry System™ technology, which somehow manages to keep fizzy drinks fizzy, and ice-cold drinks icy. When driving long days in the summer, this flask has become a bit of a lifeline. It easily pours into the tumblers too, so no spillages in the car.
When we’re not experiencing a heatwave, which let’s be honest is most of the time, we use our 16oz Hydro Flask coffee flasks. On cold evenings, while sitting outside in the car while MM or Toby are at various clubs, I never leave the house without my flask full of hot coffee. It keeps the coffee really hot for a good 6 hours if I need it to, and it stops me turning into a block of ice! We love this brand.
RRP: From £18.95
Link to purchase: HydroFlaskRange
Gift 6: Moleskine Smart Notebook
Huw loves this notebook and he’s a complete convert to digital paper. The Moleskine Smart Notebook is a brilliant bit of kit for the traveller who loves to doodle or handwrite a journal. Draw or write on any page of this notebook, download the Creative Cloud connected Moleskine app from the Apple/Android Store, and you can use it to capture your drawing or scribbling. The Creative Cloud connected notebook allows you instantly turn hand-drawn sketches into fully workable digital files. The app uses special page markings to help process and optimise the image as a JPG file before converting it to an SVG file. Also by getting an Adobe Creative Cloud membership, you can easily sync your artwork to the Creative Cloud and open later to carry on working on them in Adobe Illustrator CC or Adobe Photoshop CC. This notebook is the true evolution of paper. The notebook is 13 x 21 cm – 5 x 8⅟4 inch and uses ivory coloured 120g/m² paper. With a red elastic closure and a red bookmark ribbon this is a classy gift for the traveller.
Link to purchase: MoleskineSmartNotebook
Gift 7: Olympus PEN E-PL8 Camera
I’m a family travel blogger, and this beautiful piece of technology is the Holy Grail of blogging cameras. Bloggers, from my observations, seem to fall into two camps … those (confess, like me) who rely on their mobile phones to capture images, or those that take their photography seriously. This latter group of bloggers either have – or want – an Olympus PEN camera. When I’m out and about – either with other bloggers or when I’m being a tourist – I always feel rather inferior when I spot someone with one of these cameras! There’s good reason why they are so highly praised – the photos it takes are awesome. This camera has all the top-spec technology you’d expect (wifi, tiltable touchscreen, autofocus and art filters) … but it can also be used manually like a traditional camera. And of course the Olympus PEN has interchangeable lenses – so you can add to your capabilities as you gain experience using it. This is top of my blogging wishlist. One day 🙂
Link to purchase: OlympusPenE-PL8with14-42lens
Gift 8: Wall Scratch Map
Toby has a HUGE map of the world filling one wall of his bedroom. I often stare at it, looking at the places we’ve been to, and the places top of the list to head to next. Under the Christmas tree this year will be a scratch map of the world – for all of us. We can then scratch away the places we’ve been to see how much of the world we still need to explore. I think, for anyone who travels regularly, this is a fabulous gift idea.
RRP: £11.95 (currently £7.99, link below)
Link to purchase: WorldScratchMap
Gift 9: Clakit XL StrapPack Two Zipper Clip-On Backpack Pouch
Clakit StrapPacks are very popular with hikers, travellers and adventurers – letting people carry small gear, smartphone, snacks, and water on the front of their backpacks. They clip securely to any strap and provide important storage on the front of their pack where items are safe from theft, accessible and hands-free. The StrapPacks install in seconds – you simply wrap the clip around a strap and squeeze it to lock in position. The patented clip provides a secure, no-slip fit that has been tested to 120 mph and up to 25 pounds. The clip also lets you interchange pouches depending on activity, as well as move pouches from your travel daypack to hiking backpack to camera bag.
While StrapPacks are great for hiking and travelling, they clip to any strap; people use them on golf bags, messenger bags, purses, sports bags, seat belts, baby carriers – basically anything with a strap. Being so functional, Clakit products make great affordable gifts.
RRP: £21.95 (on sale at £17.56, link below)
Link to purchase: ClakitXLStrapPackBackPackPouch
Gift 10: Sony MDR-1000X Noise Cancelling Headphones
Noise-cancelling headphones reduce unwanted ambient sounds using active noise control. This is distinct from passive headphones which, if they reduce ambient sounds at all, use techniques such as soundproofing. Noise cancellation makes it possible to listen to music without raising the volume excessively. It can help a passenger sleep in a noisy vehicle, such as an airliner. On a plane, noise-cancelling headphones increase the signal-to-noise ratio significantly more than passive noise attenuating headphones or no headphones, making hearing important information such as safety announcements easier. Noise-cancelling headphones can improve listening enough to completely offset the effect of a distracting concurrent activity.
More and more travellers these days possess a good quality pair of noise-cancelling headphones. These Sony MDR1000X are considered among the best on the market. They are wireless with Bluetooth connectivity, and come with a carry case. The headphones have an impressive 20 hours battery life. I think a pair of these and a good neck hugging travel pillow will definitely make long-haul flights more bearable!
RRP: £360.00 (currently £259.99, link below)
Link to purchase: SonyMDR1000XNoiseCancellingHeadphones
All these travel items have made me want to book a holiday! We’re off on our annual pre-Christmas road trip soon, in search of snow and Christmas markets; there’s not too long to wait now. A couple of the items above were gifted to PackThePJs in exchange for our opinion (we only include things we really like though!)
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