There's a certain type of person for whom airports and airplanes cease to be novel, and start to feel like home. This is depressing, on many levels! Which is why these people need gifts. Lots and lots of gifts.
BTW, if you hate the gallery format as much as the Grinch hated Christmas, click here.
A good pair of in-ear phones: It's impossible to overstate how valuable these are. Not only do they sound better than your stock earbuds, they dull the chorus of engine sounds, snores, baby cries and not-as-subtle-as-your-seatmate-thinks beanfarts nearly as well as those Bose noise-canceling phones some airlines hand out in first class. As a bonus, you can sleep comfortably in these. Ultimate Ears MetroFi 170s are nice, clear and bassy for about fifty dollars, while Shure's next-level SE210s can be scrounged for under $100. $50 for the UEs, $90 for the Shures. [Amazon, 2]
An iPod Touch: Yeah, I know, another iPod recommendation. Seriously though, perfect travel gadget: Video and music (and podcasts, sweet podcasts!) are travel must-haves, and games are a massive bonus. But what about apps to keep you busy or productive? White noise machines to put you to sleep? Internet access on the off chance your plane has free Wi-Fi? Look out for better deals come Friday, too. $200 [Apple]
Timbuk2 Commute 2.0: It's a solid gear bag, with more than enough space for a laptop, DSLR, various accessories and a phone or two, and it's TSA compliant, meaning you can leave your laptop halfway inside your bag through airport security for a slightly less terrible experience. Retails for about $100 in size medium, though you can find it for a bit less is you look around. $90 [Zappos]
Some juice: Almost every gadget charges by USB nowadays, a habit that the Duracell Instant Charger will happily oblige. It's most useful as an emergency phone charger, though it'll work for almost anything.
If your traveling giftee is a Man of the World, consider the Kensington International Adapter with USB. Here's the theory: said traveler can plug almost whatever he wants into almost any wall socket, and charge his Duracell portable battery at the same time. MAXIMUM ELECTRICITY! $15 for the Duracell, $30 for the Kensington [Amazon, Target]
A stupid neck donut pillow: Because they're awesome and anybody who says they
aren't hasn't slept on an airline cushion for eight hours. Plus, they're cheap, and you can probably find one at your local Walmart if you don't want to bother with shipping. $13 [Amazon]
Tethering: It's a bit nerdy, and you might he some reservations about fiddling with someone else's phone so much, especially given how sensitive carriers can be to this kind of thing, but if your traveler is aware of the risks, tethering is a wonderful gift. And not just wired or Bluetooth tethering—I'm talking Wi-Fi tethering, MiFi style (and without the extra contract, which would be a terrible gift). It can save money and headaches in hotels or airports with paid Wi-Fi, and it'll be endearingly nerdy. Free! [For iPhone, jailbreak; for Android, rooting; for Palm, homebrew]
Those laptop privacy shields: People will think you're looking at porn if you're using one of these, no matter how nice your suit is. Avoid, unless your traveler actually wants to look at porn. $45 [Amazon]
Methanol cell chargers: They're too expensive to recommend now and it's difficult to explain to the TSA how exactly they aren't a dangerous explosive device, and for that matter, why you just don't carry a normal battery, like a non-scary human? Hmm? These should be easy enough not to buy, since they barely even exist. Still!
Don't forget to recommend your own favorite travel gadgets in comments-include pics and pricing if possible.
All Giz Wants is our annual round-up of favorite gift ideas, including amazing attainable objects and a few far-out fantasies. We'll be popping guides catered to different interests several times per day for the next week, so keep checking back.