This post is sponsored by the folks at Leatherman.
Looking for the best gifts for business travelers? We’ve got you covered!
As veteran road warriors, we’ve logged our share of miles over the years. From planes, trains and automobiles to cabs, buses and ferries we’ve done it all numerous times across every continent.
Since we work as we go, we also spend a lot of that travel time on our laptops, working when time permits. While we originally started traveling solely for pleasure, over the years we’ve begun traveling more and more for business as well.
What does that mean to you? Over that time we’ve also learned a lot about the best gear and best gadgets for business travelers.
The best gifts for business travelers
There are a lot of great choices here, from the best business travel backpack, to great travel jackets and to electronics gear that any business person will love.
Leatherman TSA compliant tools
We all have a few favorite travel items that we just don’t want to go without. For years, my favorite travel gadget was my little Leatherman multi-tool. I took it everywhere with me!
Unfortunately, my beautiful little Leatherman multi-tool was the first thing confiscated from my carry-on luggage when security requirements got stricter after 9-11. I still miss it!
Since we travel almost exclusively with carry-on only, I need a multi-tool that is TSA-compliant. Luckily, Leatherman has some amazing TSA compliant products that can be carried onto a plane.
Leatherman Style PS
If you’re looking for a TSA travel-friendly multi-tool, this is your gadget.
The Style PS is keychain size, and comes with needle nose pliers, spring action regular pliers, scissors, a Phillips screwdriver, a nail file, tweezers and a bottle opener/carabiner. What’s really cool is that you can access the tools while the Style is closed for easy access.
It’s uber lightweight at 1.58 ounces, and you can get it in black, red or blue.
I think the Leatherman Tread Tempo watch is as gorgeous as it is functional. At first glance, it just looks like a stylish, Swiss-made watch, but look closer. See all of those links in the watch band?
There are 30 tools hidden in this watch band, including an abundance of screwdrivers (with indispensable flat and Phillips screwdriver heads), box wrenches, a file, strap cutter, bottle opener, carbide glass breaker. Plus, it’s water resistant to 200 meters, and has a 25-year warranty on the bracelet.
I’ve had my little, lipstick sized Anker portable charger for over four years now, and it’s still going strong. I take it wherever we travel, as it fits neatly in a pocket. There’s enough charge in this little gadget to recharge a new smartphone a couple of times.
The newest version continues to get great feedback, and it’s a more powerful 3,350mAh.
For even more power, check out the Jackery PowerBar. This thing is a beast at 20,800mAh, and it has the huge advantage that it lets you charge our laptop as well with a AC Outlet Portable Charger. It weighs 1.5 pounds.
We travel with a lot of electronics, and honestly, our carry on backpack often looks like someone dumped out their electronics junk drawer. There are cables, chargers, headphones, eReaders, iPods, iPads, cameras and more in ours every time we go anywhere and sometimes it gets hard to organize.
We’re looking at getting a cable and gadget organizer to get it under control, and this Bagsmart accessories case is at the top of the wish list.
We’re big fans of travel pillows that are comfortable, breathable, and easily malleable into almost any shape.
This BCOZZY Chin Supporting Pillow is designed to keep your head from falling forward as you sleep on a plane. It’s filled with polyester fiber (not memory foam!), and comes in dozens of colors.
Tip! While memory foam travel pillows are hugely popular right now, we find they’re too bulky, and tend to push our heads forward uncomfortably. Plus, they freeze into solid lumps in cold weather! On a recent flight out of Canada in the winter, we stored our memory foam travel pillows in the car overnight, and pulled them out just before boarding our plane. They were hard, frozen lumps! It took over an hour for the pillows to thaw completely. I definitely wouldn’t recommend trying to nap on a frozen memory foam travel pillow!
We’re big fans of carry-ons with spinner wheels. We find that four wheels make it incredibly easy to navigate through airports.
We’re a little divided as to whether we prefer hard sided luggage, because it’s so durable and handles water better, or soft sided luggage, which expands more as we pack and have convenient outer pockets.
This hard sided American Tourister 21″ spinner comes in a lot of great colors (which is perfect for picking out your luggage in busy airports).
They’re small and lightweight, which makes them excellent for travel. What makes these headphones truly shine though, is their active noise cancelling ability. These over the ear headphones will drown out annoying noises, and have great sound quality.
You can wirelessly connect it via WiFi to your phone or tablet, use it to back up photos directly from your camera’s SD card or plug it into the USB port of your computer just like a traditional hard drive.
This is a slick little device designed to help business travelers who are worried about losing their phone, laptop, or really, anything else.
The Tile Mate Bluetooth tracker is a little plastic electronic tile that can be stuck on luggage, a phone, or something else. When you need to find your object (with the attached Tile), just run the Tile app.
A good toiletry bag can help keep your toiletries organized, and also keep those inevitable spills contained.
The eBags Pack it Flat Toiletry kit is one of our favorites. It can hold an awful lot, but still remain fairly compact. Because it folds up neatly and packs flat, it fits easily into almost any kind of luggage, from carry-on, to checked bags, to backpacks or even a day bag.
If you’re traveling carry-on only, and looking to minimize hassles in airport security, getting a clear, TSA-compliant toiletry bag is a game changer.
Unfortunately, TSA-compliant toiletry bags are necessarily small (only a quart or litre in size), so it probably won’t hold all of your gear. We use a clear TSA compliant toiletry bag to store liquids and store other (non-liquid) toiletries and accessories in another bag.
Tip! What does TSA compliant mean? This means that the bag is compliant with the TSA’s 3-1-1 liquids rule, meaning that it’s a quart or litre in size, resealable, and clear. According to the TSA’s liquids rule, “You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes through the checkpoint. These are limited to 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. This is also known as the 3-1-1 liquids rule.” Any liquids over 3.4 ounces need to be carried in checked baggage.
We like the YAMIU toiletry bag. It’s a quart sized, clear, waterproof, and resealable bag that’s TSA compliant with the 3-1-1 toiletries rule. This is a two-pack that comes with two sizes (only the smaller bag is suitable for TSA-compliant liquids).
It’s lightweight and makes a mean cup of coffee. All you need is a few grounds and some hot water to make a hotel room or morning on the go suddenly more bearable. If you’re a tea drinker, you can get the tea filter instead.
When you travel for work, there’s almost always some free time, either in airports or at night in your hotel.
One of the constants in our travel bag is an e-reader, which can hold literally hundreds of books.
Get your business traveler a Kindle with both Wi-Fi and free cellular connectivity, like the waterproof Kindle Paperwhite or the more expensive Kindle Oasis.
A Kindle with built in Wi-Fi + free cellular connectivity uses the same wireless signals that cell phones use. However, there’s no monthly fees or commitment: Amazon pays for the cellular connectivity and it lets you grab your ebooks on the go quickly and easily.
If you’re looking for a polished men’s travel jacket with a lot of pockets, we’d start with the men’s cotton blend jacket. Designed for travelers, it comes complete with 25 pockets and some cool travel features.
We’ve tried traveling with a messenger bag and briefcase before, but they’re both a bit awkward. The messenger bag always digs into my shoulders, and I spend a lot of time switching it around trying to get comfortable.
I resisted a carry on backpack for a while, because I thought it wouldn’t look professional.
The good news is that there are some great carry on backpacks made specifically for business travelers. They come in stylish, sleek designs and most convert easily to a suitcase style.
One of our favorite carry on backpacks is the Tortuga Setout travel backpack. Tortuga is an independent retailer (you won’t find these backpacks on Amazon), made by and for travelers. The Setout is a standard carryon size at 22″ x 14″ x 9″, but it holds an expansive 45 l.
We’ve used ours on a couple of trips, to Mexico and Western Canada, and we really like it. It’s attractive and comfy to use, holds an impressive amount (we need to use the cinch straps to reduce the bulk!). We are thinking of taking off the removable waist straps, though, as they’re a bit bulky.-
As a bonus, it’s stylish enough to use for business travel, and we think it’s one of the top travel backpacks out there.
If you’re a died-in-the-wool rolling suitcase traveler, you may want to try our trick of using both a rolling suitcase and maximizing your personal item allowance.
Almost all bigger airlines let you take a personal item as well like a purse, or smaller backpack, free of charge onto the cabin.
This is a great bonus for extra storage, and so few people maximize the size of their personal item!
One of our favorites to use as a personal item is this sleek little Standard luggage Co. daily work backpack. It’s definitely business travel friendly, and only 2.2 pounds and 17′ x 11′ x 6′ (45 x 28 x 15 cm). It has a lot of little bonuses, like an integrated USB port and lockable zips. Plus, it works well as a day bag.
To be honest, compression socks are probably not at the top on the list of travel gifts for most people however compression socks are said to help travelers prevent blood clots (deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms) from flying by increasing circulation in the legs.
Surprisingly, blood clots from flying are somewhat common, and, while the risk is higher for those over the age of 40, they can affect more than just older business travelers.