With the holiday season in high gear, many travel advisors and their clients are thinking of potential gifts to their travel-focused family and friends. So we’re sharing a list of top 10 travel-themed clothing and products that are tried and tested, proving to be practical and often stylish gifts for the traveler on your holiday list.
1. Checked Bag
The Lojel Cubo Large suitcase has the sturdy hard exterior and quality wheels that you need for travel, with the added cool feature of a separate “flat-top” opening panel that allows access to the bag without fully opening the two-halves clam-shell style. It’s a highly useful benefit for last-minute repacking at an airport or accessing the bag in tight spaces and small hotel rooms.
2. Carry-on Bag
Eagle Creek’s Gear Warrior 4-wheel carry-on bag is sturdy, smooth rolling, and best of all includes compression straps to help you fit all your stuff back into the bag at the end of a trip (always a challenge for me). Eagle Creek’s “No Matter What” warranty ensures you can use the bag for years despite travel mishaps. Adding Eagle Creek’s Pack-It organizers are really handy tools to help sort your clothes and items inside the bag—and they compress down to make for great stocking stuffers!
3. Women’s Travel Clothes
Patagonia’s Crew Neck sweaters are cozy to wear during the winter holidays, while the sweater’s recycled wool blend fabric makes it an eco-conscious gift. Three different knit styles provide some choices for that recipient on your gift list. The durable, non-itchy wool helps ensure the sweater will be an enduring, comfortable choice for travel.
4. Men’s Travel Clothes
DU/ER jeans and performance stretch belt. For all-purpose travel jeans, my go-to is the stretchable, flexible, fleece-lined and water-repelling Fireside line of denim pants from the under-the-radar brand DU/ER. The breathable, surprisingly lightweight jeans are comfortable to wear on long flights, but also cozy enough to wear on chilly fall & winter days on the streets. While the fabric won’t keep you dry in a downpour, it’s enough to ward off a drizzle—or a spilled drink in a bar.
For a comfortable, multi-use t-shirt for travel, it’s tough to beat Unbound Merino’s line of shirts for men and women. With the shirts’ antibacterial fabric, you really can wear these multiple days on the road without washing. And they’re stylish enough to wear on their own and cozy enough to layer under other clothes. A good choice for long flights and short packing lists.
6. Travel Jacket
Cotopaxi’s easily packable, multi-functional lightweight Teca Calido jacket is a great choice for cool to cold weather trips. The jacket is surprisingly warm for being so lightweight, packs down nicely in a bag, and I’ve received compliments on the creative color scheme. And it’s reversible! For rainy-day travels, Cotopaxi’s Cielo Rain Jacket will keep you dry and looking good even when the weather’s not.
7. Travel Shoes
Men’s: For easy-on, easy-off slip-on shoes for airports and beyond, I’ve been wearing Kizik Athens sneakers. These shoes are comfortable and well-padded for long walks through the terminals, and stylish enough so they don’t look like bedroom slippers. The shoes feature the Kizik “Cage” technology, a rebounding rubberized backing that provides support and a firm fit, while still allowing the hands-free ability to slide your feet in and out at those pesky TSA checkpoints.
Women’s: Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 is the newest version of their popular line of shoes. The Tree Dasher is well cushioned, and lightweight, and looks good--even Europeans won’t make fun of your footwear! The shoes’ padded heel collar supports your ankles in place but is flexible enough to pop the shoes off and on at the airport. Great active wear shoes for long city walking tours and flights.
For a beach holiday, my first choice is the Chaco Z1 sandals. Mine came ready-to-wear and the durable cushioned soles have lasted for many trips on the beach and resort town streets. A bonus feature is that Chaco will repair your old sandals—for free on their annual summer road show, or if you mail your old ones to their headquarters. Customized strap colors can make it a great gift.
9. Travel Gadget
In this era of lost and delayed luggage, using Apple AirTags (or the Chipolo equivalent for Android phones) to track your own bags is definitely worth the price of purchase. The small, Bluetooth-enabled gadgets can be synched fairly easily to your phone, from which you can track your bag’s progress on air, sea, and ground transfers. There have been plenty of cases where airlines have told passengers bags have been completely lost, and the AirTag accurately states the bag’s location at an airport, making for easy retrieval.
10. Caffeinated Travel Gadget
Outin Nano Portable Espresso Machine. This compact coffee maker actually blends great-tasting morning pick-me-ups using rechargeable battery power, with either capsules or loose-ground coffee. Great for road trips, camping, or having as a backup in case the hotel room coffee is weak or unavailable.