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Holiday gift guide: 9 gifts for the extravagant traveler

Nov. 06, 2019
6 min read
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You don't need to spend a small fortune to land on the perfect gift for the most discerning travelers in your life — but if you have the means to go all out, it'll definitely help make this year's holiday season one to remember!

We're rounding up some of our favorite high-end, yet practical picks, from the latest and greatest smartphone to an iconic roller bag designed to last you for decades.

IPHONE 11 PRO

I was entirely sold on Samsung's Galaxy Note10 as 2019's traveler-friendly smartphone of the year — until Apple released the iPhone 11 Pro. Starting at $999, the Pro is not cheap, but if you're looking for industry-leading quality in a do-it-all device — that also supports Apple's must-have Messages app — you won't do any better than this. From the extra-long battery life to unmatched image quality, it's truly the best smartphone I've ever used — it even let me capture some truly extraordinary photos of the Northern Lights! Buy: Apple, $999

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DJI MAVIC 2 ZOOM

More than a year after its debut, DJI's Mavic 2 Zoom remains my top drone pick, thanks to its versatile 2x lens, excellent photo and video quality, and top-notch flying performance, with far better reliability and range than less expensive alternatives. It's also compact and lightweight — I've managed to bring it along on a handful of trips, even when I opt to leave the rolling bag at home.

APPLE WATCH SERIES 5

The latest Apple Watch starts at $399, but your extravagant traveler commands nothing but the best. They'll look dashing in a Series 5 with the 44mm Ceramic Case and Space Black Link Bracelet, commanding a whopping $1,749 — before tax. All models include the same hardware and software features, like an always-on screen, fitness tracking, an integrated compass and much more. Buy: Apple, $399-$1,749

SONY RX100 VII

For most photography, a top-of-the-line smartphone will usually do the trick, but sometimes you really need a powerful zoom — Sony's RX100 VII is the camera to get, especially if you're after a pocketable form-factor. Despite being small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, Sony's top point-and-shoot offers a 24-200mm zoom lens, a large 1-inch sensor (for top-notch image quality) and exceptional performance, snapping extra-smooth 4K video or full-resolution photos at up to 20 frames-per-second.

BANG & OLUFSEN BEOPLAY H8I

With a perfect 10/10 score, Bang & Olufsen’s H8i offers the best sound quality of the bunch, and the headset looks fantastic, too, with natural, black and pink finish options. You'll get excellent audio quality, industry-leading noise-canceling performance and up to 30 hours of battery life, plus a comfortable, lightweight design. $312 may sound like chump change compared to some of the gear you'll find here, but I honestly wouldn't recommend spending any more for a higher-end set.

SAMSUNG GALAXY FOLD

Samsung's Galaxy Fold is the first smartphone-tablet hybrid, theoretically serving to replace both devices, as long as you're willing to compromise a bit. It isn't the best tablet, and it certainly isn't the best smartphone — with a 4.6-inch display, when folded, you'll have less screen real estate than with any other flagship device on the market — but it's the 7.3-inch panel you'll have after opening up the device that really makes this early-adopter favorite shine. And, as airlines continue to move away from seat-back entertainment, always having a large display at your disposal certainly won't hurt. Buy: Samsung, $1,980

SONOS MOVE

Sonos is synonymous with quality audio, and now the company's sound tech is available in a portable package, complete with a long-overdue compatibility feature: integrated Bluetooth. The internal battery offers 10 hours of portable power in a water-resistant package, and you can seamlessly integrate the speaker with your existing Sonos setup once you bring it home.

RIMOWA ORIGINAL CABIN

We've generally been quite happy with the Away luggage lineup, but if you're really looking for a lavish pick, you can't go wrong with Rimowa. I took the Original Cabin bag on a recent trip to Japan and fell in love. From the buttery-smooth wheels to the intuitive lock mechanisms, the build quality is unlike anything I've seen on another bag. If you can afford the $1,150 price tag, this is the luggage to get. Buy: Rimowa, $1,400

Zero-G Weightless Experience

Looking for a very special gift for the loved one that already has it all? A Zero-G Experience flight is the ultimate once-in-a-lifetime splurge. Tickets start at $5,400, but you can also book the entire plane if you prefer — for a cool $165,000, your gift recipient and up to 33 (!) friends can experience weightlessness all alone, with a private flight on the company's modified Boeing 727, G-FORCE ONE. Buy: Zero-G, $5,400

Prices accurate as of publication date. Check out more TPG gift guides here and the TPG guide on the best cards to use for holiday shopping.

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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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
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For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

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Recommended Credit

670-850
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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 Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
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

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • 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.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases