Somehow we’re here again, caught off guard by how quickly the holiday season came upon us, how close to the end of the year we are, and how many things we meant to do that remain on our to do lists. But it’s not too late to get ahead of the holiday.
Need a gift for a smart commuter – someone who carpools, rides a vanpool or bus, walks, bikes, or works from home? Whether you are shopping for yourself or a friend, we’ve got you covered. A smart commute is more than just a ride to work; it’s the gift of free time…of relaxation, a few extra dollars in your pocket every month, new friends, and fresh air and exercise.
Here are our top five picks for this holiday season:
1. E-reader (or a good ole fashioned book with actual pages made of actual paper)
Give yourself the gift of leisure as you ride to work on a Club Red vanpool, WiFi-enabled bus, or in the passenger seat of a comfy carpool. 26% of Americans admit they haven’t read even part of a book in the past year; however, research shows that people who read 30 minutes per day experience more peace and better sleep (Pew Research Center, 2018). Take back that time wasted sitting behind the steering wheel and put it to better use as a smart commuter! There are many options to choose from when it comes to an e-reader – Kindle’s new Paperwhite, Barnes & Noble’s Nook 10.1”, a tablet with reading apps, and more.
2. Bicycle Saddle Bags
You may be thinking “who would get excited about bike saddlebags for the holidays?” About 6,000 people in the City of Boise alone, actually. According to the US Census, roughly 2.5% of Boise workers commute by bicycle (2016). These cyclists save money on fuel and vehicle maintenance, turn a stressful commute into an invigorating exercise, and do their part to reduce the number of vehicle miles traveled on our roadways. Saddle bags like these from local George’s Cycles and Idaho Mountain Touring provide a safe, weatherproof space to store and transport a laptop and other work and personal items while biking to work.
3. Travel mug
Coffee and commuting go together like PB&J, so a nice travel mug is a no-brainer. Whether you vanpool, carpool, bike, or walk – carrying your caffeine confidently is important. A great travel mug keeps your coffee or tea hot, doesn’t spill, fits in a cup holder nicely, and is easy to sip from. We recommend the Camelbak Insulated Forge travel mug for your everyday coffee needs, or this beautiful tumbler with our very own Boise foothills in gold on a matte black mug from Slow by Slow in Boise.
4. Wireless earbuds
Here’s a gift any commuter will enjoy – wireless earbuds! Wireless is a great option for all kinds of smart commuters, but we suggest bicyclists keep one ear free to listen for traffic, sirens, and other potential dangers. Pair your gift of earbuds with a personalized playlist (the modern mixtape, always a thoughtful gift!), Audible subscription, or podcast recommendation. One of the best things about smart commuting is getting some free time back and being able to relax – so turn up the volume and take advantage! These Soundcore wireless earbuds have great sound quality, a sleek design, and they’re comfortable.
Techie gadgets always seem to make people smile on Christmas morning, especially those that make life easier. No, we’re not suggesting a robot who does laundry, dishes, and meal prepping – one can only dream. But, how about a noise-canceling headset for people who work from home? Be sure to choose a lightweight headset that’s comfortable and reduces strain on the neck. Plantronics headsets like these are widely used in call center environments and have headsets for both landline and PC ports.
Happy shopping, friends!
*Disclaimer: ACHD Commuteride does not endorse specific brands or products; these suggestions are simply ideas we think your smart commuting friends and family would enjoy. Happy Holidays!