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Taking the Kids: Twenty-one ideas for Dad's Day gifts for traveling dads

By Eileen Ogintz, Tribune Content Agency on

Lucky guy! You know who I mean. The dad (and grandad) who insist they have everything they want or need. Besides, they hate shopping.

So how can you show your appreciation for all they do come Father's Day? It just takes a little creativity (and not necessarily a lot of money).

First, narrow down your choices based on a theme. Since this is a travel column, we'll focus on things to be enjoyed on vacation. I'm talking guaranteed-to-please gifts that Dad will enjoy but never would have bought for himself.

The kids can give dad an IOU for a late-morning snooze or nap on vacation -- and a reprieve from playing Marco Polo in the hotel pool.

Dads who love camping will smile at L.L. Bean's Otter Cliff short-sleeved shirt that's moisture-wicking, quick-drying and printed with a camp motif, including a tent, pocketknife, fir tree, hiking shoes and backpack ($54.95). Another good bet would be the ENO Hammockmade with a naturally occurring substance that repels bugs, and it stuffs into its own sack. The inflatable LuminAid PackLite Firefly USB solar lantern is waterproof, compact and twists flat -- it can even float ($24.95).

And outdoors-loving dads who like to get off the grid can share and track their locations and send messages with Motorola’s Talkabout T800 and Talkabout app that connects their smartphone to the radios over Bluetooth -- think of the radio as a modem to send the messages and locations over radio frequencies. It's good for cruise ships, too ($109.99 for two radios).


The photographer who can't decide which lens to buy next would like a gift certificate from or so he can try out some others on his next adventure. A new camera case like the Descent from Mountainsmith has a shoulder sling that helps keep the camera easy to reach ($99.95 and also available at REI).

Does the dad in your life practice yoga? Yoga Design Lab, founded by Canadian surfer/yogi Chad Turner, produces eco-friendly yoga products, including a lightweight, foldable mat with a bright geometric pattern. It's made of recycled plastic bottles bonded to a natural rubber tree base (on sale for $48).

And even if the guys in your life aren't "massage types," they are going to enjoy a massage next time you are at a resort or on a cruise ship, especially with so many offering specialty treatments for men.

For the world traveler, there's Pocketalk, a two-way voice translation device that understands and translates more than 70 languages. It works with Wi-Fi, mobile data or personal hotspot and there is no monthly subscription fee. You speak and pocketalk instantly translates into the selected language, and back again ($299 with a sim card).


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