11 Brilliant Gifts For The Traveler in Your Life

Amazon / UncommonGoods
Amazon / UncommonGoods

Many of us have at least one loved one who never can stay in one place for too long. For that frequent traveler in your life, heavy books or gift cards to local restaurants probably aren’t going to cut it. This holiday season, get them one of these products that are made to complement their adventures.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. Zendure Portable Charger

Long-haul flyers can take solace in always having a little extra juice for their phones and e-books. Zendure’s portable charger raised more than $216,000 on Kickstarter, for good reason. It’s crush-proof, so no need to worry about it getting squished in suitcases or overhead bins. It turns on automatically when you plug your device in, and it can hold 95 percent of its charge on stand-by for up to six months between trips. It comes in silver or black, and for a few more dollars, you can upgrade to more battery power.

Find It at Amazon for $60 and also at these other retailers:

2. The New York Times: 36 Hours Europe

The wanderlust-prone are sure to find a city they’ve never been to in The New York Times’ book-length collection of their popular “36 Hours” travel series. The newly updated European edition features 130 cities across the continent, with itineraries that highlight the best that each destination has to offer—and shares a game plan for visiting each of them in just one weekend. For those whose travel horizons extend beyond Europe, there are also U.S. and Latin American versions.

Find It at Amazon for $40 and also at these other retailers:

3. Polaroid Cube +

This tiny HD camera will fit in any suitcase, no matter how full. It’s just 1 cubic inch, but can shoot video in full HD or capture 8-megapixel images. It’s waterproof and shockproof, so it’s perfect for rugged adventures and city travels alike. Plus, with a 128° angle lens, it can capture more of the scene than a regular camera.

Find It at Amazon for $174.

4. Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

Every traveler needs a way to block out some of the less glamorous aspects of jet-setting. Bose’s headphones come with a high recommendation from The Wirecutter, whose reviewers spent 30 hours testing 20 different noise-cancelling headphone models. The lightweight, comfy QC25 model has great noise-cancellation, and collapses down to a smaller size for storage.

Find It at Amazon for $229 and also from these retailers:

5. Rifle Paper Co. Passport Pocket Notebooks

Rifle’s passport-themed notebooks are a stylish reminder of the joys of travel. The miniature booklets are the perfect size to carry around in a back pocket or small bag, with 64 unlined sheets and natural vellum pages. They come in packs with two different designs, so if you really like them, you can even keep one for yourself!

Find It at Amazon for $10.

6. Logitech Keys-To-Go Ultra-Portable Bluetooth Keyboard

It’s easier to write those emails home on a standard keyboard rather than tapping away at a touchscreen. For those who don’t bring a full laptop on their trips and opt for a tablet or iPad instead, Logitech’s Bluetooth keyboard—available in black, gray, blush, or smoky blue—has full-size keys. It's also still light, easy to carry in a bag or even a large coat pocket, spill-resistant, and can be used for up to three months on a single charge.

Find It at Amazon for $45 and also at these other retailers:

7. Espro Stainless Steel 12-Ounce Travel Press With Coffee Filter

Road-trip lovers can enjoy great coffee no matter what pit-stops they counter with Espro’s travel brewer, essentially a fancy French press in an insulated cup. It has a two-filter brewing process that eliminates the grit that accompanies French presses, and halts the extraction process once the plunger is pushed down all the way, so your coffee doesn’t continue to brew. No need to strain it out of the cup. The insulation keeps it warm for four to six hours. The cup comes in a few different colors as well as a version made for brewing tea.

Find It at Amazon for $35 and also at these other retailers:

8. National Parks Explorer Map

For the roving outdoor explorer in your life, consider this map of some of the best wilderness destinations in the U.S. It comes with tree stickers so they can mark off the national parks they have checked off their bucket list. With 59 parks in total, the vintage-style design shows off the many places that could serve as their next vacation plan.

Find It at Uncommon Goods for $55.

9. City Map Glass

Let your favorite cross-country explorer celebrate their favorite city with tumblers depicting the street grids of some of the biggest metros in the U.S. Designed by the Boston-based Brian Johnson, there are currently 17 different city glasses to choose from, each etched with part of the urban street grid, neighborhood names, and the city’s geographical coordinates. Whether you’re looking to honor someone’s hometown pride or future travel plans, these cups make it easy to toast to some of America’s most exciting destinations.

Find It at Uncommon Goods for $16.

10. Trunkster Carry-On

The price tag on this one may seem high for a suitcase, but this isn’t just a bag. You can track its location via a smartphone app, and it has a built-in scale to ensure you never go over your maximum weight. There’s a removable power bank with USB ports to charge your devices located on the top of the suitcase. Plus, it’s exactly the size of most airlines’ maximum carry-on luggage allowance.

Find It at Trunkster for $345.

11. Men's Organizing Travel 4-Pack & Women's Organizing Travel 4-Pack

Keeping organized on the road can be tough, but these cloth bags make it easy to keep essentials separate and handy. They’re printed with images of what should go inside, whether it’s underwear, a hair dryer, or dirty clothes. There are two sets—labeled as men’s and women’s—with different images, in case your favorite traveler needs a bag for earbuds more than one for a hairdryer.

Find It at Uncommon Goods for $45 and up.

All-Marshmallow Boxes of Lucky Charms Are Back, But Not Everyone Will Be Able to Get One

Lucky Charms
Lucky Charms

Hot on the heels of a Virginia brewery's cereal-inspired marshmallow beer, another way for grown adults to feel like kids again has emerged. Marshmallow-only Lucky Charms are back—this time with unicorn and rainbow shapes. Unfortunately, only 15,000 boxes of the sweet stuff are up for grabs.

If you were already planning on treating yourself by picking up some regular Lucky Charms from your local supermarket, be on the lookout for promotional boxes that say “You could win a box of only marshmallows” on the front. The inside panels of those boxes contain codes that can be entered at MarshmallowOnly.com for your chance to win one of the rare pure-marshmallow boxes. The promotion will run through the summer, so you’ll have plenty of time to enter up to 30 codes. Here's a list of participating retailers carrying the coded boxes [PDF].

This isn’t the first time that General Mills, the maker of Lucky Charms, has held this sweepstakes. In 2015, the company gave away 10 boxes of marshmallow-only cereal (or, as it calls the sugary shapes, “marbits”). Based on the popularity of that promotion, it handed out 10,000 boxes in 2017.

"It's no secret that Lucky Charms fans love the marshmallows," Scott Baldwin, director of marketing for cereal at General Mills, said in a statement. "Consumers have flooded our inboxes and swept our social feeds begging for Lucky Charms Marshmallow Only to return. You asked, and we listened!"

If you’re not feeling especially lucky, you can buy similar versions of the marshmallows on Amazon. Retailers like Medley Hills Farm and Hoosier Hill Farm (which are apparently unrelated companies) sell one-pound bags of cereal marshmallows for $11 and $10, respectively. You can also order an 8-pound bag, or, if you’re feeling especially peckish, a 40-pound case of dehydrated marshmallows for $228. As one Amazon reviewer wrote, it's “just the right amount."

Start Your Morning Right With the Alarm Clock That Makes You Coffee

For those who can't function in the morning, a cup of coffee is key. For those who can't even function enough to make that cup of coffee, there's the Barisieur. This innovative alarm clock (now available at Urban Outfitters) awakens the sleeper with the smell of coffee and the gentle rattle of stainless steel ball bearings as the water boils.

Take sugar or milk? There's a special compartment for milk so the liquid stays fresh and cool until you're ready to use it in the morning. On the front, there's a drawer for sugar. The whole tray can even be removed for easy cleaning.

Not a coffee fan? The Barisieur also brews loose-leaf tea.

The milk vessel of the coffee alarm clock
Barisieur, Urban Outfitters

The gadget also has an actual alarm that can be set to sound before or during the coffee making process. 

This invention was thought up by product designer Joshua Renouf as part of his studies at Nottingham Trent University in the UK. Though the idea started as just a prototype for class back in 2015, Renouf managed to make it a reality, and you can now buy one of your very own.

At $445, the alarm clock is quite an investment, but for coffee lovers who have trouble forcing themselves out of bed, it might be more than worth it. Go ahead, picture waking up slowly to the smell of roasted coffee beans and only having to sit up in bed and enjoy.

Buy it at one of the retailers below:

[h/t: Design-Milk.com]

A version of this article first ran in 2015. It has been updated to reflect the product's current availability.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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