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There's something here for just about everyone you need to buy gifts for this Christmas.

Chances are that one of these stocking stuffers will prove to be an appreciated and useful gift.

 
 
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2007 Christmas Gadget Gift Giving Guide

The Travel Insider's 2007 Top Ten List
 

Stuck with what to buy for the special people in your life?

You're probably going to surprise and delight them by placing some of these items under the tree this Christmas.  For sure, it will probably be something they don't already have and which no-one else is buying them.

Better still, delight yourself with a personal treat or two also.

Here is a selection of the best of the items received and/or reviewed during this year.  They've been chosen for their low to moderate cost, their novelty value, and their usefulness.

Ranging in price from $20 and up, you're sure to find something that will be a creative choice, a useful gift, and something that even 'the person who has it all' does not yet own and would want.

And if you can't find something on this list, check out our previous year guides - the products on them are mostly still available, innovative, and appealing (links on the left).

I own, use and recommend all these items myself.

Bluetooth Headset (Jabra BT125) - $20


At last - a small, simple, discreet, affordable and functional Bluetooth headset.

Only a few years ago, Bluetooth headsets were expensive, klutzy, too big, and didn't work easily or well.

Here's the answer to all those issues.  For a mere $20, this is a good Bluetooth headset at a great price (but make sure the person you're buying it for has a phone with Bluetooth in it!).

Reviewed here.

Available from Amazon.com

 

SuddenStop - $22


Flashing red LEDs on either side of the SuddenStop license plate frame alert following drivers when you brake sharply.

Here's a gadget for the person in your life who already has (almost) everything.

Add an extra margin of safety and reduce the chances of being rear-ended with a SuddenStop license plate frame.  It requires no wiring or changes to your car.

It might add an invaluable margin of extra safety, and if it doesn't, there's certainly no downside to installing one.

Reviewed here.

Available from the manufacturer and various other suppliers.

 

Quikpod - $29.85


The Quickpod helps you take better pictures of yourself without needing to get someone to do it for you.

Here's an ingenious gadget that makes it easier to take good pictures of yourself (or of yourselves) while traveling (or at home).

You can hold the camera further away from yourself while presenting a more natural pose.

Easy to use, lightweight, and reasonably priced.  A great gadget that few people on your Christmas list are likely to already have.

Reviewed here.

Available from Magellan's.

 

BottleWise Bottle Carrier - $48.95


The BottleWise Bottle Carrier has two padded waterproof packs that can be carried within an additional outer protective cover.

If I had a dollar for every bottle of wine or spirits that I've had broken in luggage over the years, I could - well, I could probably afford to buy one of these!

Especially now that the TSA don't let you carry bottles onto your flight, safely packaging and protecting bottles in your suitcase is more important than ever before.

Here's a good answer to the problem of how best to do this.

Reviewed here.

Available direct from the manufacturer.

 

International Mobile Phone - $49


The phone is basic rather than brilliant, but it does everything you need to place and receive calls and text messages in over 110 countries around the world.
Best of all, it costs you only $49 to buy the phone, and the costs when using it are fair to moderate rather than excessive.

Keeping in touch when traveling internationally has never been easier.  Best of all, it has also never been more affordable.

Here are two competing products, both offering a $49 phone that works in over 110 countries.

The Telestial phone comes complete with a $20 calling credit.  It is better for people who travel more frequently.

The Mobal phone has no calling credit, but its SIM (phone number and account) never expires, making it great for the occasional traveler.

In both cases, you can upgrade to more expensive phones that work in even more countries, but for most people, the $49 phone is all you will need.

We have an extensive series on international phone choices and options.  Here's one of several starting places.

Telestial phone available here.

Mobal phone available here.

 

XM Radio Receiver - $60 or $130

The Delphi Sky-Fi 3 combination satellite radio receiver, recorder, and MP3 player

Not apparent in this picture, but the Delphi Roady XT is very much smaller and is the most compact satellite radio receiver available.

Whether you're driving across town or across the country, XM satellite radio makes regular FM and AM radio obsolete.

Choose from over 170 channels of music and other programming, most of which are completely commercial free.  No static or interference, and you're never out of range of the station.

The new Delphi Sky-Fi 3 ($130 after rebates) is an interesting combination of receiver, recorder, and also has a built in MP3 player, giving you the best of all possible worlds.

The miniature Delphi RoadyXT is a simple receiver, and costs only $60 after rebates.

You also need to sign up for monthly service, with costs as low as $10/month.

Satellite radio service is reviewed in our two part series here.

XM Radios and Service are available here.

 

SeatKase - $99


A new concept in airline carry-on luggage, the SeatKase gives you a carryon bag that doubles as a seat or computer table.

Don't get me wrong - the SeatKase is not necessarily the best carry-on bag out there.  That status probably belongs to one of the Briggs & Riley bags.

But - it is one of the most novel and innovative, and truly is different from others available.

The bag itself is sturdy and functional.  What makes it unique is the flap/seat on the top.  It supports the weight of a 250lb person sitting on it, and can also be used as a desk/table to put your laptop on - perhaps while working and waiting at an airport.

This extra functionality comes at no extra price; the SeatKase is fairly priced at $99.

The SeatKase is reviewed here.

Available direct from the manufacturer.

 

Steripen Traveler - $99.95


UV light sterilizes and purifies up to a quart of water at a time.

Just in time for the holidays is a $30 price reduction on these units, making them more valuable than ever before.

These little things use UV light to purify water - ideal for when you're traveling somewhere with water that may not always be safe to drink.

Reviewed here.

Available from Travel Essentials.

Special 5% discount - use code 'travelinsider' (without the quotes)

 

GPS unit - priced from under $200


A large bright display with easy to read information make new GPS units much easier to use.  And massive price reductions make them much more affordable and sensible to buy.

2007 is probably the year that GPS units finally broke through and became 'big time' consumer devices.

Prices are dropping and features are rising, making for good quality easy to use units.

If you're going to buy a unit, the current 'sweet spot' is for a 4.3" screen and a price below $200.  Costco.com, Amazon.com, and various other places occasionally offer good units at these great prices.

For more information, read our GPS series here.

 

An Apple gadget - $149 and up


The 'Touch' iPod on the left is new in the September release of new iPod models, and brings an iPhone like interface to the iPod.  It is probably the most desirable of the new iPods.
 

The iPhone looks as good as it is, with a touch screen and intuitive interface that makes it easy and friendly to use.

Apple - a company poised on the brink of irrelevance and extinction, has reinvented itself brilliantly successfully by following a simple plan - creating consumer electronics that look fabulous and which are as easy to use as they are great to look at.

Neither their MP3 player (iPod) nor their cell phone (iPhone) are particularly revolutionary in terms of capabilities; indeed in both cases there are other products out there with better features and better pricing.  But both are unquestionably the most elegant, graceful, and desirable products in their categories.

Apple now dominates the MP3 player category, and perhaps if it weren't imposing such strict controls on the sale/use of its iPhone, it would dominate that marketplace too.

The new iPods, released in September, add new elements of 'cool' to those of earlier generations, and the iPhone is an amazingly user friendly device.

Even if people already have a cell phone or MP3 player, they'll be delighted to receive a new Apple iPod or iPhone.  An iPod Nano starts in price from $149, an iPhone costs $399 (plus you need to sign a two year contract with AT&T).

iPod review series starts here.

Available from many different places, none of which discount.


Still More Ideas....

If the ten ideas above don't help, perhaps visit our 2005 Christmas Gift Giving Guide, our 2004 Christmas Gadget Gift Giving Guide or our  2003 Christmas Gadget Gift Giving Guide - maybe one of these items will be just what you are looking for instead.

 

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Originally published 30 Nov 2007, last update 19 Dec 2013

You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.

 
 
 
 

 


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