Christmas Gadget Gift Giving Guide
The Travel Insider's 2007 Top Ten List
Stuck with what to buy
for the special
people in your life?
You're probably going to surprise and delight them by placing some of these items under the
tree this Christmas. For sure, it will probably be
something they don't already have and which no-one else is
Better still, delight yourself with a personal treat or
Here is a selection of
the best of the items received and/or reviewed during this year. They've
been chosen for their low to moderate cost, their novelty value, and their
Ranging in price from $20 and
up, you're sure to
find something that will be a creative choice, a
useful gift, and something that even 'the person who has it all'
does not yet own and would want.
And if you can't find something
on this list, check out our previous year guides - the products
on them are mostly still available, innovative, and appealing
(links on the left).
I own, use and recommend all
these items myself.
Bluetooth Headset (Jabra BT125) - $20
At last - a small, simple, discreet, affordable and functional
Only a few years ago, Bluetooth
headsets were expensive, klutzy, too big, and didn't work
easily or well.
Here's the answer to all those
issues. For a mere $20, this is a good Bluetooth
headset at a great price (but make sure the person
you're buying it for has a phone with Bluetooth in it!).
Flashing red LEDs on either side of the SuddenStop
license plate frame alert following drivers when you
Here's a gadget for the person
in your life who already has (almost) everything.
Add an extra margin of safety
and reduce the chances of being rear-ended with a
SuddenStop license plate frame. It requires no
wiring or changes to your car.
It might add an invaluable
margin of extra safety, and if it doesn't, there's
certainly no downside to installing one.
manufacturer and various other suppliers.
Quikpod - $29.85
The Quickpod helps you take better pictures of yourself
without needing to get someone to do it for you.
Here's an ingenious gadget that
makes it easier to take good pictures of yourself (or of
yourselves) while traveling (or at home).
You can hold the camera further
away from yourself while presenting a more natural pose.
Easy to use, lightweight, and
reasonably priced. A great gadget that few people
on your Christmas list are likely to already have.
BottleWise Bottle Carrier - $48.95
The BottleWise Bottle Carrier has two padded waterproof
packs that can be carried within an additional outer
If I had a dollar for every
bottle of wine or spirits that I've had broken in
luggage over the years, I could - well, I could probably
afford to buy one of these!
Especially now that the TSA
don't let you carry bottles onto your flight, safely
packaging and protecting bottles in your suitcase is
more important than ever before.
Here's a good answer to the
problem of how best to do this.
Available direct from the
International Mobile Phone - $49
The phone is basic rather than brilliant, but it does
everything you need to place and receive calls and text
messages in over 110 countries around the world.
Best of all, it costs you only $49 to buy the phone, and
the costs when using it are fair to moderate rather than
Keeping in touch when
traveling internationally has never been easier.
Best of all, it has also never been more affordable.
Here are two competing
products, both offering a $49 phone that works in over
The Telestial phone comes
complete with a $20 calling credit. It is better
for people who travel more frequently.
The Mobal phone has no calling
credit, but its SIM (phone number and account) never
expires, making it great for the occasional traveler.
In both cases, you can upgrade
to more expensive phones that work in even more countries,
but for most people, the $49 phone is all you will need.
We have an extensive series on
international phone choices and options.
Here's one of several starting places.
Telestial phone available
Mobal phone available
Radio Receiver - $60 or $130
The Delphi Sky-Fi 3 combination satellite radio
receiver, recorder, and MP3 player
Not apparent in this picture, but the Delphi Roady XT is
very much smaller and is the most compact satellite
radio receiver available.
Whether you're driving across
town or across the country, XM satellite radio makes
regular FM and AM radio obsolete.
over 170 channels of music and other programming, most
of which are completely commercial free. No static
or interference, and you're never out of range of the
The new Delphi
Sky-Fi 3 ($130 after rebates) is an interesting
combination of receiver, recorder, and also has a built
in MP3 player, giving you the best of all possible
Delphi RoadyXT is a simple receiver, and costs only $60
You also need
to sign up for monthly service, with costs as low as
service is reviewed in our
part series here.
XM Radios and
Service are available
SeatKase - $99
A new concept in airline carry-on luggage, the SeatKase
gives you a carryon bag that doubles as a seat or
Don't get me wrong - the
SeatKase is not necessarily the best carry-on bag out
there. That status probably belongs to one of the
& Riley bags.
But - it is one of the most
novel and innovative, and truly is different from others
The bag itself is sturdy and
functional. What makes it unique is the flap/seat
on the top. It supports the weight of a 250lb
person sitting on it, and can also be used as a
desk/table to put your laptop on - perhaps while working
and waiting at an airport.
This extra functionality comes at
no extra price; the SeatKase is fairly priced at $99.
The SeatKase is reviewed
Available direct from the
Steripen Traveler - $99.95
UV light sterilizes and purifies up to a quart of water
at a time.
Just in time for the holidays is a
$30 price reduction on these units, making them more
valuable than ever before.
These little things use UV light
to purify water - ideal for when you're traveling
somewhere with water that may not always be safe to
Special 5% discount - use code 'travelinsider'
(without the quotes)
GPS unit -
priced from under $200
A large bright display with easy to read information
make new GPS units much easier to use. And massive
price reductions make them much more affordable and
sensible to buy.
2007 is probably the year that GPS
units finally broke through and became 'big time'
Prices are dropping and features
are rising, making for good quality easy to use units.
If you're going to buy a unit, the
current 'sweet spot' is for a 4.3" screen and a price
below $200. Costco.com, Amazon.com, and various
other places occasionally offer good units at these
For more information, read our GPS
Apple gadget - $149 and up
The 'Touch' iPod on the left is new in the September
release of new iPod models, and brings an iPhone like
interface to the iPod. It is probably the most
desirable of the new iPods.
The iPhone looks as good as it is, with a touch screen
and intuitive interface that makes it easy and friendly
Apple - a company poised on the
brink of irrelevance and extinction, has reinvented
itself brilliantly successfully by following a simple
plan - creating consumer electronics that look fabulous
and which are as easy to use as they are great to look
Neither their MP3 player (iPod)
nor their cell phone (iPhone) are particularly
revolutionary in terms of capabilities; indeed in both
cases there are other products out there with better
features and better pricing. But both are
unquestionably the most elegant, graceful, and desirable
products in their categories.
Apple now dominates the MP3 player
category, and perhaps if it weren't imposing such strict
controls on the sale/use of its iPhone, it would
dominate that marketplace too.
The new iPods, released in
September, add new elements of 'cool' to those of
earlier generations, and the iPhone is an amazingly user
Even if people already have a cell
phone or MP3 player, they'll be delighted to receive a
new Apple iPod or iPhone. An iPod Nano starts in
price from $149, an iPhone costs $399 (plus you need to
sign a two year contract with AT&T).
iPod review series starts
many different places, none of which discount.
Still More Ideas....
If the ten ideas above
don't help, perhaps visit our
2005 Christmas Gift
Giving Guide, our
2004 Christmas Gadget Gift Giving Guide or our
2003 Christmas Gadget Gift
- maybe one of these items will be just what you are looking
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30 Nov 2007, last update
26 May 2011
You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.