Holiday gift guide: 9 gifts for the extravagant traveler
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
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 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.