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Looking for some gift ideas/new toys?
Stuff I Like
I own, use, and like all of the items listed below. Some of these items are related to music, others are travel accessories, and others are simply things that are nice to have around the house. (And if you click the links below and purchase any of these items, I’ll receive a tiny commission from the Amazon overlords. Everybody wins.)
14 oz. French Press Travel Mug by Planetary Design
Easily one of my favourite gifts from the past five years. If you’re a coffee lover who travels, you owe it to yourself to get this mug–wonderful French press coffee wherever you go, with a compartment for extra beans in the bottom. Easy to clean, and very, very well made–has survived backpacking through Asia, and still going strong.
Lewis and Clarke NSA approved Carry-On Toiletry Pouch
Breeze past surly airport security guards with this toiletry pouch designed for tiny shaving cream, hand lotion, toothpaste, etc. Sturdy and easy to clean, too.
Coleman Aluminum Water Bottle
Given the extortionate prices of most airports around the world, this bottle has paid for itself many, many times over. Planetary benefits aside, I don’t know why more travellers don’t bring a portable bottle with them on trips. Just make sure it’s empty before you proceed through airport security, and you’re good to go.
Martin Backpacker Travel Guitar (with bag)
The perfect travel guitar. Lightweight and well built with a pleasant, sharp tone, it fits into overhead compartments on airplanes. Impress the ladies in the hostel with your acoustic rendition of “Sexual Healing,” and this guitar.
Merkur Travel Safety Razor with case
Shave like your Grandpa when you travel! Guaranteed to increase your testosterone by at least 20%. It’s not just for travel of course, but it comes apart and packs up easily. This thing will last forever if you take care of it. Pass it on to your grandson some day, and show him how real men shave.
Timberland Wodehouse Chukka desert boots
I get compliments on these bad boys all the time. Very comfortable, and as long as you keep them semi-polished, you can wear them with just about anything. Thank me later, gents.
Olukai Ohana Men’s Leather Sandals
The most comfortable (not to mention classiest) flip-flops on the planet. Keep cool in the tropics without looking like a doofus. Not great for wearing in the rain, but other than that they’re terrific. I wear them everyday, and my feet never hurt.
The North Face Men’s Surgent Hooded Zip-Up Sweatshirt
Every traveler needs a quality hoodie–even the tropics can get chilly at night. This hoodie is comfortable, well built, warm (but not too warm), and stylish. I love it.
ExOfficio Men’s Give-n-Go Boxer Briefs
Did I just tell you what kind of underwear I wear? Seriously, though–these things are great for travel for all kinds of reasons. One, they’re comfortable like you wouldn’t believe, two, they breathe well and don’t collect odour like other underwear, three, they wash easily and dry in a heartbeat, etc. etc. Fellow men of the world, trust me–they’re worth it.
Kindle Paperwhite 6″
I resisted e-readers for years. I’m glad I finally came around–I have a library of nearly 1000 books on this thing by now, and it fits in my pocket. Beautiful fully-lit display, and it doesn’t keep you up at night–it doesn’t emit nasty blue light like most computers, so you can read in bed without a light, or a care in the world.
Bose SoundLink Mini II bluetooth speaker
You wouldn’t believe the sound quality of this little thing. Most of my friends can’t. And at this size, you can still travel with it. Best part: surprisingly rich and prominent bass, excellent for grooving to Barry White at 3 AM on a Friday night (less excellent for your neighbours).
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones
I’ve dropped, scratched, and generally tortured these things for several years over several continents. They seem to be just about indestructible. And the best part–they sound great. Good bass, some noise cancelation, attractive design, and not too heavy. Especially good for traveling. (That crying baby on the airplane? Slap on these cans, put on some Motown, and your worries will be disappear.)
Blue Snowball USB mic
The silky smooth vocals you hear week after week on TIM? Courtesy of yours truly, and this simple plug-and-play USB microphone. Highly recommended for gamers, podcasters, voiceover artists, or just better Skype calls. You can’t beat it for this price.
Zoom H1 Portable Digital Recorder with accessories
When I don’t have my Snowball, I record with this. Lightweight, and surprisingly good sound quality. Definitely beats an iPhone (or any smartphone) for field recordings.
Numark Mixtrack Edge DJ controller
I’ve since graduated to a Pioneer DDJSR controller, but this little rig is what got me started djing. Easy to use, lots of fun at parties, and small enough to travel anywhere (it’s a little bigger than an iPad). Highly recommended for the absolute-beginner DJ who wants something to play around with.
Macbook Pro 13″ with Retina display
This thing is a workhorse, and travels well, too. With more power and ports than the MacBook Air, I’ve used this to run my businesses , websites, podcast, etc. for more than two years now. PC devotees take note: this is the best laptop on the planet, period.