12 Unique Last-Minute Gift Ideas You Can Find on Amazon

Mattel/Dr. Squatch/Amazon
Mattel/Dr. Squatch/Amazon

The holiday shopping season is coming to an end—and fast. If you’re running out of ideas for gifts and running out of time to get them, we can help. Check out our list below of 12 products that won’t break the bank and will get here with time to spare so you can wrap them up.

1. For Kids Who Want to Learn: Kano Star Wars and Frozen Coding Set; $70

Kano/Amazon

Get ‘em started young with these coding sets from Kano. Available in both Star Wars and Frozen themes, kids can learn to create their own games and stories in a STEM-friendly environment. “Make learning fun” usually gets an eyeroll from the 6-and-over crowd, but this toy will prove that there’s actually a little wisdom there.

Buy it: Amazon

2. For the Beginner Home Cook: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking; $19

Alfred A. Knopf/Amazon

This is a perennial favorite of Mental Floss readers, and for good reason. The late Marcella Hazan is hailed as one of the preeminent cookbook writers of all time, and the Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking is one of those must-haves that chefs of any age can learn from. Her pasta sauce, in particular, is a breeze to make but still impresses even the most discerning of palates.

Buy it: Amazon

3. For the TV Fan: Sideclick Universal Remote adapter; $25

Sideclick/Amazon

Turn any Amazon Fire Stick remote into a universal remote with this attachment that allows for more button functionality. This means that with this one device you can control your Fire Stick, TV, Blu-ray player, and sound bar. You’re basically giving the gift of never having to get up again.

Buy it: Amazon

4. For the Harry Potter Fan: A Harry Potter Coloring Book; $11

Scholastic/Amazon

Let your giftee have creative license over the denizens of Hogwarts with this coloring book based on the popular book series. Just don’t forget the colored pencils.

Buy it: Amazon

5. For the Home Cook That Wants a Challenge: Lodge Cast-Iron Skillet; $15

Lodge/Amazon

This skillet is perfect for anyone looking to dip their toe into the cast-iron waters. And since it comes from Lodge, you know that the low price will be backed up by the highest quality.

Buy it: Amazon

6. For the Movie Buff: The Art of Mondo; $41

Mondo/Amazon

Mondo is known as an inimitable house of jaw-dropping movie poster art—that is, if you’ve got a few hundred dollars to drop on an original print. Thankfully, the company has compiled some of its best work in this beautiful, and quite affordable, coffee-table book. Featuring art based on everything from 1931’s Frankenstein to Game of Thrones, this is a book that any film and TV fan could lose countless hours to.

Buy it: Amazon

7. For the Glasses Wearer: Nerdwax; $20

Nerdwax/Amazon

Got a loved one who can’t keep their glasses on their nose? Stuff their stocking with this handy wax that’ll keep their specs in place.

Buy it: Amazon

8. For the Beer Fan: Dr. Squatch IPA Soap; $10

Dr. Squatch/Amazon

Get the delicious, crisp scent of an IPA every time you wash your hands with this bar of soap from Dr. Squatch. Don’t worry, your loved one won’t wind up smelling like brewer’s yeast with this. It's got a bright and citrusy scent with a unique hint of beer goodness that isn't overpowering.

Buy it: Amazon

9. For the Book Lover: Winter Edition Classics; $19-$25

Thomas Nelson/Amazon

Give the gift of the classics with these gorgeous hardcover prints of Little Women, Wuthering Heights, and A Tale of Two Cities. Each print is extremely limited, and when you see the detail that went into the laser-cut jackets, you’ll get why. These stories are already required reading, and these editions make them the ultimate collector’s item.

Buy it: Amazon

10. For Your Friend Who’s Always Cold: Thick Wool Winter Socks; $22

Morecoo/Amazon

These socks will change your giftee’s life. They’re unbelievably soft and comfortable to the touch, but they’re also thick and durable, meaning they’re borderline slippers. These are lifesavers in the winter months. Plus, the designs have a bit of a vintage charm to them. There's a similar sock in men's sizes that is just as wonderful.

Buy it: Amazon

11. For Anyone On-the-Go: USB Bracelet; $15

Auzev/Amazon

This bracelet doubles as a USB cable, perfect for anyone who travels a lot and always needs a charger handy. It’s small and compact, so it can wrap around your wrist or a backpack strap. Couple this with a portable charger and dead phones can be a thing of the past.

Buy it: Amazon

12. The Perfect Stocking Stuffer: Jeopardy Card Game; $9

Mattel/Amazon

It’s the classic Jeopardy everyone loves, shrunken down to fit in any stocking. Perfect for any game night, this is the most cost-efficient way to play.

Buy it: Amazon

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The 10 Best Air Fryers on Amazon

Cosori/Amazon
Cosori/Amazon

When it comes to making food that’s delicious, quick, and easy, you can’t go wrong with an air fryer. They require only a fraction of the oil that traditional fryers do, so you get that same delicious, crispy texture of the fried foods you love while avoiding the extra calories and fat you don’t.

But with so many air fryers out there, it can be tough to choose the one that’ll work best for you. To make your life easier—and get you closer to that tasty piece of fried chicken—we’ve put together a list of some of Amazon’s top-rated air frying gadgets. Each of the products below has at least a 4.5-star rating and over 1200 user reviews, so you can stop dreaming about the perfect dinner and start eating it instead.

1. Ultrean Air Fryer; $76

Ultrean/Amazon

Around 84 percent of reviewers awarded the Ultrean Air Fryer five stars on Amazon, making it one of the most popular models on the site. This 4.2-quart oven doesn't just fry, either—it also grills, roasts, and bakes via its innovative rapid air technology heating system. It's available in four different colors (red, light blue, black, and white), making it the perfect accent piece for any kitchen.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Cosori Air Fryer; $120

Cosori/Amazon

This highly celebrated air fryer from Cosori will quickly become your favorite sous chef. With 11 one-touch presets for frying favorites, like bacon, veggies, and fries, you can take the guesswork out of cooking and let the Cosori do the work instead. One reviewer who “absolutely hates cooking” said, after using it, “I'm actually excited to cook for the first time ever.” You’ll feel the same way!

Buy it: Amazon

3. Innsky Air Fryer; $90

Innsky/Amazon

With its streamlined design and the ability to cook with little to no oil, the Innsky air fryer will make you feel like the picture of elegance as you chow down on a piece of fried shrimp. You can set a timer on the fryer so it starts cooking when you want it to, and it automatically shuts off when the cooking time is done (a great safety feature for chefs who get easily distracted).

Buy it: Amazon

4. Secura Air Fryer; $62

Secura/Amazon

This air fryer from Secura uses a combination of heating techniques—hot air and high-speed air circulation—for fast and easy food prep. And, as one reviewer remarked, with an extra-large 4.2-quart basket “[it’s] good for feeding a crowd, which makes it a great option for large families.” This fryer even comes with a toaster rack and skewers, making it a great addition to a neighborhood barbecue or family glamping trip.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Chefman Turbo Fry; $60

Chefman/Amazon

For those of you really looking to cut back, the Chefman Turbo Fry uses 98 percent less oil than traditional fryers, according to the manufacturer. And with its two-in-one tank basket that allows you to cook multiple items at the same time, you can finally stop using so many pots and pans when you’re making dinner.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Ninja Air Fryer; $100

Ninja/Amazon

The Ninja Air Fryer is a multipurpose gadget that allows you to do far more than crisp up your favorite foods. This air fryer’s one-touch control panel lets you air fry, roast, reheat, or even dehydrate meats, fruits, and veggies, whether your ingredients are fresh or frozen. And the simple interface means that you're only a couple buttons away from a homemade dinner.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Instant Pot Air Fryer + Electronic Pressure Cooker; $180

Instant Pot/Amazon

Enjoy all the perks of an Instant Pot—the ability to serve as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, and more—with a lid that turns the whole thing into an air fryer as well. The multi-level fryer basket has a broiling tray to ensure even crisping throughout, and it’s big enough to cook a meal for up to eight. If you’re more into a traditional air fryer, check out Instant Pot’s new Instant Vortex Pro ($140) air fryer, which gives you the ability to bake, proof, toast, and more.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Omorc Habor Air Fryer; $100

Omorc Habor/Amazon

With a 5.8-quart capacity, this air fryer from Omorc Habor is larger than most, giving you the flexibility of cooking dinner for two or a spread for a party. To give you a clearer picture of the size, its square fryer basket, built to maximize cooking capacity, can handle a five-pound chicken (or all the fries you could possibly eat). Plus, with a non-stick coating and dishwasher-safe basket and frying pot, this handy appliance practically cleans itself.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Dash Deluxe Air Fryer; $100

Dash/Amazon

Dash’s air fryer might look retro, but its high-tech cooking ability is anything but. Its generously sized frying basket can fry up to two pounds of French fries or two dozen wings, and its cool touch handle makes it easy (and safe) to use. And if you're still stumped on what to actually cook once you get your Dash fryer, you'll get a free recipe guide in the box filled with tips and tricks to get the most out of your meal.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Bella Air Fryer; $52

Bella/Amazon

This petite air fryer from Bella may be on the smaller side, but it still packs a powerful punch. Its 2.6-quart frying basket makes it an ideal choice for couples or smaller families—all you have to do is set the temperature and timer, and throw your food inside. Once the meal is ready, its indicator light will ding to let you know that it’s time to eat.

Buy it: Amazon

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

14 Essential Products to Bring on Your Next Road Trip

Osprey/Otterbox/National Geographic
Osprey/Otterbox/National Geographic

If you’re looking to travel this summer—but don’t want to get on a plane or bus—then a road trip may be your best bet. Traveling by car allows you to explore new places while also limiting exposure to new people, and with the roads opened up in front of you, there’s no limit to where you can go or how long your trip can last.

Whether you’re exploring national parks, trying the country's best takeout, or just driving over a state line, we’ve put together a list of essential products you need to take along for the ride. And if you want to learn how to plan a safe trip during the COVID-19 pandemic, head here.

1. Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Pack; $160

Osprey

Named the best overall backpack for 2020 by US News & World Report, Osprey’s Farpoint 40 travel pack will help you carry everything you need from your car to your campsite and back again. This pack has no shortage of clever design features, like a stowaway harness and hipbelt, lockable zippers, and a mesh-lined back panel to prevent chafing during long hikes. The pack can hold 20 to 40 pounds and is designed for a larger frame, so if you need something a bit smaller, the Fairview 40 is another great option for a travel pack that will last for many road trips to come.

Buy it: Osprey

2. MLVOC memory foam travel pillow; $20

MLVOC/Amazon

Cars aren't necessarily the most comfortable place to settle in for a nap, but when you're on the road for hours on end, your choices dry up fast. Next time you know you're going to be in the passenger seat or stuck in the back for a few days, try the 4.5-star-rated memory foam travel pillow from MLVOC. The pillow itself offers 360° support, and its flat back is designed to conform to your neck for a personalized fit. In addition to the pillow itself, you'll also get an eye mask, earplugs, and a travel bag to easily bring the whole kit on the go.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Soundasleep queen-sized air mattress; $120

Soundasleep/Amazon

With a 4.3-star rating on Amazon and placement on numerous best-of lists, the SoundAsleep air mattress is a necessity if you're looking to camp out a few nights during your road trip. Inflation just requires a press of the one-click pump—great for campers who want to avoid nighttime critters in a hurry—and the bottom is covered with a SureGrip suction material to avoid sliding. The mattress comes in queen, twin, and twin XL sizes, giving you options in case you're looking to inflate it in the back of a truck or camper.

Buy it: Amazon

4. National Geographic's Road Atlas 2020: Adventure Edition; $18

National Geographic

You won’t always get great service on a road trip, so when you have zero bars—or just want some travel inspiration—National Geographic's Road Atlas 2020: Adventure Edition will take you exactly where you need to go … even if it wasn’t where you pictured in the first place. Featuring updated road maps for all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, and even Puerto Rico, you’ll never get lost again. This atlas also includes recommendations for places to visit and profiles on America’s top 24 national parks, making it a portable tour guide that’s even better than Alexa.

Buy it: Amazon

5. AAA Premium Road Kit; $26

AAA/Amazon

Although no one wants to imagine themselves enduring a calamity of any sort while on a road trip, it’s also good to be prepared. This 42-piece road kit comes equipped with heavy-duty jumper cables, duct tape, a screwdriver, cable ties, and more, in case you need to make any quick repairs. Everything comes packed inside a compact carrying case, so it’s easy to throw in the car and take with you from one highway to the next.

Buy it: Amazon

6. UE Boom 3 portable speakers; $149

Ultimate Ears/Amazon

All great road trips should come with a great soundtrack, and with this portable Bluetooth speaker from UE Boom, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite music along with the sounds of the wild (or the quiet of a hotel room). These speakers last up to 15 hours on a full battery charge, and with high-quality surround sound, they pack a powerful punch. They’re also incredibly durable: The speakers are completely waterproof (they can literally float) and they’re designed to handle falls and bumps with ease.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Society6 face masks; $14

Cat Coquillette / Society6

One of today’s road trip essentials is a face mask. And whether you’re into cats, woodland beetles, the solar system, or comic books, Society6 has a design for pretty much everyone (over 1000-plus options!). No matter which one you choose, all the masks feature an inner pocket for disposable filters, and they’re crafted with a pleated, dual layer of fabric to ensure a snug and safe fit. It's also a smart idea to take a pack of disposable masks along for the ride just in case.

Buy it: Society6

8. Otterbox Trooper 12 cooler; $200

Otterbox

No matter what your road trip involves—whether it’s visiting Yellowstone or the country’s biggest ball of twine—you should always have a cold beverage to enjoy after a long day. This 12-quart soft cooler from Otterbox keeps ice for up to three days and is leak-proof to help avoid spillage. The cooler is equipped with a mounting system, allowing you to customize it with accessories, like an adjustable drink holder or a drybox clip, and it even comes with a carabiner bottle opener attached to it for easy access.

Buy it: Otterbox

9. and 10. Power bank and car charger; $30-$35

Otterbox

Even though you’ll be spending most of your time sightseeing, you’ll still want to keep your phone charged for taking pictures and keeping in touch with your loved ones back home. The standard Otterbox fast-charge power bank is designed to charge two devices at the same time, allowing you and a buddy to charge up even when you’re away from your car. The charger includes a USB-A to USB-C cable and is compatible with most major devices.

For charging in the car, you can’t go wrong with Otterbox’s Fast Charge Car Kit. You'll get charging speeds that are up to 3.6 times faster than a basic model, according the manufacturer, and the cable is bend/flex-tested a whopping 3000 times to ensure that it’ll last as long as your road trip memories.

Buy it: Otterbox (Power Bank; Car Charger)

11. Otterbox Dash and Windshield Car Mount; $16

Otterbox

You’ll probably be using your phone’s navigation app while you’re exploring new places, but you want to make sure that you’re doing so safely. Keep your eyes on the road—and still get to where you want to go—with Otterbox’s Dash & Windshield car mount. It’s designed to allow you to insert and remove your phone with only one hand, and its adjustable arms can extend to fit even the biggest phones without blocking any of the buttons. If you prefer a car mount that sits a little lower, this Air Vent Mount from Beam Electronics is a great alternative.

Buy it: Otterbox

12. and 13. Instant coffee and cold brew concentrate; $12-$50

Java House/Amazon

Any road trip veteran will tell you that the most important part of getting through a long drive is staying awake and alert. Enjoy hot coffee on the go—and actually have a decent cup—with these instant coffee packets from Starbucks. All of Starbucks’s instant coffees are made from 100-percent arabica beans, and you just have to pour your packet into a mug, mix with hot or cold water, and enjoy.

If you want something a little colder and a lot stronger, check out the cold brew concentrate pods from Java House. Just as easy as making instant coffee, all you have to do is peel the cap off the pod, pour over ice, add water, and stir. It's easy enough to make, and it'll help cut down on stopping at expensive cafés while on the road. Make sure you bring some portable mugs with you so your coffee can stay as fresh as it was the minute you made it.

Buy it: Amazon (Starbucks Instant Coffee; Java House Cold Brew Concentrate)

14. First aid kits; $22-$125

First Aid Only/Amazon

Accidents happen, and this 299-piece kit from First Aid Only has almost everything you need for basic emergencies. With bandages for cuts and scrapes, creams and cold packs for burns, basic painkillers, alcohol wipes, and more, this light and easy-to-stow kit is an essential travel companion.

If you want something a little fancier—but no less useful—check out this unique first aid kit from Uncommon Goods. The kit includes first aid essentials like multi-use tape, bandages, and antibiotic cream, all stowed in tiny canisters that fit perfectly inside a flashlight tube. This is a great kit to bring with you on trips outside of the car … and even more handy on nighttime hikes. No matter which kit you bring, though, make sure you don’t forget a thermometer. In the small chance you start feeling sick—even if you’ve been wearing your mask and washing your hands—it’s important to have just in case.

Buy it: Amazon (First Aid Only 299-Piece Kit); Uncommon Goods (Flashlight First Aid Kit)

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