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My Holiday Wishlist: Luxury Gift Ideas for Business Travelers

December 10th, 2016 /

I’m one of those “impossible to shop for” people. I end up receiving a lot of novelty coffee mugs and gift cards this time of year. I’m not knocking it—I know it’s hard for loved ones to figure out what to buy when I’m gone so much of the time, and in truth, I’ve found that many of us frequent business travelers don’t even know what we want. We’re rarely home to use the coffee mugs and have little use for decorative knickknacks.

Enter my suggested list of gifts, all of which meet the following criteria: they’re compact enough to take with you, they’re practical, and they help address the small annoyances of life on the road. Add them to your wishlist, and both you and your gift-givers will be happy.

business traveler gift ideas to make your road warrior happy

Give your loved ones the satisfaction of knowing their travel-related gift will be well-used. Image by Flickr user Alan Cleaver (CC BY 2.0)

A Better Alternative to “On-Demand” Movies and TV in Your Hotel Room

It’s easy to purchase a few too many on-demand movies in an attempt to stave off boredom while traveling. But, in general, on-demand service is not a luxury I like to splurge on. There are many other ways of getting your favorite shows, with less hassle and a lower price tag.

I’d suggest asking for a TV-streaming device, which will allow you to view your subscription services on any screen, anywhere, at anytime. These devices are no larger than your basic thumbdrive, but plug them into any TV’s HDMI port, connect to wifi, and you’ve got expansive entertainment at your fingertips. Even if you’re already using one at home, it’s convenient to get another specifically for travel purposes.

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A portable TV-streaming device will change your hotel entertainment life. Image by Flickr user iannnn (CC BY 2.0)

I’ve got a particular eye on Amazon’s brand new Fire TV Stick (releasing December 17th), which allows you to stream content from Netflix, Hulu, and HBO—plus puts the impeccably fast wifi and voice-control power of Alexa at your disposal. The device will play anything for you via a voice command, and you’ll feel like you have an assistant awaiting your every entertainment whim. If you’re looking to watch live or recorded TV and sports, the Fire TV Stick also provides access to FOX, NBC, ESPN, and other popular networks. The interface is completely on your TV screen, so it feels like a fancy cable or satellite package.

Another option is Google’s Chromecast Ultra. The newly released update streams in 4K UHD and HDR, making it a good choice for watching HD dramas or movies that might be showing on Netflix or HBO Now. I also really like that the Chromecast can use your smartphone as a remote, sending all of your apps to the TV screen (including YouTube and Spotify).

Right now, the price difference between the two options is only about $30, so the choice is a toss-up, as far as I’m concerned. Google is running a promotion of 3 months of HBO Now for free with a Chromecast Ultra purchase, so if you’re not already watching Game of Thrones, this could be the deciding factor.

A Sophisticated Tech Storage Solution

Don’t let minions take control of your electronics—organize them in style, instead. Image by Flickr user Jim Bauer (CC BY-ND 2.0)

When you travel, you often wind up inundated with cords, chargers, and cables. If you’re anything like me, everything ends up in a large Ziploc bag thrown into your carry-on, which isn’t the most elegant or streamlined solution.

If you’ve only got a few cables to worry about, try making the switch to a leather roll-up pouch with different spots for your headphones, phone charger, and so on. If you’re going for luxury, many companies also offer monogrammed versions with your initials.

But if you tend to bring the entirety of a Best Buy with you on every trip, opt for something more heavy-duty. I’d suggest a Tech Dopp Kit—still leather, but with far more storage space. Like a Dopp kit for your toiletries, this organizer has a myriad of pockets, straps, and pouches to hold everything from over-the-ear headphones to wireless mouse dongles.

A Healthier Night’s Sleep

business travelers want luxury holiday gifts that will make life on the road easier

Humidifier vapor can relieve your most annoying travel symptoms on-the-go. Image by Flickr user Dolapo Falola (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The dry air of planes combined with heavily air conditioned hotel rooms means that travel often brings uncomfortable sinus symptoms. And the one thing that has consistently improved my symptoms, and my sleep, more than anything else? A humidifier.

They’re fantastic for anyone suffering from allergies, respiratory issues, or just dry eyes. And yes, they come in travel sizes. My favorite model, by Pure+, is smaller than my iPhone and can be used with any container of water— even a water bottle—in addition to the included water reservoir.

If you often fly long-haul and suffer from “plane dryness,” you can also use one of these personal humidifiers safely (and silently) on the plane. All they require is a USB-port for power. Buy a small water bottle when you get past security to bring on the plane with you, and breathe more easily for the entire flight.

A More Reliable Power Source

holiday gift ideas that make travel easier

Don’t rely on these in the airport— instead, pack your own updated power bank. Image by Flickr user Tony Webster (CC BY 2.0)

As business travelers, we’ve probably all received portable power banks in our stockings at some point. You might still be using a well-loved, 5-year-old model. There’s no shame in utilizing something so functional—but these things keep getting better as technology advances, so it might be time to ask for an upgrade.

I’d suggest asking for a heavy-duty model like RAVPower’s Dual USB powerbank, which is capable of charging two tablets simultaneously. I’ve found this translates to roughly six full charges for an iPhone. Definitely worth the price.

If you’re a video-binger, you might also want to consider a charging phone case. While having an external power bank is a lifesaver, it’s also one more thing you have to remember to pack—and I’ve never had trouble remembering my phone. If you go this route, consider giving Apple’s smart battery cases a try. They provide an additional 24 hours of video watching, which obviously stretches a lot longer if you’re just using your phone for calling or messaging, and they save you from having to hunt for outlets at the airport.

Hopefully this list will inspire both you and your loved ones and put a temporary hold on the toe-socks and bathrobes. As a final gift idea, why not ask for year-round access to luxury hotel rooms during your travels? A membership with JetLux gives you unbeatable corporate rates on boutique and chain hotels across the nation, with extra amenities and a personal reservationist. All that can’t fit into one stocking, but it will definitely put a smile on your face.

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