2023 Best Modern Travel Gifts for the Jetsetter
Know someone with a bad case of wanderlust? Or someone who has to travel often because their work demands that single-serving, carry-on lifestyle? The holidays are also a time when many of us are traveling to return home or visit family, making it an ideal opportunity to give those near and dear gifts to make the stress of travel a little more comfortable, fun, and maybe even a bit more fashionable. Check out some of our favorite modern travel accessories below!
A dopp kit/toiletry bag should be compact in size, durable in construction, and easy to fill with all of your travel necessities. But what sets apart the Acne Studios version from all others we’ve perused is its more fashionable style, a durable nylon-ripstop bag with a big ole handle, a cool looking tonal-sand grid pattern, and a suede-trimmed ID slot to make sure nobody mistakes your kit for their own. It’s pricey, but the material guarantees it should last many trips around the globe.
Most of the gifts listed in this guide are intended to make travel easier while en route or upon reaching a destination. But Artifact Uprising’s hardbound photo book is what we’d gift our favorite globe trekker when they’ve returned home, a template to turn their digital photos into a visual record of where they’ve been, what they saw, and who they’ve met all in printed form. Beyond being a great memento, a customizable photo book is an effective means to compel the traveler with hundreds of smartphone photos to pick out only the most cherished “wish you were here” memories.
Traversing airports with a huge backpack or purse slung across the shoulder can be cumbersome, so traveling with a slimmer option like this waterproof rucksack is not only practical, but tons more comfortable. This slim silhouette bag is deceptively large, and is outfitted with enough capacity to carry a 13″-15″ laptop in its own dedicated pocket. There’s even a concealed external phone pocket on the back panel that simplifies reaching for your phone or passport without making a big production out of it (and it also makes for a handy secretive spot to keep cash). With 10 different colors to choose from, you might want to buy more than one.
It’s a bummer traveling abroad and unpacking a suitcase filled with folded or wrinkled clothes only to discover your hotel room doesn’t have an iron and board easily on hand. Traveling with a garment steamer is a pro-level solution, making anyone’s shirt or dress more presentable. Using a steam wand does especially well for wardrobes leaning heavily toward light cottons and linens, and it packs light and slim.
Who hasn’t heard the big sad trombone after realizing you’ve arrived somewhere abroad that requires a completely different power plug with limited charging ports available? The Super Bagel isn’t just a great name, but a handy design that allows charging a multitude of devices all at once, with an 18 watt fast charge USB-C and USB-A charging port, alongside 5 AC sockets and an international plug adapter. Pulling out a bagel to share is always a welcome gesture, but even more so when someone is in dire need of a recharge.
I tell everyone who travels regularly that a pair of active noise canceling headphones is a complete game changer. I’ve sat next to crying babies – alongside a few tantrum-prone adults – numerous times over the last year after buying a pair of Sony’s top-of-the-line ANC headphones, and they’ve never stopped impressing with their ability to neutralize unwanted wails with impressive ease. They’re also great for watching movies onboard or connecting wirelessly to a phone or tablet, making dialogue intelligible even with the constant sound of a jet engine thrum. There are other headphones with comparable audio, but the 1000XM5 stands out for their lightweight comfort, something you come to appreciate during flights measured in hours.
Even the aforementioned slim backpack above might be overkill while exploring a city, when all you want is a place to safely keep the bare necessities during sightseeing excursions. The Tanker Travel Case opens up like a salesman hawking wares from their trench coat, with seven pockets and two pen sleeves, with vibrant splashes of rescue orange on the inside. Constructed from the same 3-layer fabric developed for US Air Force flight jackets, this nylon twill, polyester cotton, and taffeta sewn bag is tough, but super lightweight. Designed to sling underneath a jacket or coat out of view, you’ll be tempted to show off your Japanese made bag to all to admire.
I don’t know how many times I’ve wished I had packed my Rumble Roller to massage out the knots after enduring a long international flight. If you know someone with frequent flyer mileage tallied in the six or seven figure range, chances are they’ll really appreciate being gifted one of these compact vibrating massage balls. It’s the next best thing to carrying around a roller or booking an expensive appointment with a masseuse, and can also be used en route to soften the edges from flying coach.
Despite my tech-laden ways, I still like to write everything down while traveling, including details about my itinerary, accommodations, sights to see, places to eat, and contacts on the ground. Something about the hand + brain connection aids in the retention of all sorts of information and memories no amount of pecking on my iPhone ever does. This colorful notebook by Poketo is ideal for that purpose, small enough to slide into a travel pack, and always ready for a note or a reminder at a glance.
If you plan to buy a nice toiletry bag, why perpetually ruin it by tossing in a wet toothbrush? That’s the argument for investing in a toothbrush holder. These cheerfully pastel hued cases aren’t just cute, but include a small drain at the bottom to keep your dental implement from getting gnarly and a rubber pull tab up top makes getting to it easier even when jet lagged. Combine a holder with a bottle of toothpaste bits and a fancy toothbrush to say you care about your wanderlust-stricken recipient’s most missed smile.
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