As a family of road warriors, we have earned a lot of miles and points from both personal and business travel. With all this experience, we have become travel pros that have our packing, airport, and hotel game down. We understand the needs of a business traveler and how what you need can vary when you travel solo versus when you travel as a family. And, with all our combined experience, we have road-tested many products to find the most useful gifts for business travelers.
As the holiday season kicks into high gear, now is the time to find the perfect business travel gifts. Here is our list of gift ideas for business travel essentials — for both men and women!
Gifts for Business Travelers
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Noise Canceling Headphones
Anyone that spends a lot of time on planes knows that a pair of noise-canceling headphones can make it easier to block out the noise around you and might just help you forget that you are jammed into a metal tube with a bunch of strangers.
There is always a great debate between over-the-ear headphones versus in-ear earbuds or headphones. This is a personal preference but here are our picks for each.
Glenn prefers over-the-ear headphones because they do a better job of noise canceling. I prefer in-ear headphones because they take up less room in my bag and space is precious!
Bose is always a leader in audio and noise-canceling headphones, with this latest version raising the bar. These Bluetooth over-the-eat wireless headphones offer a built-in microphone for clear calls and Alexa voice control.
If you prefer in-ear options, the Apple AirPods Pro offer good noise-canceling, with an option for transparency mode. These include a MagSafe charging case, personalized spatial audio, customizable in-ear fit, and Bluetooth connection to your iPhone. The only drawback is the battery life.
For those that work out while traveling, the Beats Fit Pro are great wireless earbuds for exercising with a better fit. The Beats Fit Pro feature true wireless noise cancellation, an Apple H1 headphone chip, compatible with Apple & Android, Class 1 Bluetooth®, a built-in Microphone, and six hours of listening time.
I still love my original wired Bose QuietComfort noise-canceling in-ear headphones because of the long battery life and the wire plugs into plane entertainment systems. However, if you want to lose the wire, the new wireless, Bluetooth earbuds also have a six-hour battery life with personalized noise cancelation and sound.
My Bose Sleepbuds are one of my favorite travel accessories and I credit many nights of sleep while traveling to my Bose Sleepbuds. Small enough to fit comfortably in your ear, the Bose Sleepbuds pair with a mobile app to play relaxing and soothing sleep sounds to mask noise from hotels, airplanes, or noisy sleep partners for a better night’s sleep.
Travel Tech Products
Beyond headphones and earbuds, there are other travel gadgets and devices that make travel easier or more comfortable. Here are our must-have picks.
There are so many travel adapters on the market but EPICKA has been recognized as one of the best because of its four USB Type C slots for fast charging and support for most countries including the EU, UK, and Australia.
If you travel with multiple devices that need charging (and who doesn’t?), save space with this compact, foldable wall charger. Instead of carrying multiple chargers, this wall charger can quickly charge three devices at once with both USB-C and USB-A ports.
If you have an iPhone and an Apple Watch, the MagSafe Duo is a great combo charger that is slim and perfect for travel. This one recently saved me when my phone wasn’t charging due to water in my lightning port after using my phone in the rain, but I was still able to charge up using the MagSafe Duo.
Long travel days need lots of power, many times more than our phones provide. I always travel with a backup Power Bank. The Anker PowerCore 10000 PD Redux can charge phones up to four times from one charge.
I try to minimize the number of devices that I travel with to reduce the weight of my travel bag. However, I also love to read every night before going to sleep. I’ve been very happy with my new Kindle. It is so small and light, but easier to read than on my phone. Plus, it is also great for beach vacations when I can finally read outside again without lugging my library books with me.
There isn’t always time to relax and watch TV when traveling, but when there is and all the hotel television offers are a handful of channels, it is so nice to plug in a Fire Stick and get access to your favorite streaming services. I also like that this one has an Alexa Voice Remote.
We have all heard the warnings not to use public USB charging ports because of viruses but sometimes that is the easiest and only way to charge. This tiny device can protect you from someone accessing your phone’s data or infecting it with malware.
Picture this. You are flying with Bluetooth headphones but you want to watch the movie on the plane through the seatback entertainment system. This device will connect two wireless devices to any audio jack.
Peak Design makes excellent camera bags and accessories and it has extended its smart design principles to other packing products. The Tech Pouch helps keep all the tech accessories, like cords and plugs, organized and easy-to-find.
These products help make travel and being on the road more comfortable.
I’ve always traveled with my own pillowcase because I have sensitive skin and commercial detergents irritate my skin. I am now a convert to silk pillowcases and the benefits for my skin and hair. I recommend getting various colors instead of white so that you remember to take it with you and housekeeping doesn’t accidentally take your pillowcase.
I’ve tried many travel pillows and the one that works the best for me is the Cabeau Evolution neck pillow. I like the cooling fabric, the comfort, the fit, and especially the fact that I can roll it up and put it in a case to keep it clean and easily hook it to my travel bag.
I don’t take any long flights without wearing compression socks to avoid blood clots and swelling. I like Comrad socks because they come in good patterns and colors and pull on easily without the need to roll them up my legs.
Whether you need to block out the light on an airplane or the glow of a hotel room, these comfortable silk sleepmasks are kind to your skin and hair while blocking light. Here is another tip for light that creeps in between curtains in a hotel room: bring alligator clips to hold the curtains closed.
Hotel rooms can be so dry and it can do a doozy on your nose, sinuses, and hydration. Last year I invested in this small travel humidifier to help, especially with winter travel. I love that it is small and works with a basic water bottle. The only downside is that it can be a bit bright (hence the sleep mask!)
I’ve tried so many different travel backpacks and the Tortuga is one of my favorites. The clamshell design gives a large, open section for packing clothing but I often fill it with a camera bag, tech pouch, tripod, and small purse. However, I love this version that comes with custom packing cubes to really maximize the space. The backpack also has a laptop sleeve that fits my MacBook Pro, my Kindle, and whatever papers I’m bringing with me. The front pockets keep the rest of what I need easily accessible and the exterior water bottle keeps my hydration at hand. It also fits under the airplane seats to be used as a personal item.
I love my TravelPro hardshell carry-on suitcase. I have an older version but I have a closet full of TravelPro and they never disappoint me. Personally, I prefer the hardshell for packing for carry-on only trips.
For longer trips, I prefer a soft-sided suitcase with four-wheels for easy transit through the airport and hotel hallways. I find the 25″ size ideal for staying within the 50 lb. weight limit for most checked luggage.
For trips when I don’t need to bring a camera or as much gear, I use my DELSEY Paris Chatelet shoulder bag as a personal item along with a carry-on roller bag. It easily fits my computer, tech pouch, and small purse and has a slip-on strap to easily attach it to my carry-on bag for easy transport through the airport.
I enjoy using packing to keep things organized, especially on long trips when I’m moving around a lot and packing and unpacking frequently. However, I also appreciate the compression abilities to help me fit more into my suitcase. Eagle Creek is always my go-to for packing cubes.
I have been using my eBags Pack-it-Flat toiletry kit for years now. The flat design fits into my suitcase easier than other kits and the hanging hook helps it fit even in tiny bathrooms. I also like the leak-proof compartment for my liquids.
Even though I have pre-check I still pack my liquids in a clear bag in case I need to go through the regular TSA security line. It can be hard to fit everything into one quart-size Ziploc so I find these clear bags with more structure can fit a bit more.
I prefer a hard shell carry-on suitcase because it is easy to keep my dirty laundry on one side and clean on the other. However, I find the plastic laundry bags provided by hotels aren’t usually big enough. These moisture and smell-proof travel laundry bags will keep your clean clothes fresh.
Sometimes you need to do some sink laundry while on the road but there is never a good spot to hang it to dry quickly. I mean, so many hotel rooms don’t even have enough space to hang a towel! This Kiva travel clothesline is easy to affix to the bathroom door or fixture and you can easily hang clothing from the loops in the braid.
I never leave the house without a refillable water bottle, especially when I travel. The Hydroflask slim design fits in the water bottle pocket of my travel bags but holds more than other water bottles. Plus it keeps my water nice and cold.
Subscriptions and Memberships
These are some subscriptions and memberships that every frequent business traveler shouldn’t leave home without.
Priority Pass provides access to over 1,300 airport lounges. Membership is included in some premium travel credit cards, like the American Express Platinum, but a membership can also be purchased individually. Once you get used to lounge access, it is hard to go back! It makes travel much more comfortable and less stressful.
TSA Precheck is a must for all frequent travelers. Many travel credit cards, such as the Capital One Venture card, will reimburse the application fee for TSA Precheck so there is no reason not to apply!
Clear is a fast and easy way to get through airport security, especially in airports where TSA Precheck lines rival standard security. Clear or Clear with Precheck are almost always shorter. And, once again, some premium credit cards will provide a credit towards the annual fee (such as the American Express Platinum.)