'Tis the season of giving, and many of you have made your list and checked it twice just to find out... you missed somebody. With the end of the month drawing near, the time crunch is real for gathering last minute gifts. I have many years under my belt as a procrastinator, and if there's one thing I know about gift giving it's that you can't go wrong with a good ambiguous tech accessory. Why? Since everybody and their grandma have some sort of gizmo or gadget, tech accessories aren’t just useful – they’re practical.
For my fellow procrastinators out there, I’ve created a little last minute gift guide to help you wrap up your holiday shopping.
Power banks make excellent gifts for just about anybody. It doesn't matter what gadget they use; everybody could use some backup gadget juice for those unplanned emergencies. Throw it in your glove box, your purse, your briefcase, your laptop bag, and some are even small enough to fit comfortably in your pocket. They're affordable and extraordinarily useful when needed.
If you're looking for a gift for the music lover in your life, a Bluetooth speaker or headset can be a good gift (if you know they don't already have one). Most smartphones have Bluetooth connectivity and you don't have to worry about what connectors they have (or what connectors they don't have). Pictured above: Jawbone Jambox
Alright, so this one might seem a little cheap or tacky, but hear me out: having an extended charging cord is one of the most useful accessories I own. It just so happens that almost every available outlet in my house isn't close to where I'd usually charge my phone, so having an extended charging cord has been a blessing of sorts. You may have to do some investigating to find out exactly what connector your gift recipient uses. It's also a good idea to be mindful of reviews and check for certifications. Faulty chargers and cables are a big factor in why some phones overheat and cause… issues. Pictured above: Apple USB-C to Lightning 2m Cord
I was hesitant to recommend this one, but what the heck. Bluetooth headsets are a good idea, but can be pricey. In my experience, a good pair of wired headsets are typically more affordable. Even if your gift recipient doesn't have a 3.5mm headphone jack on their device, it's likely that they have an adaptor already, or if you're feeling really generous you could go ahead and purchase a spare adaptor for them. Pictured above: Sennheiser CX 1.00 Earplugs
I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I actually hadn't realized that phone flash drives were a thing until a few months ago, but they're pretty genius. This is another gift that may require some inquiring on your part, but flash drives with Lightning, micro USB, and USB Type-C connectors all exist at relatively affordable prices on the market. These are particularly handy if your gift recipient happens to have multiple gadgets that use the same ports (I.e. all Apple products or a phone and tablet that both use micro USB or Type C). Pictured above: Kingston Digital 64GB Data USB 3C Flash Drive
Can you ever really go wrong with a new phone case? Yes, yes you can. But if you know your recipient well enough to know what phone they use and a general understanding of their likes and personal style, a case is a decent idea for a gift. I have always felt that you can never have too many cases for a phone because a new case is the next best thing to getting a whole new phone. Sometimes all a phone needs is a fresh coat of paint. Pictured above: JYJ Wooden Phone Case
Subscription-based products are kind of a big deal on gadgets. If you know your recipient uses a specific subscription-based service (Netflix, Hulu, Apple Music, Google Play Music, Spotify, etc.), it's not a bad idea to take over the cost of their service for a month or two. Most of these services offer convenient ways of gifting subscriptions to others, too.
So there you have it. I tried to keep my list, as I mentioned, as ambiguous as possible, because it can be a hassle trying to find one specific brand or product this late in the game. Hopefully you don't need to use this gift guide at all, but as somebody who just finished her holiday shopping last night, I know the need is sometimes there.