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Shopping for the frequent travelers in your life?
No matter what your price point is, there’s something for every traveler on this list. You may even find something for yourself.
Luggage and backpacks
1. RIMOWA Luggage
I realize it is pricey, and unfortunately it never goes on sale. But I absolutely love my Rimowa carry-on. It’s lightweight, super easy to maneuver, and comes with a great warranty. Since we travel often, splurging on a nice piece of luggage made sense. Plus, it doubles as a chariot for the kids. Ryan loved mine so much that he ended up getting one too.
If you’re interested in a Rimowa, the good news is you can at least go through a shopping portal and earn more points! You can also use the Amex Platinum Saks benefit to save $50! Rimowa is sold at Saks, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, and a few other retailers that you will often find on shopping portals. Prices start around $520.
2. AWAY luggage
$225 and up, Away.com
Away luggage is scratch resistant, has a lifetime warranty, and you can use it to charge your phone. The interior makes it easy to pack efficiently. You can choose from a variety of sizes and colors, and you can even have it personalized. Also, Away is easier on the wallet than Rimowa. Carry-ons start at $225. For $20 off, click here.
3. Bogg Bag
I had never heard of these, but my parents live in beach community and earlier this year my mom was telling me about the Bogg Bag craze where they live. I now own a few and these are the best beach/pool bags I’ve ever had. They come in several colors and there are are two sizes. The Original Bogg Bag is 19x15x9.5. Despite its name, the Baby Bogg Bag is a nice tote size at 15x13x5.25. They’re extremely sturdy and they sit upright, even in the sand and they are waterproof so it’s super easy to keep it clean. You can also buy an insert to turn the bag into a cooler. I like the bigger bag for the beach, and the smaller bag is great for travel and as a pool bag.
These bags are often sold out, but there are several boutiques nationwide that sell them. My mother in law lives in Sarasota and she found a Baby Bogg Bag at a boutique and gave it to me for my birthday! It appears that both sizes are currently sold out in all colors on the Bogg Bag website, but keep checking their site daily. I was able to get one in the original size to match my smaller one a few months ago when I was randomly looking one night. They sold out a few minutes later. Bogg Bag’s website has a list of retailers and boutiques that carry the bags, so you can check with them for availability in your area.
Baby Bogg Bag $54.95
Original Bogg Bag $74.95
These bags are not collapsible (which is probably good, because that’s what makes them sturdy), but you could fill one and then pack it into a suitcase. The Baby Bogg bag would also make a good carry on bag as it should fit under an airplane seat.
4. Tortuga Setout Laptop Backpack
The wonderful folks at Tortuga sent us one of their daypacks, ending our search for the perfect backpack. It comes everywhere with us.
I couldn’t agree more with this statement from Tortuga’s website:
“Frequent travelers need a laptop backpack that’s designed for an airplane, not a classroom. School backpacks work in a pinch but aren’t designed for air travel.”
The Setout Laptop Backpack from Tortuga slides under the seat of most airplanes, which means it can be your ‘personal item’. It has a pocket for your laptop, several pockets for your other belongings, and it even has a compartment that functions like a packing cube! It’s a great piece of secondary luggage, and it is also the perfect backpack for day trips.
5. Waterproof tote
This is great for beach trips and boat trips. We almost always end up doing some sort of boat tour on vacation so a waterproof tote is a must.
You can use it as a carry-on or personal item on the plane, or you can collapse it and pack it in your suitcase and use it once you arrive at your destination.
6. Anti-theft backpack
It is important to always be aware of your surroundings, but one way you can protect the belongings of yourself and your loved ones is an anti-theft backpack when traveling. This one has a hidden zipper and it is resistant to slashing.
7. Packing cubes
These cubes made it possible to pack for Europe in only a carry on and a backpack.
I am always amazed at how much we are able to pack by using these. I usually do not have problems with wrinkles, but I always bring a travel size bottle of wrinkle releaser. If you’re worried about wrinkles, check out the ultra portable steamer on this list!
These cubes come in different sizes and colors and you can buy different sets based on your needs. Eagle Creek packing cubes will change your life, I promise!
For bulky clothes and ski clothes: compression sacs
If you’re traveling somewhere cold, bulky sweaters and jackets are much easier to pack with these compression sacs.
Keep your wine safe!
Wineskins are reusable sleeves that protect your wine while in transit. We’ve used them several times when transporting wine in our checked luggage and they work every time!
Give the gift of time
Not a watch!
9. Global Entry (which comes with TSA precheck)
$100 or free*
Give your loved one the gift of time by paying for their Global Entry application fee! Global Entry allows for expedited reentry into the US after traveling internationally. This can save hours in customs. Global Entry is also good for domestic travelers as it comes with TSA Precheck. He or she will enjoy expedited TSA screening for flights on most airlines at over 160 US airports.
We gave my parents Global Entry for Christmas a few years ago and they’re still enjoying the benefits!
*Many premium cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve and The Platinum Card from American Express have this benefit. If you already have Global Entry when you get one of these cards, you can use your card to pay for someone else’s application and you will get reimbursed the $100! For more details about each of these cards, click here. Terms apply.
Tech gadgets and accessories
10. Universal adapter
A compact all-in-one electrical plug adapter is great for anyone who travels internationally! Instead of having to buy different adapters for different countries, adapters like this one work in several countries. I also like this one because of the multiple USB ports.
Be sure that you check which countries are compatible. Some adapters exclude certain countries even though it’s labeled as “universal”.
I didn’t get the hype at first, but I finally bought some off-brand AirPods (see below), and now I understand.
As a former ICU nurse, I’ve had my fair share of tangled cords (anyone who works in the surgical ICU knows exactly what I’m talking about… shout out to the anesthesia department). Tangled cords and cables drive me nuts, and traditional ear buds contribute to the problem when they’re packed! Plus, AirPods are just so much more convenient to wear.
12. Bose noise canceling headphones
These are great for the frequent traveler who wants wireless but prefers the traditional headphones. They block out background noise while delivering high quality sound via Bluetooth. They come in a variety of colors.
I know they aren’t cheap, but GoPro cameras and their huge line of accessories have made it possible to make videos that allow you to re-live your adventures on a whole new level. We’ve used ours to photograph and video our ski trips, fishing trips, swimming with shark adventures, and so much more.
14. Ring Doorbell
I know this is not a travel gadget, but it’s a great gift for a frequent traveler. Our doorbell allows us to check on our house while we’re traveling anytime we want from our smartphones. It also alerts us when there’s motion near our door. You can customize your motion zones, when you want to be notified, and some other settings.
We currently have the Ring Doorbell Pro but we previously had the original Ring which is a little cheaper. The picture quality and the features are worth the extra money to buy the Pro in my opinion. We installed ours without any problems. If we can do it, so can you!
There are also ring cameras that you can install inside your house. Sometimes we spy on our dogs.
15. Gorillapod tripod
A compact tripod eliminates the need to ask the room service delivery man to take your obnoxious couple photos.
Attach your phone and use as a tripod on any surface. You can also twist it for creative perspectives. It’s lightweight and compact for easy packing. In addition to an iPhone, there are also versions available to fit DSLR cameras and GoPro cameras. There are also some with a remote and bluetooth capabilities.
16. Battery pack
Charge your phone, your camera, your Wifi hotspot, etc with this portable compact battery pack. There are lots of options on the market depending on how much back-up power you need, size, number of ports, etc. But to give you an idea, the one below provides enough juice for 3 charges for an iPhone for a very reasonable price!
17. Luggage scale
My dad put one of these in my Christmas stocking years ago and it’s been one of my favorite travel accessories. There is nothing worse than having to shift around your belongings at the airport when you have an overweight bag. Being able to weigh your bag ahead of time eliminates that problem.
It’s small and lightweight so you can bring it with you on trips.
18. Ultra compact steamer
A portable steamer is a great gift for the frequent traveler! Most US hotels will have an iron and/or steamer, but in foreign countries you never know. If you’re staying in a rental or an AirBNB, there may not be an iron or steamer available.
Other gifts for the frequent traveler
Tieks have joined me all over the world and I can’t recommend them enough.
Prices start at $195. Visit tieks.com to see all of the great styles!
I’ve never been a fan of flats; they actually hurt my feet more than heels. But that changed when I ordered my first pair of Tieks about 3 years ago. They are comfortable out of the box; no break-in period. Tieks come in a variety of colors and patterns. These copper snakeskins are my favorite because they match almost everything. They even fold, which makes packing easy.
These are seriously the best leggings ever. Keep them casual or dress them up. They’re super comfortable and flattering.
21. Our favorite water shoes
Lexie, Chris, Ryan, and I used these in Costa Rica and we received so many compliments! They are as comfortable as running shoes, but they dry quick like water shoes. They come in several colors and they also come in men’s sizes.
22. Door Opener
I can’t say I ever thought I’d have such a gadget on a gift list, but here we are in the midst of a pandemic.
You know kids themselves won’t appreciate this as a gift, but you can make parents’ lives a little easier with this:
23. Airplane seatbelt harness (replaces need for a carseat on a plane)
This is the only FAA approved device of its size! It weighs less than a pound and folds to less than 6 inches. Much easier than carrying a carseat through the airport. If you have no need to bring a carseat (either you’re renting one through the rental car agency or you’re going somewhere like Disney where carseats aren’t required on the Magic Express shuttle), this keeps the child secure in the plane seat. It takes less than 1 minute to install, is adjustable, and it can be used for children 1 and older weighing 22-44 pounds and up to 40 inches tall.
A gift for yourself
Earn enough Ultimate Rewards points to book a flight almost anywhere in the world when you open a Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card.
The welcome bonus can be worth well over $1250 if you utilize Chase’s transfer partners. Check out our list of 37 ways to spend the bonus!
Current offer: Earn 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.
No matter what your travel goals are, Chase Sapphire Preferred should be your very first credit card. The welcome bonus is worth at least $1250 in travel, the annual fee is reasonable, and the rewards (Chase Ultimate Rewards) are easy to earn and redeem.
As of August 16, bonus categories have been added and/or improved!
- Earn 5 points per dollar on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Earn 2 points per dollar on other travel purchases
- Instead of the old earn rate of 2, you can now earn 3 points per dollar on dining (including eligible delivery services and takeout)
- 3 points per dollar on online grocery purchases (this excludes Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 3 points per dollar points on select streaming services
- Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
Also, receive credit of up to $50 annually on hotel stays purchased through Ultimate Rewards. New cardmembers will receive this credit immediately and existing cardmembers will start earning after the next anniversary.
Each anniversary, you’ll receive bonus points equal to 10% of total purchases made the previous year. This excludes any sign up bonus points, so it’s only on points earned from spending.
The annual fee is $95, but the welcome offer alone is worth a lot more than that. Also, you’ll receive a year of DashPass (normally $9.99 per month) for free. You must enroll by 12/31/21.
Happy shopping, everyone!
Amex Rates and Fees:
- The Platinum Card from American Express [rates and fees]
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