Whether you’re thinking of your own wish list or looking for gifts for others, picking up some gear to make traveling easier and more fun are sure to be appreciated. Follow along for options from $10 that are useful for traveling near or far.
Traveling can be challenging in a variety of ways, especially during the holidays. In this gift guide we’ve rounded up some of the best gear and accessories to help you get through security smoothly, stay organized, and keep your devices protected and charged up.
Anker offers amazing value and its products are highly rated. The Candy Bar Power Bank packs a 6700 mAh capacity in a compact size. It even charges at 2A for faster power delivery. At just $13, this makes an awesome stocking stuffer.
If even more power and flexibility sound good, the PowerCore+ 20100 with USB C can charge up to 3 devices at 2.4A simultaneously. The USB C port supports both power input and output and can even fully charge a MacBook once. It’s a great value at $66. There’s also a version without the USB C for $42.
Anker Candy Bar Power Bank – $13
Anker PowerCore 10000 – $26
PowerCore 20100 – $42
PowerCore+ 20100 USB C – $66
If you like to travel as light as possible, there are some good compact, MFi Apple Watch/iPhone chargers available. UGreen offers a 2200 mAh option with a USB port to charge your iPhone (our review) for $50, but a better value is its new model (look out for out full review soon) with 4400 mAh capacity and built-in Lightning cable for $55 (after $5 instant coupon).
Oittm’s MFi Portable power bank also offers Apple Watch + iPhone charging convenience with a 5000 mAh capacity. It’s also a good value at $54, but doesn’t have a built-in Lightning cable.
UGreen Portable Wireless Charger for Apple Watch w/ Lightning cable – $55
Oittm Portable Charger for Apple Watch – $54
It’s always good to have an extra Lightning cable or two, and Anker’s MFi certified cables are a no brainer at $9.
There are some generic brand charging cases available for iPhone 8 and X, but nothing from more reliable companies like Mophie yet. With the low-cost and flexibility of great stand alone power banks, they seem like the way to go.
With all the devices, cables, dongles, and other accessories you probably have, it can take some work to stay organized when you’re on the go. Here are some affordable ways to keep things more manageable.
Cocoon’s GRID-IT is a great simple way to keep all your gear in check. GRID-IT is available in a variety of sizes and colors to fit most any bag or setup. Some even offer a laptop or tablet sleeve on the back.
Cocoon GRID-IT from $10
For an option with more protection, a universal electronics case from BUBM might be a good fit. You’ll find a variety of colors and sizes, and some are even waterproof.
BUBM Universal Electronics Cases from $6
Bento Stack is a unique option to keep organized and was designed with Apple accessories specifically in mind. It’s a hard shell style case that keep items contained inspired by bento boxes. It’s a bit pricier starting at $38 on Indiegogo, and also may not arrive in time for Christmas, but deliveries are expected this month.
Bento Stack from $38
Bags and luggage
A good bag or suitcase to keep your devices protected and make it easy to breeze through security is really helpful. Here are some top picks.
I’ve been a Timbuk2 user and big fan for over a decade. The bags are excellently made in San Francisco and have a lifetime warranty.
You can create your own custom backpack or messenger bag to perfectly fit your needs and taste, but the Timbuk2 Command Laptop Backpack and Timbuk2 Command Laptop Messenger are both great off the shelf choices.
Build a custom Timbuk2 bag from $109
Timbuk2 Command Laptop Backpack from $88
Timbuk2 Command Laptop Messenger from $90
If you’re a fan of carrying on your luggage, the Nomatic Travel Bag is a sharp option. It sports features like TSA approved laptop and tablet pockets that allow you to leave your devices in the bag when going through security, an RFID protected pocket, and lots of storage for accessories.
Other features include a separate shoe pocket, a laundry bag, and detachable waist straps. The bag is also waterproof and seamlessly converts between backpack and duffel bag.
Nomatic Travel Bag – $220
There are a several companies making ‘smart’ luggage. A couple of the most popular are Bluesmart’s ONE and The Carry-On by Away. While Bluesmart includes the most features of almost any smart luggage with 3G+GPS tracking, software operated locks, and a power bank, its luggage doesn’t feature removable batteries, which major airlines will start requiring next year.
The Carry-On and The Bigger Carry-On from Away don’t feature as much tech as Bluesmart, but they do have USB ports to stay charged, a removable battery, a built-in TSA approved lock, and an unbreakable design with a lifetime guarantee.
The Carry-On – $225
The Bigger Carry-On – $245
When it comes to keeping your devices protected, it seems like the options are endless. Here are a few top picks for iPhone.
Lastly, JimmyCase offers a unique approach with hardwood backed iPhone cases with a durable elastic back for storing cards and cash.
Silk Wallet for iPhone X – $15
Silk Wallet for iPhone 7/8 – $15
Mujjo wallet cases for iPhone X – $50
Mujjo wallet cases for other iPhones from $24
JimmyCase for iPhone from $40
As for protecting your MacBook or iPad, there’s no harm in adding an extra layer of protection with a sleeve or case even if your bag or briefcase offers up some defense.
In the moderate price range, Incase offers up solid products to protect your devices that include a little more attention to aesthetics.
For more premium sleeves and cases, Mission Leather Co. makes some sharp options for MacBook and iPad ranging from $70 and up.
AmazonBasics Felt Laptop Sleeve from $10
AmazonBasics Laptop/Tablet Sleeve from $6
Incase sleeves/cases from $50
Mission Leather Co. sleeves/cases from $70
Other handy items that can make great stocking stuffers or nice small gifts include the iOttie OneTouch 2 or iOttie Air Vent to keep iPhone useful for navigation. Anker also has a good magnetic mount option.
If you don’t have or don’t want to spend the money on noise cancelling headphones, I enjoy using EarBuddyz or Earhoox when flying to give a noise isolation boost in addition to a snug fit with EarPods and AirPods.
Finally, if you live in a cold climate, or are visiting one, Mujjo’s Touch Screen Gloves make a great gift (full review coming soon). They come in both knit and leather options starting at $30.