After years of trying to have a baby, twins arrived in our lives throwing our mostly calm world into a daily hurricane of crazy-cuteness combined with endless activity.

My point is: if you’re looking for a unique gift for your traveling loved one? These items saved our sanity again and again while we raised twin snickerdoodles.

Marpac Dohm Classic White Noise Sound Machine

We bought two of these beauties when our babies were infants — and 15 years later still use and love them.

Baby Banz Earmuffs Infant Hearing Protection

What with all of the flight attendant instructions, airplanes are super noisy for slumbering darlings. Your takeaway: sit as close to the front of the plane as possible. The back of the plane is the loudest and use this awesome ear protection ear muffs to keep your sweethears asleep.

Owen & Mzee — The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship

My kids and their friends went wild for the three books below. Their stories happened to real animals and real people — and all have happy endings! I once recommended these books to a friend who said that her kids were telling their dad all about the stories at the dinner table. These books make for fabulous reading on a trip or getting to a destination!

The Bear That Heard Crying

Owney the Mail-Pouch Pooch

Oster BLSTPB-WGN My Blend 250-Watt Blender

I  raised a kid who seems to exist on air alone. One of the few foods he loves — thankfully — is a strawberry smoothie. This travel blender has given him a wonderful meal when he refuses whatever we’re eating.

Travelon Anti-Theft Cross-Body Bucket Bag

So, so much goodness here. Every traveler needs a purse that keeps hands free and has a slash-resistant body. Plus this purse comes in a jillion colors and has a zippered organizer with card slots, a pocket, removable LED light, RFID blocking card and passport slots. (What is an RFID blocking card? Good question! RFID stands for radio frequency identification, and it essentially blocks hackers from swiping your data.) $39.99

Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill

Not exactly a small something to wrap up for your best friend, but if you have a loved one who is a regular traveler they’ll use and love this portable grill. With this baby your traveler can grill meals on the beach, in a grassy park or in most parking lots. $29.99


Rosewill 1800 Watt Induction Cooker Cooktop

At  just $42 this induction cooktop is an awesome gift for any family traveler.  Offering the same wattage — give or take — as a hair dryer, this type of cooking item means your traveler will save huge money on not eating out constantly. The cooktop is perfect for making scrambled eggs, mac ‘n cheese and spaghetti. Plus it’s easy to pack for a road trip.

Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella with Teflon Coating

 “With Teflon coating.” When the wind and rain is turning your life into a Dorothy in Kansas moment, this umbrella is on duty. I never needed this type of umbrella in CA, but in GA and VA? Oh yes.

I’m curious, what items do you count on to keep trips happy when traveling with the sweetest?


Adventure more. Panic less. Travel writer wants to shout it from the rooftops every not discussed method for safer, saner family travel. Read me before you take off!

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