The Best Gifts and Gadgets for Serious Travelers

Sadly, not every item we covered in last year’s gift guide made it to the list this year. Some just broke along the way and ending up being sad disappointments. This, unfortunately, includes our beloved Muji suitcase and Bellroy Travel Wallet.

The good news is that there are a bunch of newcomers mixed in with some old faces that are standing the test of time. Skip the travel socks this year, here’s stuff that will actually delight most hardcore travelers.

This post originally appeared on Map Happy.

There are no winners in the bag category this year. This includes brands we’re currently testing like the Minaal, Tom Bihn and others. There was no standout.

Satechi Travel Router
There’s power adapters and there’s power adapters. This power adapter lets you convert to all the major plugs out there, has two slots for USB charging and GET THIS, even turns into a router. Because when you get into the hotel, chances are you’ll have more than one doodad that needs a little bit of Internet juice. This is singlehandedly the best travel gadget I own.

45 Gear & Gift Ideas for Father’s Day ‘Round the Campfire

Or: The Burly Dad’s Ultimate Camping Gear Guide
There he stands—a handcrafted hunter’s axe upon one shoulder, bits of bison meat in his beard, and a faraway look in his eyes as he stares through the campfire. The flame-charred Dutch oven is scraped clean of his award-winning, camp-cooked, seven-layer Mexican lasagna. The kids are giggling and licking marshmallow off their fingers, mom is getting the beds ready in the glowing tent, and Dad—he surveys the scene, calmly, comfortably, and holds it all together.

So let’s set him up with the proper tools for the job. The ideas in this gear guide are somewhat random, and range from a $2.99 coffee maker to a $600 tent and a few dozen options in between. Most of these gifts revolve around the principle of craftsmanship: i.e. a perfectly pitched tent, a one-match fire in gusting winds, a gut-warming dinner, and a clean, safe, organized campsite. Anything you can give your father to better these campcraft skills is a gift that keeps on giving. In other words, give a Dad a pizza and he eats for one day; give him a Dutch oven, some welder’s gloves, and a cookbook and he’ll feed his family all summer long.

Gift of History: People and Their Stories Matter Within Organizations

Holiday season brings us gifts—some gifts surprise us, some gifts become acquired taste, but all gifts fill us with joy—the joy of sharing with family and friends. In a similar vein, on the career front, what could be a great gift that could propel the talented and passionate? My answer: Gift of history. If you are puzzled, let me explain.

While war veterans have their moments to reflect back and share, what about the rank and file in the business world? What are they proud of? What are their stories within the organization’s history? Does anybody new joining their organization take the time to seek these stories? The most successful ones almost always do.

For others, here is an often repeated corporate story. A “catch” hire, with the requisite pedigree which usually includes words like smart and talented, is announced with great expectations. The new hire is on a mission to prove that he/she is a worthy hire. By the time first deliverables happen, the initial honeymoon is over and reality sets in. The discordant note is usually about fit. Exits like Ron Johnson as CEO from JCPenney, Henrique De Castro as COO from Yahoo are some high-profile examples. I am sure there are other examples in your organization that you can relate to.

Context is important, Her/ His story is key.

On the flip side, let us look at the life of Gandhi. He returned to India in 1915, his most prominent movement was the salt march in 1930—when he broke the salt laws of the then-British Raj at Dandi, it resonated with every person in society. It was a movement that he spearheaded after understanding the stories of the common man.

In the book, Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance?, Lou Gerstner gave us an insider’s view on the turnaround of IBM in the 1990s. In his first 100 days—a more compressed timeline reflecting corporate deliverables—he spent time hearing the stories from customers and employees.

Both of them did not have a preset notion of what to do. They earned the respect and buy-in by understanding the stories that mattered. Leadership loyalty is earned and not given. History is a great tool to understand the context before providing insights, solutions and even leadership.