Editor’s note: This post has been updated with more recent information.
Each year, we curate some of our top gift picks, giving you the perfect guide for the jet setters and road warriors on your list.
Without further ado, here are TPG’s 2022 holiday gift picks:
If there’s one must-have travel item this holiday season, it’s an Apple AirTag.
These coin-size item trackers are a lifesaver for those who travel with checked luggage, especially as delayed and misplaced baggage continues to be a global travel issue. Just pop one into each of your bags — I’d recommend adding one to your keychain and backpack, too — and you’ll be able to track your bags directly on your iOS device. That way, the next time an airline tells you that your bag is “lost,” you’ll hopefully have a much clearer picture of where it is.
If you want more than one, you can also take advantage of a sale on Amazon right now for a pack of four.
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Away The Insider Packing Cubes
Packing cubes can help you stay organized, maximize precious carry-on space and even help you steer clear of bed bugs when used strategically. If you’re looking for some of the most stylish yet practical cubes, look no further than Away’s offerings, which are made from water-resistant mesh nylon that both protects your clothes and lets you see what’s inside without fully unpacking. These would go great in the Away Carry-On bags, too, if you are in the market for a new piece of luggage.
Comrad Compression Socks
For years, I’d heard rave reviews from friends and colleagues about the benefits of wearing compression socks on long flights. I never really understood why until I put on my first pair earlier this year on the world’s longest flight. I landed after the 19-hour journey feeling considerably less fatigued and swollen. Since then, I’ve become a big fan of Comrad’s stylish socks that come in a handful of colors. I no longer leave home without them.
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Apple iPhone 14
Apple’s smartphone lineup got a big travel-focused upgrade with the introduction of the iPhone 14 family. Pro-level models have a new front-face design with the intuitive and informative Dynamic Island, while across-the-board travel upgrades include an Emergency SOS via Satellite feature, crash detection and better cameras.
Epicka Universal Travel Adapter
Finding the perfect travel adapter is no easy feat, especially when there are literally thousands to choose from. Recently, I’ve been a big fan of the Epicka Universal Travel Adapter. It works in more than 150 countries and includes four USB-A ports, as well as a fast-charging USB-C port, which will keep all your devices charged with just one single adapter.
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Holy Cow Canvas Push Pin Travel Map
Whether the jet setter in your life tracks countries, continents or states, Holy Cow Canvas has a push-pin travel map for them. These maps come in all different colors, styles and sizes, making them the perfect accessory for a living room, office or den. There are even some colorful kid-friendly maps available, too.
Buy: At Holy Cow Canvas.
Authorized credit card user
This one might be a nontraditional gift, but it’s sure to be a fan favorite for travelers.
Many of our top recommended credit cards include a whole host of perks that can be shared with authorized users. Perks like American Airlines Admirals Club access or a complimentary Priority Pass membership might come at little to no cost to you but can make a big difference in the travel life of a close friend or relative.
As guest access for those with The Platinum Card® from American Express will be restricted by Amex starting early next year, giving an authorized user card to your travel companion could be their ticket in.
Apple AirPods Pro
With an even better sound experience in a portable package, the second-generation AirPods Pro is especially great for travelers.
These wireless earbuds are also better than the entry-level AirPods, which don’t offer active noise cancellation — a must-have feature for those who want to zone out when in transit. Other improvements, such as precision finding, redesigned controls and a new adaptive transparency mode, combine to make the AirPods Pro Apple’s best travel-friendly earbuds yet.
Want to help a friend or family member fly better next year? Then consider gifting an ExpertFlyer membership.
This pro-level tool will help your loved one snag better seats, find rare award availability and be more informed about the air travel experience. It’s an online service I’ve been using for years, and I can’t recommend it enough. (Editor’s note: ExpertFlyer is owned by Red Ventures, which also owns The Points Guy.)
DJI Mini 3 Pro
While I’ve long been a fan of DJI’s drones, the new Mini 3 Pro has the broadest appeal, both for travelers and recreational users. Weighing under 249 grams (or less than 8.8 ounces), it’s pretty portable. Because the device is just shy of the FAA’s 250-gram limit, you can fly it without prior registration.
This drone packs some serious pro-level chops into its small package: a 48 MP photo capability, 4K video, 34 minutes of flight time and up to a 12-kilometer (nearly an 8-mile) range for video transmission. It’s a small but mighty drone.
Vuori Performance Jogger
I asked my wife for her top travel-themed holiday gift recommendation, and Vuori’s Performance Jogger rose to the top of her list. I then asked my editor the same question, and she had the exact same response. “Once someone tries these pants, they will thank you and literally never fly long-haul in anything else,” were my editor’s exact words.
The joggers are available for both men and women in a variety of colors, so if there’s a frequent flyer in your life, here’s an easy way to make them more comfortable on their next journey.
Bose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth speaker
Bluetooth speakers are a great travel accessory for those who like to stream their audio and video wherever they go. Bose’s latest SoundLink Flex Bluetooth speaker maximizes portability and sound quality while still offering around 12 hours of battery life. Plus, the speaker’s durability — it’s dustproof and waterproof — makes it a great choice for all travelers.
Buy: At Bost for $149.
Samsonite Stryde 111 Carry-On Spinner
Finding the perfect carry-on bag isn’t easy, but we recently compiled our favorites in a handy guide. Topping the list is this Samsonite bag, which features 360-degree spinner wheels, a curved polycarbonate design, built-in USB charging ports and a TSA-approved keyless lock. Several other innovations, like a LED light to illuminate the bag at night, help make this rollaboard our top pick.
Apple M2 MacBook Air
Including a laptop on a holiday gift guide may be a head-scratcher for some, but hear me out. Apple’s latest M2 MacBook Air is one of, if not the, best travel laptops on the market. Introduced earlier this year, the computer’s new thin-and-light design, coupled with some impressive performance upgrades and all-day battery life, make it a joy for travelers. As work-from-anywhere becomes more ubiquitous, the full-size keyboard and trackpad will make it even easier to stay connected to your job.
Lonely Planet’s ‘Where to Go When’
Know someone who is seeking some inspiration on where to travel in the new year? Then look no further than the second edition of Lonely Planet’s popular “Where to Go When” guidebook. This title is the ultimate trip planner for every month of the year, and it packs some great recommendations that are sure to impress. (Editor’s note: Lonely Planet is owned by Red Ventures, which also owns The Points Guy.)
GoPro Hero11 Black
GoPro’s popular action camera got a big boost this year with the introduction of the Hero11 Black. This model is perfect for the era of social media thanks to the new — and much improved — image sensor. The larger size means a single shot can be shared on any platform of your choice, regardless of whether you’re looking for a horizontal or vertical crop. Other improvements include a better battery and more powerful stabilization.
Aeris Memory Foam Travel Pillow
Sometimes, simple is better. That’s why we’re recommending the Aeris Memory Foam Travel Pillow this year. It topped our ranking of the best travel pillows for good reason: It’s a basic, comfortable neck pillow that gets the job done. With supportive memory foam, it should help make a long flight a little more comfortable.
This past year was full of airline and airport meltdowns. The road warrior in your life can avoid most of the mess by becoming a Clear member. With priority security locations at more than 40 airports, this gift will save your loved one countless hours over the course of the year. Better yet, the membership fee may even be rebated if you’re using the right credit card.
Buy: At Clear.
Junior Frequent Flyer logbook
If you are shopping for kids who are budding aviation enthusiasts, you may want to get them started with their first flight logbook. In it, they can record 20 flights, with details such as aircraft type and flight time.
Supergoop SPF Bestsellers Starter Kit
It’s never too early to prepare for long summer days at the beach. I first discovered Supergoop sunscreen in a JetBlue Mint amenity kit, and I’ve been hooked ever since. The sunscreen comes in a few different finishes — the Unseen Sunscreen is my personal favorite. This bestsellers kit is perfect for travel since each tube is less than 3.4 ounces.
Aesop Departure travel kit
Some people go out of their way to book specific hotels because of their in-room toiletries. I haven’t done that personally, but if there’s a brand that’s worth going out of my way for, it’s Aesop. While you could splurge for a stay at the Waldorf Astoria to enjoy these toiletries, you could also treat the traveler in your life to the Aesop Departure kit, which includes a collection of travel-size classics from this famed brand.
Anker 535 Power Bank
We’ve all been there — your battery dies while you’re doing something important. I’ve long been a fan of Anker’s line of portable power banks, and I’ve recently been using the 535 Power Bank during my travels. With USB-C support, I can charge all my gadgets for hours on end when I’m away from an outlet.