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Saturday, November 7, 2020

Unique, Meaningful and Healthy Holiday Travel Gifts for Use at Home and Away: 2020 Pandemic Edition

To say that 2020 has been a unique year is an understatement. Since the pandemic was declared in March, safety precautions and protocols have become the stuff of everyday life — at home and on the road. With the holiday season upon us, many of us are getting itchy feet to hit the road again. For some, vacationing within the strictures of a public health crisis will be worth it; for others it won’t. LTD comprised this list of some of our favorite gifts for this unusual year that will be helpful both at home and on the road to capture memories, inspire and make life healthier and more meaningful! 

The purpose of our blog is to share with you everything we have learned to make Meaningful and Healthy Travel happen! We only recommend products that we use or would buy for friends! Please CLICK THE PHOTOS BELOW TO LEARN MORE, or BUY or SHARE this post to support our blog and keep it going! THANK YOU!

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn a commission. In turn, we donate profits to charity.

1.  OOLER by Chili Technologies - This is our number one recommended product because it has been a "sleep changer" for us!

Give the gift of sleep!!!! Our number one recommended product of 2020.  We first encountered Chili Technologies at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas in 2019!  In a matter of no time we became customers ourselves and can't say enough how much the OOLER and chiliBLANKET have contributed to our well-being and healthy travel!  Interrupted sleep is when our sleep is studded with prolonged periods of waking up throughout the night, usually at least four times over the course of eight hours. This condition can be caused by a sudden shift in routine (for example, a new baby in the house), travel, unexpected noises (such as a party at your neighbor’s house or a partner’s snoring), bathroom trips, menopause or other health issues or racing thoughts.  Temperature affects your baseline sleep quality and regulating temperature can help you phase shift your sleep for travel and help prevent jet lag. And do you know what we love best about the company? They stand by their product and you get a 90 day money-back sleep trial. See our full review of OOLER by clicking here! Use our coupon code to take 22% off!

2.  Vuzix Smart Swim

Another product we saw at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show in 2020!  We're sure you know that LTD loves swimming for health and this is one of the most innovative products we have ever used!  The Vuzix Smart Swim is a heads-up display for swimmers, providing workout status and information about their swim. This enables users to continue uninterrupted and reach optimum performance. Used for open water and lap (pool) training.  Luxury Travel Doc reviewer, Glenn Paige says, "Vuzix is one of the most unique swim training devices I have ever used. Besides allowing you to view and analyze your swim data real-time, it allows for open water navigation guidance, entertainment and training viewing options during your workouts. Try it to believe it!"

3.  Our Favorite Smart Watch for the Active Traveler just got better with a New Display!

The Garmin Venu has an enormous number of features, a long-lasting battery and an attractive build. The original round version was introduced in 2019 with an amazing response from users and in 2020 Garmin introduced a less expensive square version that has all of the same features at a fraction of the price. For serious outdoor travel or fitness enthusiasts, it's hard to beat.  The GPS features of this watch are unrivaled and work all over the world.  This is a high-performance timepiece that meets big challenges and fits smaller wrists. During the pandemic many Venu users are happy to have their pulse oximetry tracked on their wrist! The new AMOLED vibrant display is perfect for aging eyes and rivals the Apple Watch display! Anyone would love to receive this special gift!

4.  A Great Inspiration for the Challenges of 2020

Photo Credit: The Museum of the Pacific War/Carlos Javier Sanchez

Did the challenges of 2020 bring those you love down? Give them a story of overcoming adversity all while maintaining a positive perspective on life. WWII Iwo Jima Marine T. Fred Harvey describes his emotional and fascinating wild ride -- a man who has experienced more adventures than most of us can even imagine. Harvey, the son of an alcoholic, abusive father, found a way to adapt.

“Fred has overcome catastrophic wounds from multiple hand grenades that should have killed him,” says one reviewer of Harvey's book. “He even excelled as a track and football coach and mentored so many others. Fred rates as one of the top people in tenacity, perseverance and positive mental attitude.”  To learn more about T. Fred Harvey a    nd his journey, read our article and Sig Christianson's stories of Fred becoming the oldest Marine to finish the Marine Corp Marathon in Fredericksburg, Texas October 25, 2020. 

5.  For the Traveler Who Loves Taking Photos and Videos (and let's face it...who doesn't?)

Sick of blurry photos or shaky videos? Capture incredible memories of your family skiing, hiking, or even pets just to name a few with this! DJI has unveiled its latest smartphone gimbal, the Osmo Mobile 4 (OM4). Like its predecessors, the OM4 is an ultra-compact three-axis gimbal for keeping your smartphone footage as stable as possible, with a few other unique features baked in. This is one piece of equipment the LTD purchased in 2020 that has amazed us! Bottom line:  Never post a shaky video again even on the move!  But there are so many features in this newest version, that make spending the extra for the Mobile 4 TOTALLY WORTH IT!  

6.  For Travelers Who Love to Take Videos to the Next Level

Give the latest generation GoPro MAX!  This BRAND NEW technology from GoPro that we have been hearing about for a couple of years has three Cameras in One Allowing them to: Maximize their creative freedom. With MAX they can shoot traditional HERO-style video and photos or capture immersive 360 footage. Vlog to the max with shotgun-mic performance and a front-facing screen.

Choose from four digital lenses in HERO mode to get the shot. Capture video and photos in Narrow, Linear, Wide and Max Super View-the widest view yet. Take PowerPivot selfies, action shots and vertical pics-all with a level horizon.

For less expensive and other alternatives, look at the other version GoPro's:

GoPro HERO8 Black transforms adventures into incredible QuikStories right on a phone. With its all-new GP1 chip, next-level video stabilization and 2x the performance, looking good has never been so easy. Add voice control and a durable waterproof design, and HERO8 Black is the ultimate GoPro for sharing life as you live it. The HERO8 has improved battery access which was desperately needed!

The latest of the GoPro Hero9 Black is the best GoPro yet, but it’s also the most expensive. The key addition to this newer model is the front-facing color LCD screen, which allows you to frame yourself while vlogging, when used as a webcam, or just for selfies. The resolution gets a boost too, with a 20 megapixel stills capability and a 5K video shooting. The latter will be overkill for many, but it also allows 14.7 megapixel grabs from video, which could be hard to resist. 

At 2.27-inch, its rear display is larger than that found on the GoPro Hero8 Black, and its Hypersmooth 3.0 video stabilization system – unique to this model – is unbeatably smooth. Thanks to its removable lens cover there’s also an option to add a Max Lens Mod accessory to the Hero9 Black, which will bring a few GoPro Max-style features including 360º horizon lock and an ultra-wide 155º Max SuperView mode. Either way, even the ‘basic’ Hero9 Black is a thoroughly advanced piece of kit.

7.  AngelSense

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that the elderly or other illnesses are vulnerable and unfortunately many have become more isolated in their homes.  AngelSense is a wearable GPS tracker that can attach to your loved one’s clothing or place in their purse. When needed, only the person who holds the “parent key” can remove the device. Family members can download a mobile app where they can:

  • Receive constant updates about their loved one’s location.
  • Speak to loved ones through an auto pick-up speakerphone.
  • Activate a search and rescue team by sharing their loved one’s location with first responders.
Your elderly loved one can also quickly contact you through the mobile app by pressing the one-click SOS button on their personal device. Dementia home monitoring devices like AngelSense are a proactive step to protecting your loved ones who live alone and are prone to wander. 

8.  EarFun Free wireless earbuds are almost too good to be true!

Another product that we saw at The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas 2020! These won an Innovation award from CES! The EarFun Free has surprisingly good sound for their low price and offer both USB-C and wireless charging. Battery life is decent at 6 hours, with an extra four charges on the go with charging case. They're fully water-resistant, too. These definitely outperform the other sub $50 earbuds on the internet! 

9.  Help Protect The Outdoor Traveler from Harmful UV Radiation while Keeping them Warm!

We all know the traveler who stays active and travels to cold locations!  Unfortuanately there aren't many brimmed hats to wear in the cold!  Help them keep the sun off of their face while staying warm with Trailheads!   This comes in multiple colors!

10.  Have You Noticed Masks Make Glasses Fog?

While mask-wearing is important to public health, it poses a particular problem to those who rely on eyeglasses to see. If your exhalations cause your glasses to fog-up and obscure your ability to see, Loocid Anti-Fog Eyeglass Wipes will help clear-up condensation and restore your vision. These eyeglass wipes are pre-moistened and ready to use, with no drippy sprays and no need to provide your own cleaning cloth. Simply tear open the packet, remove the disposable wipe, and use it to apply this exclusive antifogging agent for glasses.

11.   Everyone needs a good Anti-theft bag when Traveling and this Newest one by Sherpani works for a man or woman

Spend less than $100 on this important and practical item that looks amazing!  The Esprit AT is a modern, sling style backpack designed to give you the freedom to multi-task and stay hands-free throughout your day. This sling sits comfortable on your shoulders to relive lower back pressure and has an adjustable, padded, quick release buckled strap.  ANTI THEFT FEATURES: This bag is fully equipped with RFID protection, exterior zipper lock tunnels, a clip lock for the main compartment opening, and a chair loop lock system. The bottom of the bag is lined with anti-slash fabric and the main strap is also anti-slash.  Three colors are available to suit any taste.  This will fit most tablets for easy carry.

Want to see more security items?  Click here to look at our selection at Travel Gadget Depot!

12.   Everyone Has That Friend that is FED UP!

Everyone is ready to get 2020 behind us and give them a laugh during this holiday season with a quality tee shirt showing how you may feel! Lots of colors and men's and women's fits available!

13. Compression socks are always needed for the Traveler by Plane, Train or Automobile!

These are our new favorites for price, quality and effect!  Fear of "economy class syndrome" is more common than ever as airlines aim to fit more seats on planes at the expense of leg room.  Click here to learn about the definition, who is at risk, symptoms and treatment. BUT you should always ask your medical provider about your personal risk and what you should do for prevention!  We always wear compression socks to reduce ankle swelling ourselves!  Treat your favorite traveler to a great pair of socks to make them smile!  Multiple patterns are available including solids, strips and other designs. Not sure how and why to wear these?  Check out our video full of tips for using compression socks including how to put them on:

14. We Were so Happy with Our DJI Osmo, We Bought a Mavic Mini 2 Drone!  These are flying off the shelves!

It's was just released and is receiving rave reviews! If they're new to drones, the new Mini would be a great place to start. It would also make for nifty gift for your kid, due to the low cost and ease of use. Just remember to follow Federal Aviation Administration guidelines that don't allow flying higher than 400 feet, in crowded areas, over people's heads or oncoming cars. The drone is so light, at .54 pounds, that it falls right under the FAA's requirement for recreational users of drones to register their device. (The legal minimum is .55 pounds.) 

15. Most Travelers Rely Upon Battery Technology for their Daily Charging Needs but not all Power Banks work for Laptops or other Large Electronics

Planning on using their laptop while on the road? A small portable charger might be fine for keeping their smartphone and wireless earbuds charged, but they will need something a little bigger to help their power-hungry portable laptop and tablet stay juiced. A large power bank, like this one, can charge a rapid charge a laptop or tablet multiple times. This comes packing multiple ports, allowing them to charge a number of devices, all at once. 

Some even offer a 110V AC socket that you can plug your laptop's wall charger into!

16.  Tarriss' TSA Lock Alert Makes a Great Stocking Stuffer

Do you know someone who complains they can't see their TSA lock every time they use it?  The Tarriss' TSA Lock Alert is a fantastic option that is slightly different than most padlocks. 
  • The shackle on this lock is a flexible – but sturdy – cable cord design that easily bends to slip through zippers. 
  • The three-digit lock combinations are located on large dials that are clearly labeled in bright white and stand out against the black lock. 
  • Another handy feature is the search indicator light to alert you if the TSA has opened your lock to check your bag. 
  • The set comes with two locks made of sturdy zinc alloy (it's available in black, blue or red).

17. Great Looking and Durable RFID Money Clip Wallet - Luxury at a GREAT price

The Ridge Wallet grew into one of the most popular minimalist wallets on the market, spawning countless knockoffs and competitors. There’s a good reason why. After testing out several slim, minimalist wallets over the years, we’ve eventually come back to The Ridge Wallet as our current wallet of choice, because of it's ease of use. We’ve worn through lesser minimalist options in just a few months, where The Ridge Wallet barely showed its age or use after more than a year of daily use. And with a LIFETIME GUARANTEE, you can't go wrong! 

18. A Stylish Travel Cardigan to Wear on the Plane or as a Coverup at Their Destination

Want to give them a cozy travel cardigan but don't want to spend over $100 on a Barefoot Dreams style? This highly-rated and cute lightweight travel cardigan has lots of patterns and lengths available. We love the leopard pattern.  We love the pockets for stashing items when out and about! And the price is sure to please your wallet! 

19.  Get Them One of the Best Anti-Theft Bags for Travel or Home! 

If they’re looking for an anti-theft bag for use in a hotel or inside a backpack, PacSafe's bag is a step above the rest. Lock this bag to the bed frame at a hotel and it won’t get up and walk away; the cable is cut resistant, even if would-be thieves bring bolt cutters. A great choice for hostels or other open housing styles, they can rest easy knowing that without the lock combination, no one will be accessing this bag.
It's great for home or travel allowing them to keep prescriptions, valuables, or documents out of the wrong hands!  See our full review here: 

20.  Embr – Help them Fall Asleep with Warm or Cool Sensations

Too hot or too cold—either one can make sleep a challenge, and everyone has their own temperature preference. The right bedding can make a difference, but for a more high-tech approach, give them the Embr Wave bracelet. It stimulates the inside of their wrist with warm or cool sensations, helping make the rest of the body comfortable when it’s time to drift off into slumber. And the best thing for us?  You can take it with you wherever you go!  Silver and rose gold finishes are available but there are some different color replacement bracelets purchasable!

21.  Our Favorite Carryon Backpack is one of the Most popular WORLDWIDE! 

We love Cotopaxi!  It's made in the USA and is one of the lightest carryon bags you will find!  It's tough to use a backpack that weighs a lot before you even start packing.  That's where Cotopaxi 42L comes in!  This pack is perfectly sized for carry-on convenience, loaded with well-designed features, and tough enough to handle years of use.

If you're worried it may be too big for them, go for the 35L size.  

22.  A Lightweight Solid Shampoo and Conditioner for All Types of Hair

We always carry solid toiletries for our carry on only trips because they weigh less and don't need to be placed in your liquids bag.  One of our personal favorites is the HiBar brand.  They are eco friendly and the shape makes them easy to use and get to the roots of your mane! Regular, moisturizing and volumizing versions are available!  Tip: A half bar will last for at least a month, so you can cut them in half and take in only one container.

23.  One of the most enjoyable times on a vacation is capturing selfies!  They are fun and for groups, have a meaningful closeness! 

Our favorite selfie stick extends to about 4 feet and has multiple attachments for Cameras, Cellphones or GoPro.  What we love about this selfie stick is the tripod, and the quick release clip lock system that is fast, reliable and easy to use.

24.  Give a Pair of Comfortable and Versatile Waterproof Boots for Winter Travel!

Our readers always are recommending boots from Sorel as being perfect for traveling in the colder months. The leather and suede design of the Sorel Emelie Chelsea Boot with the soft microfleece lining will keep your feet cozy and warm, no matter how chilly it gets. Our readers particularly like these cold-weather boots for traveling to more extreme winter destinations, such as Iceland. One blogger says she spent two weeks in Iceland when it was hit by the biggest snow storm in 40 years, and her Tivoli boots kept her toasty and dry. Several colors are available to find the perfect pair for them!

25.  Every Woman needs THAT ONE COMFORTABLE Pair of Earrings for Travel!  Give Her a Pair of Travel Inspired Earrings! 

Dainty and comfortable! Rosa Vila is a jewelry boutique specializing in unique designs with meaning. Their products are crafted with particular interests in mind, taking inspiration from the world to create jewelry that reflects passions -- like traveling. Three finishes are available and these won't hurt your wallet either!

26.  Home or Away, Everyone Wants Great Photos With a Cellphone!

Taking photos with a phone are better than many large cameras these days, but there are still some limitations, like low light photos. Save packing space without compromising on photoshoots with the award-winning AOMAIS Smartphone Lens Kit. The kit works with all iPhones, Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy and Note, and more. The lens attachments include wide angle, 15x macro, plus a rechargeable LED. Included is a charging cable, travel pouch, quick release lanyard, cleaning kit, and a lifetime warranty. 

27.  For the Traveler who Loves Yoga and Stays Fit Home and Away

Perfect for the globetrotting yogi or workout buff, the Toplus Yoga Mat is compact, non-slip, and tiny enough to fit in even the smallest travel bag. It's made of eco-friendly suede and comes with a one-year warranty. We love to workout while on the road or while staying home during the pandemic and this mat has been one of our go to pieces of equipment!

28.  Perfect for Transporting Liquid Souvenirs! 

Maximum protection guaranteed to any glass bottle! These travel wine bags for are padded inside with two layers of bubble wrap cushions to protect from knocks or bumps. Triple Protection will ensure no liquid will ruin their clothes. This is ensured by the Two Step Zip-Lock system, and a strong velcro seal at the bottom. This wine tote bag guarantees that everything will arrive home intact from their trip. 

29.  We've been seeing these all over Instagram: Barefoot Dreams Throw Blanket

They can take it with them or use it at home, we tried the Barefoot Dreams throw blanket—and it’s just as good as Chrissy Teigen says!  This has been dubbed the "softest blanket ever," and after trying it, we agree!  This sells out often at Nordstrom but Amazon usually has some in stock! 

The only thing we don't like about the blanket? The fact that it's ruined us for all other blankets. It sounds cheesy—and trust us, we cringe writing that—but it's true. Even the throw that we had previously dubbed our softest throw doesn't compare. The other thing we don't love is the high price point but, as you'll see below, we do think the Barefoot Dreams blanket is worth the splurge. If you have sticker shock, try another highly-rated alternative: 

30.  Give Them Something Close to Their Hearts...Literally: Kardia Mobile 6L

In our eyes Kardia is the textbook example of technology shaping health care, empowering and supporting not only e-patients, but medical professionals as well. So, let’s take a look at their newest creation, the KardiaMobile6L! Compared to the Apple Watch, which only provides a 1 lead EKG (don't get us wrong, that is great!), Kardia Mobile 6L gives what medical providers are used to seeing, a 6L EKG. We use this ourselves and love the portability of this little unit!

31.  People are More Homesick than Ever during the Pandemic!

If you’re traveling somewhere for awhile, can't go home, or moving to a new state, it’s nice to have things that remind you of home like these Homesick Candles. Made of soy wax with a 60-80 hour burn time, you can enjoy the scent you miss whenever you want.

There are so many options to choose from, including states like Montana, regions like Southern California, or specific cities like Boston or Miami, and many more. Newer options are countries!  Maybe you want to remember the location of your favorite trip like France!

32.  Diversion Safe Hairbrush!

There are many reasons to be cautious when they travel. If they carry extra cash, jewelry, or other small items that they don’t want out in the open, a diversion safe like this hair brush with a hollow core can be the perfect solution. It’s a great gift idea for people who stay in hostels, who prefer not to use a hotel safe, or those who just want to be discrete.

33.  For the Anyone who Carries Tension (who doesn't these days???) or Experiences Pain

Getting a post-flight massage can beat jet lag, improve circulation, and release tension. If they can’t make it to the spa, these palm-sized firm massage balls act like a portable foam roller to work out the knots and loosen tight muscles in feet, hips, back, shoulders, legs, etc. They could use a tennis ball, but the crevice in the middle of this design is more comfortable to use around places like the spine and come with a handy carrying bag.

34.  For the Traveler who Wants to Organize, Fit More and Keep their things Clean and Dry

We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE our compression bags for travel.  This is one item that we will not leave home without. A vacuum is NOT needed with these.  Wonder what's the best way to use them? Watch our Video Below!

35.  Smart, Sexy, Secure. When Privacy is a Must!

TROVA is a smart storage device designed with an equal focus on discretion, security and beauty – perfect for jewelry, medications, credit cards and more. Tightly sealed and artfully designed in sleek Aluminum Alloy, TROVA vessels range from pocket & handbag sized to larger containers that can be displayed, concealing its contents from inappropriate audiences. Wirelessly connected via Bluetooth and accessible through biometric scanning, TROVA’s proprietary app allows only paired users to unlock it protecting TROVA and its contents secure.

Keep valuables secure, but not out of sight. That’s the intriguing premise behind Trova, a smart storage device designed by a husband and wife team from Colorado. purpose is to protect small things from theft, snooping, children.

36.  For the Fashionable Traveler with Aging Eyes!

Our favorite magnifying travel mirror is by Floxite.  Use this in low light because it lights and it can stand on its own to have your hands free to put in contacts or apply cosmetics!  This mirror provides 15X magnification!

37.  Travel Utensils

Some are taking steps to be more eco-friendly this year and others are fearful of using utensils at a restaurant during the pandemic. This set of bamboo travel utensils can address some of their concerns.

These utensils go a long way to eliminating single-use plastic or poorly washed utensils when they're away from home.  

38.  Phones are Important for Travel, but How Can They be Clean??!  PhoneSoap is the answer!

This is a customer favorite! AS SEEN ON SHARK TANK AND DISCOVERY CHANNEL. PhoneSoap's revolutionary bacteria-zapping technology was featured on ABC's Shark Tank and tested and proven on the Discovery Channel. Think of the germs we are exposed to during travel! Stay healthy and charge a phone all at the same time.

39.  Goodr Sunglasses are a Cult Favorite of Fitness Fanatics and Travelers Everywhere!

Not only is the price amazing, but these eliminate slippage when sweating and bouncing while running, hiking, or touring due to the special grip coating and snug, yet featherweight, frame! Goodr's block 100% of those harmful UVA and UVB rays with the UV400 protective lens. These shades feature glare-reducing, polarized lenses and come in so many styles and colors that you will find it hard to choose!

40.  For the International Traveler with GREAT Hair!

When traveling internationally a dual voltage hair appliance is necessary!  Otherwise the one they bring may get short circuited and stop working!  We love this lightweight mini hair straightener for its versatility and ability to use internationally.  

41.  Still our Favorite Travel Pillow!

Yes we have been through hundreds of travel pillows and BCozzy is still our favorite! It comes in three sizes for children and adults.  We love the soft design that cradles our neck whichever way we turn it!

Remember, if you have questions related to your health, always consult your doctor or medical professional. The information presented here is informative only and is not medical advice.

If you need more ideas for the PERFECT GIFT, check out our other website!


  1. I love that warm hat with the pony tail holder. That is so awesome!! Thanks for the great ideas.

  2. So many great ideas here! I think you have it all covered! Great post!!

  3. Great ideas here!! I’ll definitely be buying some for family this Christmas.

  4. what a great post, so many ideas!! This year has definitely been unprecedented so looking at it from a different angle and doing good is really commendable.