Great Gifts don’t have to cost a lot. It is the thought that counts, and the effort to get the right gift for the right person. The iMums have collected together some of our favorite inexpensive gifts under $30. We have gifts priced from $9.99 to $29.99 including a variety of tech accessories, some cool gadgets and some low tech ideas too. Happy shopping!
For additional gift ideas check out all our Holiday Gift Guides.
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I regularly commute into the city with my “travel tech” and I thought I would share some of my favorite tech accessories that are always in my backpack other than my laptop and iOS devices. Being a mom means that I have to have my travel tech packed and ready to go at a moment’s notice. Some of the products below were provided by companies and if you purchase them our site may earn a small amount. I picked all of these products based on my personal experience and usage of them over time.
LL Bean Quad Pack
I’ve had my LL Bean Quad Pack for several years and it’s stood up very well to the test of time and can hold pretty much anything I need since it includes an integrated laptop sleeve, designated spot for my iPhone, waterbottle and more! There are a ton of pockets and places to store things – and using my clear bags from Mia Tui makes finding things a snap! RRP $79.99 for the Quad Pack from LL Bean.
Griffin Survivor for iPad Mini
I really love the durability that this case provides for my iPad Mini which I frequently slip into my bag to take places with me since it is small and portable. I don’t have to worry about the screen getting scratched since the case features a protective covering. I also loved all the color choices (including my favorite pink!) as well as the nice form factor for the case. My iPad Mini has survived drops, falls, drool and more all while staying protected and no cracks! For me, this is one piece of “insurance” that is totally worth it! You can read my full review of the Griffin Survivor for iPad Mini. Available from Griffin and Amazon for approximately $40 USD.
Mp2301 Performance Mouse by Kensington
My next favorite accessory is my MP2301L Performance Mouse by Kensington. This wireless mouse feels great in my hand, is small and portable and has great battery life. One of the best features about it is the ability to track on almost anything – and that it takes standard batteries which are easy to find if they need replacing. No cables, no cords no fuss! That means I can find a place to sit in the office or at a conference table and still have my mouse no matter where I am! The reciever fits nicely inside the mouse so you don’t lose it when not in use! $39 USD RRP. Available from Kensington or Amazon.
LogiTech Wireless Presenter
I also like to bring my Logitech Wireless Presenter as I have spoken at a few meetings recently and it’s so much easier to use a wireless presenter than having to walk over and click on the slide each time I need to move it forward. One of my favorite things about this presenter is that it has a built in timer which allows me to know if I am spending too little or too much time on a specific slide. It also has great range which means I can walk around the room while speaker rather than being pinned at a podium or in the front of the room. RRP $55 – 80 USD. Available from Logitech or Amazon.
Griffin PowerJolt Dual Charger for the car
Since many of my commutes involve travel time in the car, I also use my Griffin PowerJolt Dual frequently. This charger includes a lightening connection as well as a second port where you can plug in an micro-usb or any other USB accessible cable. That means I can charge my phone and tablet at the same time or two smartphones. RRP $20.00 from Griffin or Amazon.
Mobile Hotspot for Wireless on the Go
A mobile hot spot is another must have, especially when you are not sure how good your internet access will be. I sometimes use my iPhone as a hot spot, but really like this Netgear Verizon hotspot as a better alternative and it has great battery life. I enjoy using my Netgear Hotspot from Verizon since I added it to my wireless plan. Easy to use hot spot that works both inside and outside of the United States, provides great battery life and connectivity for your devices. You can either pay for the device and add the service on the go or put it on contract Check out my review of the Verizon Jetpack by Netgear. RRP without contract is $199 USD and with contract it’s $49.99. Available from Netgear and Verizon.
Cord Storage and Organization
Organizing all of my cords is a snap with my Mia Tui clear plastic bag/PVC bag. These bags have a zipper top and make it easy to see everything inside so I don’t lose any small pieces. They are far more durable than the Ziploc bags I was using, but are not totally waterproof. I like that I can pull the medium size one out of my backpack and have my laptop cord, cables/plugs and chargers all in one spot. RRP is $12.50 USD and they are available from Mia Tui.
Cables! Griffin Premium Braided Lightening Cable
This cable lives in my tech backpack and it has stood up to being plugged, unplugged, used abused and re-used! Griffin’s cable is so much stronger than my traditional lightening cables for my iPhone due to the braiding on the cable which means that you won’t need to treat it as delicately! I love that you don’t need to fuss when plugging it in as it resists kinking and is stable so the connectors don’t break. They offer a wide variety of braided cables for iOS and Android. RRP $35 USD. Available from Griffin and Amazon
Pocket Size Bluetooth Keyboard
If I am attending meetings and I decide not to bring my laptop – this pocket size Bluetooth Keyboard is perfect! It’s a tri-fold and folds up to about the size of my hand meaning I can easily slip it into my bag and use the keyboard to take notes instead of having to bring along my laptop all the time. I have it paired to both my iPad and my iPhone 6 and finding keys on it is so much easier than having to use the on screen keyboard. It lasts a long time too – I’ve used it multiple times and have not had to charge it yet! The keys are a little bit smaller than a traditional keyboard, but honestly after using it for about ten minutes I didn’t notice it at all! RRP $36.99 and it’s available at 1by1 and on Amazon.
Tech Armor Portable Power Bank
With all of these devices, I’d be lost without a portable power bank to ensure that they had power. I’ve recently starting using this power bank from Tech Armor and really like how fast it charges my devices with a small size! I can charge my iPhone (if it dies unexpectedly) or give my iPad a boost so that I can watch a movie on the train. This works with all devices that use USB chargers, and I’ve passed it around a few times to coworkers and friends whose cell has died. Avoid the dreaded “low power mode” that your iPhone goes into just before shutting off! RRP from Tech Armor and Amazon is RRP of $40 USD.
JayBird BlueBuds Headphones
On the train, these headphones are a must since others don’t want to hear my music, my apps or my movies! JayBird BlueBuds X Premium Bluetooth Headphones simply put ROCK! These Bluetooth earbuds pair to a variety of devices without the need for a cord to tether you to your device. They include a filtering system which allows you to hear the music more clearly and feature playtime up to eight hours which means you can use them all week without having to worry about charging them. These earbuds charge using a standard micro-USB connector and for those using Apple devices include a icon on screen telling you how much battery is left so you are not left without your earbuds at the wrong moment. The earbuds fit either in the traditional under-ear which allows you to listen and take calls as well as the over ear which means it doesn’t even feel like you are wearing earbuds. The package includes three pairs of ear tips as well as ear cushions, a micro-USB cable and a carry case to hold your earbuds and the cords. Jaybird has introduced an updated version since my original review, but I still use these a lot and they stand up great! Sold by JayBird and Amazon for RRP of $150 USD.
Apex Fine Point Stylus by Lynktec
When attending meetings, I love to use my Lynktec Apex stylus, as I can use my iPad Mini and the stylus to take notes instead of having to pull out a pen and paper! I can draw and handwrite my notes which is perfect in a meeting, plus everything is stored in one spot so I don’t have to worry about having the right notebook with me. You can use it with or without Bluetooth – without it’s mostly for sketching or note taking within specific apps but if you want to jot down notes it’s best to link it to your device. I loved the fine point and how it learned what I wrote using Notes+. RRP $50 USD available from Lynktec and Amazon.
Wireless Storage – by Seagate Wireless Plus
Do you have memory woe’s on your devices? SeaGate Wireless Plus is there to help! This small drive which is about the size of your hand holds a whopping 1 terabyte of data and works with a variety of devices and smartphones including iOS, Kindle Fire and Android. It includes the ability to pass through Wi-Fi and you only need to connect your devices to the drive rather than having to connect to Wi-Fi which is especially handy if you are out and about or in a conference room at the office and don’t want to connect multiple iPads, iPhones or other devices to the drive. That means you can use your hotspot and not worry about if you are using your laptop, phone or tablet! Read my full review about this “must have” accessory. RRP $140 USD for 1TB (other sizes available) Available from Seagate and Amazon
Leitz Mini Bluetooth Speaker
Have you ever tried to do a presentation in a conference room only to find the tinny speakers on your laptop are not loud enough for others to hear? I stash this small Leitz Mini Bluetooth Speaker in my backpack for those moments! You can connect it to your smartphone, tablet or laptop via Bluetooth and people won’t have to strain their ears to hear sound any longer. It charges using micro USB and will last up to six hours of complete use. You can even use it when you are using your smartphone as a speaker without sounding far away! I like it better for work rather than music! Compact design fits into your bag for on the go use! RRP $35 USD. Available from Amazon.
These are some of my travel “must-haves”, what are yours? I’d love to hear what products you use when you go to work or on the train.
Note: Some of the products included in this article were supplied by the companies for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received. Some of the posts may include affiliate links Their inclusion was the decision of the author, all opinions stated in the article are those of the author and have been offered honestly. This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a small amount if you purchase the products.
As Thanksgiving dinners are being cooked across the USA thoughts start to turn to Christmas shopping and the hunt for the perfect gift for everyone on your list. To make it a little easier The iMums have come up with a great selection of tech- themed gift ideas. We have #connected home gifts, health and fitness monitors and gifts to keep your tech charged and clean where ever you are. We have gifts for every budget including a selection of stocking stuffers at under $50. For more ideas you may also want to check out our 12 Great Christmas Gifts for Kids from Tots to Teens.
Hello Kitty MAX Flash Drive for iOS by PhotoFast
The Hello Kitty Max Flash drive is is a great option for adding additional storage to your Lightning enabled iPad or iPhone. It is incredibly tiny and light- approx. 2″ x 0.9″ x 0.3″ and weighs a mere 1/3 oz! The companion app offers a huge array of options to back up contacts, social media, photos, videos and music. You can automatically back up your Facebook photo album, instagram photos, Calendar, Tumblr, contacts, iOS device photo album, Google Drive and Dropbox. Read our full review. Available from:photofast.com in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128 GB. Price: $69 for 32GB version.
Activité Pop Smart Watch by Withings
At first glance the Activité Pop looks like just a colorful and stylish watch, but hidden inside is a tracker that works with in combination with a smartphone to monitor activity and sleep. It is durable, waterproof, has a vibration alarm and automatically records sleep and activity. The Activité Pop is the perfect gift for people who want to keep track of their activity and sleep but don’t want to wear an activity tracker. Read our full review. Available in a choice of 4 colors from Withings.com, Amazon, Best Buy and other retailers RRP $149.95.
Petzi Treat Cam
The Petzi Treat Cam is a a great gift for the pet lover. It is a Pet Cam with a difference as not only does it let you watch your pets, but it lets you interact with them too. You can talk to your pet, give them treats and take their picture all via the Petzi Treat Cam. The Petzi app also acts as a Social Media site for pet lovers allowing easy sharing of cute pet pics. Read our full review. Available from: Amazon and other retailers. Price: $169.99
MOCAheart Home Cardiovascular Health Monitor
MOCAheart from MOCAcare is a very small lightweight hand held device that can help you monitor your cardiovascular health quickly and easily in your own home. MOCAheart measures heart rate, blood oxygen and the MOCA Index- which is a measurement of blood flow that is correlated to blood pressure. It works with its own app to track changes over time. It is much simpler to use than a traditional blood pressure monitor and a great gift for anyone who wants to monitor their cardiovascular health status. Read our full review. Available from: Mocacare.com
Griffin Twenty 2.1 Digital Audio Amplifier
The Twenty Digital Audio Amplifier from Griffin Technology makes a great gift for the music lover. It connects via Bluetooth from your phone to your speakers and streams high quality audio at 20 watts per channel. It has a 30-foot Bluetooth range, and is designed to work with your old speakers to bring them into the digital age. It can also physically connect to your AirPort Express or Apple TV, game console or TV via an included optical TOSLINK cable, for clear optical audio. Read our review. Available from Griffin Technology and Amazon Price: US$149
Sengled Pulse Speakers
Dimmable LED light and with built-in JBL Bluetooth speaker makes this a perfect fit for the #connectedhome. Super easy to use, works in a variety of rooms and is easy to control with no wires!
Read our full review. Available from: Amazon Price: $149 for a pair
Bevy revolutionizes photo storage by taking all of your photos from various devices like your smart phone, tablet, camera, hard drive and puts them all into one place. This drive which comes in 1TB and 2TB options allows you to store everything and back it up in one spot. You can plug Bevy into the TV via a HDMI cable and make a slideshow of photos. Read our full review and enter to #win! Available from Bevy.com. Price: $299 and there is a #blackfriday deal which includes a HDMI cable.
Energi Sliding Power Case for iPhone
The Energi Sliding Power case from TYLT is the perfect solution if you like a lightweight, protective iPhone case for every day use and the ability to have a backup battery case on days you need it. The set comes with a black power sleeve and 2 slim protective cases- one in black the other in an accent color. The power sleeve slides onto the protective case when you want to use it and has enough power to fully recharge your iPhone. Available from: TYLT.COM Price: $79.99.
Piper NV Home Smart Security System
Piper NV is the gift of peace of mind. It is a DIY home security solution without any monthly fees. The 180 degree camera has day and night vision, 2-way audio, and automatically detects motion. It has a built-in 180db alarm and environmental sensors that monitor your home. It can be used with a variety of z-wave accessories including door/ window sensors, and smart bulbs. You can set 4 modes -stay, away, vacation and notification only and decide how Piper should react to movement, loud noises, or temperature changes. You can monitor Piper via your cellphone, view several cameras at once, pan around the viewing area and zoom in. Read our full review.Available from: AmazonPriced from $279
Zuli Smart Plugs
Zuli iPhone controlled Smartplugs allow you to create a #connectedhome using your regular appliances. Not only can you control and dim lights with Zuli, but you can also control a whole range of other appliances such as your slow cooker, coffee maker, heater or kettle and it integrates with your Nest thermostat. You can schedule your coffee to brew before you get up, or the heater to go on before you get home. If you have at least 3 Zuli Smartplugs it can also sense your presence and automatically adjust your connected devices to your preferences. ENTER TO WIN Available from: Amazon or Zuli.com Price: $159.99 for Presence 3- pack or $59.99 for single smart plug.
Energi 6K Smart Charger
The Energi 6K Smart Charger is both a wall charger and a backup battery. To use it at home simply plug it into a wall socket and you can charge your device via its USB socket or built-in Apple MFI certified Lightning cable. To take it on the go unplug, fold the plug prongs away and it is a 6,000mAh back up battery. Available from: TYLT.COM.Price: $79.99 (Micro-USB version $69.99)
Kensington 48W 4-Port USB Charger
The Kensington 48W 4-Port USB charger provides fast, convenient charging for up to 4 devices at once. Each port delivers up to 2.4A and it is powerful enough to charge 4 iPads simultaneously. “Power Whiz” technology detects the optimum charging output for each device providing fast, safe charging. It’s compact form factor makes it a great option to use when traveling as well as at home. Available from: Amazon Price: $79.99
Kineta K1 (iKN150) Portable Bluetooth Speaker from iHome
The Kineta K1 is a lightweight, rechargeable portable Bluetooth speaker with a difference. As well as letting you take your music anywhere with a battery life of 13hrs+ it also includes a removable K-cell battery that can be used to charge your smartphone or other device. It also has USB charging and a speakerphone. Available from: iHomeAudio and Amazon Price: $149.99
i-BRIGHT 7x 4ft Smart Surge Protector
Great product that you never knew you HAD TO HAVE! I loved that I could bring one surge protector on vacation and charge my iPad/iPhone, boost my wi-fi and have more outlets at the same time! Great way to save energy too by setting lights on a schedule and never come home to a dark house again! Win win all around. Read our full review. Available from: Amazon Price: $109
B73 Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Water-resistant Sport Earphones with Mic, Remote and Sport Clips from iHome
A great gift for working out the new B73 Bluetooth sports headphones are iPX5-rated water-resistant to withstand sweat and the elements. Their rechargeable battery lasts 8-10 hours. They have a mic for wireless calls and an inline remote control. They come with a carrying pouch and a variety of cushions and ear clips for a good fit. Available from: iHomeAudio .Price: $79.99
Apex Stylus from lynktec
This stylus takes note taking to a whole new level. The Apex is rechargeable. It pairs to your device to allow you to handwrite notes on your device. I used it with the Notes+ app and found that it recognized my handwriting and I didn’t need a notebook that day. You can use it for drawing and precision as well. Available from Amazon Price: $59
Stocking Stuffers: These gifts priced at under $50 won’t break the bank.
FLYP-DUO Reversible USB Charging Cable from TYLT
With the FLYP-DUO you no longer need to carry separate Apple Lightning and micro-USB cables as it works with both. The main cable connector is a micro-USB and it comes with a slip on Apple MFI certified Lightning adaptor which is connected to the cord to prevent you loosing it. It has a 1m long, tough, ribbon cable that is flexible and hard wearing and its reversible USB connector works either way up! Read our full review. Available from TYLT.COM and Amazon.
Kensington 10400 Mobile Charger
Priced at under $50 the Kensington 10400 back up battery is a great stocking stuffer. It is 10,400 mAh battery with a 2.1 AMP output and has enough power to fully recharge an iPad Air 2. It looks sleek and stylish and weighs about 9oz. Available from Amazon and other retailers. Price: $49.99
iHome WBT1 Clip on Mini Speaker with Speakerphone
A tiny, take anywhere, hands free speakerphone and mini speaker the WBT1 is only 1.7″ x 1.0″ x 1.8.” It is designed to clip on the brim of a cap, clothing or car visor. It comes with a drawstring travel bag it really is a hands free device you can take anywhere. Available from: iHomeaudio .Price: $39.99
LensPen Carbon Lens and Screen Cleaners
LensPen screen cleaners are the perfect stocking stuffer for anyone
with a camera, smartphone, tablet or glasses. They use an invisible carbon compound that is wonderful at removing fingerprints and smudges. Their PEEPS eyeglass cleaner are my favorite eyeglass cleaner and they also make Original LensPen for DSLR cameras, SmartKlear for smartphone touchscreens and ScreenKlean for tablets. All of their cleaners have specially shaped cleaning pads that store neatly inside a plastic holder where their carbon compound is refreshed after each use. Available from Lenspen.com, Amazon, Best buy, Walmart and other retailers: Price from $14.95
Zus – Smart Car Charger
Zus is a great car charger not only it will charge 2 devices at once, but it also helps you find your car! It is powerful enough to charge 2 iPads or an iPhone and iPad simultaneously delivering up to 4.8 A total. It stays cool when charging and its ports light up making them easy to find in the dark. I love how it saves my car location without me having to think about it, and that it does so without using wifi or cellular data. Read our full review. Available from: nonda.com . On sale for Christmas at $33.99
Power Stretch Pro Contact Gloves
Perfect for colder climates, these gloves from Rab using Polartec’s Power Stretch Pro fabric allow you to keep your hands warm and use your device! They have conductive finger tips which mean you can use your device and keep your hands warm at the same time. These snug fitting gloves are perfect for moms and dads while waiting for the train, shoveling snow or on your commute to work. Available from: Rab Price: $35.00
Enter to win an adorable Sammy Bear from Bluebee Pals ($64.99 VALUE)
Enter to win a complete Flash & Thunder set from Invicta Challenge including Interactive Graphic novel, Mission Cards, Map, Video game and Figure ($34.99 VALUE)
Enter to win a Bevy Photo Storage Device ($299 Value)
Zus is a smart car charger that not only charges 2 devices at once at maximum speed, meets military spec standards, keeps cool whilst charging and has lighted USB ports but also locates your car for you without using cellular data
Have you ever parked your car and then forgotten where exactly you left it? I know I have. For me this happens most often when I’m in an unfamiliar environment – parking on a side street in an unfamiliar city, or in a huge car park at an airport or train station. This makes it extra stressful when I have to start hunting for my car. The Zus smart car charger is a great solution to this problem, it not only charges 2 devices at once from your car cigarette lighter socket, but also helps you find your way back to your car!
The Zus has a sleek and stylish design, but doesn’t just look good, its smart too! It works with a free Smartphone app– available for both iPhone and Android, I tested the iPhone version.
Before using it for the first time you need to download the app, then when you are in the car plug the Zus into the car, launch the app and pair it to your phone. After the first time you no longer need to think about it, you don’t even need to have the app open until its time to find your car. The app runs in the background, as long as Zus is plugged in it detects your phone when you start the car, and when you switch off the engine it automatically saves your location. When its time to find your car just open the app and a large compass-style needle shows you which direction your car is in and how far away. Then you just follow the arrow until you find your car. If you can’t walk in a straight line due to buildings or objects, that is fine, just walk in the general direction and it will keep adjusting for you new location. It can’t tell you which floor you are on in a multi-story car park, so you still need to remember that. I did find occasional spurious readings, where the direction or distance was off for a short time but it corrected itself very quickly (in a few steps) when that happened and overall did a great job of locating my car. I love that it works via GPS and doesn’t require you to have a wifi or cellphone signal which is great if you are traveling.
Zus is also a great car charger – it will charge 2 devices at once, delivering up to 4.8 A total. It detects the maximum amperage your device will accept and is powerful enough to charge 2 iPads or an iPhone and iPad simultaneously at maximum charging speed. I tested the output from the Zus vs the output from a variety of other chargers I had in my car. When charging an iPad the Zus consistently had a higher output than the other chargers, even vs hi- quality brand name chargers it had 5-10% higher output and 100% higher vs the generic charger. It has titanium coated parts and is the only car charger to meet US Military MIL-STD-810G High Temperature Standard. This means it keeps cooler as it charges, which is better for the Zus’ longevity. Zus also has lights inside both USB ports, making it easier to plug in your charging cords at night.
Overall, I’m very impressed with all the features in this car charger – for under $30 you can quickly charge 2 devices simultaneously, it stays cool when charging,its easy to find the ports in the dark and helps you find your car! I love how it saves my car location without me having to think about it, and that it does so without using wifi or cellular data.
Zus is currently available on Indiegogo for less than $30 with delivery before Xmas. It has smashed its funding goal, it is almost 2,000% funded at time of writing, and is aiming for a stretch goal of $250k to add on a parking time alert. You can view their Indiegogo campaign, and order Zus by following this link. Update: Zus was fully funded and can now be ordered from nonda.com
NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.