So I meant to get this article out at the beginning of the week, but I had to pick up some extra shifts due to illness, and we just got killed in the ER. That being said, and apologizing in advance, here we go, with the best gifts to give those travelers that you love: (As always, no affiliate links, just my opinions)


Best Carry-on Bag: Tortuga Travel Backpack – $199

This exactly fits carry-on dimensions, is easily carryable as a backpack, and opens from the FRONT, not the top, making it uber-convenient!


Best Checked Travel Bag: REI Wheely Beast Wheeled Duffel – $100 – $180

I don’t like checking bags when I travel – hanging out at the baggage claim is one of my least favorite things in the world. That being said, when you go on a long trip, for instance our 12 day trip to Argentina experiencing both beaches and mountains, you sometimes need to check a bag. This thing is, like it’s name, a beast, can carry a TON, and is front-loading. Best part, it’s way cheaper than most comparable bags.

 rideon carryon

Best travel accessory for children: Ride-on Carry-on – 49.95

This clever thing is a folding seat for children that fits directly onto your roller luggage, and acts like a stroller going through airports. It has saved my back more times than I can remember!


Best travelling hoodie: Chrome Industries Merino Cobra Hoodie – $160

This is the one piece of clothing that I wear almost everyday when it’s cooler. It is super soft, water- and wind-resistant, is athletically fitted yet has longer arms and torso, and has enough hidden pockets to carry phones, passports, etc., in the airport and on the plane.


Best travel shoes: Patagonia Maui Air Shoe – $60-$90

These shoes are slip-on, for easy on and off in the security queue (although you should be using TSA Precheck and not having to take them off!), are super comfortable and super light, and are great for walking all around cities. Probably not great in the winter, but I’ve worn them in the other 3 seasons and they’re perfect.


Best travel surge protector: Belkin mini travel surge protector – $10-20

This thing is clutch when there is only one outlet available – you will quickly make many friends when you hook this bad-boy up at the airport!


Best travel headphones: Sennheiser PMX wraparound headphones – $45

So these aren’t noise-cancelling, and they’re in-ear, so they’re not for everyone – but for me personally, one of the best ways to experience a city in which you’re staying is running through it. For instance, the amazing mountain paths in Hong Kong are best experienced on foot or bike. These are by far the best running headphones, and they’re great for flights too.


Best travel sunglasses: Suncloud Sentry Sunglasses – $50

I have super sensitive eyes to sunlight, and almost always need sunglasses. With this, I’ve had a pair since 2008, they’re within military regs, they’re light, comfortable, look great, are tough, are good for running, polarized w/ 100% UV protection, and if you lose a pair, aren’t super expensive to get new ones. 4.5/5 on Amazon, and easily better than sunglasses twice it’s price.

 ready player one

Best book for a short flight: Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

A boy from a dystopian future has to solve an online puzzle, against all of humanity, using 80’s cultural references, to win a billionaire’s fortune. Tense, creative and hilarious, you won’t be able to put it down.


Best book for a long flight: Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts

An Australian outlaw heads to India to escape the law, and gets involved in the underworld of Mumbai. A true modern day epic, another which you won’t be able to put down. Exotic locales, shady characters…isn’t that the reason we all love to travel?


PLEASE leave your favorite travel accessories in the comments! I’m always looking for something quality that will last me a long time.

Posted by glenn | 5 Comments

5 responses to “Best Last Minute Travel Gifts for the Holidays”

  1. buddy says:

    Ready Player One is Awesome!

  2. Joe says:

    Can you wear the MERINO COBRA HOODIE through airport security without taking it off since it has a zipper in front? I’d think it’d be categorized as a jacket.

    • Andy says:

      @Joe – you’re usually required to take it off in the regular security line, but can keep it on if you’re TSA precheck – which you should be if you’re military!

  3. A belated thank you for including Tortuga on your list. I didn’t get a notification when you first published this guide.

    I’ve been looking for a wool everyday jacket to replace my American Apparel hoodie. Your Chrome recommendation looks perfect.

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