This is part of the LA Times 2022 Gift Guide. See the complete guide here. If you make a purchase using any of our links, the LA Times may receive compensation.
Whether you’re a travel obsessive or not, you know what one sounds like.
This is someone who will enthusiastically tell you which mileage reward program to choose, when renovations are coming at LAX, where to sleep in San Diego, which pillow is best for a 14-hour flight, and how resort fees are the devil. own invention.
Of course, these friends would love gifts that fit these interests, but if you don’t speak the language, shopping can be tricky. Whether you’re a nomad or not, here’s some help.
Trtl Travel Pillow
Unlike U-shaped pillows, this one looks like a scarf or bandana and features internal support (an adjustable zip tie and Velcro strap) to keep your head supported while you nap. You will have to decide between leaning to the right or to the left. It’s thinner and lighter (5.2 ounces) than most travel pillows, and simply put, it doesn’t look that dumb. Once on board, “loop, wrap and nap” (Trtl’s catchphrase). Droolers, don’t worry, it’s machine washable.
$49.99 a trtl
Zendure SuperMini Portable Charger
This device, the Zendure SuperMini, is a 20W, 10,000mAh portable charger with USB-A and USB-C ports. (Comes with a USB-C-USB-C connector cable.) Fully charging in three hours, this creature can charge two devices at once or recharge via USB-C (which is faster than USB-A) while charging. another device via USB-A. (If you need a USB-C wall charger, it’s a separate purchase of about $20.) At 3.1 by 2.2 by 1 inches in size with curved corners, the SuperMini fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. It also comes in bold colors, including blue, silver, black, purple, mint green, and pink.
$59.99 a Zendure
Nidra Deep Rest Eye Mask
This goggle is worn lightly but blocks out all light, thanks to the deeply molded eye cup design that gives you room to blink. (Pay no attention to those loved ones who say you look like you’re wearing a bra on your head. They just envy the dream you’re about to fall asleep.) An adjustable Velcro strap ensures the perfect fit. Make sure it rides low on your nose to keep light out.
$21.95 a Nidra
All-in-1 Grip Wireless Charger
Unless you want to get directions from a half-asleep friend or family member mounting a shotgun in their car, this is a crucial device for the road trip. The charger (15 watts) mounts to the dash or, if you prefer, to the windshield or old CD player (hey, that thing’s still handy!). Instead of a cable connection, it has a pair of automatic arms that open and close to hold your phone comfortably in place, allowing you to safely look at directions while charging. Compatible with most Qi-enabled (wireless) devices. Fits phones up to 3.5 inches wide and 8 inches tall.
$25 a Grip
Bose QuietComfort II Headphones
It’s unsettling how well they work (and that was an unintentional pun). The process to link to your smartphone is multi-step but simple. The selection of headphone adapters (small, medium, large) gives you a comfortable fit and somehow the sound adapts to the shape of your ear. Also, these headphones are smaller and lighter than previous versions. In a room or patio with rival sounds, the magic of these things becomes clear: they seem to hide from the rest of the world, not perfectly but substantially. Whether my headphones were transmitting Beethoven or Chicha Libre, the voices on television, and my wife, were barely distinguishable. (It’s nice that there’s a silent mode and an “aware” mode.) And the way they recharge in their little box is great too.
$299 a Bose
AirTags make sense if you use an iPhone and worry about losing things. Attach one of these tags to your checked luggage, backpack, keys, or car, and you’ll be less likely to lose them. It’s two easy steps to link one to your iPhone. From a distance, the tags use Bluetooth technology and Apple’s Find My app to display the location and, if desired, to make a noise. (But the noise is quite low). Once you’re close to your item, if you have an iPhone 11 or newer, Apple’s Precision Search is designed to guide you to closer locations. (Even if your loved one uses an older phone, in my experience the Find My app gets you as close as 20-30 feet to your target.) AirTags are 1.26 inches in diameter and weigh 11 grams (less than half an ounce). The battery is designed to last at least a year, and your iPhone will alert you when the battery is low.
$29 for one and $99 for four in Apple
GoPro Hero11 Black
Released in September, this latest GoPro camera shoots 5.3K video, captures 27-megapixel photos, works 33 feet underwater, has image stabilization, and can shoot 60 frames per second, in some circumstances 240 frames. Unlike early GoPros, it’s designed to work in tandem with your smartphone, so you can post footage right out of the box. It handles contrast light well and the lens coating repels droplets when shooting in and near water. Charge content on your phone wirelessly or via a USB-C cable. I wish GoPro wasn’t so determined to force us to buy subscriptions for ongoing services, but that’s the way the world is now. Buy for a video author? You might want to spare another $190 to $290 for the Hero11 Black Creator Edition, which comes with extras including a battery grip, directional microphone, and lighting.
$549.98 (either $399.98 if you accept the one-year subscription) in gopro
Riemot Luggage travel cup holder
Handy for anyone traveling with kids or requiring a constant drip of caffeine, this device slides over the retractable handle of your rolling luggage. That way you have a safe place to store a drink or two. A third pocket can hold your phone or passport.
$29.99 a Riemot
HydraPak Stash 1L Squeezable Water Bottle
This plastic container collapses to a quarter of its full size when empty, a huge plus if your packing situation is tight. The bottle, which holds 32 ounces, is BPA and PVC free, and using it means fewer disposable plastic bottles in the world.
$26 a HydraPak
The Nori Press Wrinkle Remover
Sometimes you want to look stylish on the go: crisp, wrinkle-free folds. Enter the Nori Press, a travel iron that looks like a set of giant salad tongs. I was skeptical, but with it, you can iron and remove wrinkles with steam, without the need for an ironing board. (You will still need a flat surface, though.)
$120 a Nori
Rick Steves Europe Gift Card
Travel expert Rick Steves, who has spent more than 50 summers on the continent, offers guides to dozens of European countries, along with maps and accessories (money belts, electrical converters and more). If you have a loved one organizing a trip, one of these gift cards can help them decide on a few details.
Note: Steves also sells tours and rail passes, but you can’t use these cards for those.
$10 to $500 a Rick Steves Europe
Petzl Tikka headlamp
Yes, almost all phones have a flashlight. But what if your loved ones need both hands free? Y some light on the subject? That can happen down the road. Also power outages. Marketed for campers, this headlamp (350 lumens) is part of the kit I take wherever I travel. Beach at night, a cozy cave, an incomplete latrine – I’m ready. It takes three AAA batteries (or a rechargeable battery, not included), has three brightness settings, and of course the headband is adjustable.
$34.95 a Petzl
Columbia Bora Bora II Booney Beanie
Officially, this is a Columbia Bora Bora II Booney hat. Unofficially, he’s my shadiest friend. This hat might just be the most versatile thing in my standard packing ensemble. I throw it in my backpack (it packs flat) and I know that if the sun hits, I’ll have relief. And if the wind picks up, the chin strap keeps you from going anywhere.
$30 a Columbia
Tushy Travel Portable Bidet
“Portable bidet” sounds fancier than “plastic container you squeeze to spray your butt,” doesn’t it? That is what it is. For your loved ones who take hygiene seriously, this super lightweight gadget is foldable and comes with a carry bag and carabiner clip for your backpack.
$34 a tushy
Briggs & Riley ZDX Domestic Expandable Carry-on Spinner
Zipped tight, this soft-sided suitcase has four wheels for gliding through airports, a clever system for compressing clothes, and a lifetime warranty – an offering that’s not common. It’s expensive, but if you’re buying a young adult their first serious suitcase, this could be the only carry-on they’ll need for the next 20 years.
Eagle Creek Pack-It Reveal Quick Trip Bag
This lightweight kit is thoughtfully designed: there are two interior compartments (good for keeping your toothbrush out of hair gel) and a mesh pocket for those little extras like a couple of Band-Aids and a pack of Advil. Made from recycled fabric, it’s also washable and waterproof.
$20 a eagle creek