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15 Ultimate Gift Ideas for the Global Wanderer in Your Life (If that is you, then feel free to splurge. You’re welcome)

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Here at Thinkstr we love giving gifts. Just so that you know, we also really love receiving gifts. A lot. Seriously.

Since much of the world is soon to be in the grips of the holiday gift-giving (and receiving) season, we have put together a list of great gifts for that special global wanderer in your life.

What makes the perfect gift for the modern nomad? We envision the Thinkstr community as constantly living & working in different places, having a couple of projects (and about a dozen dreams) on the go at any given point in time and valuing the ability to move at a moment’s notice. So, this list focuses on the things you need for when you are living like a nomad. That is, light, multi-functional, tough and connected.

Without further ado, here is the 2016 list:

1) Kendrick Backpack

Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger (MRKT) is a LA firm that brings a decidedly architectural perspective to re-thinking the modern bag. Probably because the founder, Tom Pen, is a Harvard trained architect.

The result is fresh design, a minimalist aesthetic, and materials that you won’t see anywhere else.

Our pick from the MRKT line is the Kendrick backpack. It’s a beautifully designed carryall, with a look that works whether you are heading to a business meeting or exploring the streets of a new city. It fits up to a 13” laptop. Don’t just think that it just looks good. With modern felt and suede materials, the bag is durable, water resistant and feels absolutely fantastic to the touch.

Price: $62.50 (regularly $125)

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2) Everyday Messenger

Founder Peter Dering got tired of lugging his DSLR camera around the world for three months in bags that weren’t very good for transporting DSLR cameras.

So, he returned home, quit his job, raised some money on Kickstarter and made a better camera bag.

Things went so well that Dering’s company, Peak Design, now employs 20 people and makes 14 distinct products, most of which have been funded by Kickstarter campaigns.

Peak Design stands out from the crowd with a focus on simplicity, attention to detail and construction of products designed to last a lifetime.

Our pick from Peak Design’s product line is the Everyday Messenger. It looks good, seems to always have room for whatever we need to put in it and the MagLatch™ closure system is perfect for avoiding spills.

Price: $198

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3) BlueSmart One

This ‘smart luggage” category went from empty to crowded in the last 18 months.

There are a number of cool brands that have emerged in the space, such as the Plant Traveler Space Case, which is still on pre-order. The zipperless Trunkster suitcase is also fascinating, but the company currently only ships within the USA.

Our pick for the best smart luggage of 2016 is BlueSmart One. If this seems like an unenthusiastic pick, it shouldn’t. The BlueSmart One does all the stuff that a suitcase is supposed to do and then also charges your devices, has a built in scale, allows you to remote lock it via your smartphone and tracks your suitcase with GPS. We wish it looked a little sleeker, but (sometimes) you can’t have everything.

Price: $340

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4) Zero Grid Packing Cubes

Once you try packing cubes, you will be shaking your head as to why you didn’t start using them earlier. A good packing cube will both compress and organize your luggage. It is difficult to differentiate between the various options but we have had great luck with Zero Grid Packing Cubes.

Price: $44.95

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5) Satechi Travel Router

The Satechi Travel Router hits all the basics when it comes to being an international plug adaptor. It works in 150 countries, allows you to charge 2 devices at once and it is compact. What sets it apart is that the upgraded version also comes with a built in router to boost your connectivity when the local wi-fi leaves something to be desired.

Price: $40

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6) Fluxmob Bolt Portable Power Adaptor

Working on the road means constantly being on the lookout for power outlets. Take the stress away with the Fluxmob Bolt. The Bolt is small, provides a fast charge and is easy to use. Plus since you can use it as a wall charger and a portable battery, it allows you to leave your usual wall charger at home.

Price: $50

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7) Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless with Active Noise Cancellation

Our audiophile friends insist that Sennheiser provide the best sound of any of the headphone options. Who are we to argue?

We do know that the Sennheiser Momentum looks great, is completely wireless and has 25 hours of battery life.  Consider us sold!

Just be warned that you are paying for that performance. If Sennheiser proves too expensive, the Bose QC35 is a very good option at a less expensive (but certainly not cheap) price point.

Price: $450

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8) Mogics Portable Speaker

Another successful Kickstart product from recent years, Mogics packs surprisingly good sound quality and volume into a tiny package. It is also Bluetooth enabled and waterproof. All this makes it the perfect speaker for taking with you on the road.

Price: $48

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9) Jolie Laide Artisan Leather Camera Straps

Designer Jacqueline Flaggiello was taking photos during Paris fashion week when she realized her camera strap threw off her outfit. Inspired, she decided to create her own DIY strap and soon, her label, Jolie Laide was born.

Her creations, sold under the label Jolie Laide, are as unique as they are durable. She combines high quality leather with materials like Vintage Kilim from Turkey.

These camera straps make the perfect gift for the intrepid and fashionable photographer on your Christmas list.

Price: $79

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10) GoPro Hero5 Black

So called action cameras seemed to be the exclusive domain of GoPro for a number of years. Now with competitors like the Garmin Virb Ultra 30 and Yi 4K Action Camera presenting a real challenge to their dominance, GoPro has been forced to up their game.

The Hero 5 Black has delivered just that. The Hero5 offers voice controls, GPS tracking, amazing audio and an excellent touchscreen. It can also take a beating and is certified waterproof to 10 meters. The Hero5 Session is the smaller option but the Hero5 Black is compact enough to suit even the frequent traveller.

Price: $400

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11) Kindle Paperwhite

Whether you prefer eReaders or paper books while at home, everyone will agree that lugging books around while traveling is just not practical.

The good news is that the 200g Kindle Paperwhite is easy on your eyes and you will be glad for the built in backlight at some point.

While it is easy to take for granted, it is pretty cool a 200g tablet can provide access to the bulk of the world’s books in the palm of your hand. 

Price: $100

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12) Atlas Obscura

Atlas Obscura’s mission is to identify, locate and describe the oddest places in the world. So if you are looking for the hippest boutique hotel in Berlin, you won’t find it here. However, if you want to discover a weather forecasting invention powdered by leeches or homes made entirely out of paper, then Atlas Obscura is the book for you. Be sure to check out their website as well.

Price: $18

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13) ProCase Travel Gear Organizers

Nothing is worse than reaching into your bag to find your headphones and electronic cords knotted up like spaghetti. Check out this great cord organizer from ProCase. This durable organizer lets you tuck away all of your cords and headphones in one place, while keeping them tangle-free. The pouch is surprisingly roomy, making it the perfect compact addition to your travel kit.

Price: $10

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14) Moment Superfish Lens

The iPhone’s camera is getting really good. However, the Moment Superfish Lens is still a great buy. Newly updated to work with the iPhone 7 / 7+, the Superfish lens lets you capture the widest possible shot from your iPhone. We have found it very effective for shots in confined space and capturing wide-angle vistas while out in the open.

Since most of us use our phones as our day-to-day cameras when we travel, the Superfish is an inexpensive and compact way to improve your Instagram game.

Price: $90

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15) Caudalie Grape Water

Ever notice how dull your skin looks after a long flight? Combat the moisture sucking combination of ultra dry cabin air and dehydration with Caudalie’s travel-sized Grape Water mister. A hit of this hydrating facial mist every few hours will keep your glow going from takeoff until landing. 

Caudalie’s Grape Water formula Grape Water provides an immediate benefit of +127 percent hydration and -61 percent skin sensitivity.

Price: $13

travel gifts

We miss the perfect gift idea? Let us know! Better yet, send it to us so that we can check it out in person…

Article written by: Patrick Stobbs & Soheila Yalpani

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