Top Five Gifts Under $25 for Travelers

Thermos

Moleskine Pocket Notebook

When these tiny notebooks appeared in bookstores, I scoffed at Moleskine's "Legendary Notebook of Hemingway" slogan. I thought Moleskines were pretentious little things, geared only towards people set on writing the next Great American Novel. After growing tired of my habit of jotting things down on tiny scraps of paper, I took a closer look at the Moleskine Pocket Notebook and decided that it was a practical solution to my problem.

​The hard leather-like notebook backing is perfect for travel writing because it protects the inside pages from the elements. It is an excellent size at 5.5" by 3.5" and 192 pages; suitable for coat pockets and purses. The notebook paper feels great to the touch, and it is acid-free. My own notebook is filled with random thoughts, lists, notes from lectures, Bible scriptures, and ideas. It also serves as my journal on short trips. The Moleskine Pocket Notebook can be purchased for $10.20 at Amazon.com. Moleskines are also widely available at most bookstores.

​Thermos Nissan Stainless-Steel Insulated Bottle

The clunky travel mugs that I owned in the past had problems with leaking. My research on Thermos Nissan revealed that the product has little to no problems with leaks. According to the product description on Amazon.com, the Thermos Nissan has a sleek, classic design. It is 11.5" tall, measures 3.3" in diameter, and holds about 26 ounces of liquid. The screw on lid doubles as a cup. Product reviews of Thermos Nissan seem to confirm the company's claim that the product keeps beverages either hot or cold for 24 hours.

​The Thermos Nissan pays for itself; consider how much money is saved by making coffee and tea at home. It seems like the perfect buy for road travelers. I am planning to get a Thermos Nissan so that I can enjoy some nice, hot tea during Saturday morning hikes at William B. Umstead State Park. The Thermos Nissan can be purchased for $24.95 at Amazon.com.

​Blue Avocado Multi-Purpose Tote

My most memorable shopping excursions while traveling occurred in Washington, DC and London, England. In both instances, my hands were full with shopping bags. I ended up with a couple of things I did not wear or use, which I later sold on eBay. Having a compact tote that I could pull out of my purse to place all my bags in would have eliminated uncomfortable maneuvering on subways and city streets, and possibly even stemmed my shopping binge!

​My favorite multi-purpose/grocery tote is made by a company called Blue Avocado. The Gro is a sturdy, collapsible tote that measures 14"L x 6.8"W x 14"H, and holds up to 20 pounds. Absolutely perfect for picnics! Available for purchase on Blue Avocado's website for $18.99.

​Flickr Pro Account

I lived in Guatemala during the Summer of 2006, and took way more pictures than my digital camera's memory card could hold. At an Internet Café in Panajachel, I discovered Flickr, a quick and easy way to share high-quality photos with family and friends. I prefer Flickr over other photo management websites because it gives you a variety of uploading options, allows for photo editing (i.e. the dreaded red-eye), allows for easy organization of large photo batches, control of privacy options, and ability to transfer photos to various forms of print media. A one-year subscription to Flickr Pro can be purchased at Flickr's website for $24.95.

​Flip-Flops

Flip-flops are the most versatile pieces of footware a traveler will ever wear. Besides being light, and easy to pack, they are essential for showering at hostels, trips to the beach, and general milling about. Available at Old Navy for $3.50.