10 Gifts Under $20 for Your Favorite Bookworm

Your favorite book lover already has a million books they haven’t even read. So what do you get them for a holiday gift? Check out my list below for bookworm-themed gifts under $20!

  1. Go Away, I’m Reading sign
    This sign is to-the-point and on point for any book lover. It’s a perfect decoration for any home library or young reader’s bedroom.
    Average rating: 4.5 stars
    Price: $9.51

    5 star review from A Bucket of Corn:
    “Awesome sitting on my shelf, right next to all my favorite books. A great product. This item would make a great gift for anyone who loves to read.”
  2. Harry Potter Earring Set
    This adorable earring set comes with 6 pairs of Harry Potter-themed stud earrings. They’re a perfect gift for your favorite Potterhead, while also being friendly to your wallet.
    Average rating: 4.7 stars
    Price: $10.50

    Check out this 5 star review from SMB:
    “These are adorable and comfortable to wear for ANY Harry Potter fan! I ALWAYS get compliments at work from adults and students alike! So very glad I bought these!”
  3. Book shaped cake pan
    Your baking bookworm bud will adore this open-book shaped baking pan. It’s perfect for parties and events or just a fun Saturday at home.
    Average rating: 4.2 stars
    Price: $11.88

    5 star review from Rhonda:
    “I was very pleased with this pan, cooked evenly and cake came out great. The pan is sturdy and performed well, just have no complaints.”
  4. I’m Not Addicted to Reading…I can quit as soon as I finish this book mug
    This adorably clever mug will please any coffee drinking reader. Imagine yourself sitting on the couch on a rainy day with a good book and a clever mug full of steaming coffee or tea. This is the perfect mug!
    Average rating: 4.8 stars
    Price: $13.99

    5 star review from Gail:
    “Cup is fun and very nicely made, with clear print and bright colors. Came quickly, too”
  5. Kitty and Books necklace
    Bibliophiles will love this sleepy kitty in a library on a pendant.
    Average rating: 5.0 stars
    Price: $3.99

    5 star review from an Amazon user:
    “Cute cat and books!”
  6. Dr. Seuss quote wall decal
    So this one is aimed at children, but I adore the quote, as it’s totally relatable for adults too.
    Average rating: 4.6 stars
    Price: $14.99

    5 star review from Amazon user:
    “Perfect for my storytime room.”
  7. Bookmark? You Mean Quitter Strip? T-shirt
    Comes in 5 colors and Men’s, Women’s, and Children’s sizes. I believe I have a couple of dear friends who could rock this geeky Tee.
    Average rating: 5.0 stars
    Price: $19.95

    5 star review from kbill:
    “My daughter is very sarcastic and loves to read so this is perfect for her. She smiles every time she wears it and loves to see people’s reaction to it.”
  8. Mix young adult symbols necklace
    Young adult novel fans, this one’s for you! It combines the symbols from The Mortal Instruments, Hunger Games, Divergent, Percy Jackson, and Harry Potter.
    Average rating: 5.0 stars
    Price: $9.99

    5 star review from Melissa:
    “My daughter just loves her necklace!”
  9. Just one more chapter pillowcase
    Curl up with this book-themed pillowcase on your favorite pillow! It’s a great addition to any book nook.
    Average rating: 4.7 stars
    Price: $9.99

    5 star review from EM:
    “I bought this pillow cover as a gift to my sister who loves to read. The material is good quality, the words clearly printed and my sister loved it.”
  10. Lumos/Nox light switch decal
    So simple, but so clever. This Harry Potter-inspired decal will make you feel like a wizard, even when you have to turn off the lights the muggle way.
    Average rating: 4.3 stars
    Price: $4.97

    5 star review by George:
    “Looks great and stays on well even as we brush our hands to flick the switch. I was afraid they would peal off but they are stuck on well.”

Did you enjoy this list? What would you add to it? Let me know in the comments below! Share this post via Facebook or Twitter and, as always, follow me here on WordPress for more GREAT content like this!

Disclaimer: if you follow the Amazon links in the body of this post and make purchases through them, I will receive a small compensation from Amazon. This compensation comes from Amazon, not from you, and the price you see through my links is the same as the price you would see otherwise.

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Essential items every traveler needs before the next big trip

Worried you might’ve forgotten to pack something for your big trip? Need a holiday gift for your favorite traveler? Check out my list of essential lightweight, durable items every backpacker needs.

    1. Sleep mask
      It’s not easy to sleep on a cramped and crowded airplane, or in a shared room at a hostel. A sleep mask will help you block out light and ease you into sleep. Try this one from Amazon with 4.5 stars. It is a 3 pack for $6.30+, and brags “Fully Adjustable, 3D contoured shape, skin friendly, and soft”

      5 star review from Cotton Candy:
      “The most comfortable sleep mask ever. I had been searching for them for a long time. My favorite feature about these masks is the design of their nose area. They don’t press against my nose bridges like other ones do. Not only the straps has elasticity, you can manually adjust the fasteners in the back. They are definitely one size fits all type of mask.”
    2. Ear plugs
      Have you ever had noisy roommates? Imagine having a dozen of them in a shared room at a hostel! Ear plugs can be a lifesaver in a noisy hostel or long flight. These babies are $10.99+ on Amazon and come with 5 pairs of reusable, washable ear plugs, 1 ear pick, and a storage box on a keychain so you’ll never lose them. They have a 4.3 star review on Amazon and a 36dB Noise Reduction Rating.

      5 star review from an Amazon user:
      “Soft squishy material that fits my ear very well! My boyfriend snores and it drives me to the living room, so I got these earplugs just for that reason. I found that if you squeeze the memory foam plug into a small thin rod, then insert in your ear (as opposed to trying to fit the puffed earplug in), the earplug will puff open in your ear and shut out sound. Make sure you get the end of the plus inside your ear (so it doesn’t slide out). It doesn’t shut out all sound but TREMENDOUSLY quiets sounds.“Comfortable and when you have them in your ears, it just feels like a good comfortable pressure.”
    3. Neck pillow
      Every traveler knows we sometimes must sleep in weird places. Whether you have an overnight flight, a long bus ride, or a layover in an unfamiliar airport, you gotta sleep sometime. A neck pillow is worth having on hand. You can get this one from Amazon for $10.95. It is a memory foam pillow with a removable, washable microfiber cover, and a strap so you can attach it to your luggage instead of trying to pack it. It also has a 2-year guarantee and 4.3 stars on Amazon.

      5 star review from Amazon user Sharon G Hook
      “This pillow is very comfortable because of its softness and [cradling] effect. I use it everyday as I have a neck problem. It seems to give me the support I need. I would recommend this pillow to anyone who is looking for a bit of relief.
      If I had one negative it would be that on hot days the composition of the pillow can be a little warm.”
    4. Backpack
      What is a backpacker without a backpack? If you would like to travel light, you can avoid checking a bag by fitting all of your belongings into a backpack. But you must be sure that that backpack is comfortable, or you won’t want to haul it around. Not every style works for every person, but Osprey backpacks are my personal favorite. They have a lifetime, no-questions-asked repair and replacement policy. I’ve carried Osprey packs in all sorts of climates and conditions spanning three continents and I’m still convinced they’re some of the best bags on the planet. Tortuga also makes some really amazing packs that are designed with international travel in mind. If you want some examples, here is a men’s and a women’s backpack from Osprey to get you started. The men’s one is my current go-to pack for hiking and international travel.

    1. Converters
      Whether you need an adapter or a converter often comes down to the voltage in the country you’re going to, and the type of device you’re trying to use. Most modern laptop and cell phone chargers will convert automatically, while simpler appliances such as hairdryers and electric razors won’t. Do some research on your specific destinations and devices to determine if you need one. If you do, grab this all in one converter. It’ll work in most destinations and one gadget is better than five! It’s Prime eligible, has an average rating of 4.5 stars, and is $19.97.

      Four star review from Taylor:
      “Honestly, before I went on my trip to South Korea, I was freaking out about adapters and feared that my things would get fried. Thankfully, this adapter worked amazingly well! I used it for my computer and iphone. There are a lot of reviews about other adapters out there and how they don’t work or they worked for a short time. I can definitely say that this adapter worked for me while in Korea.”
    2. USB travel adapter
      For those times when you need a to plug in your phone or camera but don’t want to mess with a converter, travel adapters are a good option. These adapters come in a pack of two, and each one has two USB ports. Offer to lend the second one out to someone in your hostel who forgot to bring one, and make a new friend! At $10.99 for a two pack, these are definitely a worthy investment. They’re also Prime eligible! They average 4.1 stars over 287 reviews.

      5 star review from Fred Sandsmark:
      “We bought a two-pack of these for a three-week trip to Italy. They performed perfectly for charging two iPhones, a Fitbit, and a Kindle. They also provided a nice green night light. Well worth the price.”
    3. Packable rain jacket
      A good rain jacket is one of those things you’ll forget you have until you really need it. For lightweight international travel, the best thing is a jacket that packs into itself. These jackets usually have a small pocket or stuff sack that allows you to stuff it away into a beer can sized lump. The outdoor industry has made some incredible strides here, with some jackets packing small enough to go into your pocket and weighing only a few ounces. You don’t have to go that high-tech though, a simple one from Columbia will work fine. That’s what I carried in India to keep the monsoons out. It is $54.58+ from Amazon where is has a 4.5 star rating over 47 customer reviews.

      Five star review by Brian Baker:
      “What can I say. It is a Columbia!! Every Columbia product that I own is a great piece of equipment/clothing!! Hands down some of the best gear you can buy. Love this jacket! I would buy again for sure!!”
    4. Packing cubes
      It may seem counter-intuitive to add items to your luggage to save space, but packing cubes are a lifesaver! They help to pack down clothing and to organize it so you don’t have to dump your underwear everywhere to look for that red t-shirt you just have to wear today. These cubes from Amazon are lightweight with a zipper and handle on each of the 4 bags. They’re $16.02+ and have a 4.8 star review.

      5 star review from Deb:
      “I love these packing cubes! I got them to help organize my backpack for an upcoming trip to Thailand. They are the perfect size and free up a lot of space! I fit all my clothes in 3 cubes and I’ll use the 4th cube for my toiletries and accessories. The quality seems good, I will add to my review if anything negative happens after my trip. Fast shipping as always. Happy customer!”
    5. Sink laundry detergent
      You gotta do what you gotta do, and sometimes that means scrubbing your underwear in the sink because you don’t have access to/can’t afford a laundry mat. This sink-friendly laundry detergent will be a lifesaver. This one from Amazon comes with 12 packs of Tide for $16.83 total and a 4.1 star rating.5 star

      review by Nine Cats Corner:
      “This was far more useful than I thought it would be. We recently made a 3 week trip to the United Kingdom, hopping around the country, and staying in multiple hotels. Packing lightly was a necessity. Every night we washed out our shirts, socks and undies, hanging them to dry on cheap plastic hangers we’d brought with us. Having these little sink packs of Tide was easy and convenient. One pack usually washed out 2 shirts, 2 socks, 1 undershirt and 2-3 undies…These Tide sink packs sure beat lugging bottles of anything.”
    6. Roll-up clothes line
      Hey, if you’re washing your clothes in a sink, chances are pretty slim that you’ll be able to throw them in a dryer when you’re done. So, you’ll have to hang them to dry. Please don’t dump them on your roommate’s bed. Try out this clothes line instead! $19 and Prime eligible, with free returns. It’s also solidly rated at 4.5 stars.

      5 star review from W3KO:
      “I now have two for traveling. Longer trips need more hanging space for two people. The Velcro straps make it adaptable to hanging in a variety of places. Highly recommended for travelers.”
    7. Microfiber Towel
      A lot of people absolutely hate them, but there’s no beating a microfiber towel for its weight and quick drying ability. I never travel abroad without mine. The biggest drawback for some people is that it’s not the warm and soft sensation you’d get from a normal bath towel. If you can get used to it, there’s no better alternative though. They pack up teensy tiny and weigh just a few ounces. So far I’ve used mine on three continents in climates ranging from icy Stockholm to scorching Lucknow, and it’s been a lifesaver every time. This one comes with a hand towel and stuff sack, in addition to being an Amazon’s Choice item at 4.5 stars and $13.35+.

      5 star Amazon review by Sam:
      “These are amazing for travel! Very small and compact for easy travel that doesn’t take up your entire suitcase. I bought these for study abroad and they are great. The large towel is very big so I can wrap it around my body and it is quite modest.”
    8. Shower Shoes
      Shower shoes are an essential for every traveler. You do not want to catch a foot fungus from a grimey shared shower. Don’t spend your vacation fighting athlete’s foot! Just wear shower shoes. You can get these slide-on slippers from Amazon for $8.99+. They come in 7 colors and men’s or women’s sizes. These are quick-drying which makes them perfect for travelers.

      5 star review from YR:
      “I took these on vacation to Mexico. I wore them on the beach, at the pool and in the shower. What I liked most about the shower shoes is that they didn’t slip or slide off my feet. They are very comfortable.”
    9. Sunglasses
      A good pair of sunglasses will be your favorite travel buddy. If you’re like me, you don’t want to spend any time squinting in the sun, or you’ll end up with a migraine. Trust me, you don’t want to spend your vacation in your room with the lights turned off and the curtains drawn because you can’t face the sun. These Ray-Bans fold up and come with a little leather case, which is perfect for throwing in your backpack. They have a 4.6 star rating and a $150 price tag.

      5 star review ByA. Daytonon:
      “I’ve bought many Ray-Bans on Amazon and so far have had good luck getting authentic ones each time. This folding pair is my favorite pair I’ve ever owned. I love being able to fold them up and put them in my jeans pocket or shirt pocket, then I don’t have to hang them from the front of my shirt or hold them while I’m inside.”Another 5 star review, by: L. D. Rafeyon
      “These are absolutely splendid! As advertised, lenses allow perfect clear vision, looks great on my face and fold-able. I dropped them on a hard surface with no breakage. Worth every cent! Accompanied by a beautiful zip case.”
    10. Flashlight/reading light
      Please don’t be that guy in the hostel who leaves a bright light on at 2am because they want to read a book or write a postcard. Invest in a small reading light and be a courteous roommate! This one is lightweight, USB rechargeable, and has 2 brightness settings. It has a 4.7 star review on Amazon and is $11.95

      5 star review from Amy:
      “I really like this book light!! Being able to recharge it in any USB port is such a great feature! Two lighting levels and the swivel light gives me flexibility wherever and whatever I am reading. I would highly recommend this light!”
    11. Passport cover
      Passports are valuable, and not just to you. Many passports are stolen. A common scam regarding passports is RFID skimming. Hackers and thieves can “skim” your passport information while it’s in your pocket or bag using simple electronics equipment. In doing so, they can steal your personal data remotely and either sell it or use it to make black market passports. The easiest way to protect from this is to invest in an RFID blocking passport cover. This one also has a slot for credit cards (another common target of RFID skimmers). At $7.99 and Prime eligible, it’s a worthwhile investment. There’s also free returns, just in case you change your mind.

5 star review from DKP:

“Great soft feel. Beautiful color. Passport fits perfectly with room for extra documents, credit cards etc. Glad I bought it”

  1. Tablet/kindle
    If you’re traveling long-term, you won’t be able to take the library with you (sorry!). Invest in a tablet or eReader instead of trying to pick your favorite book to bring along. The Kindle fire 7 tablet is available for $49.99 on Amazon. It comes with Alexa and Prime members have access to many books and movies for free.

    5 Star review by Julie:
    “…[The Kindle Fire’s] small size and light weight makes it ideal for carrying on car trips.”
    Another 5 star review, by Tammy:
    “Great, just the right size! [The Kindle Fire] fits in my bag. Great product”
  2. Pen and journal
    Write about your journey! Invest in a good pen and journal that you love so much you’ll be dying to put pen to paper and share your experiences. Even if you just keep the journal for yourself, future you will be glad you wrote everything down. Here is a great journal that should serve you well on the road. It’s lightweight, an Amazon’s choice item, and carries a 4.4 star rating. It’s Prime eligible, and affordably priced at $9.99.

    4 star review from Amazon User:
    “I’m happy to inform you that this note goes above and beyond what I expected. I’m a heavy fountain pen writer and travel in rough environments often, so any notebook I end up using for daily journaling needs to live up to some really high standards most consumer quality paper goods doesn’t seem to be able to match most of the time. This notebook completely surprised me. The quality of the paper is good enough that my thickly laden Lamy Safari with fine-medium nip is capable of writing on them without worrying about smudges or spill over into the back of the page. The spine and the requisite finish and binding are also excellent, with no wiggles or any weakpoints I can identify that could cause earlier than expected damage to the notebook structure itself.”
    For a pen, I recommend the Zebra F-701. It’s an all stainless steel pen that’s more than durable enough for traveling. I’ve been carrying one virtually every day for almost two years, and it still works fine. They’re only $6.72, and come with free shipping if you use Prime. They also average a 4.4 star review over 1,185 customer ratings.

    5 star rating from Dana Muwwakkil:
    “I love this pen! As a writer that still loves pushing pen to paper I am a huge fan of this pen. The ink flows out very smoothly and it’s a joy to write with. There is no skipping or streaking from the ink either which is a plus. I also love the way it looks, being stainless steel, it looks professional and has more weight to it than the average pen, making it feel expensive and luxurious. The clip feels strong and works well. There is a fine metal, mesh grip where your fingers hold the pen and it feels very comfortable. In all I say it’s definitely worth the price.”

Many thanks to David Anthony for all of his help writing this article, for his guidance in picking the perfect products, and all of the IT support he provided. Happy traveling!

Did you enjoy this post? What are some of your favorite travel must-haves? Share them in the comments below! Share this post via Facebook or Twitter and follow me right here on WordPress for more great content like this.

Disclaimer: if you follow the Amazon links in the body of this post and make purchases through them, I will receive a small compensation from Amazon. This compensation comes from Amazon, not from you, and the price you see through my links is the same as the price you would see otherwise.

DIY Gifts for Dad

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Dads are so difficult to shop for! What do you get the man that has everything? Below are 7 DIY gift ideas to make father’s day special for your dad (Or stepdad. Or grandfather, uncle, father-in-law, mentor, or whomever.).

    1. Coffee bean soap
      Coffee-Soap.jpg
      Is your dad a big coffee drinker? He’ll love this DIY coffee bean soap! Find the instructions here.
    2. Gift in a jar: Cleans up wellPhoto Collage Maker_xO7jSz.png
      My grandfather loved his “shaving kit” a few Christmases back. To a mason jar I added a razor, homemade sugar scrub (“Manly Hand Scrub”), nail clippers, lip balm, and moisturizer. Add in cute labels and it’s a sweet, simple gift. You could also add a mini cologne, rosemary mint shaving cream, homemade hair pomade, or anything that can fit in the jar! (Find the original “Cleans up Well” gift in a jar post, instructions here.)
    3. Grill Kit
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      Does your dad love to host cookouts in the summer? Put together everything he’ll need for the perfect barbecue.

    4. Scrabble coasters
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      These are cute, simple, and easy to personalize! Find the instructions here.
    5. Gift in a jar: Energy BoostPhoto Collage Maker_KzmCpM.png
      Put together a little energy boost for Pop in a cute mason jar! I recommend adding:

       

      (Find the original “Energy in a Jar” post that inspired this here.)

    6. Wine and glass holder
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      Build this classy wine bottle and glasses holder with a few materials and a little hard work!
    7. Loves to Cook Kit
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      My dad is the best cook in my family. He loves to experiment in the kitchen (USUALLY to great success.) Put together a gift basket with:

Continue reading “DIY Gifts for Dad”

10 Gifts Under $20 Your Mom Will LOVE For Mother’s Day This Year

Mother’s Day is on May 14th this year, so it’s time to start thinking about what to do for your mom, or the special women in your life. Whether you’re totally broke or have a little cash, crafty or can’t sew on a button, see your mom every day or live halfway around the world, here are 10 ideas for you to show your mom you care.

    1. Season 1 of her favorite old show on DVD (For example, my mom loved the Mary Tyler Moore Show. It’s not on Netflix, and I know she’d like to re-watch it. It’s $9.99 on Amazon)
    2. A personalized etched wine glass. The etching cream comes with instructions, but get creative! Use stencils to add your mom’s initials, “mom” or a design. $7 for cream on Amazon + dollar store glasses set of 4 $4 + stencils $5 for basics on Amazon = $16. If your mom isn’t a wine drinker, try shot glasses, a flower vase, or any sturdy glass.
    3. Recreate a photograph from your childhood. Ask another family member to help you dig through old family photos. Find a picture of you or you and your siblings. Get the sibs together and recreate it! Try to match the setting, your clothes, every element you can. Make a copy of the original and get a print of the recreation. Dollar store frames + photo printing <$5
    4. Customized DIY tile photo coasters.   This is one for my crafty readers!  Find the instructions here.  You’ll need 4×4 tiles, 4×4 photos, Mod Podge, a foam brush, felt, ribbon, clear spray sealant, and a hot glue gun.  If you aren’t crafty this project might run you more than $20.  However, if you already have the craft supplies on hand, all you’ll need to purchase are the tiles and photo prints.
    5. A handmade craft from Etsy. There are some beautiful handmade earrings and necklaces for less than $20.  Often they’re made-to-order and customizable!
    6. Engraved jewelry. Find a simple piece of jewelry and customize it with an engraving. You can engrave your mom’s initials, your parents’ anniversary, or something special to you and your mom. $10.17 for engraver + $9 for jewelry from Target or Walmart.
    7. Something you can do together. This can be something free like a picnic or inexpensive like a matinee movie, local winery tour or theater production. Pick something you and your mom will both enjoy.
    8. A $20 bottle of wine or spirits she wouldn’t buy herself. My mom loves wine.  However, she usually sticks to $10 or less grocery store bottles.  A $20 bottle of wine is something I know she would enjoy, but isn’t something she’d normally spend that much on.
    9. A book and its movie adaptation. You can find a list of movies based on books by BuzzFeed here. I personally enjoyed both the book and movie adaptation of The Help. You can find the DVD for $7.99 and the book for $9.59 on Amazon.
    10. A mini body wash, lotion, and body spray set in her favorite Bath and Body Works scent. These minis are awesome for traveling, and the lotion and body spray are perfect to throw in your purse. (3 for $12.50)

Please note that I made this post with my own mother, grandmother, and aunts in mind.  I hope that this will help you to have ideas for inexpensive, but still personal gifts for the important women in your life this Mother’s Day.

Disclaimer: if you follow the Amazon links in the body of this post and make purchases through them, I will receive a small compensation from Amazon.  This compensation comes from Amazon, not from you, and the price you see through my links is the same as the price you would see otherwise.  However I have no association with Etsy, Bath & Body Works, Buzzfeed, or any other sites linked above.  In an attempt to bring you the best content, I linked to the sites that I felt were the most relevant, compensation notwithstanding.

Did you like this post?  What are your Mother’s Day gift ideas?  Comment your ideas below, share this post on Facebook, and follow my blog for more content like this!