The AMT Annual Gift Guide. Our Top Ten Ideas for Everyone on Your List.
Last year right about this time, we highlighted three favorite products--products we use and love. In fact, the milk frother still tops Carolyn's list and I've dropped a hint for the watch! Oh, and the traveling yoga mat (below) is now on my wish list...hint hint!.
So if you are still in search of a gift, consider the Athletic-Minded Traveler Team's top 10 picks. We have gift ideas for the road warrior, business traveler, yogi, chef, exercise enthusiast, your kids and even wine and chocolate lovers.
1. For the wine enthusiast, Oster Automatic Wine Opener. Yes there are other more fancy options...ones that use CO2 and something called the "rabbit", but trust us, this one is so easy, it'll win over even the most persnickety oenophile. And for about $20, it's a small investment.
2. For ANYONE on your list who appreciates practicality, Seagate FreeAgent Hard Drive Back-Up. We have the 500 GB model and paid just under $80. This device is so easy to use. So if you are not already backing up your hard drive, you now have NO excuse. Seriously, you just plug it in and follow the directions. Oh, and it's super fast too.
3. For kids of ALL ages, Billy Jonas "What Kind of Cat are You?" This award winning, kid-centric CD is clever and a great listen. We've had it for over 2 years and it remains in heavy rotation. The DVD is pretty good too...it's a little bare bones, but seeing this guy do his thing is great.
4. For the traveler and/or fitness fan, Garmin Forerunner 305: Athletic-Minded Traveler VIP Marc Buxbaum is an uber traveler, spending 10+ nights on the road each month. He sings the praises of this watch-like GPS device that tracks your running, swimming (sort of--see editor's note at end), walking and/or cycling distances and pace, as well as your heart rate and calories burned. Users especially love the software package which allows all sorts of data manipulation such as overlaying your "route" onto Virtual Earth. There is a 405 model now available, but he hasn't tested that one, and since this model came out in 2007, you can get a good deal on it--as low as $170 on Amazon, (versus the suggested retail of $300). ** And don't forget that AMT provides running maps in nearly every city we cover! Take a look here.
5. For those with a sweet tooth, Fairytale Brownies. No they are certainly NOT athletic-minded nor sensible, BUT, we have given these tasty delights to a number of friends and all recipients have raved about the product. We also like that these sweet treats break out of the ever so boring "food basket" category.
6. For the traveling and sore athlete, the Trigger Point Footballer and Massage Ball You may be wondering right about now, why spend nearly 70 buckaroos on this starter kit when you can simply engage is some self-myofascial release (we posted on this) with a $10 foam cylinder? Well, as Marc points out, the TP products are small enough for the carry-on bag and easily get through airport security! Marc leaves the block at home and uses the hotel's yellow pages for a prop.
7. Traveling Yogis will love Savasa's 3mm thick 24x68 Fold & Go Yoga Mat. Athletic-Minded Traveler Yoga Editor, Becka Christian is a big fan, but suggests you unfold it when you can to avoid the fold lines. You can order the mat on Amazon for $23, but it currently doesn't qualify for free shipping.
8. The Burton Sleeper Hoodie is likely best suited for the younger athletic-minded traveler. What we like about this product are its travel friendly features and the recent $50 sale price--a DEAL considering the normal $100 price tag. Here's the scoop: the generously sized hoodie has a removable inflatable neck pillow, snap out light shield, removable eye mask, change/key pocket, zippered internal passport and ticket pocket, sound pocket with headphone cable, hidden stash pocket with ear plugs, cuff thumb holes, "pit zips" and a custom zipper pull!
9. Krups Rice Cooker is a good bet for the college student or starter chef. When AMT contributor Dan Gaz was cycling hard for the accomplished Phi Psi Team at IU, his buddies relied on this device for hot and ready food post ride. Dan became a big fan and now uses the cooker every week -- slow cooking rice and other dishes and even steaming vegetables. He swears that it's super easy; push a few buttons on the easy-to-read digital screen and that's it. The best part? You can set the cooker up to eight hours in advance and the rice will stay warm and moist the entire time! Talk about set it and forget it.
10. For those looking to personalize their gift, The Athletic-Minded Traveler Food Basket. Instead of buying a pre-made assortment of goodies, create your own. We have a few suggestions--that of course are team favorites.
Happy Holidays from Athletic-Minded Traveler. If you have a trip, check out our Browse Cities page to find places to exercise, stay, eat, run, swim, shop etc., all from a healthy-living standpoint!
EDITOR'S NOTE: While the Garmin 305 is water resistant and can handle water for up to 30 minutes, it is not recommended as a swimming tool UNLESS you get creative! Check this post out to see how to use your Forerunner in the pool.