The Coast News Group
Wander Wet Bag. Courtesy photos
Columns Hit the Road

Hit the Road: Great holiday gifts for travelers

The holidays are a time for gift-giving, so if you have a traveler on your list (or want to reward yourself), here are some ideas that will make ticking off the miles easier, safer and more pleasant.

Aria Kit

Aria Kit

The Aria Kit has what you need to survive a long trip — be it in the air, on the rails or during that road trip that seems to go on and on. Treat yourself or a loved one with the grab-n-go kit that is full of pampering products: handmade face and body moisturizer and lip balm; all-natural deodorant; soft and comfy microfiber socks, silk-on-silk eye mask; toothbrush and toothpaste; noise-cancelling earbuds with an airplane jack; wipes and more. The Aria Kit comes in a sturdy canvas bag with extra pockets for other personal items. $39 and $79.

Base Camp Las Vegas: 101 Hikes in the Southwest

Say the words “Las Vegas” and images of bright lights, casinos, quickie weddings and possibly bad behavior come to mind. But freelance writer and photographer, outdoors columnist and lifelong hiker Deborah Wall sees Glitter Gulch as the center of a beautiful hiking universe. “Within sixty miles of Las Vegas, you can snowshoe four-foot drifts, swim in a lake, or photograph wildflowers — all on the same day,” she writes. Making Las Vegas your base camp means you can enjoy the glories of nature during the day and return to hot showers, fine food and headliner-shows in the evening. Each entry in the book includes detailed descriptions of the hike, its history and the flora and fauna, as well as maps and exquisite color photographs. About $22. Read some of Wall’s columns in the Las Vegas Review-Journal at



The advice is always to dress in layers, but what do you do with the layers when you peel off? The JakRak is the answer. This clever device hides inside your coat or jacket when not in use, but when the temp rises, take off that outer layer and hang it on the JakRak. The lightweight, sturdy cords are adjustable and can be worn three ways: over one shoulder, over both or across the body, which leaves your hands free for carrying other necessities. The JakRak carries up to 7 pounds (a winter coat weighs 3 pounds). Comes in five colors. $30.

RAVPower Jump Starter

Those who spend hours in the car — whether commuting or traveling cross-country — need an easy and convenient way to keep devices charged and a method to jump-start the car in case of emergency. RAVPower has the answers and like all technologies these days, they come in small packages.

RAVPower car jump starter

• A small, portable jump-starter: Works when other methods of reviving car batteries fail. Capacity is 8000mAh (enough to charge an iPhone 7 and Samsung S8 as well as revive a car battery. Comes with temperature sensor safeguards to prevent reverse polarity, over-currents, overloads, over-voltages and over-charges. Also serves as a triple-mode LED flashlight. About $32. Visit

• Mini car charger: Ultra slim/small with two USB ports. Circuit design ensures devices are safe from over-heating, over-current and over-charging, and charges at a constant rate. About $7. Visit

Solar Goo

A great thing to tuck into a backpack or purse, Solar Goo combines natural ingredients with an SPF factor of 30 to create a great lip moisturizer and sun screen. Solar Goo blocks both UVA and UVB rays with the combination of Coconut Oil, Shea Butter and 20 percent Non-Nano Zinc Oxide. Remains water resistant for 40 minutes. And yes, it goes on clear. Manufactured in the USA by a women-owned company that offers numerous natural personal care and beauty products. Visit

Wander Wet Bag

If only I’d had a Wander Wet Bag during a very damp, hour-plus water-crossing in a Zodiac raft in the Arctic this past summer, I’d still have my iPhone 5S and the $350 it took to buy a new phone. These attractive water-proof bags are designed to hold those wet bathing suits that need to be packed now, but also can be employed to stash wet kids’ clothing or keep articles dry in a backpack. Comes in various colors, sizes and patterns. Start at $30. Visit

E’Louise Ondash is a freelance writer living in North County. Tell her about your travels at [email protected]