Commuting to and from work can take a toll on health and mood. But the trip can be more bearable with the right products and services to keep you entertained, comfortable and safe.
Whether you are shopping for yourself or gift shopping for your favorite commuter, there are some great bargains available this year. Prices change, so do your research before you buy.
To help you find a perfect gift for commuting, here are 10 tried and true options that will help the commuter on public transit or in the car make the most out of their trip.
Kolumbo Travel Umbrella
Every commuter needs a reliable umbrella. Kolumbo's Travel Umbrella is slim and lightweight, which makes it easy to carry and easy to use. More importantly, this must-have accessory will hold up in wind, rain and snow. It's even backed by a lifetime guarantee.
You'll be really happy to have the "fast auto-open" feature the next time you're caught in a downpour. The Kolumbo, made with a fiberglass and stainless steel frame, is available in four different colors.
We are all guilty of buying cheap umbrellas that have ripped out. Paying slightly extra for the Kolumba will guarantee a hassle-free and dry experience during the next rainy day.
Contigo Autoseal West Loop Stainless Steel Travel Mug
The Contigo Autoseal West Loop Stainless Steel Travel Mug holds up to 16 ounces and features an easy-to-clean lid. Another nice feature is "autoseal," which helps to prevent leaks and spills when you are on-the-go.
This mug will keep your coffee hot for up to five hours and will keep cold beverages frosty for up to 12 hours. It comes in a wide range of colors, and you can toss it in the dishwasher for cleaning.
The bottom line is, this travel mug does what it says, and gives any coffee or tea drinker what they expect - to enjoy their favorite beverage on the go.
You'd be hard pressed to find a better travel mug than this.
Bluedio HT Turbine Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
Bluedio's Hurricane Turbine Bluetooth 4.1 Headphones delivers great sound at a bargain price point. They are nicely designed and tough enough to withstand the rigors of a daily commute. These headphones also deliver good sound quality and nice bass tones.
The rechargeable battery can provide about 40 hours of music or talk time, and should be ready to go on up to two months on stand-by. Plus, these headphones have a built-in mic, so you can use them for phone calls and Skype. And pairing with your favorite phone or tablet is easy.
The best feature of these headphones is the Bluetooth 4.1 which promises better energy efficiency. These are a great gift for the long commuter who would like the ability to switch between music and phone calls.
Amazon Prime is a great gift for commuters who have time to soak-up news, information, music and entertainment on their way to and from work. Amazon's premium tier offers access to a huge selection of movies videos, music, photos, news, and other content.
As an added bonus, Prime members receive free two-day shipping from Amazon, and access to the Kindle Owner's Lending Library. For book readers, the lending library offers even more content choices. The Amazon Prime service boasts easy to use features and easy sign-up.
This is not your typical gift, but could be the most valuable one a gift recipient has been given in a long time. With this subscription you will be giving the gift of entertainment, savings, convenience and more for a year.
The Memory Foam Travel Pillow
Neck pillows are practically a must-have for long airplane trips. But they also can be a great addition to a car, bus or train commute.
The Memory Foam Travel Pillow from Aeris is a solid choice. It has soft velour cover, and includes an innovative neck support feature and an easy-to-carry portable bag. You can also choose from four different colors.
The quality of the memory foam feels much higher than what the asking price is. It molds well and supports the neck. This gift is a definite crowd-pleaser.
Travelrest Premier Travel Blanket
One way to help stay healthy is to stay warm. The Travelrest Travel Blanket is an innovative 4-in-1 blanket that even includes a handy storage pocket.
The poncho-style blanket stays on your shoulders and feels soft and warm. It also comes with a built-in carrying case for traveling. It's a great gift for anyone traveling by air, train or car. Plus, it's available in two different sizes and three different colors.
There is a slit to put your head through, and the soft fabric easily rests on your body. The most ingenious feature of this blanket is the front pouch where you can store valuables.
Ibagbar Durable Vintage Multifunction Canvas Shoulder
This Ibagbar Messenger Bag is practical for men and women. It comes in three different colors and offers plenty of room for helping you keep track of all your loose items, from wallets and cell phones to water bottles and tablets.
The canvas bag has seven zippered pockets and two side pockets. There is even a convenient hole with a grommet on the front pocket to run your headphones through while keeping your smart phone or tablet safe and secure.
Compared to other messenger bags, this one is a perfect size for commuters who simply need to carry their everyday items. This is a gift that would surely be put to use.
Kinivo BTC450 Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit
The Kinivo BTC450 Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit for Cars is designed for easy, hands-free use when you're making calls on any bluetooth-enabled smartphone. It also includes a 3.5 mm input jack for connecting with a car stereo.
In addition to managing phone calls, the Kinivo BTC450 is a great device for streaming music. This is a particularly useful accessory for talking on the phone and listening to music on your smart phone while you're driving.
The Kinivo pairs easily with any Bluetooth-enable smartphone. All it takes is one set up, and from then on you can count on automatic pairing every time you enter your car.
Garmin nüvi Portable Vehicle GPS
Sure, you can make do with your phone's GPS, but for daily commuters, the Garmin nüvi 42LM 4.3-Inch Portable Vehicle GPS provides a dedicated navigation solution.
This Garmin GPS includes detailed maps of lower 49 states, and free lifetime map updates up to four times a year. It also is a great travel resource, whether you are traveling for business or pleasure. The Garmin includes millions of points of interest, including hotels, restaurants, parking, entertainment, and fuel.
This GPS is straightforward, clean and user-friendly. This is a great car companion and will provide a much safer and hassle-free ride.
Subscription to the Wall Street Journal
Another great gift for your favorite commuter is a one-year full subscription to print and online publication The Wall Street Journal, America's leading business newspaper. This subscription promises a daily delivery and no pesky auto-renewals.
The Wall Street Journal features some of best American columnists, such as James Taranto, Bret Stephens, Homan W. Jenkins, Jr., Daniel Henninger and Mary O'Grady. Plus, the weekend edition includes a wide range of lifestyle activities, from travel and the arts to sports and fashion.
The combination of online and print offers the best of both worlds, to be enjoyed by individuals or shared with the entire family. This is a great deal for a one-year print and online subscription to one of the most popular news sources in the world.
-- By Greg Sandler
Disclosure: TheStreet has advertisers and partnerships; we may get a share of the revenue from your purchase.