Travel Gifts for the Holidays and a Vacation Idea

During 2019, I searched out new products that are worthy of mention in my year-end travel gift column.  Here are my recommendations for clothing, shoes, and accessories, along with a vacation tip.

Head to Toe

Outdoor Research manufactures top of the line travel clothing, most with UPF 50+.  Here is a fashionable trifecta: lightweight Swift Cap (printed), quick drying, easy to pack Clearwater polo shirt, and stylish Ferrosi shorts, all first class trip  companions. Their entire product line carries an “Infinite Guarantee.”

Brooks has been around for over 100 years and is a leader in high performance quality footwear. My suggestion this year is their new Ricochet 2 running shoe.  It’s flexible, well cushioned, and features a new “fit knit” upper that feels like a sock. I wear them  for walking and hiking. Brooks shoes have a 90-day trial period.  If you’re not 100% satisfied, return them for a full refund.

Travel Accessories

Eagle Creek is a perennial on the list. This year’s top stars are in the Wayfinder product lineup; the Backpack Mini and the Crossbody.  I also like the All-Terrain Money Belt with a hidden zippered pocket for a cash stash.  They have a “No Matter What” lifetime warranty on all their products.

ChicoBag is a pioneer in utilizing recyclables in the production of reusable bags for travel, shopping, packing sandwiches and snacks, and general shlepping. The Travel Zip 3 Pack is a trio of functional, inexpensive pouches in small, medium, and large sizes. They are perfect for packing toiletries, electronics, money, ID, etc. Help them with their goal to eliminate single use bags.

Kleen Kanteen’s TKPro is their 21st. century take on the Thermos. Highly recommended by consumers (and me), its double wall vacuum insulation and cap’s internal thread design keeps liquids hot or cold for hours. It is easy to clean, and available in 16, 25, and 32 oz streamlined containers.  Sign up for online specials from this family owned business.

Cowin’s E9 noise cancelling bluetooth wireless headsetrounds out my gift selection list.  The E9 is newly released and features improved technology, better sound quality, upgraded ear cushions, 30 hour playtime, Bluetooth 5.0, and high quality built-in microphones delivering CVC HD calls.  It connects to your phone, TV, and computer.  It includes a carrying case, various cables, a converter, and an adaptor; available in black or silver. The E9 will improve your travel life significantly. Special note:  there will be Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.  Check them out at

Vacation Planning for 2020?  Here’s my advice for a stress free, picturesque, and educational trip.  Try a cruise on one of American Queen Steamboat Company’s four paddlewheel boats traversing waterways in the northwest, midwest and south.  Their tagline is “Uniquely American River Cruises.”  In the late fall, my wife and I enjoyed a superior journey plying the Columbia and Snake Rivers on the American Empress. I was impressed by thespacious accommodations, attentive service, first rate food, complimentary wine at dinner, free port tours, and a “riverlorian” who discussed the Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery adventure (a highlight).  Additionally, with only 112 cabins, it’s a pleasure not dealing with huge crowds.  Logon to or call 1-888-966-0938 for information and/or reservations.

Have the Happiest Holiday Season!

Let’s go!

Thanks to the various manufacturers for website information, photos, and samples.


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