12 Gifts for the Traveler in Your Life

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iStock

Whether your favorite explorer travels by plane, train, or automobile (or kayak, cargo ship, or sled), they need thoughtful essentials to make every trip one to remember. Here are some of our latest favorites.

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1. THULE SUBTERRA CARRY-ON; $280

Thule

With a durable exoskeleton, oversized wheels, and a 7-pound weight, this carry-on is both tough and easy to transport. The divided main compartment keeps clothes separated—clean from dirty, wet from dry, and work from play. A zippered mesh pocket makes for fast access to keys, cash, and passport.

Find It: Thule

2. COTOPAXI ALLPA TRAVEL PACK; $200

Cotopaxi

Adventurous travelers will love this next generation of backpack that's bursting with smart features. It's carry-on, trek-ready, and tech-savvy all at the same time. It has a durable outer cover, suitcase-style mesh zipper panels on the inside, padded hip straps to distribute weight off the shoulders, and a zippered laptop pocket. It comes with a high-visibility rain cover that stows away when not in use.

Find It: Cotopaxi

3. MOMA OSTRICH PILLOW GO; $60

MoMA

From the Museum of Modern Art's Design Store comes a contoured travel pillow for the person who never leaves style behind. Composed of high-sensitivity memory foam, it adjusts to three positions that secure in place, thanks to hidden buttons. The soft stretch-fabric outer layer is washable. Plus, it compresses for easy packability.

Find It: MoMA

4. TIMELESS JOURNEYS: TRAVELS TO THE WORLD'S LEGENDARY PLACES; $26

Inspire someone's next journey with this gorgeous new volume from National Geographic, the world's authority on global adventures. Packed with stunning photography and deep knowledge, the book visits 50 bucket list–ready locations on every continent, including Easter Island, Kyoto, Mesa Verde, Carthage, Pompeii, Victoria Falls, Cappadocia, and Chichen Itza, among dozens of others.

Find It: Amazon

5. EAGLE CREEK PACK-IT SPECTER TECH™ STRUCTURED CUBE M; $30

Eagle Creek

This ultralight packing organizer is especially designed to keep collared shirts, button-downs, dresses, and skirts crisply folded. It comes with a folding board you fold clothing around that's just the right size for the bag. Use the cube's compression zipper to reduce its size way down, then slip it in your suitcase or carry-on. It's made from durable ripstop that is water and stain repellent.

Find It: Eagle Creek

6. TRAVEL ESSENTIALS BEAUTY BOX BY ALLURE AND CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER; $40

Shop Latitude

Stay fresh on the go with this loaded beauty box curated by Allure and Condé Nast Traveler. It includes Talika Eye Therapy Patch, Noxidoxi Face Mist, Sisley Express Gel Mask Packet, Canyon Ranch Conditioner, Canyon Ranch Shampoo, Spongelle - the Spongette in Coconut Verbena, Missoni EDT, Living Proof Dry Shampoo, WetBrush Pop Fold in Black, and Bite Multistick in Gelato.

Find It: Shop Latitude

7. WILDSAM FIELD GUIDES BOOK SERIES; $18

Amazon

These aren't your classic travel guides. Each of the nine volumes in this series is crafted by locals with insider knowledge, so your favorite explorer gets an authentic experience in each destination. Take Nashville: Of course the guide delves into country music, but it also explores songbirds, the Fugitive Poets, women's suffrage, comfort food, fly fishing, and homelessness. Other guides include Austin, San Francisco, Detroit, New Orleans, Brooklyn, Charleston, New England, and the Southwest.

Find It: Amazon

8. KODAK PRINTOMATIC INSTANT PRINT CAMERA; $70

Amazon

Skip the Instagram filter for the real thing: Kodak resurrects old-school instant photos in a modern way with the Printomatic. It instantly and automatically prints high-quality, full color photos on Zink (for "zero ink") photo paper. The 2x3-inch prints are made for traveling, sharing, and displaying: They're durable, water-resistant, and adhesive-backed.

Find It: Amazon

9. ULTIMATE EARS WONDERBOOM PORTABLE WATERPROOF BLUETOOTH SPEAKER; $80

Amazon

Planning a weekend away with friends? Whether you're headed to a winter cabin in the woods or a house in the Caribbean with a pool, you can create the right mood for the entire party with this portable speaker. Connect it to the music collection with Bluetooth—it provides clear, crisp sound for up to 10 hours on a single charge. It's waterproof, so don't worry about it getting wet—it even goes in the shower.

Find It: Amazon

10. WD BLACK MY PASSPORT PORTABLE EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE; $58

Amazon

A great tool for the avid photographer, music lover, or business traveler, this external hard drive holds essential files in a small, durable format. At just 4.3 x 3.2 inches, it's password protected with hardware encryption, and the included software offers automatic backup to ensure you don't lose files.

Find It: Amazon

11. ALLBIRDS MEN'S WOOL LOUNGERS; $95

Allbirds

Allbirds bills their shoes as the "world's most comfortable." Fittingly for a company based in New Zealand, where sheep outnumber people 6 to 1, they've crafted these loungers from superfine Merino wool, each strand thinner than a human hair. The loungers are wickable and breathable, with a casually sophisticated silhouette. Now those long walks through far-off cities won't be so hard on the feet.

Find It: Allbirds

12. BERGTAGEN WOOLMESH SWEATER; $160

Ain't no mountain high enough to outdo this sweater from Swedish company Fjallraven. The layers are designed "to keep the cold out, to trap the warmth in and to be outdoors longer in extraordinarily wild places."

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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Miss the Arcade? This Retro Arcade Cabinet Brings Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga to Your Home

Amazon
Amazon

It's hard to find a video game character more iconic than Pac-Man, but his female counterpart gave him a run for his money when she debuted in 1982. Now, Ms. Pac-Man is available to purchase as a retro arcade cabinet taken straight from the golden age of gaming.

The arcade cabinet, which is selling on Amazon for $3300, combines Ms. Pac-Man with the classic space shooter game Galaga. The hardware also includes the hidden bonus games Pac-Man, Speedy Pac-Man, Speedy Ms. Pac-Man, and Rapid Fire Galaga.

Playing Ms. Pac-Man on the cabinet at home feels just like playing in a real arcade. The joystick and buttons that players remember have been faithfully recreated. There's even a coin slot like you'd find in the real game, but this one has been deactivated so you can chase your high score for hours without stocking up on change. The side panel is decorated with the original Ms. Pac-Man artwork, making the cabinet an eye-catching piece of home decor even when you're not using it.

If you have space in your basement, rec room, or any room in your house for a 5.6-foot-tall arcade cabinet, you can order the product from Amazon today with free shipping. If you're looking for a more low-key way to celebrate your love of Pac-Man, Monopoly recently released a special Pac-Man edition game complete with a miniature arcade cabinet.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.