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  1. #1
    Forum Member TurtleWax's Avatar
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    Gifts for a new traveler?

    Hello lovely Bihnions,

    A very good friend of mine is going on her first international adventure in a couple months, and I want to present her with a little collection of gifts to help her prepare!
    The items I've already gotten are: Expedition Field Journal, a Gotoob, and a spork, all tucked into a size 2 Northwest Sky stuff sack.
    I want to get her something bigger to go with them, but I fear our travel styles will be very different and I don't want to impose anything on her.

    So, what are your favorite bags/items to take with you when traveling?


    P.S. I am considering buying her a Kindle or a SE, good/bad? I also thought about an A30, but I worry it might be too big or not big enough.
    Last edited by TurtleWax; 04-07-2016 at 09:14 AM.
    S19 + DLBP + DLBC + SCB + TT

    “In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made many people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”
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  2. #2
    Forum Member kathryn's Avatar
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    Will she be traveling with tech gear? If so, maybe a universal charging hub (multiple plug adapters for different countries and multiple USB ports) and/or a backup battery would be nice if she doesn't have them already.

    I also love to have printed maps for where I am going (I especially like the laminated StreetWise ones). I know a lot of people rely only on their smartphone these days, but printed maps give me peace of mind.

    How exciting for her to be starting a big trip, and having such a good friend to help her on her way. Smilie
    "I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares.” ― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette

  3. #3
    Forum Member TurtleWax's Avatar
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    Oooh! I completely forgot about adapters!
    I'm looking to buy gifts this far ahead so that I can get things that she needs, without worrying that she has already purchased them.

    Also, the map idea is brilliant (she doesn't have a smartphone). However, she may be bringing a dedicated GPS, so I'll hold onto that idea for now.

    Thank you so much for the ideas. I'll 100% add an adapter to the stuff sack.
    S19 + DLBP + DLBC + SCB + TT

    “In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made many people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”
    --Douglas Adams

  4. #4
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    You are a very nice friend!! Smilie

    I would say a travel tray in a bright color, if you think she will use it.

    And - a small thing, but one every single giftee has thanked me profusely for - a keychain-sized flashlight. My favorite is the Photon X-Light Micro - comes in different colors, is tiny enough to keep on you at all times, and some colors even have a glow-in-the-dark feature. For extra usefulness, you could put it on a (breakaway) lanyard (many versions on Etsy), or a handle loop/keystrap from TB.

    On the same lanyard, you could also put a small whistle. (I have this one: Fox 40 Sharx Whistle, about the same size as the Photon flashlight, both on my EDC keychain). The lanyard goes around my neck when I am flying; in my Travel Tray when I am at my destination.

    I don't know about something bigger, I think everyone has their own ideas of what is indispensable for a long trip. I'd say a Shop Bag if you know what she would use it for. If she's moving abroad for a while, that might move it closer to the top of the list - who couldn't use a great tote?! But if she's flying around a lot, she might appreciate a 3DCOC and matching keystrap with a set of Nalgene travel bottles - possibly already pre-loaded with her favorite products, if you know what those are. Alternately, for a long plane ride I like to have eye drops and saline spray in my carry-on, to combat the dryness.

    Not necessarily "bigger" but certainly fancy - you could splash out with a new camera and maybe an instruction guide or online lessons on how to take good travel pictures, if she is not already a photographer.
    Last edited by haraya; 04-07-2016 at 09:30 AM.

  5. #5
    Volunteer Moderator Alumni Badger's Avatar
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    You are a very nice friend.

    I'm packing for an international trip right now, and (besides the GoToob you already mentioned) here are some of the things I immediately reached for:
    • International plug adapter (there's a nifty all-in-one model made by Kikkerland, which I haven't tried but which seems to have good reviews).
    • A battery charger for my phone (I use a Jackery Bar, but the smaller size models will still give one good charge and weigh significantly less).
    • Something to put my passport in—right now it's a Small OP, but if I had my act together I would have gotten one of the RFID-blocking pouches.
    • Dr Bronner's soap, unscented, for general hygiene and hand-washing.
    • 3D Clear Organizer Cube for liquids.
    • A map (another nice gift would be an iTunes gift card or similar so she can put downloadable maps on her phone if you know she's taking hers).
    • Kindle Paperwhite—I'm a big fan of e-readers because they're just so convenient, and I do recommend to anyone I know who's traveling internationally; I especially like that they can hold a charge forever so unless she's going to be gone a long time, she won't need to bring a charger for it.
    • A water bottle.
    • A Packtowl.
    • A Travel Tray.
    • A first aid kit.
    • A decent toothbrush (don't let her get the crappy one from Walgreens that breaks instantly).
    • A Q-Kit, which works so well for coins.
    • Speaking of coins: a bunch of cash so that I can get local currency when I land (or you could be awesome and get her some if your bank allows you to).



    The choice of bag is so personal that I'd hesitate to spend a lot of money unless I knew for sure that the recipient really wanted it. Really, the same thing goes for the Side Effect: it could be useful to have, or completely redundant if she already has a place for all her EDC items.

  6. #6
    Forum Member TurtleWax's Avatar
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    Haraya--
    I suppose "bigger" meant more significant, not necessarily larger, so you caught the right meaning. Smilie
    I'm not sure if she already has a camera, so I'll have to subtly ask. Haha, me, being subtle.
    I thought about including a travel flashlight, but I brought mine (which I actually love, it's a flashlight and a whistle, combined onto a carabiner) on a recent trip to similar locations, and it got only one use (castle exploring). I could definitely add one of those to the bag, she may find it more useful than I did.
    She will be taking 5 flights, I believe, but she has family that travels a lot so they will probably lend her an appropriate 3-1-1 bag.
    Shop bag is a good idea! She will be spending a fair amount of time in England, so it would help her avoid being charged for bags, even if it is only 10p. Smilie

    Badger--
    Local currency!! I got so excited because I have a stash of Euros in my closet (don't ask), but then I remembered that she will be using Pounds for 90% of the trip. Frown
    I feel like I'm doing origami and about to get electrocuted when I use the Kikkerland adapter. Just me?
    A gift card for some apps would be great, but unfortunately she only has a dumb phone.
    She did take a distinct interest in my collapsible Vapur bottle. Hmm...
    You're right about the bags. It's rough to admit, because I would love to get her a reliable TB bag, but I can't predict what she would want. I'm really leaning toward the Kindle at this point., so many people seem to pack them. Maybe a Kindle + Amazon gift card, so she can stock it up?

    Thank you both so much for the advice. I feel like I have a better idea of what to get for her now.
    Last edited by TurtleWax; 04-07-2016 at 10:03 AM.
    S19 + DLBP + DLBC + SCB + TT

    “In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made many people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”
    --Douglas Adams

  7. #7
    Forum Member kathryn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleWax View Post
    She did take a distinct interest in my collapsible Vapur bottle. Hmm...
    Vapur bottles are awesome and indispensable to me when I travel--I'd add that for sure!
    "I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares.” ― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette

  8. #8
    Forum Member TurtleWax's Avatar
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    When I first got mine (years ago), I was so worried the plastic would crack and it would leak everywhere. Hasn't happened yet! I love that I can fill it 3/4 full and pack it in my SE, then when it's empty it takes up almost no space. At this point, it's a very well-traveled water bottle.
    S19 + DLBP + DLBC + SCB + TT

    “In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made many people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”
    --Douglas Adams

  9. #9
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    Side Effect, so versatile. Can use as a handbag, packing cube, waist pack, etc. To get even more specific, I like the Halcyon version better as it holds more, and collapses down a bit more.

  10. #10
    Forum Member TurtleWax's Avatar
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    Not to mention lighter!
    I just wish it weren't so ugly.

    Edit: Then again, 'ugly' Halcyon is a personal opinion. Maybe she'd like the look of it?
    Last edited by TurtleWax; 04-07-2016 at 11:37 AM.
    S19 + DLBP + DLBC + SCB + TT

    “In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made many people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”
    --Douglas Adams

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleWax View Post
    Not to mention lighter!
    I just wish it weren't so ugly.

    Edit: Then again, 'ugly' Halcyon is a personal opinion. Maybe she'd like the look of it?
    Well you have time for it to be made in the New Black Halcyon...It did win the poll for "what other bags people were interested in for the new fabric"

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder....all of my bags are Halcyon. Stick Out Tongue

  12. #12
    Forum Member b1gsky's Avatar
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    How about a sink stopper? You know one of these universal flat ones?

  13. #13
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    I was just going through my Evernote, where I have a packing list of 'always take' list. I'll offer some weirder suggestions.
    • slippers, of the hard-soled variety that also have a back (not slides), to wear on the plane and then in the hotel. You, or your friend, don't want to be one of those people going barefoot (gaach!) or in socks to the airplane toilet (guys, that's not all water on the floor). Hard-soled ones can be wiped off. I like LL Bean Wicked Good ones, although they're kind of bulky. Also, if they are the loafer types, you can style walk/run in an emergency. I've managed to stuff them into a NFTD, too, so it can be done (I wear a size 39/8.5).
    • a 3-1-1 compliant face spritz. It's refreshing. It's moisturizing. It's just nice. Either like the fancy Evian water in the spray bottle variety, or rosewater (decanted into say a Muji spritzer) or some fancy stuff with moisturizing ingredients. It helps relieve the 'I'm-covered-in-plane-gunk' feel that I always get.
    • those Colgate Wisp things to brush your teeth on the plane. Apparently it's not good to use the water in the plane lavs for brushing your teeth? And using bottle water seems complicated. The Wisp things are great for this.
    • for post-plane, a caftan, or other coverup, that is comfortable to throw on to go down to breakfast, for lounging in the evenings, heading to the beach/pool, for puttering around (this is probably very much a personal style thing, but I absolutely love mine and wear it all the time. It's nice enough (and opaque) that I can go out in public but easy and comfortable. I'm thinking of wearing it on my next overnight flight, too.


    And, less strangely, has no one mentioned noise-cancelling headphones? If you're not flying on an airline that supplies them, this would be the big gift (if you've got $300 to spend) that I'd give. My first experience on a plane with noise-cancelling headphones was a game changer. I was so much more relaxed and rested, and my ears didn't hurt, and I could hear after the flight. They are absolutely, totally worth the money.

    So, I'm the weirdo possibly wearing a caftan and slippers, oblivious to the world with my Bose headphones spraying my face. But my longhaul is a lot more comfortable now!

  14. #14
    Forum Member TurtleWax's Avatar
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    The black Halcyon definitely has a more sophisticated look to it!

    This is going to sound like I'm being difficult, I swear I'm not trying to be: Why do you stop up the sinks? Thanks Smilie
    S19 + DLBP + DLBC + SCB + TT

    “In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made many people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”
    --Douglas Adams

  15. #15
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    @turtlewax FYI, if you have Amazon Prime, Kindles are discounted right now! $49.99 for kindles, $89.99 for Paperwhites.

    Also (if you're from the US, which actually my previous statement assumed), check and see if your local public library offers ebook lending! Mine does (in CA), and they get delivered wirelessly and free to my Kindle! It's a great service, and there's a wide selection of new and older books. Direct your friend (and all of you!) to your library to see!

    Finally, I'm gonna recommend a travel tray. I see you already got them a stuff sack, but every person I've purchased a TT for has absolulety loved it and uses it daily! (Sample size: 1)

    Cheers!
    DLBC (black Dyneema) **Missing Frown **, Synapse 25 Black Dyneema/Ultraviolet), Synapse 19 (Navy/Wasabi), Aeronaut 45 Black Dyneema/Ultraviolet), PCBP for TriStar (Iberian), Synapse 19 (Navy/Solar), Ristretto for iPad (Black/Wasabi), Large Shop Bag (Island),mini Q-kit, various packing cubes, stuff sacks, and pouches.

    Retired but not forgotten: TriStar (Black/Wasabi), Aeronaut 45 (Navy/Solar), Synapse 25 (French Blue/Steel).

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