Being a travel journalist, I live out of a suitcase. Not in the anecdotal sense. I both love and hate that, but really, really good luggage has a huge hand in tipping the scale. The suitcase itself, well, it’s got to be excellent. I’m talking outside pockets to quickly stash liquid bags after security, charging ports built into the case itself, and wheels that actually wheel. Items worthy of a coveted spot on the packing list are distinctly above average. Life on the move has its inevitable snags, but investing in the right gear makes...

Being a travel journalist, I live out of a suitcase. Not in the anecdotal sense. I both love and hate that, but really, really good luggage has a huge hand in tipping the scale. The suitcase itself, well, it’s got to be excellent. I’m talking outside pockets to quickly stash liquid bags after security, charging ports built into the case itself, and wheels that actually wheel. Items worthy of a coveted spot on the packing list are distinctly above average. Life on the move has its inevitable snags, but investing in the right gear makes them a lot less painful. Say it with me: portable charger.

Here are the things that inspire me to pack my suitcase in the first place, and the things I’m never without when I set off. They’ll make travel that little bit simpler for the wanderers, the adventurers, and the generally disorganized. If, like me, you’re a hearty combination of all three, Godspeed. And buy the charger.

Tropicfeel Hive Backpack

christmas gift ideas traveler

Certain unnamed airlines have become very strict on the size and dimensions of carry-on baggage. You’re less likely to get stopped with a backpack than you are with a suitcase, so it’s a good excuse to try this compartmentalized, super-smart backpack. They’re fully adaptable. I have a wardrobe in mine that I remove and hang up on arrival. You’ll never look back.

Anker 511 Superfast Charger

This tiny, rather cute little brick saves my life on a daily basis. It’s about the same size as the 5-watt Apple charger, but boasts four times the maximum output. Stash it in your pocket wherever you go. Juuust in case.

Marshall Willen Mini Speaker

christmas gift ideas traveler

Small, but mighty. And oh so stylish. I like the heavy Marshall sound and design, and the fact it’s dust-proof and water-resistant (top of its class with its IP67 rating). A very decent 15+ hours of listening on a single charge, too.

DirtyKit Anitbacterial Bag

Such a simple thing that makes such a big difference. If you like to get out for a run when you’re traveling, or actually use fancy hotel gyms (I commend you), you’ll be used to lugging around used clothes. This antibacterial bag tackles odors and does away with single-use plastic. One of my prized possessions.

Assouline Travel Books

christmas gift ideas traveler

Travel from the comfort of your couch with Assouline’s considered collection of achingly beautiful coffee table books. Photographs and musings from cinematic spots across the world are encased in bright hardback covers — from Comporta to St. Moritz via Capri and Ibiza. Why not start somebody’s collection?

Foldable laptop stand

Traveling with work: good. Back and neck strain from working in random places: bad.

This foldable, ergonomic laptop stand comes with me to every café and co-working spot. It helps transform my posture from that of a banana to something vaguely resembling a homo sapien.

CHAMP Portable Charger

christmas gift ideas traveler

This thing. This thing! I don’t remember life without it. It’s able to charge two devices at once (one via USB-C, one via USB-A), is super light (182g) and comes in at around the same size as a pack of cigarettes. Compatible with iPhones, iPads, Android devices and more. Just brilliant.

CALPAK Packing Cubes

You’ll wonder how you ever packed without these, once you start using them. Separates everything out and saves unpacking absolutely everything, when in search for that one little item (that’s always at the bottom of the case. without. fail).

AWAY Carry-On

christmas gift ideas traveler

Sized to fit in the overheard bin of most major airlines, this bag is, as they say where I’m from, the nuts. Its 360° spinner wheels make gliding through airports a dreamy experience, while the interior compression system helps squeeze in those items you’re desperate to bring (but almost definitely won’t use). It’s got a combination lock, too. Happy days.