Holiday Gift Guide 2018
Judy and I have posted holiday gift recommendations in various publications for the past several years. Every year we receive a number of unsolicited service and product samples, test them, and those we like are featured as recommendations in our annual Holiday Gift Guide.
Out of seventeen tests this year, we are presenting the following thirteen unique gift items for your consideration in 2018.
BRAVE ERA 100% Silk Travel Sheet
Have you ever found a sleeping room, how shall we say, not up to your standards of cleanliness? If you travel it will happen. We have tested an elegant new product called the Brave Era 100% Silk Travel Sheet. It is your passport to worry-free slumber wrapped in the luxury of silk. When packed, it is the size of your tablet, but weights much less. This is a goody gift that also deserves to be in your own travel bag. A personal sanctuary on every trip. Check it out at www.BraveEra.com
An annual favorite that keeps reappearing, and deservedly so.
When someone on your gift list is planning to visit a new city that is on the CityPASS list, you have a great gift in the making – A CityPASS Ticket Book.
This year we used a CityPASS book to see the best tourist attractions that Seattle had to offer. On the list – the Seattle Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium, Argosy Harbor Tour, Pacific Science Center, and the Woodland Park Zoo.
The CityPASS saves about 45% of the cost of purchasing the included tickets separately. It’s like seeing almost half the main attractions of a city for free.
CityPASS is available for the following locations: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Southern California, Tampa Bay, and Toronto.
For more information go to www.CityPass.com
We are Netflix fans that appreciate good TV as wind-down entertainment. If you, or someone on your gift list likes commercial free streaming media we have a recommendation for you. Give a look at ACORN TV.
Acorn is TV at its best with programming from “Britain and beyond…” That means mostly English language movies and programming from England, Canada, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. We like mysteries, and some of our favorites on Acorn are Murdoch Mysteries, Jack Irish, Foyle’s War, Midsomer Murders, the best film versions yet of “And Then There Were None,” and “Witness for the Prosecution.” Acorn programming plots are for the adult mind, not the mindless. You can get a look-see at www.acorn.tv
If your cell phone is monopolizing one of the few pockets you have in your jeans or pants, here’s a sleek and simple stocking- stuffer that provides easy access to friends and family while safeguarding your smart phone from impact damage. It’s handy. Find out more about it at MyPhonePouch.com
Silipos Active Gel Products
We have recommended the range of Silipos Active Gels in the past, and this year Judy had reason to test their Plantar Fasciitis Gel Sleeve. Wonderful! It really works.
These products are specifically designed to reduce abrasion during high impact activities like hiking and jogging.
The Silipos product line boasts a solution for the most common problems that active athletes, travelers, and tourists face, e.g., sprains, blisters, corns, bunions, heel pain, and plantar fasciitis. Get more information at Silipos.com
Of all the samples we received in 2018, this product was the most down to earth — literally. The “Bleu Paw,” is a sanitary pet pooper-scooper that works with any plastic bag. The jaws open to 3 inches wide to accommodate BIG dogs. It has an LED night-light for accurate scooping, and you can leave the bag in the scoop, so no more hand-carrying the goods. Their ad says it all, “Hands nor device ever touch the POOP!”
Available at www.bleupaw.com
Books for avid travel readers:
We have not toured Cuba, so found this book interesting. This expanded and revised 2nd edition is a tribute to the island nation’s culture and history and includes 30 more pages and 100 more vintage photographs than the 2014 first edition.
There are over 300 images that span more than a century. It’s a Who’s Who of Cuban actors, actresses, sports personalities, and the important political and social figures of several decades. From the world’s playground to the Socialist containment, it’s all there. Available from Monacelli Press
The Ever-Changing Coastline
We live on the Oregon coast, and take great joy in watching mighty tidal forces at work. One day the shore may be empty, the next day there may be a giant tree trunk so large that it is hard to imagine mere waves could move it that high on the beach. Another day passes and the great tree has magically disappeared. The ocean has the unimaginable power to dramatically change any landscape that it touches, and Joseph Votano’s book captures the results of that energy in 159 captivating images. This book is worthy of any coffee table, and an excellent gift choice. Available from Schifferbooks.com
Touring California and Nevada Hot Springs
If anyone on your gift list is into a good soak in naturally heated mineral water hot springs in California or Nevada, this little Falcon Guide may be just the gift. This is the 4th revision of the popular color guide. It shows images and maps that will lead you to over 100 of the best places for a soak. The guide also offers safety tips, water temps, best times of year to visit, and lots more.
Available from Rowman and Littlefield
Ghost Towns of the West
We love exploring old cemeteries and ghost towns. This year, we were mailed a review copy of what we think is the ultimate work on the subject of western ghost towns. Ghost Towns of the West is a comprehensive guide to former boom-towns of the American West.
The book covers ghost towns in eleven western states, and is filled with history, photos, and maps with directions. This book has everything you need to know to visit and explore the remnants of how life was in the Old West. We plan to use this guide for years to come.
A great gift that is available from Amazon and other retailers.
Florida Travel Guides
Last, but not least in the travel books and guide category are two guides by David Hunter. If you or any of the folks on your gift list are planning to do any driving in Florida, these guides to the state’s interstates and major toll roads will help make the journey much more interesting and fun. There are colorful strip maps indicating gas, food, and lodging along the way.
David knows his subject, and we enjoyed his fascinating stories along the passing roadside. You or your giftee will be all the wiser for reading his tips. Along Florida’s Expressways, and Along Interstate 75 are available at Mile Oak Publishing and Amazon.
Finally, our last recommendation is one that we know to be important. This year we had to cancel a cruise due to a family emergency. Without Allianz Travel Insurance we would have lost thousands of dollars.
Travel insurance has saved many a vacation for family and loved ones. Too many things can go wrong when you travel, and travel insurance is the best way to avoid major disappointments, financial hardships, and stress.
Travel insurance can cover everything related to your trip. Some examples are non-refundable tickets, travel interruptions, and medical expenses. Insurance can be complicated, and travel insurance is no exception, so talk to the experts.
Whenever we travel, we are protected by Allianz Travel Insurance.
Before you or a family member or friend travels, consider Allianz Travel insurance. It can be the best holiday gift of all.
Ho Ho Ho
So there you have it friends. You can’t go wrong with any of the above goodies for yourself or those on your gift list.
Wishing you Happy Holidays, and a wonderful, healthy, and prosperous 2019!
Wayne and Judy
The opinions expressed in our articles are the journalists’ alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any entity. Other than the test samples, we are not compensated for our endorsement of products or services in the Gift Guide.
© Travels with Wayne and Judy Bayliff
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