Welcome to the latest edition of iDB’s ongoing Gift Ideas series, where we provide curated roundups of some of our favorite products. Throughout the year we cover and test a number of devices and accessories, so we decided to use that experience to help those searching for the perfect present. Today’s roundup is focused on gift ideas for folks who like to travel.
Twelve South PlugBug Global Adapter
If the person you’re shopping for is an international traveler, the PlugBug from Twelve South makes a great gift. This portable adapter comes with five snap-on international plugs so you can charge your MacBook and other Apple devices in a number of countries including the UK, Australia, China and Japan. If they’re an experienced traveler, chances are they already have some adapters, but we’re going to bet they’re not as sleek or seamless as the PlugBug.
Apple Watch Series 2 42mm
For most folks, the Apple Watch is a nice gadget, but for travelers, it’s an essential one. Picture this, wearing the Watch you enter the airport. You use it to show your boarding pass, pay for your coffee at Starbucks and buy a sandwich at the terminal cafe—all without having to take out your phone or wallet. These are just a few examples of how Apple’s wearable can come in handy while on-the-go. I can’t think of a better gift for a frequent traveler that doesn’t already have one.
Alternative: if you really like the person, get them a Stainless Steel model (shown above).
JOTO Universal Waterproof Phone Pouch
Whether you’re headed to the beach on vacation, or just to the city on a boring business trip, a waterproof pouch can really come in handy. It’s built for your smartphone, but it can also store other important things such as plane tickets, passports, your wallet and more. We like this pouch from JOTO because it’s dirt/snow/waterproof up to 100 feet, touch-friendly, fits a number of devices, and it has a 4.6 star Amazon rating on some 17K reviews. It’s not super attractive, but it’s cheap and packable so you can pull it out in a pinch.
Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones
We recommend Bluetooth headphones more often then not, because wireless is clearly the way everything is headed, but I’m not sure there’s a more popular pair of headphones among travelers than the Bose QuietComfort 25s. They fold up for portability, they sound great, and best of all they feature Bose’s patented noise cancelling technology that can virtually silence a noisy airplane cabin. There’s also an inline microphone for fielding phone calls, a built-in remote for media playback, and Bose includes a nice carrying case.
RAVPower 26800mAh 3-port Portable Charger
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: a good portable charger always makes a great present. There are tons of them out there, but for our travelers gift guide we’re recommending this one from RAVPower. It has a HUGE 26800mAh power bank that’s capable of fully-charging an iPhone 9 times, it has 3 high-powered USB ports, and iSmart 2.0 tech for fast, safe and reliable charging. All of this is fit into a package that is just a bit larger than a TV remote.
Twelve South BookBook Travel Journal
Twelve South’s BookBook Travel Journal has popped up in a few of our gift guides this year, but this thing was made for travelers. It looks like a large hardback book, but it’s really more like a small bag, and honestly I think it could replace a carry-on for a lot of folks. It features a zippered closure, a large interior pocket and several smaller pockets for carrying various items. Use it store your iPad, headphones, portable charger, cables, adapters and other important things like your passport or wallet.
Victorinox Swiss Army Spirit X Multitool
I really like giving multitools as gifts in general, but they really come in handy while traveling. You want to get a solid one—not the plastic ones you see in checkout lines at the grocery store—and we really like the Swiss Army Spirit X. It’s made of stainless steel and features 22 tools including screwdrivers, wire cutters, bottle openers and more. Plus it’s made in Switzerland by perhaps the most renowned name in multitools: Victorinox, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Alternative: if the gift recipient needs something more TSA-friendly, check out the bladeless Swiss Army Jetsetter tool.
Tom Bihn Aeronaut 30 Duffel Carry-on
A good carry-on bag makes a great gift if the traveler you’re shopping for needs a new one. Now luggage is very subjective, as people have different aesthetic tastes, but you should be ok if you go with solid colors and premium materials. All of Tom Bihn’s bags meet those requirements, but we really like the Aeronaut 30 duffel. It has a large main compartment, easy-access end-pockets, and can be held and carried in a variety of ways. All of this is wrapped in high tenacity nylon with YKK Aquaguard coil zippers and duraflex buckles—translation: this bag was built to last.
Alternative: there’s a bigger Aeronaut bag available for just $10 more, but it skirts the line for carry-on size.
Hydro Flask Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Hydro Flasks also make great presents. They are essentially vacuum-insulated water bottles that can keep a liquid hot for up to 6 hours or cold for up to 24 hours. They look great and are super durable. You can use a nice water bottle really anytime, anywhere, but as you can imagine they really come in handy while on-the-go. The Hydro Flask also features a wide-mouth opening for smooth drinking, and comes in various sizes and colors.
iPad Pro 9.7-inch 128GB
Like the Apple Watch, the iPad is another device that really shines on the road. More specifically, we like the 9.7-inch iPad Pro for its combination of power and portability, and recommend getting a larger storage capacity like the 128GB model so it can store enough movies and TV shows to get you through a long flight. I doubt you need any further convincing here, but just in case the iPad also plays games and music, can read millions of e-books, and offers thousands of apps to help you get things done.
You can buy the iPad Pro 9.7-inch 128GB for $630 (sale price).
Also be sure to check out our other gift idea roundups:
- 10 great gift ideas for iPhone users
- 10 great gift ideas for iPad users
- 10 great gift ideas for Apple TV users
- 10 great gift ideas for Apple Watch owners
- 10 great gift ideas for MacBook users
- 10 great gift ideas for iMac users
- 10 great gift ideas for iPhone photographers
- 10 great gift ideas for fitness geeks
- 10 great gift ideas for high-tech chefs