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Holiday gift guide: 10 gifts for the business traveler

Dec. 02, 2019
10 min read
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Business travelers are a rare breed — spending hundreds of nights on the road will do that to you. While there are a variety of different business travelers, there's definitely a subset of "gear" that make good gifts for road warriors. The TPG editorial team got together to compare notes on their favorite gear. If you're a road warrior (or shopping for one), you've probably heard of some of these picks, though we also aimed to dig up some interesting additions to the tried and true gear we've relied on for years.

1. Clear membership

If you're a business traveler, time is one of your most valuable assets. 10 extra minutes can mean the difference between landing that key contract or making the last flight home to tuck the kids in to bed. Clear puts you at the front of the line at airports across the country. TSA PreCheck might seem like enough, but some airports are notorious for long lines, even at PreCheck (we're looking at you, Denver International Airport). Clear provides you virtually no wait to get to a screener. Partnerships with Delta Air Lines and United have made Clear free or cheap for elite members, while the American Express® Green Card offers an up to $100 statement credit when you use the card to purchase a membership each year. Buy: $149 for 12 months using code TPG149.

The information for the Amex Green Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

2. ANKER PORTABLE CHARGERS

Anker makes some of the most reliable chargers to keep your power going all day long on the road. Depending on form factor, you'll find that the PowerCore Slim 10000PD and the PowerCore 10000PD Redux will easily fit in your pocket. They'll also supply your iPhone 11 Pro with as much as two full charges or a full charge for an iPad Pro. This is an easy, essential gift under $50 that pretty much any business traveler will appreciate.

3. HyperJuice (for those with a serious juice addiction)

HyperJuice is not for the faint of heart. This 27000mAh beast of a battery is only for hardcore road warriors. If you're constantly working without access to a plug, HyperJuice has you covered. It can charge 3 devices at one time, including a MacBook Pro, iPad Pro and iPhone. It comes equipped with two USB-C and one USB-A charging ports. And, you can fully charge it in just over an hour. It's also capable of "pass through charging," meaning you can charge your devices while HyperJuice is plugged into a wall outlet. HyperJuice will add about 1.5 pounds to your backpack and subtract about $250 from your wallet, but it'll charge just about anything you can throw at it and keep on ticking. Buy: Hyper, $250

4. TUMI BACKPACK

The Tumi T-Pass Business Class Brief Pack may sting your wallet a bit, but the company makes backpacks and suitcases that business travelers know will stand the test of time. This bag is clearly geared towards the business traveler, with padded homes for your laptop and other electronics. The shoulder straps won't wear you down and the bag has a pass-through strap so you can carry it on your rolling suitcase. And, if you're an extreme traveler like TPG Editor-at-Large Zach Honig, you can fit a dizzying amount of, ahem, stuff in this bag. While $500 is a hefty price to pay, you can keep an eye out for eBags sales and double-dip with some of the fantastic mileage earning offers the site has through shopping portals.

5. GREAT AUDIO IN A TINY PACKAGE

With its latest pair of over-ear headphones — the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 — Bose has modernized the legacy QuietComfort series for the discerning business traveler. The headphones deliver the same great sound quality and noise cancellation that we’ve all grown to love in a new, slightly smaller design. There’s also some new gesture-based controls that make it easy to skip songs or accept a phone call. Active noise cancellation has been improved thanks to the eight built-in microphones, and you’re now able to select from ten different noise-cancellation profiles. Call quality has also improved dramatically, too. If you’re a business traveler looking for some of the best over-air noise cancelling headphones, don’t hesitate to try Bose’s Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. Your flights will soon feel like you’ve never left the boardroom.

6. GREAT SOUND IF SPACE IS AN ISSUE

For years, if you wanted to carry the best in noise-cancellation you needed to dedicate a decent amount of space in your backpack or briefcase. Then, in 2013, Bose released the perfect product for me and every traveler who wants incredible sound in an incredibly small package. The Bose QuietComfort 20 offers 16 hours of uninterrupted battery life, and I've stretched it even longer than that. Bose offers a version for iPhone and Samsung/Android users so you can control some phone functions from the headset cord. The comfortable tips conform to your ear, blocking sound, with active noise-cancellation taking care of the rest. They're firm enough to stay in place but soft enough that you'll barely know you have them in. And, the simple flip of a switch deactivates noise canceling to hear your surroundings and conserve battery lift for when you need it most.

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7. Hers and his briefcases

Briggs & Riley makes bags geared toward the business traveler. Your everyday briefcase will be with you more than any other bag and needs to be durable and functional. The Rhapsody Essential Tote holds a laptop and all your other work gear as well as a change of clothes. A concealed RFID-blocking pouch and a pass-through strap for your rolling suitcase make it an ideal companion. And, you'll have the best lifetime Briggs & Riley no-hassle guarantee.

The eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack easily fits up to a 17" laptop as well as enough office gear to conquer all your meetings. A compact design can easily fit a change of clothes and a toiletry kit, as well as a backup pair of shoes. A pass-through strap on the back makes it easy to tote on your rolling suitcase. Select the leather-trimmed option if you need to dress your backpack up a bit. eBags doesn't have the same top-shelf guarantee as Briggs & Riley, but this bag can take a beating and still come out looking great.

8. IPHONE 11 PRO: battery life that keeps up with you

This might be the first smartphone that can really eliminate the need to carry a separate camera for almost everyone. The iPhone 11 Pro can do incredible things. It can take unbelievable pictures at night, in the air and everywhere else, all with a simple touch of the screen. However, where this phone really blows away business travelers is on battery life. Apple says you'll get up to an extra four hours of battery life on the 11 Pro and up to five extra hours on the Pro Max. Our early tests seem to back up these claims. Hardcore users may still want to carry a spare battery. But, your days of watching your battery life drain in front of your eyes are over with the iPhone 11 Pro. Buy: Apple, $999

9. IPAD PRO: versatile enough for any backpack

Business travelers looking for a lightweight replacement for a laptop on the fly can look no further than the current versions of the iPad Pro. The 11" and a 12.9" sizes are small enough for any backpack or briefcase. However, they come as close to a laptop replacement as any tablet we've seen. The iPad Pro started out as nothing more than a larger iPad. Now, features like split-screen multitasking and useful annotating apps to go with your Apple Pencil make the iPad Pro ready for a business traveler right out of the box. Weighing at 1 lb and 1.5 lbs respectively, the iPad Pro will hold up to 1 TB of data and keep you multitasking for up to 10 hours. Buy: Apple, $799 and up

10. BRIGGS & RILEY BASELINE

Business travelers argue frequently about what's the best suitcase for the road warrior. Two wheels or four? Expandable ballistic nylon or hard shell? Briggs & Riley makes one of the most durable suitcases out there and matches it up with an industry-leading guarantee. No matter who breaks your bag, or how it's broken, Briggs will replace it free of charge. For the record, my choice is two wheels and expandable ballistic nylon. The Baseline Domestic Carry-On is a workhorse that can literally log millions of miles on the road without a hitch.

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

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023