If you’ve got a friend, partner, or family member who’s a passionate traveler, one of the best Christmas gifts you can get them is piece of technology that’ll let them enjoy their hobby even more.
But where do you start? It all depends on how much you want to spend, and what the person enjoys doing while they are globetrotting, so here’s the MakeUseOf-approved guide to the top ten tech gifts for the intrepid international adventurer in your life.
Lost luggage is the last thing you want to have to put up with if you’re a frequent traveler. It’s bad enough if you’re going for a two week vacation to a tourist resort, but it’s a hundred times worse if you’re on your way to some remote island in South-East Asia.
Although the Trakdot isn’t going to physically prevent your luggage from getting waylaid, it can come in useful when trying to deal with an airline carrier in a foreign country. If the carrier’s customer service representatives speak little-to-no English, at least you can show them where your luggage is on a map and hopefully speed up the recovery process.
The Trakdot will work anywhere that your phone has signal, and will send you a notification when your luggage eventually arrives at its destination.
You’ve got a new iPad, and old iPod, and a Samsung smartphone. From a travelling perspective, it’s a charging disaster – the last thing you want to be doing is using your precious weight limit on endless cables and charger connectors.
The 3-in-1 Retractable Charging Cable is an MFi (Made for iDevice) -certified product, and at just $8.99 is about the same price as an official Apple-branded charging cable.
Best of all, it comes complete with a micro-USB head for Android-charging capabilities, so this one gadget will power all your devices. It features a central hub to keep your cables tidy, and for a few dollars more there are also options to add various international plugs and in-car chargers.
At the time of writing, 85 percent of the Amazon reviews are either four or five stars.
Almost all frequent travelers will have translation-based horror story; they typically involve asking for a bathroom and ending up in the middle of nowhere on the back of a local’s horse.
Therefore, the traveler in your life probably needs the Franklin Global Translator. It includes more than 450,000 words and 12,000 phrases from 12 different widely-used languages – all of which are spoken in real human speech by locals, not by a computer-generated voice.
The included languages are; Chinese, Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Turkish, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
One of the biggest downsides to travelling and backpacking is the potential for theft. Most locals and fellow travelers that you meet will be some of the most genuine and honest people on the planet, but sadly there is always the odd bad egg.
The problem is especially apparent if the person you’re buying for spends a lot of time in hostels. The nature of them means people will be coming and going all through the day and night, several of whom won’t even be staying in the establishment.
It’s vital to protect expensive belongings, and a PIN-protected security cable is a sensible investment. It’ll cost you just $9.90.
Another truth of travelling is that you’re to spend a lot of time, well, travelling.
Overnight buses, endless boat journeys, countless airports – most experienced globetrotters could write a book on the subject.
A pair of high-end earphones makes a great present, therefore. The $189.95 RHA T10 High Fidelity earphones have noise-cancelling technology, interchangeable tuning filters, and loop over the ear for maximum comfort. For $15 more, you can add a microphone and remote control.
Time spent travelling is over in a flash, and then all people have left are their memories and blurred smartphone photos.
Give your traveler friend something that will let them record all their experiences like a professional by buying them a GoPro Hero 4 (7 things to know when buying an action cam).
It’s the newest release in the GoPro range of products and comes with a vast array of features, including built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the ability to capture 12MP photos at speeds of 30 frames per second, a casing that’s waterproof up to 40 meters, and three different fields of vision for videos.
The Olloclip acts as a wide-angle lens for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus by sliding onto the corner of the phone and covering the existing camera. It makes it easy for iPhone owners to take landscapes, 180 degree fisheye images, and up to 15x macro shots.
The camera was originally funded via a Kickstarter campaign, but after phenomenal success the developers have now branched out into a wide range of other products.
You can pick one up on Amazon for $79.99.
We touched on lost baggage earlier, but it’s even worse if you lose your passport. When people are travelling they can need it for anything from booking a hotel to renting a car – not to mention getting out of the country.
Losing it means a lengthy trip to an embassy; if you’re somewhere remote that could mean days of travel, not to mention the fact it could screw up the rest of your plans.
Getting a Royce Freedom Wallet solves the issue. It’s got a pouch for your passport as well as all your credit cards, and has GPS technology that will constantly track your wallet on map.
The LG A275 might look like it’s stuck in the late 90s, but it’s got one huge benefit – its dual sim capabilities. It means your friend can keep their sim card from their home country online at all times, but also pick up a cheap local sim card for using in whichever country they are exploring.
It’s also Quad-Band (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz) thus covering them for almost all phone networks around the world.
Finally, at $19.39 it’s extremely cheap. If it gets lost, broken, stolen, or dropped in the ocean, it’s not the end of the world.
The last thing anyone needs when they’re travelling is to get to the airport only to be told their baggage is too heavy.
As so many people travel on a tight budget, it means they can often be left with the decision of either dumping their toiletries or that unique Chinese vase they got for their mother.
Help your fearless pioneer avoid the hassle and the embarrassment by getting them a digital luggage scale. The $29.95 offering from EatSmart has a 50 kilogram capacity and includes a long-life lithium battery.
What Will You Buy?
Have you got a globetrotter in your life? What will you buy them this Christmas? Share your ideas in the comments below and help to inspire your fellow readers!
Image Credit: Travel suitcase by Twin Design via Shutterstock