Frequent travelers are a solitary bunch. Having spent more hours asleep in airports or Holiday Inns than under their own roofs, the concept of a home-cooked meal has become foreign to them. Fortunately, there are as many ways to alleviate the globetrotter’s homesickness as there are frequent flyer miles on his account — whether it’s a comfortable pair of slacks, the ultimate travel bag, or just making him feel like travel royalty. Sometimes business is pleasure; the person you’re gift hunting for might actually enjoy the nomadic life, in which the best you can do is make it even better for him. This is the best globetrotting gear of 2014 — gifts so good he’ll feel right at home, even when he’s getting familiar with a TSA agent.
Bose QuietComfort 25
Such Sweet Silence: Bose’s noise-canceling QuietComfort line of headphones is a traveler’s standby, perfect for tuning out the hum of a 747 engine (and that old bat who’s keen to claim his armrest). The QuietComfort 25s boast high-quality audio expected of Bose, immense battery life and a streamlined design; they’ll make the cabin feel more like a spa than it has any right to.
Your Files Can Fly Too: Like Frodo when he first takes hold of the ring, your traveler won’t fully grasp the power of what he’s got in his hands. But the time will come. With a storage capacity of 1TB, this wireless companion will allow him to hold anything –like over 500 HD movies, an infinite library of songs (for all intents and purposes), countless photos and other data eaters. Basically, everything that he previously would’ve deleted from his tablet or smartphone to make room for that new system update. And with its own wi-fi network, the Fuel lets anybody he’s traveling with stream too — a serious boon for less experienced travel companions.
Uniqlo Ultra Light Down
Keep Your Heat: Remember, his closet is already filled with jackets, so the next one has to be killer. This 100 percent nylon down jacket by Uniqlo fits the bill. It’s comfortable and versatile: warm enough to wear spring skiing, yet thin enough to make a good under layer. Available in a wide spectrum of colors, it’s compactible and adaptable — and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Bellroy Elements Travel Wallet
Wallet for All Weather: A man is loyal to his wallet; it’s not something he’s likely to relinquish easily. But present him with this Bellroy travel wallet and it’ll force his hand. This ATV of a wallet features full-grain vegetable-tanned leather and a water-resistant zipper. It’s got internal slots for cash, his iPhone and passport. And to top it off, it’ll still fit in his pant pocket.
Killspencer Dopp Folio 2.0
Double Duty: Killspencer’s master craftsmen in Los Angeles engineered this versatile dopp kit to collapse into a folio if the user desires. In the morning, it can carry toothpaste and shaving equipment; in the afternoon, an iPad and business cards, and back to toiletries in the evening. It’s the Clark Kent of dopp kits, available in a few suave materials: naked leather, cotton camo or Italian oil suede.
Stop Relying on Your iPhone: The most stubborn of travelers have no problem leaving something behind if it doesn’t fit in a travel bag. Take that choice away from them with the Sony A6000 camera. It boasts the world’s fastest autofocus, a high-resolution screen and all the contemporary features of DSLRs in half the size and weight, leaving no excuse to leave it behind.
Karma Go Portable LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot
Connectivity Minus the Contract: Cell service is usually a stone’s throw away. Wi-fi, not so much. Karma Go changes that, making wi-fi contingent on your phone’s service bars; as long as there’s service, there’s wi-fi. It’s practical (pay as you use), pocket sized, works with up to eight devices at a time, and it’s simple enough to figure out while hustling through a gate. It’ll makes a great stocking stuffer for frequent U.S. travelers, but be wary: it technically doesn’t work abroad.
Huzi Infinity Pillow
Catch More Shut-Eye: Sleep is precious on the road. The infinity pillow wraps around the neck with just the right amount of tightness. Designed to imitate the Möbius strip, the super-soft neck hugger is washer-friendly and beyond versatile. It also cancels out noise; you can throw it around your face and sleep anywhere, no matter how ridiculous it looks.
NOMOS Zurich Weltzeit
The World on Your Wrist: Time is of the essence in travel, but the best travel watches are not just functional, but authentic, indispensable. Beneath the Bauhaus cases of NOMOS watches are movements the company designs and manufactures right in its Glashütte workshop. Beyond authenticity, the Zurich Weltzeit may be one of the easiest dual world timers to use, making it the perfect travel watch. A red arrow points to home time (“Heimat”, auf Deutsch) at 3 o’clock while a ring of cities around the dial’s perimeter is set by clicking the pusher on the side of the case. When the desired city is aligned with the arrow at 12 o’clock, its local time is indicated by the hands on the main dial. Never miss a flight again — or a Skype call, more importantly.
Charger with a Charge: Far from home, the iPhone is his best travel companion. But when it dies, the wheels come off, and finding a wall outlet trumps everything, even eating. The NomadPlus gives the iPhone an extra-full charge. This wall adapter supplements the stock white block that connects your phone to an outlet; once your phone is fully charged, the NomadPlus charges itself, allowing it to charge your phone when there are no wall outlets in sight.
Proof NY Nomad Pants
The Must-Pack Pant: Pants that don’t need to be washed are a dream for both travelers and more stationary guys. While these Nomad pants aren’t quite the salvation, they’re pretty close. Extremely dirt- and water-repellant, the Swiss-made Schoeller Dryskin fabric with NanoSphere is both breathable and quick drying. They’re also super adaptable: from the office to the trail, they’ll be tough to part with.
Swiss Army Spectra 2.0
The Smarter Carry-On: A modern traveler needs a modern travel bag. The Spectra 2.0, winner of the prestigious 2014 Red Dot Award for Design Excellence and voted Best Luggage by Travel + Leisure, sure as hell fits the bill. But will break-resistant polycarbonate, innovative doors and an unbreakable lock protect his belongings from getting lost after once checked? Yep: the bag’s certified by the IATA as a carry-on.