Every friend group has that one buddy who can compare the coffee from coast to coast, drop the names of obscure cities in the Ozarks, and has probably made out on an Emirates flight. They’re busy. They’re worldly. They’re a lot of things, but they’re mostly always traveling.
What do you give the person who spends half of their week in transit? When your world is whatever space your Amtrak cabin allows, you have to be choosy with your schlepping; when you’re moving in-between airports, metros, and everything else on wheels, it’s hard not to turn into this guy:
We would like to help, because either you’re the one reading this on a JetBlue flight (IYKYK) who deserves a silky eye mask, or one of your pals is about to fly down to the Men in Music Business Conference, down in Orlando, and they’re only 19, so they’re going to need a better rolly suitcase. Whether you’re looking for the best travel gifts for men, women, boyfriends, bosses, moms, doms, or space-exploring billionaires (a reality check, perhaps?), here’s a list of our top picks. Bon voyage.
The Best Luggage Gifts
If your traveling friend is still using the athletic bag they were issued in high school as their primary luggage situation, it’s time for some zhuzhing. Away makes arguably the dopest bags in the game right now, with an emphasis on taking the “lug” out of luggage. The Everywhere Bag features multiple compartments, a laptop pocket, and a sleeve to attach it to your rolling bag for easy maneuvering through airports.
The Expandable Carry-On has a flexible, durable exterior, a compression pad for clothes, and an easy-access front pocket with multiple compartments for essentials including your passport, boarding pass, Tamagotchi, adult pacifier, and more.
Away's bags are super-popular, and your loved one may be wanting to stand out a little more when it comes to unique luggage that there's zero chance of having to play tug-of-war with when it's coming off the baggage carousel. In that case, check out our guide to suitcases that are sure to stand out. Our top picks for gifts? The reasonably priced Calpak terrazzo carry-on, which is expandable, lightweight, and glides on super-smooth 360 spinner wheels…
Or Wrangler's super-affordable smart luggage, which has not only a USB port, but a cup holder for your airport Starbucks oat-milk chai. And you can snag it for under a hundred bucks, in non-boring colors like burnt orange and olive green.
The Best COVID-19 Vaccine Cards
By getting them a fancy (or just fun) holder for their jab record. A vax card is a must for travel these days, but those little index cards are flimsy AF. There are tons of cool vaccine card cases out there to protect your document, but we're partial to a leather jawn, because it's a little bit Patrick Bateman, and a lot more likely to be returned to its proper owner:
Or this bright oil-cloth holder, which is eye-catching enough that there's no way you can accidentally leave it on your hotel nightstand when you're late to check out.
Or a colorful classic? A no-frills option? The options are endless.
The Best Portable Alarm Clocks
Look, we know you’re about to remind us that wE cAn JusT uSe ThE onE oN oUr PhoNes, but look at how cute these are! Plus, you’ll give them peace of mind knowing that these will still ring if you fell asleep without charging your phone. We’re especially fond of the retro-looking Shinola model, but there’s something about the Peakeep Battery Travel Alarm Clock that feels like it would be a comforting thing to see on your nightstand when you rise and grind.
A Clip-On Camera Lens for Zoom Calls and Travel Photography
Two bummers in life: looking like shit on video calls, and realizing how quickly camera phone photos feel dated when you revisit shots from your 2014 trip to Tokyo and realize they look like pixelated garbage. One solution to rule them all: a clip-on lens that you can use on both your webcam and your cell to instantly widen perspective and improve image quality.
The Best CBD Tincture for Traveling
Our staff writer tried this mellow CBD tincture by Standard Dose, which is like the Glossier of CBD, and it’s still one of the only CBD products that has really worked for me, notably because it tastes like butter, and doesn’t feel over or underwhelming. I call it my work day CBD tincture. It's a lifesaver for nervous flyers, jet lag, and generally mellowing out in stressful circumstances.
The Best Sleep Masks for Travel
The right eye mask will help you sleep in a train, plane, automobile, hotel bathtub, or floor of your friend's apartment on a particularly noisy block of Bed-Stuy. The entire Rec Room team owns the Brooklinen eye mask. It’s so silky, you might try to drink it, but just coddle your peepers with it to pretend you’re still in bed when you’re on your second layover.
Blissy makes an equally smooth Mulberry mask in a shade of green that says, “Take one breath in, and one breath out.”
The Best Crossbody Travel Bag
We don’t know about y’all, but we lose, like, four water bottles and at least one pair of earbuds a year—and we’re not proud of it. Who knows where our items of past lie? Not us. Anyway, a little tech bag is the ideal way to keep your stuff within reach—and this one from Swedish designers GANNI is recycled, quilted, and hangs across your body.
The Best Portable Face Mister
Getting your face Jungle Cruise misted feels amazing, but no one tells you that water, for all of its literal wetness, will just end up drying out your face even more. The French skincare brand Caudalie, however, has made a mini mister that uses antioxidant-rich grape water instead to keep you looking as glowy and fresh as Dionysus on a spa day.
The Best Portable Charger
We won’t talk later, Brad. We’re finishing this conversation right now, because we gave you not one but two portable chargers in this bundle, which is the JUICE. “These charged a total of four cell phones quickly off a single charge,” writes one reviewer, “Plenty of battery left for us to be able to take pictures of the fireworks at the end of the evening.”
The Best Tech Travel Bag
Chargers, power banks, cords, dongles… does it ever end, people?!??!?! Probably not [sobbing emoji] which is why this smart tech case can help a traveler save a lot of time in hunting down converters and cables.
The Best Noise-Canceling Headphones
There are a lot of great headphones and earbuds out there, depending on what you're looking for: booming bass, a soundtrack for running, a steady stream of white noise (or nothingness). But ultimately, nothing really beats getting a pair of AirPods Pro. They're a splurge, for sure, but a gift your cutie will use every single day.
Of course, if you're on a tighter budget (or this is a more casual relationship), you've still got options—like this combo headphone-eye-mask, which is pretty much genius and has more than 8,000 enthusiastically positive reviews.
The Best Travel Cocktail Kit
Whether your friend needs a stiffener because they get a little nervous in the air, or they just like to knock one back to help them drift off before they hit cruising altitude, each of these W&P Design Carry On cocktail sets is TSA-compliant and contains everything you need to mix two top-shelf drinks without getting a beverage cart smashed into your knee.
The Best Discreet Sex Toys
In case you haven’t been paying attention, we’re huge stans of traveling with sex toys. Anecdotally, TSA has never whipped out any of our big ass dildos whilst we go through airport security, but sometimes, you don’t have space in your luggage for Big Bertha. That’s where discreet sex toys cum in handy—take this Dame Fin Finger Vibrator, for example. It’s the size of your pinkie, and comes with an optional tether that attaches to your finger for added control. Or, perhaps you'd rather bring along the We-Vibe Bond Remote Vibrating Penis Ring for some spank sessions in the local Marriott? After all, it’s waterproof, rechargeable, and has 10 intensity levels that’ll get you off before continental breakfast, with time to spare.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.