Holiday Gift ideas for Travelers, Photographers & other Humans / by JD Andrews

I Travel with a lot of gear, gadgets and gizmos. After years of trail and error, here are a few I really like.


When traveling across the world or across the street, we all need a good bag to keep our ‘stuff’ (in my case Geek Stuff) safe and sound. That’s where Tom Bihn comes in. What? You’ve never heard to Tom and his bags, well schedule about 10 to 20 minutes of ‘me time’ and check out all their cool Stuff.


What I love about them:

Tom Bihn (yes, a real guy) works directly with the sewing crew to make sure each bag is made the same (or better than) its first prototype, which Tom sews himself. Yes, he sews, hikes and plays the accordion. (not all at the same time)

All Tom Bihn bags are manufactured in their Seattle, Washington factory. (almost 6000 miles from China)

There are so many sizes, shapes, patterns, colors and accessories to choose from.

And the biggie, are you ready? Lifetime Guarantee!

I’ve had mine for over a year and I love it!


Pockets, pockets and more pockets, keep your gadgets close, accessible and secure in a SCOTTEVEST. (Scott, also a real guy)


Choose from a variety of styles and colors of men and women’s jackets, vests, shirts, hoodies and more. (even boxers)

I have a SCOTTEVEST jacket that I wear traveling; it’s like having another carry on!

For Business and Adventure travelers - The P^cubed Pick-Pocket Proof Pants (that’s a lot of P’s) & Shorts from Clothing Arts.


Can you tell I like pockets? Zip the zipper to seal the pocket; secure the button flap for twice the protection; for even more security, lock whats most valuable in the triple secure hidden passport pocket.

Made from extremely durable fabrics that are wrinkle, rain and stain Resistant. (You had me at wrinkle free!) When you put them on, you can feel the quality (That’s my line, they can use it if they want) but don’t let the price scare you (around $80 - $100), as any traveler will tell you, it’s worth it!


I have been looking for the best ‘travel’ tripod for a long time. At TBEX, we had a room full of videobloggers and I asked if anyone knew of a tripod that was:

  • Lightweight & small enough to travel with but sturdy
  • Fluid head with handle
  • Bubble level and quick shoe (quick shoe: A little plate that attaches to the bottom of your camera for easy connection and disconnecting from tripod)
  • Easy to set up & take down with case
  • Durable & affordable

Well, after a long search, I’m happy to say I found it from VANGUARD!


 The Alta Pro 254CT tripod with the PH-32 pan head.

This award-winning tripod is lightweight (but sturdy) with carbon fiber legs (3.5 lbs)

Easy to set up and take down, case included.

The PH-32 pan head is lightweight, has three (yes 3) bubble levels, 3-way fluid pan head with two handles and (my favorite) a quick shoe. All for around $400

For your point and shoot camera

The XSXShot 2.0


This is a fun and easy way to get the whole family or group in a photo or use it to get some cool angels on your more ‘artsy’ shots. The XShot extends to over 3 feet and closes to 9 inches, made of durable metal and weighs only 5 ounces for round $30


When it comes to shaving on the road, my pick is the Philips Norelco SensoTouch.

I'm not a big fan of shaving at all but it beats looking like a bum (or so I'm told)

I choose the electric razors for two reasons: 

1. Hard to find clean water and shaving cream

2. You can shave anywhere, on a bus next to a goat or in a tent in the middle of nowhere.

This year I had the chance to travel to Egypt, Jordan, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. Places that are not known for having ‘good’ water.


 This makes the simple task of brushing your teeth, a little tougher.

So I had the choice of not brushing (which my travel group frowned upon) or trying these cool new Toothpaste tablets from Archtek.

Just pop a tablet in your mouth, chew, brush, rinse (sounds better than ‘Spit’) No water needed. (15 for around $2.50)

So that’s my list, what’s on yours?

Happy Holidays!!!