Berkeley, California (EastBayDaily) — With the holiday season in full swing, most travelers in North America are heading towards warmer climates to escape the cold weather. However, winter is the perfect time to begin planning springtime and summertime travel, especially road trips. For holiday shoppers needing gifts for their road trip-loving friends, Jamie Jensen—author of Road Trip USA, which is now available as an interactive, full-color, easy-to-use ebook with thousands of helpful links—offers his top road trip gift ideas to inspire the most seasoned travelers to hit the road.
Here are his top 10 gift recommendations for road trippers:
1. National Parks Pass: $80—Travelers from around the world visit the U.S. to explore its National Parks, and with good reason: these public lands offer some of the most amazing scenery, spectacular landscapes, and wide open spaces. Invest in one of these passes, and travel companions also get in free to more than 2,000 unforgettable destinations.
2. GPS: $99.99—While many of us rely on smartphones for finding our way around town, connections are slower and less reliable out on the road. A satellite-based GPS navigation system is still the best way to keep on the right path, and Garmin has some of the best.
3. Satellite Radio (prices vary based on subscription)—Like local newspapers, the old fashioned local radio station is an endangered species, so to keep travelers company on those long drives, ask Santa for a Sirius XM radio receiver. Besides music, Sirius is ideal for sports fans afraid to travel because they don’t want to miss a ballgame.
4. Twin Video Digital Camcorder: $35.82—Especially good for travel with kids, an easy-to-use, lightweight, and fun digital camera is a great way to make and share some memories—without the risk of dropping your iPhone.
5. Windshield and Dash Mount for Cameras: approximately $12.00—This is a handy mount for handheld digital recorders so road trippers can make stop-action animations of their favorite drives.
6. 12 Volt Power Inverter Strip: $28.95—Keeping track of all the adapters and chargers for digital devices is a pain. Get one of these inverters and use normal 110V AC power plugs or USB connectors rather than hassle with the “cigarette lighter.”
7. Travel Journal (prices vary)—Yes, Facebook and Twitter have made journal-writing anachronistic, but there is something about writing things down by hand that etches the memories more deeply. Plus, with a journal or notebook, travelers can glue in all those oddball postcards they find along the way.
8. Books—Since their invention back in the 1450s, books have brought big ideas and hours of enjoyment to millions, and they don’t need batteries. My favorite road trip book is William Least-Heat Moon’s enduring classic Blue Highways: A Journey into America ($10.87), first published in 1982.
9. Mad Libs on the Road: $3.99—Every road tripper has developed his or her own way to deal with the inevitable tedium. Of all the many great time-wasting games out there, none is more fun than Mad Libs, those fill-in-the-blank exercises in silly word play. This is one specifically designed for “Are we there yet?” moments.
10. Picnic Time Windsor Picnic Basket: $231.99—My favorite thing about road trips is the great variety of food out there, in diners and drive-ins across the land. As it did for Yogi Bear, food tastes best when eaten off the roadside or trailside in some unforgettable spot. If that sounds good, put this deluxe picnic basket at the top of the wish list.
For more information on planning a road trip, listen to Jamie Jensen’s podcasts, or visit the Moon Travel Guides website. You can also visit the road trip gift ideas board on the Moon Travel Guides Pinterest page.
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About Moon Travel Guides | Moon.com Moon Travel Guides make independent travel and outdoor exploration fun and accessible. With expert writers delivering a mix of honest insight, first-rate strategic advice, and an essential dose of humor, Moon guidebooks ensure that travelers have an uncommon and entirely satisfying experience. Moon not only guides, Moon inspires. Based in Berkeley, Calif., Moon is published by Avalon Travel, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Visit the Moon Travel Guides website, or join us on Facebook and Twitter.