“Oh I don’t know, I don’t really need anything in particular right now.”
Have you heard this one before when asking for holiday gift suggestions? I know I’ve said it plenty of times myself. The older we get, especially if our clothing sizes don’t change much, the less we have running wish list of more stuff we want to accumulate.
This is especially true for road warrior business travelers, who are often traveling with just a carry-on. They want nothing to do with those bulky and of-the-moment travel gear gift ideas you see in the glossy magazine round-ups. They’re constantly paring back, not adding on. Tell them they can have anything they want from the Brookstone store and they’ll probably use the shopping spree to pick up gifts for their kids instead.
Here are some small things you can think about as stocking stuffers for your favorite business traveler if you follow that tradition. They’re small enough to fit inside and inexpensive enough that you’re not taking a big gamble.
A Comfy Eye Mask
Business travelers, especially international ones, need to catch some sleep on the plane. The eye masks they get for free in the amenity pouches though, even in most business class cabins, are scratchy and not all that comfortable. They’ll do in a pinch, but a soft and comfortable eye mask will be appreciated and doesn’t take up much room.
Soft and squishy disposable earplugs don’t take up much space, but they can come in really handy when there’s a screaming baby on the plane, a hotel room facing a busy street, or a hotel where there’s a wedding going on in the courtyard until the wee hours. Plus you can find them at any drugstore or Target.
Get a small travel pack for a stocking stuffer, or if you know they go through a lot, a jar of 50 for less than 10 bucks.
Giving drugs for Christmas? Well, it’s a natural drug at least and it won’t get you high. What melatonin will do is help rejigger your body clock when you fly across multiple time zones. Your recipient will thank you later when they find they’re recovering from jet lag faster and getting a better night’s sleep after popping the recommended dosage at bedtime in their destination.
Travel Power Strip
This is a larger item than the others on this list, but a portable travel power strip can be a godsend for travelers who need to keep multiple gadgets charged. It’s not unusual these days to be traveling with three or four different items that keep running low on power–with Apple adding another to the list when they forced the use of Bluetooth earbuds–so it’s handy to carry a small strip that turns one outlet into three or four.
Travel Sized Toiletries
This is more of a “saving you a trip honey” gift than a long-term keepsake one, but anyone who travels with a carry-on is constantly replenishing key toiletry items. It may not be very sexy to give travel-sized toothpaste, quality disposable razors, or travel-sized shaving cream to your special someone, but those are items they will be sure to use!
Bonus item: compression socks. Nothing says “I love you” as much as an item that could keep your significant other from getting blood clots on a cramped plane.
Now if you are the road warrior yourself, we know a gift that won’t cost you much but will really be appreciated. Cash in your Bonwi Rewards points for a weekend getaway together. You can use your points for a hotel room, a rental car, or even a couple flights if you’ve banked enough.
What about you? What travel stocking stuffers have you received over the years that really got used?
Article by Tim Leffel, travel writer and editor of Hotel Scoop.