April 20, 2019

Cool Travel Gifts for Dads and Grads

Letís face it. New college students typically live in small spaces with a limited number of belongings. And man bags? They can only hold so much. This makes compact, business and adventure travel gifts perfect for the dads and grads on your gift list. Here are some of my top choices for Fatherís Day and graduation gift giving.


Any gift item that allows seamless navigation between day-to-day activities and travel is worth its weight in gold as far as Iím concerned. My personal top picks include hanging toiletry bags, wrinkle-resistant travel clothing and a well-stocked rolling backpack. Messenger bags are also a popular unisex gift item, and come in a variety of designs suitable for living life on the road without too much aggravation. Access to a portable power supply is always an issue. If youíre not sure which devices your gift recipient owns, opting for a universal charger is a great way to play it safe. One company that makes these is called myCharge. Their power packs range in price from $50 to $100, and charge everything from cell phones to iPads and electronic readers.


Whether Dad is enjoying the perks of an executive lounge or stuck in the cheap seats by his departure gate, long layovers can be a drag. College students are also prone to long bus rides home for Thanksgiving and other holidays. Tablet devices like the Kindle Fire provide a way to surf the web, watch movies on the fly and download a new book in seconds. We paid roughly $200 for ours, and it has been my husbandís go-to entertainment item since the day it arrived. For music fans without travel access to Wi-Fi, a quality set of ear buds allows the enjoyment of a personal play list from your Android or iPhone. The House of Marley offers several designs, each coming with an array of ear tips to allow individual users to customize a comfortable fit. Prices start as low as $30, and color schemes are diverse enough to be hip with a relatively wide age range.


Miniature head lamps typically used to navigate dorm-style hostels at night provide the perfect solution for dads needing hands-free access to solve a roadside breakdown and college students not wanting to wake up their roommate during a late-night study session. Petzl makes several compact versions in the $20 to $30 price range. My husband and I each have one, and have used them around the world to navigate a variety of lighting challenges. Travel-sized first aid kits, alarm clocks and grooming supplies are also helpful items to consider giving.

Photo Credit: Misocrazy


  1. Great ideas here, particularly love the headlamp and universal charger idea – I think you can get ones which are both solar, battery and mains operable.