Best Small / Cheap Gifts for Frequent Business Travelers - Tom Bihn, Gravel, ZeroGrid

We're knee deep in to the holiday season - if you're starting to make your list for friends and family, below are a few suggestions for frequent travelers.  Majority of my travel is for work, so I'm looking through the lens of what I own and have found helpful.

I love giving travel gifts - qualify of life on the road is super important and the right gift is something that the recipient will appreciate every time they are living out of a bag or suitcase.

Note, as always these links may or may not have affiliate links attached - I have an affiliate link from Tom Bihn, for example, but we are nowhere near important enough other brands to even look at us.  This is all our sincerest attempt at providing a few gift ideas that the traveler in your life will sincerely appreciate.

Edit:  our Tom Bihn "Handy Little Thing" review is up.  This is insta-buy worthy if you are looking at gifts for someone who likes to optimize their packing or every day carry.

Small Stuff - under $100:

I have quite a few Tom Bihn items in this post.  The referral link doesn't hurt (we get a tiny slice of a purchase) but they are by far the gold standard in considered travel goods.  Everything they make is designed & built in Seattle WA. I'm proud to buy American whenever feasible.. If it's important to you, scroll down to their 'about us' page and you can see the names and faces of the people who build your gear.

My wife and I carry TB 'Synik' backpacks every day, and have put at least 100,000 miles on our Aeronaut travel bags.  They are products we have used extensively and trust implicitly.

Packing Cube Backpack - combines a packing cube (essential for obsessive packers like me) and a minimal daypack suitable for exploring a city. They have a second style as well - make sure you look at the dimensions.

Packing Cube Shoulder Bag - same idea, but more of a sling. They also have styles that convert to more of a fanny pack situation. Again, incredibly useful to free up your hands / pockets when you are running around your destination, but they also keep everything organized when you are en route.

Travel Laundry Stuff Sack - this is my favorite. Clean clothes go in one end, move the dirty clothes to the other. Simple but elegant design and completely game changing to travel with.

Snake Charmer - a little pouch for wrangling cables and headphones and whatever else. Simple.

Other small items from other stores we love:

Gravel's marketing leans a little heavy on the digital nomad, outdoorsy, go anywhere / do anything side of things for my taste.  They DO make a nice little travel bag.  This makes a perfect gift:  more expensive than most would buy for themselves, but something high quality to the point your giftee will appreciate it every time they pull it out of their luggage.  

The pocket layout is super thoughtful.  It forces you to kind of pack the way they want, but there's several of spacious pockets where you can cram nontraditional packing items (collar stays?  anyone?).

ZeroGrid @ Amazon

ZeroGrid has been all over amazon over the past year.  They've been a wonderful source for me when I need to scratch some small travel itch.  The low prices drop their products down to impulse buy territory.  

The really cool thing about ZeroGrid items are the 'returnme' labels.  Basically you activate the included tag, and if someone finds your item they use the website to help get the item back to you.  They claim over 80% of the items lost are returned.  Free insurance!

A few items I own and really like:

Dopp Kit - Essentially the opposite of the Gravel kit - this is a big empty pouch that holds a ton of stuff.  If you are buying gifts for someone who travels with a ton of toiletries, and is the type to prefer to just drop everything in to one big pouch this is the way to go.  Very sturdy construction, and a lightweight ripstop that is pliable enough to fit in smaller luggage voids.  My wife has been carrying this for her travel toiletry bag for about a year; she's super happy with it.  Bonus - it washes / dries super quickly, nice for those shampoo or makeup spills.

Passport Wallet - for a long time I was lusting over Bellroy's beautiful leather passport wallets.  I just could not justify the high price tag when these minimal zerogrid options were floating around.  We keep our passports in ZG's wallet full time.  The wallets snugly fit the passport, even my passport with added pages, and has room for currency, credit cards and also include a pen.  Protip:  drop in a fischer space pen (below) for a hardware upgrade.

Cable Organizer - sitting on my desk right now.  It's become part of my daily backpack cargo - I keep a battery, chargers and a few other items in my backpack full time as a 'just in case'.  

I'm totally confident any of the above items will serve the frequent traveler in your life really well.  We'll have a selection of bags and full sized items up soon!