If we had our way, we'd gift all of our nearest and dearest trips around the world. But alas, that's not in the cards (or budgets) for this year. So instead we bring you a seriously cool array of travel-friendly presents. From a suitcase that charges your phone to a hoodie with a hidden neck pillow, these are the 15 best gifts of 2015.
Disclaimer: The prices in this article were accurate at time of writing but are subject to availability.
Bluesmart Carry-On Suitcase, $399
This high tech suitcase connects to your smartphone so you can track its location or let it ping you if it's been left behind. It also has a built in digital lock and scale and a battery that can charge your phone six times. It's pretty much the smartest thing to happen to luggage since the rolling suitcase.
B&O Play H7 Wireless Headphones, $449
Apple might be getting rid of headphone jacks in upcoming iPhones. So get ahead of the game with these B&O Play headphones. They play wirelessly, and the aluminum touch on the outside allows you to answer a call, change songs or adjust the volume, even if you're wearing gloves. They're also pretty fly with lambskin leather, anodized aluminum and soft memory foam. Think of them as the BMW of headphones.
We never leave for a trip without a pair of shades (or two). Our picks for this year? These Traveler by TOMS glasses made of ultra-durable SOLAFLEX ($78) and these retro-style TOMS Havana Sunglasses ($189). For every pair of sunglasses purchased, TOMS donates one pair of eyeglasses to people in need in developing countries. We also dig this ACE collaboration with hip 70s sunglass brand Sunpocket (of French Alps ski bunny fame). The two brands teamed up to create funky foldable shades perfect for slipping into your bag or pocket on the go.
DxO ONE camera, $598.01
The DxO ONE packs the capabilities of a digital SLR into a camera the size of a deck of cards. It attaches to your smartphone, capturing 20.2 megapixel photos and HD video in an app where you can instantly edit and upload to Instagram and Facebook. It's like a mobile photo studio that fits in your pocket!
With so many stylish dopp kits out there, there’s never been a better time to ditch your Ziploc bag approach to stowing toiletries. We love the Owen & Fred “Hey Handsome” Shaving Kit for its classic shape and leather accents and the Wind Blows Travel Pouch for its drawstring design and water-resistant mesh lining. Stock up on some of Stowaway Cosmetics' miniature luxuries (think: customizable beauty balm, mascara and a cheek & lip stain) and you'll be well on your way to achieving clutter-free travel.
Baubax Tech Travel Hoodie, $149
It’s tough to pack everything you need into increasingly smaller overhead bins these days. So we love the way this Baubax Tech Travel Hoodie has lots of travel essentials sewn into it. It looks like a normal sweatshirt but hidden within are an inflatable neck pillow, fold-out eye mask, a passport pocket, ear bud holders (no more tangles!) and an insulated neoprene drink cozie. It's like six presents in one!
Venque Briefpack, $219
This is the ultimate bag for short trips. It fits just enough gear for an overnight, and has pockets for keeping you computer and tech gear safe and organized. But the best part is that it converts from a briefcase to a backpack, allowing for easier transport through the airport and around cities.
Buckshot Pro Portable Bluetooth Speaker, $79.95
This gadget literally packs serious power into a small package with a phone charger, Bluetooth speaker and flashlight in one durable water-resistant package. It also comes with a handy mount that can attach to a bike, backpack or beach umbrella.
Try the World Through Food Subscription Box, from $39
The days of stuffing your suitcase with artisanal treats from abroad are over. Enter Try the World. The company sells gourmet goodie boxes curated by star chefs from a particular country along with recipes, cultural notes and cooking tips. And the cute Tiffany blue package is a nice touch too. Buy one box for $39 or give a year-long subscription for $198.
Parrot Bebop Quadcopter Drone, $499
If we had to name a present of the year, it would have to be the drone. Who doesn't dream of flying above it all, getting a bird's eye view of a landscape? This drone lets you do just that with a 14 megapixel full HD camera that you can control via app from your smartphone. Plus it's compact enough to fit into a backpack.
Artifact Uprising Photo Memory Box, $95
Give the gift of memories with this wooden photo box, printed with either text or a photo of your choice, which you can fill with trip memories. Or help someone capture travel memories on an upcoming trip with a gift certificate to Flytographer. The company connects travelers with carefully selected photogs to document trips in any of 150 cities worldwide.
Sseko Wanderlust Shawl, $99.99
Handwoven in Ethiopia, this 100% cotton scarf is heavy enough to keep you warm on a plane but is light enough to be a great warm weather accessory as well. We also love that there's a mission behind this brand: The company provides employment and scholarship opportunities to women in Africa.
R2-D2 Rolling Suitcase, $77.95
With this super cool R2-D2 suitcase, your kid is guaranteed to be the envy of all Jedi Knights in this galaxy and those far, far away. It's super lightweight, has a flashing blue light and beeps like the real thing. What better way to get your little one pumped for the next Star Wars movie?
Globetrotter Inflateable Standup Paddle Board, $739.99
For those who like to take their fitness on the road, this standup paddle board will keep your abs nice and toned (despite the vacation desserts). It measures 12 feet when extended but just under 3' when deflated, so fitting it into your suitcase is easy. Plus, it's light and incredibly stable on the water. No more excuses.
Portable Briefcase BBQ Grill, $80
Nobody would expect this gift: a grill to go. This portable charcoal pit is perfect for cooking up a kabob on the road, and bonus, it's hidden in a stylish stainless steel briefcase. Call it business in the front, burner in the back.