Admittedly, I love to travel, but I hate to fly. I’m a big guy and at 6’4″ I just don’t fit in airline seats unless I spring for first class. There are some things that I can bring along to make the whole experience more enjoyable though and they all make great gifts for people that fly a lot.
Whether it is a short hour flight in a puddle jumper to a 9-hour cross-country marathon, here are some things that I bring along to make the whole experience more bearable. Whether you are looking for a gift for a frequent flyer or just to make your next plane trip a bit better, these are my suggested take along items.
Cut Proof Laptop Bag
Admittedly this is still on my wish list. I have a cut-proof travel bag that I’ll carry if I’m out wandering around, but because I’m almost always carrying my laptop with me these days, I really need to upgrade to a cut-resistant laptop bag. If you are wondering what the difference is, cut resistant bags offer features like straps with metal mesh in them so someone can’t walk up, cut the strap, grab your bag off your shoulder and run (which they do).
Whichever bag you are looking at, make sure it will fit your laptop, has lots of pockets in front for things like airline tickets and your passport, and will fit under the seat in front of you.
Cell Phone Power Banks
Very few things are as frustrating as having your phone run out of power. We live and die by our phones. Without it we can’t call people and let them know we made it to our destination OK, call for an Uber, or even just listen to music as we wait for our connecting flight.
When it comes to backup power for a phone, I always suggest oversizing. Having too much power is never a problem, but too little and too slow is.
If you have 1-2 items that may need charging, I’d go with at least 10,000mAh of power if you only take short trips. If you take long flights or have multiple units, I would go with one in the 20,000mAh range. Also, be sure to choose one with fast charging capabilities.
Lastly, go with a name brand. I’m sure some of the B-list cellphone battery pack makers are fine, but if you stick to known names like Anker and Belkin, you can’t go wrong. Don’t forget extra charging cords as well!
High-quality noise-canceling headphones
Headphones are a must when you are traveling. Whether you are listening to music or an audiobook (my favorite) or playing a game, having a way to hear it without annoying the people around you is essential.
My headphones of choice when I don’t want to hear anything are those with active noise canceling. Instead of just blocking noise, theses headphones actually use science to eliminate outside noise. It is like magic!
Once solely the domain of Bose, many other manufacturers now have their own versions. I prefer those that connect with Bluetooth because I hate cords. When shopping just be sure to look for ones with active noise canceling.
Travel Pillow and Blanket
I am, by far, not a germaphobe, but knowing that airline blankets and pillows don’t get cleaned as often as you might want them to be is a bit gross. On top of that, they are usually pretty ineffective.
This is why I always take my own travel pillow and blanket. They fold up nicely and take up very little space, and I usually just keep mine on the handle of my carry on bag. Airline seats are uncomfortable, and these make it just a little more bearable.
Compression Packing Cubes
There are weight restrictions on your checked luggage but only size ones on your carry on. So long as you can sling it into the overhead storage, you are all good. So why not maximize on that?
Honestly, if I can get away with it, I prefer not to check a bag. It is just one more headache. Using compression packing cubes, I can get a week’s worth of clothes in a carry-on size suitcase.
The brilliance here is that they keep everything organized, while at the same time making them take up half the space. When shopping for travel organizers, be sure to look for ones that offer compression. the difference being the extra zipper that lets you really squeeze things in.
These make great gifts for travelers as they likely have never thought of them and they are magic!
TSA Approved Travel Locks
The fact is that if the baggage handlers really want into your bags, they will get in. That doesn’t mean you have to make it easy for them. Basic travel locks for your soft-sided luggage mean they at least have to put in some work.
One tip I will give you is to always get the baggage locks that are flexible. The ones with solid locking pieces, at least in my experience, take a lot of abuse.
Silicone Travel Bottles
While silicone travel bottles aren’t likely to make your traveling to somewhere better, they do save you the drama of opening up your bag to find a mess because something leaked. People forget even in a pressurized cabin, there is a pressure change and this can mean your toiletries will leak.
The solution is TSA approved silicone travel containers. These deal with pressure changes and will get you through those annoying checkpoints.
There you have my suggestions for gifts for people that fly a lot. Flying is rarely fun, again unless you go first class, but these items will make most trips a little more bearable.