Anyone celebrating Father’s Day and new graduates this year knows choosing a thoughtful and functional gift can be challenging. Luckily, for all the nature-loving outdoor enthusiasts and travelers out there, the weather is just warming up for some fun and useful gear.
Whether celebrating dad, honoring graduates or just preparing for an active summer yourself, this list of functional, versatile and thoughtful travel accessories can really up the ante.
For all the tubing, kayaking, rafting, camping and outdoor-you-name-it, the YETI Hopper Sidekick is just that — the nature enthusiast’s new sidekick. It wears like a fanny pack, but acts like a cooler by keeping water and intruding summer weather out and cool temperatures and drinks in. Grab a matching ice pack and belt hook to ready the adventurers in your life for activity and refreshments. YETI offers several convenient accessories for outdoor travelers, like travel mugs, large coolers and everything in between.
Road Trip Journal
Gift adventurers in your family with a journal they can document their time on the road in. Having a journal for an epic hiking expedition or longer journey off the grid without WiFi is a great way to remind explorers to take note of all the stories along the way, and maybe even think of you while they travel. Go with a classic leather-bound book for a traditional look, or something waterproof for all-weather travelers.
A little less tangible, but, oh so useful, a Premium Spotify account is something you can gift for friends, family and yourself. Whether traveling internationally, in poor connection areas or up in the air, Spotify Premium works even without WiFi, saves your music and even learns your taste and can introduce users to new music. Users can go offline and still listen to music, podcasts and audiobooks. Some packages come with a subscription to Hulu, Showtime or a variety of cable channels, so you can treat yourself while gifting the kids.
Dads and grads may be traveling this summer, starting a new job, or both — they’re going to need a bag that can keep up. A secure, sturdy and professional bag that can go with you in a moment’s notice can be a gamechanger, like the Fjallraven Kanken Laptop Backpack. This water-resistant pack can handle heavy-duty travel, tech and more, but appears crisp and professional.
Zermatt’s colorful ski boutique-lined Bahnhofstrasse, stylish apartment-style lodgings of every description and views of the Matterhorn from every angle make up one of Europe’s most family-friendly destinations — and it certainly does not hurt that it is proclaimed the “world’s best ski resort” by organizations like SnowOnline.com year after year. During the warmer months, meanwhile, you will see many family groups with kids strolling the shopping streets (sometimes alongside a herd of about 50 free-range Valais Blackneck goats around 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.), enjoying fondue and pizza at nearby cafés, and taking advantage of the many hiking and bike trails.
In a recent survey by Orbitz, 63 percent of millennial travelers said the hotel amenity they'd like to see more of is plants in hotel rooms. The same number said they seek plant-filled spaces and activities on vacation, including parks and botanical gardens.
The movies and cruise vacations actually have a lot in common: fascinating ports of call, making friends with interesting people, new sensory experiences, the constant change of scenery. When you think about it, it’s no surprise many classic comedies and romances are set aboard cruise ships, including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) with Marilyn Monroe, Royal Wedding (1951), An Affair to Remember (1957) with Cary Grant, the more recent and kid-friendly Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, and the long-running television series Love Boat.
Downton Abbey swept into family rooms and show-binging homes back in 2010 and is now resurfacing with a new story — this time on film! For Downton Abbey enthusiasts, this is a highly-anticipated event; for newcomers, this is a great chance to binge the show ahead of the film’s release; and for families looking for any excuse to get away, this is the time to take advantage of CIE Tours lineup of Downton Abbey-themed stops.