I have been a traveling speech pathologist for 10 years now. That doesn’t even include the time I spent working in the school system and traveling between schools. Out of my seven years of being a school based SLP, 6 of those years had me dragging materials between at least 2 campuses. To say I have a pretty good idea of practical gifts for a traveling SLP might be an understatement. Christmas is coming up so if you have a friend or loved one who is an SLP on the go, consider one of these ideas.
I love getting things that I know I am going to use either on daily or weekly basis. I’m not a huge fan for having to create a need for an item…unless it’s from the Target Dollar Bin! This list is completely made up of items that I use regularly so I know others need them too!
Practical Gift #1 for the Traveling SLP: Water Bottle
This one isn’t just for the traveling SLP. But having a great water bottle that will keep my water cold during the hot Texas summers while I am in and out of my car is a GOD SEND! And as much as a speech pathologist talks during the day, we have to keep those vocal cords hydrated! I have this water bottle too…actually I have two. It’s great especially for the price!!! Here’s another option which holds 20 oz.
Practical Gift #2: Tumbler
To add on to the water bottle, a insulated large tumbler with a lid is another great gift. The practicality of this gift is basically the same as #1 but we can keep something different to drink in this one. . Metal, reusable straws make this gift a beautiful thing.
Practical Gift #3: Hand Sanitizer and Lotion
Hand sanitizers and lotions…I know this sounds absolutely ridiculous. If you work with kids, have ever been around kids or, heck even have just seen a kid before, you know germs spread quickly. As a traveling speech pathologist, I am in no less than 8 different locations throughout the day. Day cares, homes, private schools, Montessori schools…all those germs that really and truly cannot be prevented. But hand sanitizer (or “hanitizer” as the kids call it) can keep that SLP rolling through cold and flu season! Well, that and adequate sleep, vitamins, frequent hand washing and hot scolding showers when we get home. You’re probably thinking, “But you said lotions too” and yes I did. Anyone in the medical field or kid field uses so much sanitizer that it dries out our hands. That’s where the lotion comes to the rescue. The lotion that makes those rough, germ free hands feel like silk…that’s the simple pleasure that the traveling SLP can enjoy while at a stop light on the way to the next client. Oh, and the better the smell, the more we like it…the easiest kind of aromatherapy.
Practical Gift #4: Gloves, Scarves & Socks
Ok, this is actually more than one gift. In the wintertime, gloves, scarves, and fuzzy socks are always a great gift for your friend, the traveling SLP. I don’t wear big heavy coats when I am working. It’s much easier to work with kiddos if I wear layers that I don’t have to constantly take off each time I walk in for a therapy session. I have tons of colorful scarves that keep me warm as well as thick socks to keep my toes from freezing off. Magellan socks are my absolute favorite!!! They are soft on the inside and keep my feet warm all day. I love that they are less than $6 a pair too!
Practical Gift #5: Pens
Pens! I know what you are thinking, “Pens?” The truth is we do a lot of paperwork. And a traveling SLP will always lose a favorite pen throughout the course of the day or week. It never fails when I go to have a caregiver sign my log, my pen is missing. These are some of my favorites! But you can’t go wrong with Flair pens either!
Practical Gift #6: Bluetooth Speaker
Bluetooth speakers are a necessity for many traveling therapists. Now they have small ones that can be charged on the car’s USB port and can be easily transportable. Bringing music into therapy can add a little fun!
Practical Gift #7: Notepads
Notepads are seriously an SLP’s best friend; traveling or not. We use post-its and notepads for everything…reminders, to do lists, notes to other professionals, jot down data during sessions…EVERYTHING! Here is a cute set perfect for any SLP.
Practical Gift #8: Oils and USB Diffuser
Have you seen these diffusers that are powered by batteries or a USB cord? I have a couple of them around my house. I have one in my office that diffuses orange into the air for energy and focus. I have another one that is ready to put in my car. Great oils to give a busy SLP are ones that help with stress, relaxation, calmness and even energy/focus. This one is great for the car!
Practical Gift #9: Gift Cards
When all else fails, grab your traveling SLP friend a gift card! Speech pathologists love Amazon, Target and Starbucks. It’s true we do! You can’t go wrong with those. However, your traveling SLP is on the road A LOT! So why not get her a gift card to her favorite restaurant or fast food stop? Office supply stores are another great option too.
Practical Gift# 10: Books
We love books! I work with kids so I am a sucker for good picture books. I am also a small business owner which means I also love business books, social media marketing books and female entrepreneur books! Books about the disabilities we work with everyday are another genre we love. It doesn’t matter if they are fiction or true story…we love ’em. Of course, if you aren’t sure what your friend has in her library, you could always do a gift card!