I’ve got 10 annual 2023 holiday gifts for traveler in your life from an expensive noise cancelling headset to an inexpensive luggage scale.
The December winter holiday season has begun in the U.S. and Europe. For the last couple of months, I’ve been searching for gift ideas and testing products to add to my annual 2023 holiday gifts. I’ve got a great list of ten gift suggestions for the travelers in your life.
Here’s a great headset and a way to connect it when Bluetooth for audio isn’t available.
• Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones ($429 Currently on sale for $379) — Leading the way for the annual 2023 holiday gifts for travelers list are noise cancelling headsets make music, videos and audio books far more enjoyable when flying by blocking engine noise. It helps in trains too by blocking background noise and dull conversation. To me, they’re essential for travel. Over-the-ear headsets are superior to the in-the-ear ones for blocking acute and ambient noise.
The new QuietComfort Ultra, keeps Bose at the top of noise cancelling headsets. They’re definitely first in noise cancelling capability and after testing, I’ve concluded that they have wonderful music and speech quality. The Bluetooth wireless headset can also be connected through a standard wire connection. I’ve used the headset for as long as 18 hours without recharging and it had life left.
• AirFly Pro ($54.99) — AirFly Pro is a Bluetooth adapter the lets you use wireless headphones when your plane’s or other entertainment systems only connection is via a headphone jack. It works well in hotel gyms with treadmills and steppers. It gives users freedom of movement not available with wired headsets. I’ve gotten 18 hours from the AirFly Pro and it still had battery life left in it.
The AirFly Pro Deluxe ($64.99) is the AirFly Pro with a twin prong plug adapter needed for some international airlines, plus a small case.
Here are two luggage tracking products, with both recommended to be in your checked luggage — the perfect annual 2023 holiday gifts for travelers
• Apple AirTag ($29.00 for a one pack or $99.00 for a four pack) — I’ve been recommending Apple AirTags as luggage trackers since evaluating them soon after they were released in 2021. They’re simply the best overall tracker for luggage and belongings due to their robust and very large network of Apple’s iDevices, reportedly now more than one billion. For those who have placed an AirTag in their luggage, if the luggage is lost or delayed, an iPhone using the “Find My” app, can locate the luggage as long as an iDevice has been within range of the AirTag in your bag. AirTags use Bluetooth. When an iDevice detects an AirTag, it reports its location to the “Find My” network so its owner can locate it.
• GEGO GPS ($89 plus $167.40 subscription, billed annually) — While Apple AirTags are a great way to track and find lost and delayed luggage and misplaced items, in case of theft, they are too easily detected and removed. AirTags make a sound when they haven’t been within range of the owner for a while, plus a thief with an iPhone can use it to detect unknown AirTags nearby.
To handle luggage theft, I recommend a two prong approach as 2023 holiday gifts for travelers. Most thieves aren’t going to look for multiple tracking devices, so I recommend adding a GEGO to your AirTag in checked bags, while other bags and belongings have only an AirTag. GEGOs use a 4G cellular network connection with Assisted GPS to send its location directly to your smartphone. Their battery lasts about a week between charges.
A portable scale can ensure you keep your bags within weight limits and the Timbuk2 Messenger Bag makes a great personal item.
• Eteckcity Luggage Scale ($10.99) — This is a great stocking stuffer for any traveler. With checked luggage limits being strictly enforced everywhere and carry-on weight limits enforced outside the US, an easy to use luggage scale is a perfect 2023 holiday gifts for travelers list. This one has a capacity of 100 pounds (50Kg) and it’s very accurate.
• Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag (starting at $99) — I never leave home without this classic shoulder bag. I prefer the small size which is still roomy. It has numerous pockets, many zippered for security, and comes in multiple colors. It has a weatherproof exterior and a TPU liner for easy cleaning and keeping your belongings dry in rainy weather. Its adjustable shoulder strap has a comfortable Airmesh pad. The bag wears like iron. It’s a great as a personal item for air travel.
Both the Hydro Flask and BAGGU bags are great for travelers who want to travel more sustainably.
• Hydro Flask 21 oz Water Bottle with Sport Cap ($34.95 + $9.95 sold separately, currently on sale for $26.21 + $4.98). Help travelers be part of the climate change-plastic waste solution and save cash to boot. Give them a great multi-use water/beverage bottle that they can keep refilling throughout their journeys. They can stop buying expensive one-use bottles of water. The Hydro Flask is my favorite. It keeps beverages cold all day with no sweating on the bottle’s exterior and works great for keeping hot beverages steamy in frigid weather.
The Flask comes with the standard mouth screw top with loop holder. I prefer the insulated sport cap with the pull-up that I can move with my teeth or fingers. That way I can use the flask one-handed. In addition to the sport cap, there are other cap options.
• BAGGU Standard Reusable Shopping Bag ($14.00)
Another great way that travelers can be part of the climate change solution is to stop using one-use paper and plastic bags. In fact, in many locations around the U.S. and across the globe, single use bags are now banned, plus in many stores, if you have to purchase shopping bags, they can be expensive for what you get.
I never travel without several of these highly useful ripstop nylon, multi-use tote bags. The totes carry two grocery bags of stuff, up to 50 pounds, yet fold into thin five inch squares in the included bag, when not in use. The have built-in handles. Mine have lasted for years.
• SKROSS Pro Light World Travel Adapter with USB, 3-Pole Travel Adaptor with Slide System and USB ($43.41) — Is your favorite traveler a globe trotter? I gave away my older model to a friend and am now using this unit. It’s the most versatile one I’ve ever tried. There are other SKROSS models available as well as imitations from other companies, but this one is the best. It includes a 3–Pole adapter so it’s good for laptops and other 3–Pole devices. It can handle up to 1,500 watts. and has a couple of USB charger outlets.
When visiting America’s great National Parks, there’s nothing better than an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass.
• America the Beautiful National Parks Annual Pass. ($80, Free for veterans and current military.) Some of the best places to travel in the US are its national parks. Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Yellowstone, among others, are world famous for good reason. Many of the parks have an entrance fee of as much as $35 per vehicle and $20 per person, unless you have a Parks Pass. Even if you go to just a few parks with entrance fees each year, the pass is a bargain. Senior passes cost $80, but are lifetime passes, not annual.
After many years working in corporate America as a chemical engineer, executive and eventually CFO of a multinational manufacturer, Ned founded a tech consulting company and later restarted NSL Photography, his photography business. Before entering the corporate world, Ned worked as a Public Health Engineer for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. As a well known corporate, travel and wildlife photographer, Ned travels the world writing about travel and photography, as well as running photography workshops, seminars and photowalks. Visit Ned’s Photography Blog and Galleries.