When it comes to packing, the two most important things are organization and versatility. That way you can pack light but still be sure you have everything you need. Striking that balance isn’t easy, so the travel pros here at Windy City Travel put together a wish list of practical and thoughtful gifts for all the travel-lovers on your holiday shopping list.
Oversized Cashmere Wrap & Scarf
Planes are cold and uncomfortable in the best of circumstances. Add in long, overnight flight plans and this 100% cashmere scarf will become a favorite travel companion. The soft dip-dye wrap will keep you cozy as possible as you try to get some sleep and then doubles as a chic accessory once you arrive at your destination.
$215 at Bloomingdale’s
Rothy’s The Point Flats
The trick with travel is finding items that look and feel good. Rothy’s The Point flats have women covered on both fronts. They’re flats with a seamless knit design, so wearers can walk for hours in them without blisters or foot pain, but the elongated toe doesn’t cut corners on style either. Choose from 21 different colors and prints or pack a few pairs since they don’t take up much space. As a bonus, all Rothy’s shoes are made using recycled water bottles and they’re machine washable.
$145 at Rothy’s
Delsey Chatelet 21” Carry-On Luggage
This ultra-stylish carry-on from luggage brand Delsey doesn’t sacrifice form or function. Inspired by high-end travel trunks from the early 20th century, the hard-sided Chatelet suitcase is thoroughly modern. It has four 360-degree spinner wheels and a helpful locking feature that steadies the bag on uneven ground. Inside, there are separate compartments and bags for shoes and dirty clothes.
$520 on sale for $207.99 at Macy’s
RFID Passport Case & Wallet
Keep all your important travel docs in one easy-to-find place with a leather-bound passport case. Look for features like RFID technology to keep credit cards and other sensitive information secure. With a stylish design like this one from Fossil, it can even work as a clutch for dinners and evenings out.
$64 at Fossil
This is a category where you really do get what you pay for. There are noise-cancelling headphones available for less than $50, but they don’t even come close to the performance of higher-end models from Sony, Bose, or Sennheiser. For top-of-the-line audio quality and noise-cancelling technology Windy City Travel recommends Bose’s QuietComfort 35 II. The price tag is at the top of the market, but you get easy Bluetooth pairing, personalized settings, Alexa voice control, three levels of top-notch noise cancellation, and more, all in a sleek and comfortable over-the-ear design. You won’t want to take another flight without them. $349.95 at Bose
This Mark and Graham tote ticks all the boxes for a seasoned traveler. Its classic styling is polished and professional, which works for business travelers and pleasure-seekers alike. The lightweight design fits a laptop and all its accoutrements, and the smaller size is great as a large handbag. The nylon body and vegan leather trim are built to handle the rigors of travel.
$124.99+ at Mark and Graham
National Geographic 500 Journeys of a Lifetime Coffee Table Book
It’s probably not in the budget to gift actual vacations to everyone on your list, but you can spark some inspiration for their next trip. This beautiful coffee table was put together by National Geographic’s incredible staff of travel writers and photographers who have explored every corner of the globe to compile this list of epic journeys to places near and far.
$28 at National Geographic
Packing cubes might seem like a gimmick, but they’re one of the fastest-growing travel accessories out there. In nearly unanimous online reviews, users swear that packing cubes allow them to pack more in less space, plus packing into a tighter space helps reduce creases in clothes. Be sure to look for a set with lots of sizes and one made of nylon or another strong, but easy-to-clean material.
4-Piece Set $39.99 at eBags
Flight 001 5-in-1 Adapter
Travel experts agree a universal adapter is a must-have for international travel, and online reviewers really like this option from Flight 001. It’s lightweight and compact, plus the bright colors and cube fit make it easy to keep all the pieces together. The set includes all four major international plugs (US, UK, EU, and AU) and a piece with 2 USB ports. THe only downside is you cannot charge USB devices and AC devices simultaneously.
$35 at Amazon
File this with the universal adapter as practical, but a travel-must. Travelling puts an extra burden on our phones, which we already use for seemingly everything these days: it’s a watch, a camera, a navigator, and many times, a translator, which means we’d be lost if we didn’t have it or it ran out of power. A small portable battery holds an extra charge or two so you can re-power on the go. When buying for a travel lover, you need to weigh capacity (how much power the battery can store) and actual weight. If it’s meant to be portable, it’s got to be light.
$30.59 at Amazon
Collapsible Water Bottle
This gift is pretty self-explanatory: fill up on water at airports and restaurants, then collapse the bottle when it’s empty. Space-saving and efficient, which is what every traveler is looking for.
$25.95 at Amazon
If you’re planning a trip anywhere in the world, reach out to an experienced Windy City Travel agent. They can help you plan a vacation that’s just right for your needs and your budget. Booking with Windy City Travel is simple and the agents’ know-how ensures an incredible value on everything from flights and lodging to unforgettable experiences.