Sure, you can get your significant other some flowers and chocolate-covered strawberries for Valentine’s Day, but unless you’re at an incredibly romantic Caribbean resort, it just doesn’t have the same panache. Instead, this year, we’re looking at being creative when it comes to choosing the perfect gift for the travel partner in our lives, and that includes looking forward to future adventures or simply turning your home into a fun staycation.
From culinary game-changers to luggage that will last for your next five decades of vacations, here are our favorite Valentine’s Day gift ideas for anyone who is desperate to get back out there or simply happy to be anywhere with the partner of a lifetime.
Breeo X Series 24
For as much time as we’ve spent cooking in the past 10 months or so, learning new recipes and, more often than not, failing miserably at matching the pictures on those recipes, we’ve also thought a lot about upgrading our kitchen gear. For those of us who do most of our cooking outdoors, on a grill and/or in a smoker, the Egg is always greener on the other side, so we’re constantly dreaming about fun new ways to make our favorite meats and veggies.
The Breeo X Series 24 might just be the coolest backyard accessory we’ve come across in a long time. Not only is it a smokeless fire pit, which is always ideal for enjoying cold nights under the stars with a hot cup of cocoa or neat glass of whisky, but the outer metal ring is also a sear plate, which means you can cook steaks and burgers whenever you get the urge (it’s like that scene in The Gentlemen when Hugh Grant’s character begs for a steak, but you don’t have to waste wagyu on unwelcome guests).
We actually went backwards in our love affair with the Breeo X Series, because we started with the Outpost Grill Grate, since it’s great for placing over a campfire and making treats. Now, though, we just lock that into the frame and once the steaks are enjoyed, it’s time for s’mores for two.
GoPro Hero 9 Black
This durable, waterproof action camera was at the top of our travel gear Christmas wish list and Santa did not disappoint. And we’ve had so much fun with it, despite not traveling very much, that we can’t wait to get back out there and really push it to the limits, seeing just how much has changed from the last model.
So far, the thing that stands out far beyond any other aspect is the video clarity—the 5K resolution is the real deal. And that means big results for those of us who go on amazing vacations and live stream the best aspects of them for our friends back home. There’s nothing quite like bragging to people with 1080p Facebook Live streams.
But for those of us who really like to put the action in action cameras, the GoPro Hero 9 Black has not only made things easier with a large rear touch screen (a luxury for anyone making the leap from a Hero 7 Black), but this new model boasts the best video stabilization yet (pro tip: let a 5-year-old test that part).
A fire pit that also grills is certainly great for the backyard, but your lawn is hardly the Great Outdoors. For travelers who make their own adventures and are as happy on a state park campground as they are at a 5-star hotel, then a portable grill is the best way to bring your world-class cuisine with you. Or, at the very least, you can whip up a few steaks or burgers under a romantic starry sky before slipping back into that tent made for two.
What makes the NomadiQ portable propane gas grill so convenient for road trips and camping getaways is, first and foremost, the folding style with handle, because lord knows you need more gear in your arms as you unpack the car. But at 12-pounds this is about as simple as it gets. As far as set up, it is as easy as opening, connecting and grilling with very little wait. Best of all, you can reduce cleaning by using only one side, unless the whole squad is coming and the little ones demand more hot dogs.
In that case, better pack a grill brush.
Treblab HD-Max Speaker
When we talk about bringing a Bluetooth speaker on vacation, we don’t imagine people walking around a crowded beach or national park with a boombox over their shoulders, blasting tunes for the whole world to hear. We just love having our favorite playlists handy when we’re off on new adventures, keeping our hands free while being respectful to the nature around us. But the Treblab HD-Max Speaker… this is one that’ll turn a lazy day by the pool into a personal party.
Like some of Treblab’s smaller speakers, this one surprised us with big sound, beyond our expectations, but we also love the little bonus perks. The battery can last up to 20 hours while the device also serves as a power bank for your iPhone, and three different sound modes can help it adapt to indoor and outdoor experiences. But let’s be honest—this thing was made for blasting the song of the summer at poolside 365 days of the year.
Nebula Astro Mini Projector
We’re huge fans of the Anker Nebula Capsule portable movie projector, and we didn’t think it could get much better than that for bringing our favorite streaming platforms on vacation. But then Anker one-upped itself with the Nebula Astro Mini Portable Projector and now it’s easier than ever to turn any large wall space into your own drive-in theater.
This one is especially great for traveling with children, because the pocket-sized design lets them “help” by carrying it, and its 2.5-hour battery life means that it can either handle a full feature film or several shows for a lazy afternoon by the pool or in the backyard before dinner. Just remember to bring snacks.
Nostalgia Concession Vintage Professional Popcorn Cart
Even if you don’t have a portable movie projector, it never hurts to have a popcorn machine in the house. Microwave popcorn—where’s the charm and fun in that? Also, for romantic nights on the patio, cuddled up on a couch or lounger with a blanket while watching a great romcom or tense thriller, nothing beats fresh-popped popcorn.
There are plenty of options for countertop and even portable machines, which make for great vacation accessories, but for the sake of planning a romantic evening at home, we’ll go big with the Nostalgia Concession Vintage Professional Popcorn Cart, which just looks fun if you have the extra space. Also, don’t underestimate how much young children will enjoy having this around… or how often they’ll ask to make popcorn.
Samsonite S’Cure Hardside Luggage
You don’t buy a car just to let it sit in your driveway, so why would you buy new luggage if you’re not traveling? This is about being ready, because when you decide that it’s finally time to head out there again, you’re going to want to go and go and go and go, using every last rolled over vacation day you have. And when that happens, you should have a durable, stylish bag that carries the necessities and handles the bumps and bangs of long flights and rickety baggage carousels.
Why not go big? The Samsonite S’Cure Hardside Luggage is like traveling with your own little tank, and the spinner wheels make it perfect for seasoned travelers who spend enough time in most airports to know the best paths to the next terminal or baggage claim.
Verve Culture Thai for Two
No grill? No smokeless fire pit? Takeout too informal for a romantic evening? Not exactly the world’s best chef? Even if Gordon Ramsay would walk into your kitchen and put a piece of bread on both sides of your face, there are ways to make meals that are so effortless and delicious that your date will still think you’re the second coming of Emeril Lagasse.
Verve Culture’s Thai for Two Organic Green Curry Kit might not whisk you away to Sunset Beach on Koh Lipe, but it will make for a fun dining experience. And you earn the added bonus of satisfaction knowing you made it yourself and didn’t have to pay a $5 delivery fee on Uber Eats for food that was cooked an hour ago.
Tribit QuietPlus 50 Bluetooth Headphones
Everyone loves a new pair of headphones, whether earbuds for working out or an over-the-ear set that drowns out the rest of the world so you can listen to your favorite music or stream your beloved shows and movies. And as much as we want to celebrate each other on Valentine’s Day, sometimes the best way to say, “I love you” is by giving your partner the green light to ignore you.
Tribit’s QuietPlus 50 Bluetooth Headphones are lightweight and foldable, so they won’t take up crucial space in your carryon bag, nor will they cause more clutter in your office desk. The battery also allows for up to 30 hours of listening enjoyment, so you can go from drowning out the noise at home to doing the same at work.
Mamask Travel Masks
No matter when you’re ready to get back out there, masks are going to be a crucial travel accessory for quite some time. You and your travel partner might as well pick styles that are both fashionable and comfortable, because you’ll need them on airplanes and in airports and the public areas of all your favorite resorts, no matter where you are.
We’re digging Mamask’s travel masks because they look nice, don’t irritate our ears and feature copper-ion filters that offer more protection than more basic options. Best of all, they have plenty of adorable styles for kids, which goes a long way when trying to convince them to keep it on during even the shortest flights.