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1. An extremely comfy Trtl neck pillow to prop their head up and prevent them from awkwardly dozing off on their flight neighbor's shoulder. 😬 Plus, it'll double as a scarf (planes are COLD), and it's much sleeker-looking than those puffy U-shaped pillows.
It also easily attaches to backpacks and luggage handles, weighs less than half a pound, and is machine washable!
Promising review: "I can't stop recommending this pillow to all of my friends! It has let me comfortably sleep on flights that take place on the most uncomfortable airplane seats. On long flights, I always need to prop up my hand and I rest my head on it. But this method always ends with my arm falling asleep and I end up waking up every 30 minutes. Now this pillow provides that exact same support without needing my arms to prop me up! It's small enough to fit in your bag and doesn't take up much space." —Simona Krifman
Get it from Amazon for $49.99 (available in four colors) — don't forget to apply the coupon to save 10%!
2. An affordable, TikTok-famous pair of wireless Bluetooth earbuds reviewers say are legit AirPod dupes (they have 200,000+ 5-star ratings!). With these, they can unwind with some soothing tunes and podcasts after chaotic airport experiences while being spared from the sound of their seat mate alternating between snoring and pretzel chomping.
Not only will they provide literal hours of cord-free listening time, they're also waterproof! A single charge provides over 10 hours of usage, and the rechargeable case can have them fully juiced up in under two hours.
Promising review: "Best decision! These are the greatest headphones ever! I saw them on TikTok months ago and added them to my wishlist. I got a new phone that doesn't have the headphone port so I decided it was time to finally buy them. They are amazing and I probably won't ever take them out of my ears! 😂" —Katlyn D Arnold
Get it from Amazon for $22.99+ (available in five colors) — don't forget to apply the coupon to save 20%!
3. A lipstick-sized cordless portable charger, which will reeeally come in handy when their phone's at 19% battery and the plane hasn't even taken off yet. Plus, it'll give them extra juice while they're exploring, and it's *so* much sleeker than those bulky block chargers.
I'd had my eye on this bad boy for a while, and finally ordered it to take on a two-week trip to Europe. Let me tell you: LIFESAVER. I'm the type of person who loves to spend hours and hours exploring new cities, but with the amount of photos and videos I take, my phone's battery tends to drain really quickly (relying on Google Maps to get literally everywhere doesn't help, either). With this, I knew I'd have some backup when there weren't any outlets nearby, and it was *so* nice not having to connect my phone to a clunky charging bank via cord. 100% recommend!
Promising review: "The holy grail of portable chargers!!! I was traveling to Disney for vacation and knowing me, I would drain my battery with just taking pictures alone. I wanted a portable battery but didn’t want a carry a cord either, so I was excited when I found this little baby! It does exactly as described, pretty pink color, and I get one full charge of battery for my iPhone 11. Get it, you will not be disappointed!" —Meghan Doble
Get it from Amazon for $29.99+ (available in six colors) — don't forget to apply the coupon to save 15%!
4. A Hydro Flask tumbler for keeping their hot bevs hot and their cold bevs cold when they take 'em on the go.
Promising review: "I went on a 3,600-mile solo motorcycle trip in late August from LA to Denver, 120-degree heat. Filled the flask up with ice and water. Every two hours I'd stop and soak my neck cooling scarf with ice cold water and pour some on my head and back. Keep on riding. The ice stayed frozen for hours, if not the whole day. Very easy to fill with ice and water. Pretty sure it will be great to bring a bunch of hot tea in on winter days. My other Hydro Flask keeps coffee boiling hot all day." —Yury Sakovich
Get it from Amazon for $24.99+ (available in four sizes and 17 colors).
5. An ingenious luggage-mounted cup caddy that'll free up their hands so they can hold their phone, boarding pass, passport — you know, the ~essentials~ (not that their XL iced mocha isn't an essential, but, you know...).
Reviewers say it's ideal for a suitcase that can roll on four wheels! If they have a suitcase that has to tilt while it rolls, they'll just have to be careful if the drinks are open at the top.
Promising review: "This cup holder is perfect! It helps me a lot! Last time I took a plane with a suitcase and a cup of coffee, I dropped and spilled my drink everywhere when it was my turn to check my passport and ticket. It was a nightmare! This time, I bought this cup holder to do me a favor! I don't have to worry about where my cup and phone are! I can free my hands to do other things. I love it so much! Hope you love it too." —Philip
Get it from Amazon for $15.99+ (available in 30 styles) — don't forget to apply the coupon to save 10%!
6. A memory foam seat cushion, because if they have to endure roadtrip traffic, their bum should at least be nice and comfy in the car. With this, their booty will stay supported, and the cool gel layer on top keeps things from getting too sweaty.
Promising review: "A few weeks into working from home five days a week I started having a lot of hip/leg/back pain. I have a good Herman Miller task chair that had been fine for one to two days of WFH a week, but wasn't working for me full time. In the early afternoons my lower back would start cramping. I did some research and bought this pillow and it immediately helped! I also took it on a two-week road trip since a three day road trip earlier this year had made a mess of my lower body that lingered for weeks — and no pain! What really drove me to write this review was that yesterday, unknowingly, I worked all day sitting on my chair without my cushion. I had removed it to use as a spare chair at my dinner table and forgot to put it back. At the end of the day hip was aching and I realized why! Today it's back on my chair and I'm already feeling better." —Lorene
Get it from Amazon for $47.95+ (available in three colors) — don't forget to apply the coupon to save 10%!
7. A luxe-looking passport and vaccination card holder so they'll never hold up an airport check-in line while frantically searching through their pockets and going, "I know it's here somewhere!" ever again.
I bought one of these as a gift for my dad last year, and he loved it — plus, it arrived less than a week after I ordered it!
It's made by Henney's Boutique, a small biz based in LA specializing in handy leather goods.
Promising review: "I love this! I bought one for myself, then one for my husband, then I've been sending the link to everyone who asks me where I got it... They're the best for keeping both your passport and your vaccine card safe for travel." —Paige Devlin
Shipping info: All domestic orders are shipped within 24 hours of payment for free using USPS first-class mail. Expedited shipping is available at checkout for an additional cost. Orders are typically delivered within 3–5 business days.
8. A highly rated fanny pack that can also be worn as a crossbody bag for convenient hands-free schlepping. It's surprisingly spacious and comes with a hidden back pocket to keep valuables safely tucked away.
Promising review: "Very happy with my purchase. Got this for my trip to Colombia. I was looking at more expensive fanny packs but settled on this for the reviews. It’s very well-made for the price. It withstood many hikes to waterfalls, horseback riding, and city tours among others. I wore it as shown in the picture and love the fact that there’s a pocket that’s hidden that sits on my chest at all times where I kept my passport, extra cash, and travel documents. I was able to fit my camera, iPhone, earbuds, shades, charger, and a couple of other knickknacks without a problem. Wasn’t a fanny pack guy before now but I’m a believer LOL." —IWG MD
Get it from Amazon for $14.77+ (available in two sizes and 24 styles).
9. A portable white noise machine, because if they've ever tried getting a good night's sleep while their hotel neighbors were throwing a rager, they probably wished they'd had one of these.
It features 20 nonlooping sleep sounds, 32 volume levels, and a timer — plus, it weighs less than half a pound!
Promising review: "Wonderful sound machine. Compact enough for travel. We took ours on vacation and are so glad we did. This drowns out hotel noises perfectly! I like how small it is when on my dresser at home, too. So thankful for the nonlooping sound. Would recommend over and over again." —Hill.jess
Get it from Amazon for $21.99 — don't forget to apply the coupon to save $3!
10. A classic pair of ultra-comfy Allbirds sneakers they can wear on the walking tour they signed up for without realizing it was six hours long. 😬 The flexible design means the shoes will move with them, and on hot days, they'll appreciate the breathable eucalyptus-fiber material.
P.S. They can be tossed in the washing machine when they start to get smelly, and they're made with renewable materials! ♻️
Promising review: "Just spent a week in Paris and these were the most comfortable shoes for hours of sightseeing and trekking around the city every day! My feet were happy, and they looked so cute with jeans and casual skirts, and were easy to keep clean, too. My new favorite shoes!" —Jessica G.
Shipping info: Orders placed using standard shipping typically arrive in 6–8 business days after placing the order. 2- and 3-business day expedited shipping options are available for an additional cost. Orders are only shipped and delivered on business days, and only expedited orders placed before 12:30 p.m. Eastern on a business day will ship that same day (see Allbirds' full shipping info here).
Get it from Allbirds for $94+ (available in women's sizes 5–11 and seven styles).
11. An in-flight phone mount that'll turn their phone into a movie screen in case whatever airline they're flying doesn't have any good viewing options (if they even offer them at all!). It attaches to the top of their seat-back tray so they'll be able to download their favorite films and TV shows before takeoff and watch them midair.
Promising review: "I bought this nifty gadget about six months ago for a multi-leg, ultra-long-haul trip and it more than held up the entire duration. I was able to finagle it to fit the tray tables on different planes, and like others, I find the height just nice when clamped onto a stowed tray table. It also works on my roller carry-on handle during layovers. However, I find myself using it a lot outside of travel too! Work-wise, I've clamped it onto my office desk shelving to hold my phone at eye level beside my computer. At home, I simply clamped it to a deck of cards and it turns into a versatile stand that I can place on any flat surface. Heck, I've been using it to hold my phone comfortably at eye level while watching videos in bed. It's extremely well-built, and I find myself fidgeting with it all the time. Thus far it still feels solid and I don't anticipate breaking it any time soon. Even if it does break, I'll be happy to buy another one or two of it!" —Earendil
Get it from Amazon for $12.97 (available in three colors).
12. A refined leather electronics organizer for neatly storing their cables all in one place, no jumbled web of cords in sight. It comes with nine slots for USB cables, headphones, power adaptors, and any other accessories they might need, and folds up nice and compact.
Plus, you can have it personalized with their initials!
Mr. Crafter is a small biz that specializes in personalized leather travel and tech accessories.
Promising review: "Absolutely beautiful! The custom lettering came out perfectly and it can easily hold two battery packs and all the cords we could ever need for traveling with cellphones, iPads and our Switch. So pleased with the craftsmanship! Wonderful purchase. <3" —Sarah Kavaljian
Shipping info: Orders are shipped within 1 business day using USPS first class shipment. Delivery time is generally 1–4 business days after placing your order. Customized orders can ship the same day as long as the order is placed before 2 p.m. Eastern.
13. A six-port USB charging station, which is a game-changer when they're at the airport and need to charge their phone, and tablet, and their kid's tablet, and their S.O.'s tablet...and there's only one place to plug in. Oh, and if they get to their hotel and realize the room is short on outlets, this bb has them covered.
Promising review: "This is a great product! I travel frequently, and I am always challenged with the number of USB ports I can get with the number of outlets available (and where) in hotel rooms. With this product, the number of ports problem goes away, and what's great is that it extends the charger interface out from behind a bed or nightstand, or other inconvenient receptacle location, up onto a work surface for easy access. As far as power, I have had an Asus transformer, two iPads, HTC One M8, and two iPhones connected to it at the same time, charging for hours with no heat on the device whatsoever. It works great at home too. I have always had good luck with Anker products, good quality." —bishop
Get it from Amazon for $24.99+ (available in black or white).
14. A GORGEOUS set of Cadence containers for storing their pills, bath products, and any other small odds and ends. With these, they can rest assured they won't get any TSA side-eye for having large containers, and the ~genius~ magnetic design means they can cluster them together rather than rummaging through their bag until they find the one they're looking for.
Cadence is an AAPI woman-owned small business that was founded by Steph Hon with the goal of eliminating single-use travel-sized plastics. The containers are made from recycled ocean-bound plastic.
BuzzFeed Shopping's Abby Kass is a fan: "I recently got a set of four of these, and, wow, I love them so much. I used them on a six-day trip recently, and they were perfect. I customized the label so I knew which one was my shampoo vs. conditioner and did a general label for any other things I wanted to bring along. They do hold a surprising amount. According to the brand, they hold approximately one to two weeks of skincare products, more than two weeks' worth of serum, two to three days' worth of haircare, and more than 15 tablets (for medicine and such). And while two to three days worth of haircare might not seem like enough, I found it held more than that for me, but I also don't wash my hair every single day. They were small enough to slip right into my toiletries bag and go through TSA with no problem. The container was easy to open in the shower (even with wet hands), and I had no leakage from them (like I did from my face wash bottle that will not be making the trip with me next time. SMH). These are an incredibly useful tool anyone who travels will want in their luggage."
Shipping info: To guarantee delivery by Christmas, Cadence recommends placing your order by 12 p.m. Eastern on Dec. 21 for overnight shipping (1–2 business days). See Cadence's full shipping info here.
Get a set of six from Cadence for $76 (originally $84; available in many customizable labels and seven colors).
15. A universal travel adapter, because is there anything worse than flying overseas, arriving at their hotel, and realizing they have no way of plugging their electronics into the outlets? Nope! This comes with four international adapters so they'll never find themselves in that situation again.
There are also two USB ports!
While the listing says this adapter can't be used in South Africa, India, Switzerland, and Italy, I just used this on my trip to Italy (spanning five different hotels!) and had zero issues — in fact, it was a complete godsend. Maybe they've updated the design, as I've seen some other reviewers who visited these countries say it worked for them, too. I'm not a tech-guru by any means, but I was able to get it working the very first time I tried it, and luckily for my husband, who did not think to bring an adapter, we were able to charge both his phone and mine every night using the USB ports. Just know that it's primarily meant for charging small devices and not for powering up things like hair dryers and straighteners. I got it in black and it's super sleek-looking, too!
Promising review: "I recently used this device in India and in Paris and it WORKED GREAT! I have owned similar devices and they didn't last long, broke easily. This adapter is well-built and I am delighted with it." —Jim O.
Get it from Amazon for $14.99 (available in black or white).
16. A digital luggage scale they should definitely have on hand if they've ever been accused of ~overpacking~ since it'll let them know just how much they can cram into their luggage without it resulting in some — surprise! — hefty over-capacity fees. More room for souvenirs!
They just hook the scale to their luggage handle, lift up, and the LCD display will show the weight! They can also switch between pound and kilogram measurements.
Promising review: "Took this for a 10-day trip overseas with lots of flights. Weighed the luggage as things were added to it/purchased, and when we weighed in at the airport it was perfectly accurate. Very important when the airline will charge $70 more dollars for a suitcase that is too heavy or make you open the whole thing up and take stuff out in order to fly with it. Saved so much hassle." —B. M. O'Connor
Get it from Amazon for $10.99 (available in six colors, as well as a two-pack).
17. A portable espresso maker, because you know how they get when they're not properly caffeinated! It's perfect for bringing on outdoor trips, or even enjoying in their hotel when they just *can't* with that questionable in-room coffee.
They just fill it with ground coffee and hot water, pump, and pour!
Promising review: "This works so well for camping for a quick coffee craving! Took this camping over the weekend and used it a few times at the office. Depending on the grinds you use, it's good for a light single espresso shot or if you reuse the same grinds and purge three capfuls of water through the filter, you'll get a full cup of coffee. Works great without lugging a glass press around in your backpacking or camp gear! Easy to clean and store away with the retractable priming handle." —SocKeTPupPet
Get it from Amazon for $54.90.