Stocking Stuffer Ideas: 5 Travel Gear Essentials founding editor, Mike Richard, is a Rhode Island native, professional web designer and travel junkie with an unhealthy addiction to backpacking, hiking and seeing the world. He enjoys knit hats, small, declarative sentences and speaking in the third person. His professional credits include “Woman’s World magazine contributor” and having once been interviewed by Tyra Banks (seriously).

With the holiday season upon us, it is time to start shopping for that special traveler on your list. Below are Mike’s five travel gear essentials for modern vagabonds, including some great stocking stuffer ideas.

Humangear GoToob Silicone Travel Tubes

These heavy duty, reusable, leak-resistant bottles ensure your favorite bathroom liquids are instantly portable. Save a bundle on the cost of traditional travel size samples. Some models feature an integrated suction cup for fastening your Toob to the shower wall. Bonus: a built-in identification window provides easily labeling of individual bottles (shampoo, soap, etc) so you always know what’s what. Also available in GoTubb (a hard container for packing pills, vitamins, etc. – opens with just one hand) and GoCup (a collapsing travel cup that’s leak proof, easy to clean, and ultra-portable). Available for between $5-$15.

Humangear GoToob Travel Tubes (Courtesy Humangear)

Cascade Designs Hummingbird Travel Pouch

This tiny featherweight pouch works double duty. It’s a great catch-all for stashing your smaller valuables (jewelry, wallet, change, etc) when passing through airport security, but ensuring you leave nothing behind. But the big win is for outdoor lovers and more adventurous travelers. The clever roll-top design means it’s completely waterproof – perfect for a day at the beach or protecting the valuables in your daypack from the rain. Available in orange or blue for around $15.

Hummingbird Travel Pouch (Courtesy Hummingbird)

eBags EXO Hardside Spinner Luggage

A little larger than your average stocking stuffer, but I must mention the hands-down the best bang-for-your-buck luggage we’ve ever tested. Outside magazine noted: “it protects like Fort Knox. A killer value.” Available in a carry-on size and a slightly larger 24″ model for approximately $112 and $135 respectively.  Both models are lightweight, ultra-sturdy, and feature self-healing zippers for snag-free packing. An adjustable shelf cleverly divides the interior to ensure your unmentionables don’t wind up in a wrinkled heap at the bottom of the bag. Available in a variety of colors from bold (red, green and yellow) to conservative (black & gray).

EXO Hardside upright and open (Courtesy eBags)

Monster Outlets to Go Power Strip with USB

Power outlets are always in shortest supply when we need them most. Monster’s Outlets to Go series of travel power strips solves this problem by converting one outlet into several. Their latest version provides 4 total outlets – 3 standard and 1 USB – to ensure your mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc. never runs out of juice. Bonus: the smart, dual-sided design folds into itself for compact packing. Available for less than $15.

Monster Outlets to Go Power Strip (Courtesy Monster)

Cocoon GRID-IT! Object Management System

It’s a perennial problem for travelers – what to do with the small, loose bits of “stuff” while in transit. From cables, cords, and memory cards to hand sanitizer, pens, and gum, Cocoon’s GRID-IT! “object management system” is a simple organizational solution designed to keep your travel essentials tightly in place and at the ready.  A series of thick elastic bands in varying sizes ensure that even your smallest goodies don’t go missing in your carry-on. Available in various sizes and configurations, starting around $10.

Cocoon GRID-IT! Object Management System (Courtesy Cocoon)

If you are trying to grab any of these items before Christmas, best order now before it’s too late! What other travel accessories made your wishlist this year?

Featured Image: Sun Umbrella with Santa Hat (

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