2019 Top Gifts for Frequent Business TravelersBy Mike Baker
From laptop bags to water bottles, Lola.com is counting down the best presents for road warriors
Corporate travel isn’t always fun. Long layovers, unfamiliar hotels and travel disruptions can quickly turn a business trip into a nightmare. In fact, stressful, frustrating corporate travel is one of the leading causes of employee turnover — 44% of respondents to a recent study we conducted said that frustrations with business travel management make them more likely to look for a new job.
But there’s good news. Every year, there are more and more travel gadgets designed to take some of the pain out of business travel. Smart suitcases, time-saving memberships and other practical travel gifts make it easier for frequent travelers to improve their experience on the road.
In honor of the holiday season, Lola.com is counting down the year’s best gifts for business travelers.
1. Larq is a self-cleaning water-purifying water bottle. By using UV-C LED light, it can purify water on the go and keep things hot and cold for hours. It’s both tech forward and looks great with business-appropriate colors. It’s also customizable. Larq will also help keep water bottles out of landfills, for the eco-conscious in all of us.
2. Ember Don’t you hate it when your coffee isn’t exactly 125 degrees? For those who also revel in this first world problem, Ember is here for you with its temperature control mugs and tumblers. Business travel is often rife with that hotel lobby paper cup coffee life that devolves quickly into the world of cold, stale why-did-I-bother coffee. Have no fear, Ember is here. Perfect for keeping a hot drink at temperature for all day meetings and long flights.
3. Every business traveler dreads when they can’t get a good night’s sleep. Short of toting around the flimsy airline sleep masks and those orange ear plugs that assure you missing an alarm, there’s still a need to block out the city or morning lights, while muffling the effervescent conversations of the hotel hallways. A great reusable option is Lunya, a soft, washable silk eyemask that can help with sounder sleep both at-- and away from-- home.
4. Another time-saver for the business traveler doesn’t involve carrying anything at all. Clear is an incredible option to skip the lines at select airports, using your biometrics to verify your identity. Iris and finger scan and you’re in. At many US airports and growing, Clear will get you to the head of the security lines after checking in at their branded kiosks, improving the travel experience from the get-go. The service works for certain car rental locales and even at select events stadiums. Clear also has their eye on being able to pay with, well, your eyes. Sponsoring an enrollment in Clear for the frequent traveler is a way to get them a perk that is often most sought after-- cutting a line.
5. We’ve all been stuck next to a crying baby with only the airline supplied headphones to save us from their shrieks — not fun. If the business traveler in your life has been slow to the noise cancelling game, treat them to a pair of wireless noise cancelling headphones. This Sony pair cancels out a wide range of noise at varying decibel levels. This feature-rich gadget includes Alexa voice control, as well as touch controls in the ear cups. These headphones hold a charge for 30 hours of playing time — enough to last a long flight or layover — and come with a charging cable to easily refill the battery life.
6. Finally, the business traveler needs stuff to hold stuff. Tech forward luggage, tech-accommodating laptop bags or maybe a way to lessen the burden of both are great options for business travelers to save on the hassle and time in getting ready for travel.
Our top travel bag recommendation? This lightweight Timbuk2 travel backpack is all our CEO, Mike Volpe, uses to pack for a business trip of any length. With multiple pockets and compartments of varying sizes, you can easily fit all of your meeting necessities and clothes — and it is small enough to be carry-on luggage. The backpack includes a laptop sleeve that fits most 15” to 17” laptops and smaller pockets so you’re not left digging for your headphones and keys. If one backpack isn’t enough room, easily attach this backpack to your wheeled suitcase with the luggage pass-through sleeve. However, Mike Volpe doesn’t seem to have any problems fitting enough clothes, toiletries, and technology into his bag for a trip. Maybe we can even get him to let us in on some of his packing secrets.
Need a great gift for a stylish traveler? Good staples may come with a steep price tag, but Tumi’s laptop bags are worth the cost of entry. Not only does their expandable organizer laptop brief have room to pack all your files and devices, but it looks smart on the daily and on the road. The expandable brief fits right over a carry-on handle and has a strap for the daily grab, go and grind. Function, form and fashion-forward.
But what if you’re sick of packing and lugging clothes and supplies altogether? That’s where Dufl comes in. Dufl is taking one of the major pain points and time/fun/energy sucks out of business travel by offering a service with a virtual closet that you ship your clothes to, then you get to pick and choose what you need for a trip from the app and find it waiting at your hotel room. This is brilliant if you are a frequent business traveler with set schedules for travel in advance. Then you don’t have to be jamming your life into a carry-on suitcase and picking up your unmentionables off the ground after a random search at LaGuardia in front of your boss.