There are many wonderful traveler gifts for under $20 but what if you’re looking to splurge a bit on your loved ones or yourself? Use your money efficiently by considering some of these expensive (over $100) travel gadgets that are both useful and fun.
- iPod Touch ($199 refurbished 8GB) – This versatile tool does more than just play music, it’s has a feature set similar to the iPhone, except the phone part. You can download many more great free apps by jailbreaking your iPod touch and save 10-20% by buying Apple-certified refurbished.
- Victorinox Swiss Army CyberTool 41 (On Sale ~$75) – This Swiss army knife has a special tool set specifically for computers. A very handy Swiss army knife to have when you need to clean some dust out of your laptop or want to install a new hard drive on the road. It also has all the other common features like a knife (obviously), corkscrew, and pliers.
- Flip Video Camera ($150) – Record up to 120 minutes of digital video with this small camera about the size of a regular digital point and shoot. It records in high definition onto a 8GB built in memory and is rechargeable by USB. A great way to try and win one is to donate $10 to Passports with a Purpose.
- A Long Range USB Antenna ($50) – There are two versions of these antenna that plug in to a USB slot on a laptop and can extend your wireless range 3-5 times. Snagging more wireless networks is important for travelers and digital nomads who often struggle to find good wi-fi. One added bonus with these antennas is that they can be used to hack wireless networks, another useful trick to know on the road.
- An eBook Reader ($259) – Load up countless books and take them all over the world with you in a 10 ounce package. Both the Kindle and Nook make great gifts for travelers. If you’re having trouble deciding between them, here’s a comparison of the traveling eBook readers, the Kindle and Nook.
- Digital Camera (~$100) – We often assume that everyone already has a digital camera and forget to consider them as gifts, especially for travelers. I strongly recommend the Casio Exilim series for their reliability and great feature set for a small point and shoot. I’m offering one as a prize for Passports with a Purpose which you can enter to win with a $10 donation.
- Garmin Nuvi GPS Unit (~$130) – Not all who wander are lost but plenty of people get lost wandering. The price of these devices has really come down in the last 18 months. The Garmin Nuvi (like most others) lets you load North American, European, Asian and other maps, upload pictures, and talk on your mobile over Bluetooth. You can also make your GPS talk like Darth Vader although he might lead you to the Dark Side.
- A Good Webcam (~$80) – The difference between a $30 and $100 webcam is very noticeable in both the video and audio quality. Unless a person happens to be traveling around with a Macbook, a good webcam is a useful asset for most digital nomads. Heavy Skype users will appreciate the Logitech Webcam Pro 9000.
- The Dell Mini Laptop ($299-349) – These laptops are only 2.5lbs, 10 inches wide and an inch thick, and are well manufactured and reliable. One of the neat things is that the hardware is compatible with Mac’s Leopard OS X (aka. Hackintosh). So, with a few minor tweeks you can have your Mac Leopard laptop for about $800 less than buying an Apple.
Some Cheap Geek Accessories
Some of the items below are very useful, simple, and don’t cost much. They’re the opposite of expensive or glamorous, the cheaper digital nomad gifts that are much more useful than their price indicates.
- USB Flex Light ($10)- Great for reading or seeing your keyboard when it’s dark.
- Stereo Cable ($3) – Lets you plug in your iPod (or other audio device) into many stereos, rental cars, and TVs. It’s the one cable most travelers only think about when they don’t have one on them.
- USB Double AA Rechargable Batteries ($20) – Pop the cap off, plug in to your USB port to charge, and now you’ve got some double AA batteries.
- USB squid ($12) – Turns one USB port into 4.
- All-In-One Power Adapter ($5) – Coverts between a variety of outlet styles, including US, European, Indian, and several others.
This makes a pretty nice wish list for many travelers who can’t get enough of their technology and gadgets. These are the most useful gadgets for travelers in this price range in case you’re having trouble figuring out what to get for the holidays or that upcoming birthday.