Be it for work or play, many people are taking trips again, which makes travel-related gifts an excellent idea. Whether your loved ones are globetrotters or frequent business travelers, it’s time to look into upgrading their existing on-the-go kit. We’ve curated a list of various items your friends and family will appreciate. Things like sleep masks and packing cubes are essential, and tech gear like battery packs and noise-canceling headphones can make the hectic parts of traveling a bit less stressful. We’re sure at least one of these will help make your loved ones’ next adventure a lot more enjoyable.
Anker 622 Magnetic Battery
Anker’s 622 MagGo will make a great gift for anyone with an iPhone 12 or newer. The 5,000 mAh magnetic battery pack will adhere and charge any MagSafe-compatible device, which means they no longer need to worry about carrying charging cables when they’re out and about. It’s also super slim at 0.5 inches and is about the size of a deck of cards so it won’t add any extra bulk either. And there’s a bonus: It has a built-in foldable kickstand that will prop their iPhone up at a comfortable viewing angle, making it perfect for long flights. — Nicole Lee, Commerce Writer
Ostrich Pillow Hot & Cold Eye Mask
Sleep masks are a travel essential. They help you get precious z’s on long flights or when you’re suffering from jet lag. But not all sleep masks are the same. The really good ones don’t just fully cover the eyes, but also have enough layers to ensure complete darkness when worn. We also prefer padded models that mold to your face for added comfort and security.
The Ostrich Pillow Hot & Cold Eye mask meets all of those requirements and more. It has a clay bead core that applies gentle pressure to your eyelids for extra stress relief, and it even offers heat and cold therapy (warm it up in the microwave or place it in the freezer). This helps soothe away tense facial muscles or reduce eye strain, which is always welcome after a stressful travel day. — N.L.
If you know someone who always complains about crying babies and chatty neighbors on flights, they’ll likely appreciate a pair of noise-canceling headphones. Sony’s WH-1000XM5 is one of Engadget’s favorites, easily making the best wireless headphones list this year. Senior Editor Billy Steele says it’s comfortable to wear for long periods, has an impressive 30-hour battery life, excellent sound quality and stellar ANC. It also has a combination of touch and physical controls, which means your giftee won’t have to reach for their phone every time they want to switch tracks. — N.L.
Kobo Libra 2
Instead of spending your time scrolling on your phone while you wait for your delayed flight to take off, pick up an e-reader like the Kobo Libra 2. It lets you bring your whole digital library with you wherever you go, so you can catch up on your favorite cozy mystery series instead of swiping aimlessly through Instagram during every idle moment. Plus, Kobo devices have direct integration with Overdrive, and that means you can access your local library’s e-book offerings from the Libra 2. So even when your digital pile of e-books isn’t appealing to you, you can borrow a new read from the library in just a few seconds.
Additionally, we like the Libra 2 for its seven-inch E Ink display with brightness adjustment, blue light reduction and optional Dark Mode, and its ergonomic design that includes page-turn buttons. If you want the latter on a Kindle, you’ll have to shell out $250 for the Kindle Oasis, so the Libra 2 is an affordable alternative. If you do prefer the Kindle ecosystem and the perks that come with programs like Kindle Unlimited, we recommend the latest Kindle, which comes in at $100. — Valentina Palladino, Senior Commerce Editor
Incase Accessory Organizer
One of the challenges of traveling is having to corral all of your various cables and chargers, especially if you plan on bringing more than one electronic device. Incase’s Accessory Organizer, however, makes that whole process a lot easier. Made from sturdy lightweight nylon, the bag has lots of room for not just your phone but also a ton of accessories. It has several loops for holding pens and chargers, zip and mesh pockets for battery packs and cables, a padded faux fur pocket that’s ideal for storing your phone without scratching the screen, and more. The whole thing is just the size of a paperback book and it lies flat, so it’s easy to stow away in your backpack. Unlike a lot of other similarly-priced accessory organizers on the market, the Incase organizer is also water-repellent, which is an important factor in keeping your gear free from damage. — N.L.
Bellroy Tech Kit
For a more stylish take on the accessory pouch, consider the Bellroy Tech Kit, which is made out of a combination of leather and a water-resistant woven fabric. It’s as functional as it is handsome, with a magnetic slip pocket that’s wide enough to fit a power bank or a mouse and several elastic loops to hold pens, cables and chargers. Plus, the zip opening hinges out to provide full access to the pouch’s contents, making it easy to access everything quickly. — N.L.
Peak Design Packable tote
It’s always a good idea to bring a reusable bag with you while traveling. It gives you flexibility and will prevent you from attempting to stuff a bunch of essentials into your main carry-all at the last minute. There are thousands of options out there, but we like Peak Design’s Packable tote because it doesn’t have the typical reusable bag design and it remains affordable at only $20. It’s made of 100-percent recycled ripstop nylon, which is resilient and as well as water resistant, and it has a zip closure, which is something most other reusable bags don’t have. It’ll keep your items more secure thanks to that, and it’s easier to carry in different ways thanks to its single shoulder/hand strap that sports microfiber padding for extra comfort. We also like that it has an interior pocket that can hold a phone, wallet or keys, and it takes up a surprisingly little space when it’s packed into itself. — V.P.
July Carry On
A travel must-have is a reliable piece of carry-on luggage, and the July Carry On certainly fits that bill. It has a built-in ejectable power bank that sits conveniently underneath the handle. It has a 10,000 mAh battery with one USB-C, one microUSB and two USB-A ports that’s able to charge not just your loved one’s phone but their laptop too. And since it’s ejectable, they can easily take it out in order to be compliant with airline flight regulations.
Additionally, the bag itself is very well-designed. It’s made out of a crush-proof polycarbonate shell, is outfitted with anodized aluminum bumpers and quiet spinner wheels, and it has a Y-Strap compression system that lets them fit in more clothes. It also comes in a variety of eye-catching colors. — N.L.
Foldable electric kettle
Not every hotel room comes with a coffee machine or some way to boil water, and the same goes for AirBnBs. If you have a friend or family member who simply must have their morning cup of tea everywhere they go, that’s a problem. A foldable electric kettle like this one from Loutytou is the perfect solution. It folds down to a compact, portable size when not in use, but expands to a full-size kettle that holds about 600ml of water. Just plug it into a power outlet, flip the switch, and they’ll have hot water in about six minutes. On a recent road trip, I used it not just for tea but also for making instant cup noodles in the middle of the night. It proved to be a savior for not just my sanity but those pesky midnight cravings as well. I also appreciate that the power cord and handle are detachable, making it easier to stow away. — N.L.
Anker PowerCore 65W 2-in-1 power bank
If you’re looking for the mother of all chargers to take with you on your next trip, Anker’s 733 2-in-1 power bank is the one to get. It’s both a 65W wall charger and a 10,000mAh portable battery in one, allowing you to charge pretty much anything at full speed no matter where you are. Flip out the built-in prongs and plug it in to power up your laptop, or use it on a flight when your smartphone needs a top-up. It has two built-in USB-C ports and one USB-A port, so not only do you have a variety of charging options, but it can handle powering up three devices simultaneously. Plus, it has Anker’s PowerIQ 4.0 technology for higher efficiency and ActiveShield 2.0 for improved temperature monitoring. — V.P.
Newvanger travel power adapter
An adapter like Newvanger’s isn’t the sexiest gift ever, but it’s something all international travelers will want to keep in their bags. This model has the detachable input plugs that will work with European, UK and Australian outlets, making it an essential for anyone who wants to use their existing electronics while they’re traveling. It also has two USB-A ports built in, so you can power up a couple of mobile devices while you’re also using the main plug for things like your laptop or Nintendo Switch. Plus, it has built-in fuse protection so you won’t have to worry about your gadgets getting fried when you’re in a foreign country. — V.P.
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