Holiday Gift Guide for Travelers 2019

Every year we receive unsolicited books, as well as interesting service and product samples. We read and test them, and those we like are recommended here in our annual Holiday Gift Guide. 

Out of twenty-two entries this year, we are pleased to present the following sixteen items for your gift-giving consideration in 2019.

Seat Sitters

Here’s a way to make airline seats more sanitary. Let’s face it, airplane seats give everyone the willies — so we were happy to test this hygiene product on a recent flight.

It was also worth doing for the fun of watching the curious faces of our fellow passengers.

We only had one sample, so after we installed the Seat Sitter and used the kit’s sanitary wipes on the tray table, armrests, and seat belts, one of us felt she was in a healthier environment.

Entrepreneur Gina Hoensheid created this kit to make airplane travel more sanitary.  She has been getting some good press with the product having been featured on ABC World News Now, Forbes.com, Inc.com, and others.

The kit is sold on Amazon.com and elsewhere. For more details about the product and everything included in the kit, check out their website at www.seatsitters.com.

Elyptol Hygiene Products

While we are on the subject of hygiene, we thoroughly enjoyed our introduction to the Elyptol line of natural sanitary products.

We found our travel kit sample to have all the necessary ingredients to keep us clean and fresh while traveling, i.e., one 2 fl. oz. antimicrobial hand sanitizer gel, one 2 fl. oz. antimicrobial hand sanitizer spray, and one 10-count package of antibacterial hand sanitizer wipes.

Elyptol is different because they use all botanical ingredients to kill 99.9999% of germs on contact. Eucalyptus Essential Oil also provides cognitive aromatherapy benefits.

This product line deserves your attention. Their website is at www.Elyptol.com.

Relief Band

reliefband

Neither of us gets motion sick, but we know people who do, and one of them swears by this clinically proven anti-nausea device that is worn on the wrist like a watch. It is a drug-free treatment for conditions associated with motion sickness.

The company claims it works by using the body’s natural neural pathways to block the waves of nausea produced in the stomach.

If you or someone you know gets seasick, check out this video. For more information go to their website at www.reliefband.com.

Yoga Mat and Carry Case

Maybe because we received a test sample of this handy and versatile Commuter Yoga Mat and Carrying Case, we have started practicing Yoga again.

At 70″x24″ and weighing only 1.8 pounds, we found this highly foldable mat excellent for us when we travel.

Made of absorbent sueded microfiber bonded to a natural tree rubber base, it’s both comfortable and washable. Carrying strap is included.

For more information about Yoga Design Lab products click on their website at www.yogadesignlab.com

CityPASS

seattle city pass

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 Tampa Bay had to offer. On the list – Busch Gardens, the Florida Aquarium, ZooTampa at Lowry Park, Clearwater Marine Aquarium and the Museum of Science and Industry.

The CityPASS saves about 50% of the cost of purchasing the included tickets separately. It’s like seeing almost half of the Tampa Bay main attractions for free.

CityPASS is available for the following locations: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New York City, Denver, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Southern California, Orlando, Tampa Bay, and Toronto.

For more information go to www.CityPass.com

ACORN TV

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 Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Murdoch Mysteries, Jack Irish, Foyle’s War, and Midsomer Murders.

Acorn programming plots are for the adult mind, not the mindless. You can get a look-see at www.acorn.tv

Key Smart

This is a handy solution to the problem of jangling keys poking around your pocket or purse. The inventor declares that after months of prototyping, testing, and redesigning, Key Smart was born.

The frame is crafted out of aluminum to be ultra-lightweight, and the hardware is milled from stainless steel to survive in any environment.

Great stocking stuffers. There are several styles to choose from. Check them all out at www.getkeysmart.com

Mionetto Wines of Italy

Saving the best product for last, we offer this as an exceptional consideration and the perfect gift for anyone special on your gift list!

We favor Italian wines, but we were unfamiliar with the wines of the Mionetto Vineyards in the Prosecco region of Italy. What a gift — what a find.  We first opened the Mionetto Luxury Cartizze DOCG. This elegant dry Cartizze is slightly golden in color with delicate beads of tiny bubbles, and the essence of apple and pear. We found it crisp, cool and smooth. We rate this sparkling wine as probably the best we have ever savored.

Our second sample bottle was Mionetto Prestige Brut. Made from 100% Glera grapes from the province of Treviso, an area renowned for high-quality Prosecco. With this wine, the palate is marked by aromatic notes of apple, honey, and white peach. Also delicious, and easy on the wallet.

The classic ribbon displayed across the bottles means there’s no need to wrap either selection. You can easily customize your gift with notecards placed directly on the bottle.

For stocking stuffers, Mionetto has elegant mini bottles.  The website is https://usa.mionetto.com/us

Travel Insurance

Our last service recommendation is one that we know to be important from personal experience. Last 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.

Books for avid travel readers:

Lost Railway Journeys from Around the World

Any railroad fans on your gift list?

This book will surely set their hearts aflutter.

Anthony Lambert tells the stories behind 33 long-forgotten railway lines. He delves into the interesting history, outstanding engineering, and the people who built these railways and the passengers who rode them.

Mr. Lambert explores some of the most spectacular and fascinating routes that once crisscrossed the globe — and what led to their eventual demise.

The book is filled with over 200 maps, vintage photographs, and posters.

Lost Railway Journeys is an absorbing introduction to an era when railroads ruled the world.

An excellent hardcover book worthy of your coffee table. Available at Amazon and elsewhere.

In the Chasms – Passages Through the Grand Canyon

Author/photographer/adventurer John Annerino takes us beyond the usual Grand Canyon narrative and presents absorbing stories of the early explorers of the Canyon.

The book is chock full of historic tales, exciting photographs by Annerino as well as black and white images taken by early photographers.

Annerino takes us to ancient sites of the first peoples who roamed the canyon’s hidden passageways. National Geographic called the Grand Canyon, “The greatest and most spectacular canyon system on earth.”

Coffee table worthy hardcover is available from ShifferBooks.com, Amazon, and others.

Backroads of Northern California

This a compilation of about 170 pages of great photographs. Join photographer David Skernick as he explores the rambling back roads of Northern California.

This timeless tribute to the natural landscape captures the sublime beauty of backroad settings in Shasta Trinity National Forest, Napa Valley vineyards, Redwoods National Park, Route 1 and the Pacific Coast, and Yosemite Valley.

Hardcover for your coffee table is available at Amazon and elsewhere.

Backroads of Southern California

Another 170-page masterpiece collection of photographs by David Skernick. Book size is exactly the same as the Backroads of Northern California. A great book set for the right people on your list.

This time the author/photographer captures the astonishing beauty of the Sierras, Death Valley, Sequoia National Park, vast deserts, central valleys, and the Pacific Coastline.

Hardcover for your coffee table is available at Amazon and elsewhere.

Around the World on 50 Bucks

We found this story fascinating, but maybe not a good gift for any teenager you would like to keep at home. Christopher Schacht was 19 when he left on a global adventure. He traveled four years, reached 45 countries and covered more than 60,000 miles.

He did odd jobs to cover basic needs. He lived in both fun and dangerous situations and shares his incredible experiences and lessons learned along the way.

“My plan was not to have a plan, just live without schedules and time pressure, where I could stay in places that I enjoyed until I was ready to move on.”

Paperback available on Amazon and elsewhere.

Pennsylvania’s Preserved Lands

This is the definitive authority on the five million acres of preserved land in Pennsylvania. The author, Jeffrey Williams, took ten years to collect the information we found in this book.

The book combines text and photographs that provide a clear picture of the best and most important natural and recreational locations that Pennsylvania has to offer.

The book has information that does not exist in brochures or on the internet. Information such as the best scenic trails, warnings about hazards, and the history of the many areas traveled.

Jeffrey visited more than 200 locations to take photographs and write his book. The results will make it easier for anyone interested in visiting Pennsylvania in-depth to choose where to go and what to see when they get there.

Paperback is available from Amazon and elsewhere.

San Diego’s Most Haunted

This is an unusual little book whose author selects the cosmopolitan city of San Diego to showcase spooky happenings in more than 25 locations including cemeteries, hotels, and restaurants.

Join the San Diego Paranormal Research Society as they explore ghostly occurrences and examine eyewitness and curator accounts alongside paranormal researchers’ firsthand experiences. Learn why “America’s Finest City” could be in the running for “America’s Most Haunted City.”

Paperback available on Amazon and elsewhere.

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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 2020!

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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