Been on the road for business a lot this year? Then you deserve some serious pampering — in the form of holiday presents. Whether you’ll be dropping some not-so-subtle hints to loved ones about which gifts you hope to unwrap or are planning to treat yourself to some goodies, below are a few travel-related accessories that can help make your business journeys in 2019 a smoother experience.
In addition, American Express Global Business Travel’s Chief Information Technology Officer David Thompson, who’s very knowledgeable about travel and tech trends, has put together his own specially curated list of gifts for business travelers, which you can check out here.
Can’t hear me now? Good
If you are looking to invest in a pair of high-quality noise-cancelling headphones, Thompson recommends Bose QuiteComfort 35 II, now with built-in access to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
But if what you need is simply a noise-eliminating feature to help send you off to dreamland on an overnight flight or in a noisy hotel room, you might try Bose’s Noise-Masking Sleepbuds ($249.99) instead.
Note: These tiny, snug-fitting silicon earbuds do not play music. Instead, they deliver soothing “sleep” tracks designed to block ambient noise from reaching your eardrums so that the only sound that may stir you from your slumber is the alarm you can set in the accompanying app.
Fanny pack’s sophisticated cousin
Chanel is making them. So are Henri, Hermes and Louis. The fanny pack that was in vogue in the ‘90s is back in style, but its modern-day iteration has a cooler name (“belt bag”) and appearance, too.
Coming in all shapes, sizes and colors, they have become a fashion accessory first and foremost. But they also are super practical for traveling since they can be used to stow your phone, wallet, passport and lipstick, all while freeing up your hands and taking the weight off your shoulder.
To discourage thieves from sizing you up as their next target, we suggest not going with a Gucci or Prada, but also avoid any styles that scream “tourist.” For a gorgeous belt bag that’s priced at the mid-range point, check out Cuyana’s mini circle bag, which retails for $140.
Look, no hands!
You know what other travel gear is making a comeback? Backpacks. But don’t worry. We’re not talking about the clunky, multicolored kind you used to lug your books during your middle school days. “Business backpacks” are sleek-looking and are much easier to maneuver around with in a crowded airport than a rolling briefcase.
We especially love the one from Nomatic for its minimalist design and maximum functionality. The travel pack version, which sells for $239.99, has everything you need for your journeys — a mesh divider to stow clothing, a separate shoe compartment and a TSA-ready laptop/tablet storage that makes pulling out your device at security checkpoints a cinch. It also features a radio-frequency identification pocket to protect your passport as well as a magnetic water bottle holder. Speaking of which…
Combination water bottle/massage roller
Yes, there is such a thing and it’s an ingenious invention for travel. Available from UncommonGoods for $35, the Foam Roller Water Bottle can help you stay hydrated on the go without any guilt that you’re adding to the planet’s plastic problem.
The double-walled stainless steel vessel keeps 25 ounces cool for up to 24 hours. But the best part about it is its textured, high-density foam sleeve that transforms the bottle into a portable massage roller, so you can loosen and alleviate stiff muscles from a long flight anywhere you go.
Easy access to your favorite shows
Just because you’re on the road again doesn’t mean you must miss the series you began bingeing over the weekend. With the Amazon Fire TV Stick ($39.99), you can access all your favorite shows using your accounts from Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, etc. All you need to do is plug it in to the hotel TV’s HDMI port, connect to the Wi-Fi and, voila — you have access to tens of thousands of movies and TV shows (depending on your subscriptions, of course). And because the remote is voice-enabled, all you have to do is press the voice button, say, “Play ‘Game of Thrones,’” and it will pick up right where you left off.
As an added bonus: You can install a virtual private network on the Fire TV Stick so no spying hackers will see the guilty pleasure you’re streaming.
Save thy skin
It’s one thing to be physically exhausted — and quite another when your skin looks haggard too.
Enter Air Repair skincare products, specifically designed with one mission: to combat the effects of flight fatigue and other environmental factors (like dry cabin air) that can deteriorate your skin. If you want to give this paraben-free line a test spin first, we recommend the Complexion-Boosting Moisturizer, a moisture-retaining facial cream that comes fully loaded with humectants and antioxidants.
It costs $20.99, but for 30 bucks more, you may as well go all in and get Air Repair’s Grab & Glow Essentials for Travel and Beyond, a five-piece kit that promises to quench, hydrate and soothe thirsty skin. And because each bottle is under three ounces, you should have no problem getting the set through airport security!
For more gift ideas that will make life on the road easier, check out our Atlas article on travel-related subscription services.