Best Gifts for Travelers – 27 gadgets which will increase your comfort and productivity

best gifts for travelers - featured image

Nowadays you can select among tons of travel gadgets which helps you survive the travel. I’ve decided to crawl into this ocean to pick the best things on the market to make your choice easier. As Christmas is coming soon this text can be also valuable hint to pick the best gifts for travelers in your family (if you are not the one).

Traveling is filled up with different types of waste (especially time and money) therefore I’ve decided to list the products in the categories which you can see in below table of contents:

Comfort increase

Noise Cancelling Headphones: Bose QC35 (Series II)

best gifts for travelers - bose QC35best gifts for travelers - bose qc35

Why it’s worth to have it?

Headphones with noise canceling are life-saving equipment during flights. Noise in the cabin during take-off and landing can reach 105 decibels (dB) and can stay around 85 dB during the cruising flight. 85 dB can cause temporary hearing problems and can devastate your comfort.

If you want to get rid of headaches after long-haul flights, then noise-canceling headphones are must-have in your luggage. And as holidays are coming up, this could be also one of the best gifts for travelers in your family or in your surroundings.

Where can I buy it?

The Trtl Pillow – neck support

best gifts for travelers - trtl pillowbest gifts for travelers - trtl pillow 1

Why it’s worth to have it?

This neck support lets you take a nap wherever you are (especially in a plane – red-eye flights…). I’m using it alternatively to my travel pillow as it is lightweight and easy to carry – I always wrap it around the handle of my carry-on bag.

The material is soft and cozy. If it gets dirty, it’s easy to wash it – just take out the plastic part and put the material to the washing machine.

Where can I buy it?

Cabeau Evolution Travel Neck Pillow

best gifts for travelers - cabeau pillow

Why it’s worth to have it?

When I was using other pillows, the problem was that after an hour or more, my neck started to sweat. With Cabeau Pillow it is different. This pillow not only keeps your head on position but also has a cooling feature so you can wear it for long hours.

Another advantage is that it compresses to 1/2 of it’s original size and you can attach it easily to your luggage.

Where can I buy it?

The Ostrich Pillow – Power Nap Tool

best gifts for travelers - ostrich pillow

Why it’s worth to have it?

Traveling often means a change of time zone and this usually causes a phenomenon called jetlag. Sometimes jetlag can be a real killer and can put you down in the middle of the day.

Hopefully, at that time you will have at hand The Ostrich Pillow to take a short nap. This thing enables you to cut yourself off from reality for a few minutes. After a quarter you will be like a newborn.

To know more on that, you can read my article about some ways to beat the jetlag.

Where can I buy it?

Productivity

World’s Smallest Travel Steam Iron

best gifts for travelers - steamfast

Why it’s worth to have it?

Imagine the situation – you have just landed, grab your luggage, the plane arrived late and very important meeting with the customer will take place in two hours. You rush to the hotel to change your clothes and it appears that your shirt is crumpled as hell, and in the room, there is no iron and time is running…

In this situation, a travel iron will save you. It heats up in 15 seconds. It’s really small, portable, and can save your business meeting. Definitively worth to have it packed.

Where can I buy it?

Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot & Power Bank (Skyroam)

best gifts for travelers - Skyroam

Why it’s worth to have it?

If you struggle with the internet connection on your long distance trips (especially with its costs…), then you should know the Skyroam. It’s delivering the prepaid internet connection with WiFi hotspot that you can have internet with you all the time, whatever country you visit.

And what’s important – it’s in much lower prices compared to this what you could pay using roaming data transmission (like 20 times less… 🙂 ).

There are two options to get it. You can buy the WiFi hotspot with a subscription or you can rent it for the time you need it.

Where can I buy it?

Best Travel Adapter: Pac2Go Universal Travel Adapter

best gifts for travelers - Pac2Go

Why it’s worth to have it?

Did you know that there are 14 types of sockets around the world? And because this is how the reality looks like, the socket adapter is a must have gear of each traveler.

Pac2Go has sliding plugs for US, EU, UK and AU with an 8 hole input socket. This is compatible with every 2 and 3 prong plugs on the world.

Where can I buy it?

Best Small Portable Charger for Travelers: Xiaomi Mi Slim Power Bank Probest gifts for travelers - Xiaomi Mi Slim Power Bank Pro

Why it’s worth to have it?

If your phone is almost dead but you cannot afford any minute to stop and charge it up, then you need to use a Power Bank. In my opinion, there are three main things each traveler should care about when buying a Power Bank:

  1. Make sure to buy a trusted manufacturer’s equipment – the batteries are no joke. It’s better not to wonder if overcharge blocker is there installed or not. Especially when you are on a plane.
  2.  Keep in mind that in some countries there are limits for a maximum capacity of the battery which you can take on a plane – for example in China you can have in your carry-on luggage battery with capacity <20 0000 mAh with 5V (or less than 100wh) clearly indicated on the battery. Otherwise, they will ask you to throw it away or step out of boarding.
  3. These days, almost all the phones enable a quick charge function. Therefore, it’s a must-have feature in power banks I’m looking after.

Xiaomi Mi Slim complies with above-listed points that’s why I recommend it. Think about it and if you already have a power bank, then maybe you would like to buy it for someone in your family as this is one of the best gifts for travelers.

Where can I buy it?

Juice Pack – Best Phone Charging Case

best gifts for travelers - juice pack for Samsung S9 Plus

Why it’s worth to have it?

The problem with Power Banks is that it’s something you need to carry on, it’s heavy and you need to connect it with a cable to your phone. The alternative is to use something which always sticks to your phone – the charging case.

Such charging case uses wireless charging to recharge your phone and also protects it from mechanical damage as a regular phone case.

As this is 2 in 1 solution, the manufacturer had to make some compromises. The capacities of such batteries are significantly lower than Power Banks but according to producers, it can extend up to 33 hours the life of your phone.

Where can I buy it?

Best Travel Water Bottle: HYDAWAY Collapsible Bottle

best gifts for travelers - Hydaway collapsible bottle

Why it’s worth to have it?

Going through airport security control you have to get rid of all your liquids in volume above 100ml. It means you can’t cross it with water bought in store outside the airport and you will have to pay twice more for the same bottle at the airport, behind the security check.

Well, there’s a solution for that. You can go through security with an empty HYDAWAY collapsible bottle and refill it for free at the drinking water station. The advantage of HYDAWAY compared to the regular empty bottle is that it’s a portable solution. After usage, it’s easy to store it and after a few usages, it becomes a part of your must-have travel gear.

Think about it as it can be one of the best gifts for travelers in your family or friends.

Where can I buy it?

Best Smallest Wallet for Travelers: Ridge Wallet

best gifts for travelers - ridge wallet

Why it’s worth to have it?

I think nobody likes when a regular wallet fills up your pocket. There is a perfect solution for that – it’s light, looks good and protects your credit cards with RFID protection from being scanned by thieves.

Where can I buy it?

BAGSMART Small Travel Electronics Cable Organizer

best gifts for travelers - Bagsmart Travel Organizer

Why it’s worth to have it?

Wires, cords, chargers, everywhere… all tangled up. It’s high time to put it under control.

This BAGSMART organizer has all you need to bring order with your chargers, USB cables, headphones, batteries and other small stuff which you want to have always with you.

Where can I buy it?

MacBook Air 13 inch – Best Laptop for Travelers

best gifts for travelers - Apple MacBook Air 13

Why it’s worth to have it?

This 13,3 inches, lightweight MacBook Air (1,3 kg / 2.96 lbs) is one of the best gifts for travelers if you have deep pockets. It’s a productive and reliable tool for each road warrior. As it works on battery up to 12 hours you don’t need to search places with socket near the table – the park will be also a good place, even for the longer session.

Where can I buy it?

Gadgets

Scratch Map – Mark the Place You Have Visited

best gifts for travelers - Scratch Map

Why it’s worth to have it?

Each time you visit a country for the first time you can scratch it on your Scratch Map to mark your visit there. This gadget brings a lot of fun and drags attention of visitors when it hangs on the wall in your apartment or office.

Where can I buy it?

Fitbit Charge 3 – Track Your Fitness Activity

best gifts for travelers - FitBit Charge 3

Why it’s worth to have it?

In this type of devices not only the list of features is important. 24/7 heart rate tracking, calorie burn, and sleep analysis would mean nothing if the battery was not lasting long. Fortunately, it’s not a case of Fitbit Charge 3. It can work without charging for 7 days if not heavily used.

Where can I buy it?

Moment Wide Lens – The Best Lens for Perfect Insta Photos

best gifts for travelers - Moment Wide lens

Why it’s worth to have it?

While traveling you have a lot of occasions for really good shots. Beautiful window seat views on the airplane or great architecture of visited cities are on top of the list of each Instagram fan. Therefore to make your photos even greater, invest in Moment Wide Lens.

Note: If you are going to purchase Moment Wide Lens, don’t forget that to attach it to your phone, you have to purchase the Moment case.

Where can I buy it?

Joby GorillaPod 3K Kit for Steady Shots

best gifts for travelers - JOBY GorillaPod 3K Kit

Why it’s worth to have it?

Joby GorillaPod 3K Kit is one of the best gifts for travelers who need a stable support for their photo camera. If your friend or somebody in your family is a vlogger or photographer, then for sure they will love such a gift. You can wrap this high-quality tripod around any surface and get great, steady pictures. The weight of the device to mount should not exceed 3 kg.

Where can I buy it?

Luggage

Travel Pro Crew 11 – Best Carry On Bag

best gifts for travelers - Travelpro Luggage Crew 11

Why it’s worth to have it?

Travel Pro Crew 11 was designed with the professional flight crews cooperation. It’s a durable bag which will serve you for years. It has features which are becoming more and more popular like USB port in the back to charge your mobile devices or dedicated pocket for Power Bank.

Where can I buy it?

Waterfly Sling Backpack – Your Everyday Companion

best gifts for travelers - Waterfly Sling Bag

Why it’s worth to have it?

This triangle crossbody backpack accompanies me every day and I love it. I’m keeping there all my stuff including wallet, car keys, sunglasses and cords organizer with chargers and wires. While traveling I always have there also my medicines and headphones. It’s small so you do not have to put it to compartment while taking off and landing which is great as I have all my stuff within the reach of hand.

As this could be one of the best gifts for travelers it will also satisfy any stationary male representative of the population in your family…

Where can I buy it?

Patagonia Refugio Backpack 28L – Best Backpack

best gifts for travelers - Patagonia Refugio Backpack 28L

Why it’s worth to have it?

It has all that the modern backpack should have: a padded laptop sleeve and lined tablet pocket, tone of pockets for accessories and small items.

Interesting fact – the producer says it weights 666 g … it is a hell good backpack 🙂

Where can I buy it?

Sea to Sky Pack – Best Lightweight Backpack

best gifts for travelers - Sea to Sky Pack

Why it’s worth to have it?

This one fits in your pocket. Great solution if you are going to buy some souvenirs at your destination and don’t want to buy an additional bag to bring purchased items back home.

Where can I buy it?

Books/music/media

Kindle Paperwhite – Best eBook Reader

best gifts for travelers - Kindle

Why it’s worth to have it?

Pack light is my guiding principle and this is in contradiction with my love for books as these take a load of space in my bags. But in fact, this is no more my problem since I use Paperwhite.

You can fill it with hundreds of books (8GB of storage), it works on the single battery charge for weeks and it’s waterproof.

Where can I buy it?

My Recommendation for Top 4 Books for Your Next Business Trip:

best gifts for travelers - The Operator  best gifts for travelers - The 4 Hour Bodybest gifts for travelers - What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars

Which of best gifts for travelers did you like the most?

I hope this list could give you some hints on how you can improve your comfort and productivity. And if it’s not you who travels a lot then maybe you could find here some best gifts for travelers in your family.

Lufthansa Premium Economy review

Lufthansa premium economy - A340

Last week I had the opportunity to fly in Lufthansa Premium Economy on the route Munich – Mexico City. In this article, I would like to share with you my experience from this flight.

Aircraft

I’m going to describe the flight number LH 521 from MEX to MUC on the board of Airbus A340-600 (346) V1 –  long-range, four-engine, wide-body commercial passenger jet able to carry 440 passengers. Lufthansa fleet operates 32 A340 machines.

The plane has a main deck with all seats including first class, business class, premium economy, and economy class on the same level. In the lower deck, you can find 5 restrooms.

Lufthansa premium economy - aircraft A340
Airbus A340-600 (346)

Seat distribution

On the board of A346 Lufthansa Premium Economy offers 32 recliner seats (different from the standard seat as in Economy Class) distributed in 2-3-2 rows:

Lufthansa premium economy - seat distribution
Airbus A340-600 (346) Lufthansa Premium Economy seat plan, source: seatguru.com

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Legroom

Let’s start with the figures. Below table contains a comparison between Lufthansa Premium Economy and Lufthansa Economy class in Airbus A340 machines:

Lufthansa Premium Economy vs. Lufthansa Economy class in details

As you can see you have at least 18 cm more for legs in Premium Economy than in Economy class (seat pitch) – fair enough. This makes a noticeable difference.

The seat width (distance between two armrests) is 2 cm larger than in Economy which is nothing special.

If you are interested in more details about legroom in different airlines and planes, read my previous article about the premium economy vs. economy.

On this flight I was lucky – my seat was 26G. It’s located in emergency exit rows, so I had a load of legroom:

Lufthansa premium economy - seats 1
Emergency row legroom – middle seats.

If you consider Lufthansa Premium Economy, then try to book any seat in emergency rows 26 (see up) or 25 (see below):

Lufthansa premium economy - seats 2
Emergency row legroom – side seats

You will be able to stretch the legs completely even if you are a tall person.

Lufthansa premium economy - legroom 26G

Lufthansa Premium Economy seats

Seat 26G is in the aisle. The seat is a recliner seat with footrest as an extended part of the seat. This type of footrest is not a standard for other Premium Economy seats. You will find it only at emergency rows seats (again positive for booking these seats :-)). Other seats in Lufthansa Premium Economy also have footrests but it’s a part of the seat at the front.

Lufthansa premium economy - seats
Recliner seats with attached footrest.

In the left armrest, you can find buttons to recline the seat and footrest. Just below buttons, the bag with the amenity kit is placed.

Lufthansa premium economy - recline and footrest button

The right armrest is foldable. I’ve seen that many people have trouble to fold it because they couldn’t locate the lock release button. It’s located on the inner side of the armrest in the back – see below:

Lufthansa premium economy - armrest
Aisle seat armrest lock release button.

The table

The table is located in the left armrest:

Lufthansa premium economy - table

The seat controller

Next, to the amenity kit, you will find the seat controller. You can release it by pushing the button above it:

Lufthansa premium economy - entertainment system pilot
The seat controller is located in the armrest

The seat controller is double-sided. The main side functions are (following below picture, starting from the top):

  • Home button – takes you to the home page of the onboard entertainment system
  • Call the Attendant button (left)- with this button you call the Flight Attendants
  • Turn on/off the private light (right)
  • Big, black square button in the center is a kind of trackball controller to navigate entertainment system.
  • – VOL + for volume control
  • Play/pause to control the entertainment system
  • On/Off button – starts and switch off the entertainment system
Lufthansa premium economy - entertainment system pilot 2
The main side of the controller

The back of the controller is a gamepad. You can play some simple games from onboard entertainment system (I recommend the game called “2048” – addictive one).

Lufthansa premium economy - entertainment system pilot 1
Flip the controller to have a gamepad

Lufthansa Premium Economy amenities

In the seat pockets in front, you will find safety leaflet, Lufthansa magazine, in-flight shopping catalog and a bottle of still water.

Lufthansa premium economy - seat pocket

The amenity kit is located in the armrest. It’s wrapped up in the bag:

Lufthansa premium economy - amenity kit

The bag is a new idea – Lufthansa implemented it a few months ago. Previously all the stuff was packed in a small sachet. I prefer a sachet than a bag.

What’s inside:

  • Compression socks
  • Toothbrush and small toothpaste
  • Earplugs
  • Refreshment towel
  • Eyemask

Lufthansa premium economy - amenity kit 1

Lufthansa Premium Economy meals and drinks

Just after boarding, you will be served with a welcome drink – an orange juice.

Lufthansa premium economy - welcome drink

Later the meal card is distributed.

Lufthansa premium economy - menu
Lufthansa Premium Economy Menu

According to the menu, two hot meal will be served:

Lufthansa premium economy - menu 1
Hmmm… so what are we going to eat…

The hot towel just before meals:

Lufthansa premium economy - hot towel

Dinner is served:

Lufthansa premium economy - meal

Regarding food – in my humble opinion there is no difference if it’s Lufthansa, Air China, Austrian, Delta or American Airlines – all taste the same.

If you have some restrictions on your diet, you can order a special meal via Lufthansa’s site in your booking section. Usually, it’s the first thing I do before each flight but this time I forgot…..

It’s worth to order a special meal because of two reasons:

But keep in mind that you can order it up to 24 hours before departure.

Onboard Entertainment System

The onboard Entertainment System screen has one USB slot and one minijack output:

Lufthansa premium economy - entertainment system 19

Well, there was one disadvantage of my seat in an emergency row. The distance to the screen is huge and the cable of my headset was to short

Lufthansa premium economy - headphones cable plug
Too short headphones cable for the emergency row in A340 🙂

Quick guide through Entertainment System screen options

Just after the first launch, you have to select your language:

Lufthansa premium economy - entertainment system
Language selection

Then a screen with Highlights and Recommendations appear. You can also read about FlyNet – WiFi internet access which is available just after the aircraft has reached cruising altitude. You can pay 17 EUR and surf the net for the whole flight.

Lufthansa premium economy - entertainment system 1

By hitting the Menu option, you get access to more options:

Lufthansa premium economy - entertainment system 2
Home screen.

Let’s take as an example the movies section:

Lufthansa premium economy - entertainment system 3
Movie selection screen with breakdown on categories

If you select any movie, you will reach the movie details screen. In the right upper corner of the movie featured image, you will see a star. Hit the star to add the movie to favorites:

Lufthansa premium economy - entertainment system 4
Movie details screen

With a  star icon in the top bar, you can have a quick access to the movies marked as favorite:

Lufthansa premium economy - entertainment system 16

TV, Audio, Podcasts, Games and Audiobooks work on the same principle:

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If you select the plane icon in the top bar you will access to the details about the flight.

You can check there things like remaining time to destination, current location, height and speed:

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Short Resume

To wrap up I will just let you know my quick thoughts about Lufthansa Premium Economy in A340-600.

What speaks for an upgrade to the Premium is that it offers much more comfort compared to the economy class:

  • Minimum 18 cm more legroom,
  • Wider, recliner seats,
  • One seat less in the middle seat section,

and this is more than you can get compared to, for example, Air China Premium Economy (but in Boeing 747).

I hope that above information will help you to take the decision if you want to pay more and upgrade to Lufthansa Premium Economy class.

Photos and  featured image: Lucas

Fast guide through China and Chinese culture for first-time travelers

Chinese culture for first-time travelers

Recently I was looking through my photos from China. Some of them remind me about the differences between European and Chinese culture, the others bring me the memories of things which surprised me. I was repeating myself “it’s a pity I did not know that before”… That’s how I came up with the idea for this article. Today, I’m going to collect all that what I’ve experienced and considered different in China compared to that what I’m used to in Europe. If you are going to visit China in the near future, reading this article will be a good start.

Continue reading Fast guide through China and Chinese culture for first-time travelers

Air China Premium Economy review

air china premium economy

Long-haul flight in the Economy class is a kinda hard experience, especially when you travel like that very often. Therefore the majority of airlines offered the upgrade of Economy class called Premium Economy class. Air China is also offering this class and recently I had a chance to test it for the very first time. Is it a good deal to pay for it? In this article, I will share with you my experience from the flight Frankfurt-Beijing in Air China Premium Economy.  Continue reading Air China Premium Economy review

How to tip around the world – the ultimate guide

how to tip

To tip or not to tip? This is the question… This is tricky because unfortunately there is no main rule which you can apply all over the world. In some countries you will find a tip on your bill by default, in others, it’s up to you if you want to tip or not and finally there are countries which you should not tip at all. That’s a real headache… I was lost in that. That’s why I’ve decided to write a guide on how to tip around the world. Continue reading How to tip around the world – the ultimate guide

Tom Stuker – the king of frequent flyers.

tom stuker article

Recently, I was wondering about the frequency of my business trips compared to other employees on similar positions as mine. A couple of minutes with Google search results focused my attention on Tom Stuker. A 64-year old ATN executive who travels a lot. Really a lot. If you remember a 2009 movie Up in the Air with George Clooney then you know who I’m talking about. The main character of the movie is based on Tom Stuker’s story. Continue reading Tom Stuker – the king of frequent flyers.

The difference between economy and premium economy – the ultimate comparison of long-haul travel classes.

difference between economy and premium economy

Recently I was trying to find some comprehensive data about different travel classes. I found what I was searching for on the Seatguru’s Airline Seat Comparison Charts. As I love numbers and data analysis, I took these figures to create some cool graphs to be able to show you what is the difference between economy and premium economy on long-haul flights. Continue reading The difference between economy and premium economy – the ultimate comparison of long-haul travel classes.

All you need to know on the health risks of flying

health risks of flying

The benefits of flying keep your mind at ease as you think of all the things you will be doing in the new location. You get to see exotic places, visit friends and relatives you haven’t seen for years and you get to rack up frequent flyer mileage. But there is a downside to flying, especially when you are on long-haul flights going from one continent or country to another. The health risks of flying are well-known but I think it’s worth to collect them all in one place to know what are we dealing with. Continue reading All you need to know on the health risks of flying