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Holiday Gift Guide 2013 – The Tech Traveller

by Martin Wigginton
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There is the old saying about death and taxes being the only things in life that are a given.

To many of us, there’s a third given – holiday gift buying.

Selecting gifts for our loved ones, and making sure that there is some originality to our choices, can seem to be a daunting task. Well, you’re in luck because we’ve done some of the ponderings for you! Here are five selections under $100.00 for you to consider for your loved one who loves tech gadgets, and loves to travel (or comes with you when YOU travel).

Holiday Gift Guide 2013 #1 – Noise Cancelling Headphones

[one_half]holiday gift guide 2013[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Nothing ruins a great trip like the sound of a droning aeroplane engine or the droning of anything…

Anyone who travels and enjoys music or other entertainment on a journey will appreciate a pair of these.

Holiday Gift Guide 2013 #2 – Solar Powered Charger

holiday gift guide 2013
The sheer number of gadgets that we rely on these days is staggering compared with even five years ago. They are useful on so many levels, from translating words so that we can communicate to taking pictures so that we can remember where we went. They do need the power to do all these wonderful things though. Sometimes we find ourselves in remote locations, or on excursions that take us away from easily accessible power. A charger that works on solar is certainly something that can come in handy in those situations. While they do take a bit of time to recharge they are suitable storage devices and if you can leave them alone to do what they have to do, well, they don’t use any fossil fuels or costly energy from the grid. A bit of green on your trip could be a good thing.

Holiday Gift Guide 2013 #3 – Portable Bluetooth Speaker

holiday gift guide 2013
There are a lot of different speakers out there for travel, and with corded and Bluetooth speakers in the mix, there seems to be no shortage of choices. For the beach, hotel, or anytime that you want to share your entertainment, portable speakers are a great travel companion. For the last six months, I’ve been listening to a Blue Piston Bluetooth speaker that easily packs away for travel. The battery lasts and lasts, even when used exclusively for wireless playback (you can connect directly with a cable to increase the life of both the speaker and your device’s battery) and the sound quality is remarkable for something half the size of a can of soup.

For a corded speaker see Mary’s review of the iHome portable speaker here.

Holiday Gift Guide 2013 #4 – Eye-Fi Memory Card

holiday gift guide 2013
We recently published a review of the Eye-Fi SD memory card, and while there are some limitations it’s definitely a good choice for anyone with a camera that doesn’t have wifi. Once linked to a smartphone or tablet pictures can be shared immediately using wifi (or data, but watch your data roaming).

Eye-Fi Mobi Memory Card

Holiday Gift Guide 2013 #5 – Apps

holiday gift guide 2013While Apps might seem like an odd gift to give someone, the reality is that sometimes it’s the small things that have the greatest impact.

For iOS users (iPhone, iPad) there is an app that was just released that goes by the odd name Photopills (I have no idea why, but it doesn’t matter, trust me). The app provides a photographer with the tools to enable them to observe and plan for the position of the sun, the moon, and even stars in their photographs. While there are other apps that offer similar information (see LightTrac and The Photographers Ephemeris) Photopills provides a user interface that gives an Augmented Reality view of things, which is an indispensable tool for composition. Currently, the app is only available for iOS devices, but I would suspect that an Android version won’t be far behind.


So there you go. A few gift options for you to consider this holiday season that your tech-savvy loved one may not already have their eye on.

Then again, even if they do you’ll look good getting them something that they didn’t expect you to know about. (You’re welcome, and happy holidays).

Stay tuned for more Holiday Gift Guides in the next few days.

Have you got some great gift ideas this season? Share them in the comments below…

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Jennifer December 6, 2013 - 4:06 am

My noise canceling headphones have become a travel essential for long haul flights!

Mary Chong December 5, 2013 - 7:42 am

On my wish list is a new e-reader – I have an early version of a kindle and I think it’s due for an upgrade.

Another item I am looking for are noise cancelling headphones – thanks for the suggestion Martin!

Stephanie Mayo December 4, 2013 - 3:36 pm

Thanks for introducing me to some great gadgets to ask for!

Martin December 5, 2013 - 7:28 am

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look. Which ones will be on your wish list this year?

Gabriel December 4, 2013 - 2:47 pm

For the solar charger how long is a long time. Lets say I wanted to charge my computer with it? Would that take days or hours? Any idea?

Martin December 5, 2013 - 7:48 am

Hi Gabriel, this particular unit is designed more for cell phones or digital camera batteries, so the storage is a far too low for a laptop. As for time, it can take an entire day in full sun to charge this particular unit. If you are looking for something along the lines of laptop charging try here:

Let us know if you find something helpful, and thanks for taking the time to drop by.

Rafael December 4, 2013 - 9:51 am

Hi everyone!

This is Rafael (the Bard) from the PhotoPills team. Martin, thanks a lot for having chosen us!

I know the name is pretty wierd…heheh.. But there is an explanation. We wanted to design solutions to some of the problems photographers have in the same way Pills help in with health problems. That’s it!

PhotoPills = Remedies to your photographic problems.

This is how we came up with this wierd name!

Again, Thanks a lot!

Mary Chong December 4, 2013 - 9:56 am

I’m on android…any chance this will be on there soon?

Mary Chong December 5, 2013 - 7:39 am

UPDATE: I received a tweet from the team at Photopills and they are working on an android version but they cannot confirm a date at this time…

Martin December 5, 2013 - 7:52 am

Hi Rafael, thanks for the explanation. It makes perfect sense now. It’s a great app, AND it prevents having to do massive calculations to figure things out. Definitely not a placebo.

So…about that Android version?…

: )

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to explain. Keep up the good work.


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