Forget the typical holiday gear guides that feature silly, $400 travel espresso makers and Bluetooth-enabled luggage you can ride through the airport. Here are 10 legitimately useful travel gifts for men. Trust us, the modern gentleman nomad in your life will thank you.
Food and — even better — booze are among the best ways to relive your old travels and daydream about new ones. Tasting the right cheese or sampling the perfect dram of whiskey can transport you to Italy, Ireland, and beyond. Enter Flaviar, a members-only club designed to introduce aficionados to the world of boutique spirits. The site’s database includes more than 15,000 fine spirits — far more than even the most well-stocked whiskey bar could ever carry. This Christmas, members can dip their palates into Flaviar’s catalog with the Flaviar Whisky Advent Calendar. For $200 ($380 total including the annual membership fee), this one-of-a-kind gift provides 24 days of unique whiskeys from the world, including Breckenridge Reserve Blend Bourbon, Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey, and Omar Bourbon Cask Taiwanese Whisky. Virtually every corner of the globe is represented.
These days, even the most technophobic among us are toting around a hefty chunk of electronics, spare batteries, adapters, and cables. For travelers, keeping it all organized on the go can seem impossible. Thisisground’s Tech Dopp Kit 2 does for your tech gear what an old-school dopp kit does for your toiletries. Cleverly placed straps and a small zippered pocket ensure everything stays right where you put it. That it’s all wrapped in a handsome, Italian-designed leather shell is a bonus.
For many of us, travel is about stepping out of and expanding our comfort zones. However, some of us still need a gentle nudge. Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life is a self-described “self-help book for people who hate self-help.” It’s the contrarian’s bible for living life on your own terms, for not allowing your life goals, your persona, and your legacy to be defined by others. It’s insightful, hilarious, and a must-read for the man who’s looking to travel the world and never look back.
Even the shortest trips can require us to carry a mountain of documentation. Unless you’re toting around a George Costanza-worthy, file cabinet-sized wallet, your traditional wallet is hardly up to the task. The aptly named Travel Wallet from Tanner Goods is designed to hold your essential cards and cash. However, it steps up the storage with additional spots for a passport, local currency, and plane tickets. It’s all handsomely enclosed in vegetable-tanned Meridian English Bridle leather.
We’ve covered plenty of travel flasks before. But, for the man who likes to balance sophistication with a touch of devil-may-care, rock star-inspired swagger, it doesn’t get any sexier than the Noble Flask from The Sneerwell. Every unique, handmade flask from the husband-and-wife duo is creative, perfectly aged, and a little rough around the edges — much like the best men in your life.
Disappearing down the rabbit hole of beautiful artwork and apparel at 08 Left is a must-do for any gentleman traveler. Each print in their ATC collection, in particular, highlights one airport with its official three-letter code and the elevation of the traffic control tower. It’s a clever, home office-worthy way to commemorate a first trip, a hometown airport, or the destination where you met the love of your life.
Some men are hard-traveling road warriors without the time to shop for clothes, while some just like to don fresh new threads for every trip. Stitch Fix is the personal shopper you never knew you needed or could afford. The company promises a personalized shopping experience with clothing that’s carefully curated to every user’s specific tastes. Every recipient receives a box of apparel based on their personal style profile. Pick and pay for the clothes you’d like to keep and send back the rest — delivery and return shipping are included in the price, even for exchanges.
It seems everything has gone digital these days, so putting old-school pen to paper can feel like a lost art. But sometimes it’s the best way to slow things down and fully appreciate the journey. The Travelers Notebook from famed Japanese stationery manufacturer Midori is simple, functional, and elegant. The heavyweight Midori brand paper is encased in handcrafted leather stitched in Thailand. The entire package comes in a beautiful, fine fabric bag that’s perfect for gift-giving.
Even the savviest among us can become targets for thieves on foreign soil. We’ve shared our favorite ways to protect your digital data, but safeguarding your physical goods is just as important. Clothing Arts’ Pick-Pocket Proof Adventure Travel Pants are designed to keep your valuables out of the hands of pickpockets. They feature a dizzying array of pockets — 11 total (five triple-secure and six double-secure) — all secured with some combination of Velcro, snaps, and buttons. Plus, they’re rugged enough to take adventuring, yet smart enough to wear to dinner.
Finding the right daypack for your travels can prove just as difficult as searching for the perfect carry-on. It should be lightweight, versatile, and streamlined (but not too streamlined) with just the right amount of pockets. Osprey’s Arcane Large Top Zip Pack is designed to carry all your essentials plus a bit more. There’s room for a change of clothes, a water bottle, a camera, pockets for documents and smaller electronics, and a padded sleeve large enough to safeguard a 15-inch laptop. The style is clean and minimal enough for the boardroom, while the shoulder straps and foam back panel mean it’s comfortable enough to take on the trail.