Holiday Gift Guide for Travelers 2020

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 20 entries this year, we are pleased to present the following dozen items for your gift-giving consideration in 2020.

Seat Sitters

This is a product we introduced in last year’s Gift Guide but in light of the pandemic, it deserves a repeat. Last year it was a novelty, this year it could be something much more.

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.

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.

Pig Wizard PorkCorn

OK, this is fun and different. Those readers familiar with all things on Cannery Row in Monterey, California may have some knowledge of the Pig Wizard store and its assortment of out-of-the-ordinary sausages, meats, and things. Their motto unabashedly articulates, “Eat My Sausage.”

We received two samples of Pig Wizards PorkCorn. The first was a bag of Beer Bacon Caramel PorkCorn. We are told that this is the company’s original flavor of caramel-coated pork rinds. Ingredients? Pork rinds, sugar, corn syrup, beer, bacon, apple cider vinegar, bacon fat, and molasses.

The second bag contained Sweet Heat Caramel PorkCorn. Similar ingredients but with a spicy whack.

We actually enjoyed both treats. The company boldly proclaims, “One of these delicious duos is your new addiction, you just don’t know it until you have the first bite.” Also, a great conversation-starting gift for those very hard to buy for.

Take a peek at the extensive menu offering of uncommon cuisine at pigwizard.com

Unique Cork Yoga Mat and Block

This is an unusual travel mat made of cork! It is as beautiful as it is functional.

At 70″x24″ and weighing only 3.5 pounds, we found this highly versatile mat excellent for us when we travel.

Eco-friendly: Designed to Love the Earth! Biodegradable natural cork & rubber printed with water-based inks. Free from silicone, PVC, and phthalates

Slip Resistant and Easy to Clean: Cork is antimicrobial, so less cleaning is required. Clean with natural soap and water.

The Cork Block

Designed to provide superior grip and strength so you can confidently move deeply into those challenging poses. 3″X5.5″X9″ Mandala design on both sides.

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

 

La Crosse Technology Wind and Weather Station

We live on a windy lake and it is great fun to watch the changes in the weather on our personal wind and weather station from La Crosse Technology. We placed ours in our office.

The 79400 provides accurate backyard wind speed & direction, temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure data.

Great to know the weather before you take off on those day trips.  Check out all the La Crosse time and weather products at lacrossetechnology.com

State Slates and Other Unique Map Gifts

A splendid gift idea for the traveler who has everything. Well Told is a company that creates imaginative memories of personal life inspired experiences such as classic glassware and bar accessories decorated with intricate wraparound maps.

Our sample is a 12″x12″ slate serving tile etched with the borders and main roadways of our residence state of Oregon. Great for chopping and serving fruits and cheeses, etc.

Check out all the etched bartop and kitchen offerings like the “Night Sky Stemless Wine Glass” at the company website at www.welltolddesign.com

 

 

La Cross Wireless Weather Station 

Another great gift product from La Crosse Technology.

La Crosse Technology® introduces a Wireless Color Weather Station with precise, real-time backyard weather. New – Indoor Comfort Meter monitors indoor humidity (GOOD, HUMID, or DRY) for ideal comfort.

Animated color forecasts with trends react to changing barometric pressure. Monitor IN/OUT temperature trends and set high/low-temperature alerts. Measure indoor/outdoor temperature and humidity with daily MIN/MAX records — all on one easy-to-read color display with adjustable brightness.

We placed our station in the bedroom. Now we know all about the day’s weather when we wake and it also makes an excellent adjustable night light. Helps us know what to pack for our trips. See it on lacrossetechnology.com

Acorn TV

We are Netflix and Prime Video 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. Have 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

Travel Insurance

Our last service recommendation is one that we recommend annually. 

Travel insurance has saved many a vacation for family and loved ones (including ours). 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 most things 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. Be sure to ask about the facts and limitations regarding Covid-19 coverage.

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:

Historic Tales of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park: Big Trees Grove

This year we read an extraordinary book written by an author who lives in Santa Cruz and personally experienced the recent fires in California.

Every time we read about a California wildfire we hope and pray that none of the historic and much-loved tourist destinations are involved. One such destination is the Big Trees Grove at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.

This historic book by author Deborah Osterberg is an exciting read for people who love the ages-old redwood forests of California. It details the trials and tribulations of great Americans who saved many of these wonderful stands of trees from the loggers’ ax — it wasn’t always an easy task.

We highly recommend this paperback book for a self-reading or as a gift. It is available from History Press and Amazon

The Ivory Carver Trilogy

This set of three books was written by the best selling author (and our friend) Sue Harrison. Her stories about “early native peoples” are fascinating reads. Mother Earth Father Sky, My Sister the Moon, and Brother Wind are absorbing tales that you will not want to put down.

Set in prehistoric North America, Sue’s Trilogy introduces first peoples and what they endured in the time before history.

Sue is a perfectionist and does exhaustive research on her subjects, and it shows on each exciting page.

The Ivory Carver Trilogy is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

Abandoned California: The Mojave Desert

Abandoned California: The Mojave Desert is a stunning collection of photographs and writings by Andy Willinger that captures the majesty of forsaken buildings, vehicles, and artifacts of the Mojave’s once vibrant past.

These sites have become meaningful, unintended statements – not only as vibrant, ephemeral artworks of strange beauty but as a testament of the impact on nature by humanity.

Undaunted, the Mojave Desert continues to brashly flaunt its skill in overcoming man’s attempts to conquer it.

In Southern California, settlers have long ventured into the Mojave Desert, seduced by its capacious horizons and fragile beauty, only to be humbled by the intense heat, bone-dry terrain, and maddening isolation.

The paperback is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

A History Lover’s Guide to Florida

We have great friends in Florida so we were pleased to review this outstanding guide by author James C. Clark. It is a thorough study of the sunshine state and its many interesting aspects from its history of explorers, pirates, wars, hurricanes, and shipwrecks. It covers the movies made in Florida, visits by presidents, historical landmarks, and its people.

Florida is THE state of transplants. However, most Floridians hold fast to their birthplace homes even though Florida owns one of the richest histories in the nation.  Decades before the Pilgrims, the Spanish celebrated Thanksgiving in Florida. Urban renewal was underway in Florida when the Jamestown settlers had just arrived.

The author offers a lifetime of places to explore and thousands of facts, drawings, and photographs to fascinate the travel reader.

This is a fantastic read. We recommend it. The paperback is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

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 2021!

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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