Last-Minute Gift Ideas For Travelers Of All Types

on December 18 2012 8:10 PM
Business Travel
What will you get the traveler on your holiday list? Reuters

It’s supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year,” but for many it’s a season of stress. With just one week until Christmas Day, what last-minute gifts will you get for your mom, dad, sister or co-worker? How about your wife? If anyone on your holiday list is a traveler -- be it for business or leisure -- here are a few ideas:

Last-minute gift idea for the gadget fanatic:

Your tech friends already have every gadget they could possibly need? That’s when you move on to the next step: What will make it easier for them to use those gadgets?  The Compact Bluetooth Keyboard ($60; Brookstone) turns any tablet into a full-fledged laptop and rolls up like a yoga mat into a compact tube, making it perfect for travel.

Last-minute gift idea for the well-groomed business traveler:

The business traveler needs a quality “ditty bag” to organize all of his toiletries in one place because he can’t show up to the job looking like he just got off the plane (which, of course he did). The Hanging Travel Case ($22; Muji), which is slim and stylish with a tough nylon shell, is designed to hold all the items he needs on the go and has a hook to make them easily accessible in the hotel bathroom.

Last-minute gift idea for the hiker:

They fly into the city only so they can catch the first bus out to the wilderness beyond. Then, you don’t hear from them for days because they go off on multi-day treks like it’s 12 B.C. instead of 2012. The hiker on your list goes through so many climates that it’s essential they dress in layers. The most important, of course is the base layer, and sweat-wicking, odor-blocking merino is top of the line ($110; Smartwool).

Last-minute gift idea for the lady of leisure:

Her ideal vacation is as follows: Wake up, go to the pool, eat lunch, read a book, take a dip, get out, have some cocktails, eat dinner and go to bed. The lounger on your list needs a nice straw sun hat with a generous brim ($30; Lands End), both to stay comfortable and look stylish while doing absolutely nothing.

Last-minute gift idea for the obsessive-compulsive:

You know the type. They get really nervous, pack a week ahead of time and bring way too many unnecessary items “just in case.” And it doesn’t matter if they’re walking around Copenhagen or Kingston, Jamaica, they always think they’re going to get robbed.  Nip that fear in the bud with Clever Travel Companion’s passport-concealing underwear ($25; Clever Travel Companion).

Last-minute gift idea for the “EPL”:

Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love” inspired so many middle-aged women to go abroad that many travelers jokingly call them EPLs. For the EPL on your list, why not give them a head start at learning Italian (or whatever language strikes their fancy) with Rosetta Stone ($160; Barnes & Noble).

Last-minute gift idea for the backpacker:

This may sound obvious, but the most important thing the backpacker on your list can own is a sturdy and reliable backpack. The Osprey Atmos ($199; REI) may not have the most backpacker-friendly price, but it’s consistently rated as one of the top backpacks out there, particularly for females who prefer a bit more comfort.

Last-minute gift idea for the travelholic:

When you ask this person where they’ve been, you get a much longer answer than you bargained for. The “travelholic” loves to talk about all the countries they’ve visited in the world, so why not give them a way to visualize it with a scratch map ($24; Uncommon Goods). This way, when they say they’ve been to Mauritius, you’ll know what lonely corner of the planet that’s in.

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