Travel Gift Guide: 2021
Are you still looking for a holiday gift for someone in your life who loves to travel or perhaps for yourself? If you’re still looking for a travel gift idea, we came up with a list this year that might just make next year’s travels a bit easier for you or your loved ones.
1.) TSA PreCheck
To save yourself or someone else some time in security lines at the airport, you can give the gift of TSA PreCheck. A five-year membership costs $85. Currently, more than 200 airports and 81 airlines provide TSA PreCheck. According to TSA’s website, 94% of TSA PreCheck passengers waited less than five minutes in its PreCheck lines in November of 2021. Once you gift a membership, it’s important to note that this is still an online process, where you need to submit an online application and schedule an appointment at one of its enrollment centers. You’ll then have to do a 10-minute in-person appointment, where your fingerprints will be taken for a background check. But once you’re TSA PreCheck approved, you can enjoy the perks of no longer having to remove your shoes, laptops, liquids, belts or light jackets while going through security.
2.) Global Entry
If you’re a traveler who likes to go abroad or if you know someone is going to an international destination, Global Entry not only provides the benefits of TSA PreCheck, including access to expedited entry benefits in other countries, but it also will expedite the U.S. customs screening process from international destinations when you arrive back to U.S. airports. A five-year membership costs $100. After you apply online and pay the fee, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will accept your completed application, review it and then you’ll have to schedule an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center. For your interview, make sure to bring your passport and one other form of identification such as a driver’s license or ID card.
Another way to get through the security line faster is through CLEAR, a private biometric screening company. The gift of CLEAR will cost $15 a month (billed annually). Right now, however, there’s a promotion that runs $179 for 12 months. Although more expensive than TSA PreCheck, it allows you to even skip that line. You’ll still have to pass through security like everyone else but the difference is that CLEAR will use your fingerprints and eye scans to verify your identity and once you’ve passed its separate line, you’ll get escorted by one of its employees to security. As of now, CLEAR boasts that it’s at 50+ airports, stadiums and other venues nationwide. You can enroll online and then finish the process at an airport that has CLEAR without an appointment. Just bring your government ID.
4.) ROAM Expandables
When you’ve got a lot to bring with you when you travel or if you know someone who just can’t pack light, there’s luggage that can hold up to 121 liters (nearly 32 gallons or 4.2 cubic feet). The “Expedition Expandable” by ROAM is expanded at 30” height, 19.5” width and 13” depth. It has a hard polycarbonate shell, water-resistant fabric lining and a handle that comes with four different height settings. This piece comes in six different colors and is completely customizable. So you can pick a different front shell color from the back shell color, differ the trim color and monogram it as well. The cost is $650, and it comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
5.) Vaccine Card Holder
If you’re vaccinated, chances are you’ll need to have your vaccine card handy — wherever you may go next year. For this reason, it’s not a bad idea to have a passport-like holder for your vaccine card to ensure you don’t lose it while you’re on the go. While there are many different ones on the market, one that really stands out is this $9.99 option from Walmart. Not only does it have a separate clear space for your vaccine card, but it can also hold your passport, credit cards, air ticket, a pen and has RFID blocking material. It’s what you might not know you even needed. Information theft may occur through RFID chips, and this holder has a blocking technology to block 13.56 MHz (or higher) RFID signals. The blocking technology can then protect your information from unauthorized scans.
Another option to make sure you really don’t lose your vaccine card is this “Vax Card Tee” from Cala that has a clear chest pocket where you can display your vaccine proudly… or just know where it is without digging through your pockets and wallet. The t-shirt will cost you $38. Just don’t forget to take your card out of its pocket before you wash it!
So if you’re still undecided about what to gift this year, you may want to consider some options to make the travel experience a little bit less stressful. Happy holidays and may the new year bring us all safe and easier travels!