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15 Go-to Pieces of Travel Gear to Gift This Holiday Season

By John Wogan

10.02.18

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Shopping for travelers this holiday season will be a cinch.

Design by Emily Blevins

Shopping for travelers this holiday season will be a cinch.

On the hunt for the ultimate travel gifts? We’ve got you covered, whether you want to gift a classy time piece or a trip-friendly audio speaker.

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The best travel gear doesn’t sacrifice substance for style. From an ultra-durable umbrella to a backpack that doubles as a briefcase and a shoulder bag, here are 17 gifts that are as attractive as they are functional.

Keep track of train schedules or flight departures with a classy wristwatch.

Optimef Fărăzece Watch

This sleek unisex timepiece was designed by Romanian watchmakers Andrei Morariu and Bogdan Costea. It’s stylish, light, and discreet, but also a little quirky—the hour, minute, and second hands are wildly mismatched, inspired by the postmodernism of the ’80s-era Memphis design movement.

Buy it: $175, store.moma.org.

Carry on this Away suitcase, and jet off to your next destination.

Away Aluminum Edition Bigger Carry-On

Away’s futuristic new line consists of four pieces in varying sizes, each with an unbreakable aluminum shell. The Bigger Carry-On is perfect for those who need to pack as much as they can while still meeting airline standards. Bonus: Every suitcase includes a TSA-approved ejectable battery.

Buy it: $495, awaytravel.com.  

Get a vintage vibe from this Leica camera.

CL Leica Camera

The retro-inspired Leica CL is what you want on a trip to, say, Machu Picchu. Compact and user-friendly, the camera has all the tools you need to capture rich, high-quality photos, including a built-in viewfinder, a 24-megapixel sensor, and a 49-point autofocus (making it possible to shoot even in low-light situations). 

Buy it: $2,795, leicacamerausa.com.

A convenient way to keep pesos, yen, or euros organized

Postalco Crossgrain Coin Wallet

Designed by the Japanese company Postalco, this pocket-size leather wallet is ideal for travel in countries where coins are king. A flap at the top prevents change from sliding out and doubles as a tray when you’re ready to pay.

Buy it: $145, postalco.net.

Bring some color to the train car or airplane cabin with a pair of these shoes.

Ito Shoes

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Colorful and just a little eccentric, these hand-embroidered mules from Zyne speak to the inner bohemian. Inspired by the traditional Moroccan babouche (a heel-less slipper), they’re ideal for a long plane ride.

Buy it: $350, zyneofficial.com.

Photographers and videographers will appreciate a Nikon pick.

Nikon Z6 Camera

A pro-level camera at a much more approachable price point, the high-resolution Nikon Z6 can capture 4K video (think ultra HD) and is equipped with a tiltable touchscreen and a quiet shoot mode. 

Buy it: $2,597, amazon.com.

Store tickets or other tidbits in the Navigator Case.

Best Made Navigator Case

This water-resistant, American-made, Italian-leather travel case will get better with time, developing a deep patina as the years pass by. Interior compartments can hold maps, notebooks, phones, pens, and anything else necessary to document a journey.

Buy it: $228, bestmadeco.com.

Know where your passport (or room key or city map) is at all times.

See-View Pouch by Stow

The see-through body of this leather-trimmed pouch makes it easy to find what you’re looking for—plus, it’s slim enough to fit into a plane seat pocket.

Buy it: $180, stowlondon.co.uk.

Music travels well with a speaker so portable.

Mino Bluetooth Speaker

Just over an inch tall, the USB-rechargeable Mino speaker is small enough to fit in a dopp kit. Sure, you can use it to stream music from your phone or laptop, but it can also act as a speaker for conference calls or a remote to take photos from a distance. 

Buy it: $30, amazon.com.

Use this handy bag in a bunch of different ways.

Harvest Label 3-Way Traveler Pack

Thanks to two different adjustable straps, this versatile nylon travel bag can be used as a briefcase, backpack, or shoulder bag, and there’s a zippered, padded compartment for laptops.

Buy it: $120, amazon.com.

Rainforests and drizzly days won

Stutterheim Stockholm Rain Jacket

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The Swedes really nail the utility-meets-fashion thing, as evidenced in this sturdy (yet chic) rain jacket from Stockholm-based Stutterheim. It’s lightweight and not too bulky, which means it’s easy to stuff in a backpack, and a hood provides added protection.

Buy it: $185,  stutterheim.com. 

Wee ones can roll their own trunk to the gate, just like the big kids.

Olli Ella See-Ya Children's Suitcase

Outfitted with wheels and retractable handles, Olli Ella’s new collection of pint-size suitcases makes it easy for little travelers in your life to tote their own luggage. When not on the road, suitcases can double as compact storage cases.

Buy it: $79, olliella.com.

Sing in the rain (under an umbrella) in any city.

Lockwood Telescopic Umbrella

Each one of Lockwood’s ultra-durable umbrellas is crafted by hand in London. With its nickel-plated steel frame, waterproof canopy, and sturdy bamboo handle, this Breton-striped number will hold up even in the fiercest gale.

Buy it: $339, theline.com.

Catch the next downhill slope or bungee jump on 360-degree video.

Rylo 360 Degree Video Camera

This petite camera (it’s only three inches long) has a spherical lens that allows users to capture 360-degree video—and superior image stabilization means no more bumpy footage, even on the most active adventures.

Buy it: $498, amazon.com.

Earbuds ideal for podcast-listening during longhaul flights or self-guided audio tours.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E6 Earphones

Lightweight and sweat- and moisture–resistant, the Beoplay E6 Earphones come with five different ear tips, ensuring a fit for every ear. And this being a Bang & Olufsen design, the sound is predictably flawless.

Buy it: $299,  amazon.com.  

AFAR participates in affiliate marketing programs, which means we may earn a commission if you purchase an item featured in this story. All products and services listed here are independently selected by AFAR journalists.

>>Next: 10 Holiday Gifts for the Wine Lover in Your Life

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