16 Fabulous Holiday Gifts for Travelers

Dec 7, 2015

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Finding a great gift for the traveler in your life can be a daunting task — especially for someone who seems to have it all. This year, TPG Contributor Lori Zaino has rounded up some great gifts for our annual TPG Gift Guide For Travelers.

Santa brings some great gifts to travelers this holiday season. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

It’s that time of year again! Holiday shopping is in full force, so if you haven’t reached the end of your shopping list, check out some of these gifts geared toward frequent travelers. We’ve included a variety of items for every budget, so you’re sure to find something appropriate. Make sure to view our Maximizing Your Holiday Spending section at the end of the post for tips on where to purchase, what cards to use and how to double-dip on points/miles earnings.

1. Bose QuietComfort 25 ($300) 

Bose is our pick for the best noise cancelling headphones on the market.

Having tried many brands of noise-canceling headphones, we just keep coming back to Bose — and these are well worth the $300 price tag. This over-ear set is compatible with both Apple and Android, and it really does cancel out any background noise while offering a clear, sharp sound — screaming babies (or adults) on the plane will no longer be an issue. Keep in mind that you can buy electronics at many office supply stores to earn 5 points per dollar with the the Ink Plus Business Card.

2. TripIt Pro Subscription ($49)

Give a loved one the gift of travel organization!

TripIt is an especially useful service for frequent travelers, taking all your travel details from forwarded emails and organizing them into one easy-to-read master itinerary. TripIt Pro goes one step further, allowing you to set alerts for specific seats, track points and find flights, in addition to displaying real-time flight alerts and notifications. You can send a one-year subscription to your favorite traveler either via email or as a physical gift.

3. Lipault Paris Luggage ($150 and up)

Lipault is a French brand that creates functional, lightweight luggage with a fashionable flair. Aluminum handles, durable straps, strong zippers and resistant nylon leave no questions as to the quality of the product, and the bags come in plenty of bright, vibrant colors and various shapes. The foldable line allows the suitcases to be pressed small — even the 26-inch bag can be pressed into just 4 inches and stored in a clear, protective bag.

4. Sony RX100 III Camera ($800) 

If you’re searching for a big-ticket item to buy for your favorite travel photographer, consider this Sony camera. For those who want serious image quality but need to travel light, the RX100 III takes excellent photos and conveniently fits inside a small bag or jacket pocket. In fact, several members of the TPG team use the camera while traveling and when taking pictures for flight reviews. This particular model comes with built in Wi-Fi, a 2.9x f/1.8-2.8 optical zoom lens and a pop-up electronic viewfinder.

5. Manduka eKO Foldable Superlite Travel Mat ($40)

This is a great gift for anyone whose New Year’s resolution is to stay in shape while traveling in 2016. This extra-lightweight mat folds instead of rolls for easy suitcase storage. Made of biodegradable rubber (no fading or flaking), it weighs about two pounds and can be used for yoga, stretching and ab work while your giftee is on the road.

6. Apple MacBook ($1,299 and up)

None of us here at TPG would ever dream of traveling without our handy Apple MacBooks. Not only is the 12-inch version compact and lightweight, but the high-res Retina display and 256GB of flash storage also make it an excellent choice. This laptop also has great battery life — an essential feature for travelers who may get stuck on an airplane without charging options. You can customize the finish to suit your favorite traveler, too — choose between either gold, silver or space gray.

7. Kerstin Florian Rehydrating Neroli Water and Travel Gift Sets ($35 and up)

Hydrate your skin so you look fresh after your flight.

Dry, scaly skin in dire need of moisture after a long flight — we’ve all been there. The Kerstin Florian Rehydrating Neroli water can be a lifesaver, adding radiance and moisture to fatigued, tired skin before, after and during air travel. The natural fragrance isn’t overwhelming, and the faint bitter orange-blossom scent can also soothe nerves. The Kerstin Florian travel gift sets also make great presents — we especially like the Rehydrating Essetials travel collection and the Caviar travel collection.

8. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ($120 and up)

The new Kindle Paperwhite can hold thousands of books.

The Kindle Paperwhite has an adjustable backlight, allowing you to read in daylight sans glare as well as in bed or in dark plane cabins. Its lightweight design has a new high-resolution display and a battery that lasts for weeks. Not to mention, it holds thousands of books  — perfect for keeping a traveler entertained during long flights or layovers.

9. Jo Totes Camera Bags ($89 and up)

Any female travel photographer would be thrilled with a Jo Totes camera bag.

For those who don’t want to sacrifice comfort for style, Jo Totes are attractive leather purses that double as functional camera bags, complete with padded sections and inserts. The adjustable-divider system allows you to customize the purse to comfortably fit both your camera and your personal belongings. Anyone who carries around a lot of stuff along with a camera would be thrilled with this gift.

10. Olloclip Camera Lens ($80)


This award-winning 4-in-1 lens for iPhone 6/6s & iPhone 6/6s is great for a traveler who just doesn’t want to lug around a separate camera. The four advanced optic quick-change lenses (Fisheye, Wide-Angle, Macro 10x and 15x) provide versatility, and the whole lens weighs less than one ounce.

11. Cabeau Evolution Pillow ($30)

This memory-foam pillow helps provide extra comfort and sleep when in a small seat. It folds down to 1/4 of its size so it can be easily stored or tucked into luggage. The velour cover can be removed and machine-washed, and there’s even a pocket to hold an MP3 player or phone in place. The pillow even comes with memory-foam earplugs.

12. Henri Bendel Passport Cover ($58)

This passport cover is stylish and functional, with space for several credit cards.

This 100% Saffiano leather passport holder makes a style statement while protecting valuable travel documents. The perfect stocking stuffer, the case comes with four interior card slots and space for a passport.

13. Anker Astro E4 13000mAh Classic Portable Charger ($30 and up)

There are few things more frustrating than being stuck on a plane or in an airport with no battery and limited charging options. Enter the The Anker Astro Portable Power Bank, one of the best external power chargers on the market. This device can even identify your exact device type to deliver its fastest possible charge speed. It also has an enormous capacity, charging the iPhone 6 five times; the iPhone 6 Plus or Galaxy S5 over three times; or the iPad Air once.

14. Anne Taintor Luggage Tags ($11)

For a humorous stocking stuffer, you can’t go wrong with a luggage tag from Anne Taintor. The vintage-inspired vinyl tags feature pictures of 1950s women with feisty travel-related quotes. The cheapest item featured on our list, this could be a cute Secret Santa gift for a friend or co-worker.

15. Diptyque Scented Oval ($45)

This is a great gift for any traveler who despises that “suitcase” smell. The oval is a white ceramic ring centered with hand-dripped hardened wax giving off a delicious scent. Just slip it into a suitcase when packing, and upon arrival, all your belongings will smell fresh. The scented oval diffuses its perfume for approximately 3 months and comes in a variety of scents.

16. TPG Reader Inspiration: STND Collection iPhone Charger and Stand ($295)

Keep your iPhone charged in style with the STND base.

Here at TPG, we enjoy hearing from our readers and this season we absolutely love the STND Collection designed by TPG reader Adam Hunter. The STND is an elegant, stately Bianco Carrara marble iPhone stand and charger. It’s the perfect gift for the Apple-obsessed traveler with a modern design aesthetic.

Maximize Your Holiday Spending


Many of the above gifts are available on Amazon.com, so if you’re hoping to stock up on Ultimate Rewards points (or cash back), consider using the Chase Freedom card (No longer open to new applicants).

If you’re planning to buy any electronics, know that you can earn 5 points per dollar at office supply stores — where you’ll find headphones and many other tech accessories — when you pay with the Ink Plus Business Card.

Finally, shopping portals are an excellent way to double-dip with points and miles. Many airline and hotel portals offer more than one point or mile per dollar spent through vendors like Apple, Bose, Amazon as well as at various department stores and beauty sites like Sephora. Use the site EVreward.com to find the retailer offering the most points for a given store.

What’s your favorite gift idea for travelers? Share in the comments below!

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.