The best travel gifts for city explorers in 2019
Bound for the bright lights of the big city? From upgraded basics and wardrobe staples to trendy concoctions and high-end accoutrements, here are 9 items for the urban adventurer on your list, all priced at $300 or less.
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1. Jabra Elite 85h headphones
Headphones are a non-negotiable if you’re traveling solo in an urban environment, great for blocking out annoyances on public transit and for making you feel like you’re starring in your own private movie, soundtrack and all. You don’t want to be completely unaware, though, and Jabra’s wireless Elite 85h provides noise cancellation that switches on and off as the situation dictates. Plus, the battery life is stellar – up to 36 hours of play time on a single charge – so they’ll keep you moving from sunup to sundown.
Jabra Elite 85h, $300; amazon.com.
2. WP Standard leather utility pouches
The key to staying organized while you’re exploring the city? Pouches, pouches, and more pouches. Made from sturdy vegetable-tanned leather, in sizes that can accommodate everything from small change to an e-reader, these luxe-looking numbers from WP Standard are a step up from nylon – and they were built to last, too, so they should really go the distance.
The Utility Pouches, $98; wpstandard.com.
3. Paravel Fold-Up backpack
When you’re traveling light you don’t want to cede precious suitcase space to multiple bags, and often the tote that serves as your personal item at the airport is too bulky for everyday use. Enter: the fold-up backpack. Paravel’s version is big enough to hold a water bottle, an extra layer of clothing and a pouch or two, and boasts two pockets – one inside and one out – that allow for easy access to the essentials. Despite that holding power, it folds up to the size of a wallet, making it easy to include in even the most minimal packing systems. It looks sleek too, so you won’t stick out like a sore thumb despite the utility.
Fold-Up backpack, $65; amazon.com.
4. Everlane Trainer
It’s been said that life is chaos without comfortable footwear, and while we wouldn’t necessarily go that far, a good pair of shoes is an imperative if you’re going to be running around all day. Everlane’s Tread trainers offer solid support, and they can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. They’re also designed with sustainability in mind, using leather from a Gold Certified tannery and minimal virgin plastic – the laces and linings are made from recycled bottles, and the soles are recycled and natural rubber. Just be sure to allow time to break them in before you hit the road.
The Trainer, $98; everlane.com.
5. Hydro Flask Wonder Collection water bottle
If you’ve sworn off single-use plastics, you’ll need to carry something to keep you hydrated, and the insulated bottles from Hydro Flask will keep your drinks cold for 24 hours at a stretch. And with the new Wonder collection’s seasonal, landscape-inspired designs (think: autumnal sunsets and clear wintery skies), you can add a flip lid or a straw and you’ll be sippin’ pretty.
Limited Edition Wonder Collection 32-ounce wide mouth bottle, $45; hydroflask.com.
6. Aesop Departure kit
From subway handrails to taxi doors to touchscreen keypads to credit-card terminals, your average city sojourn is a germ-riddled affair, so don't forget the hand sanitizer. Laced with mandarin, rosemary, and cedar, Aesop’s elegant rinse-free hand wash is a classy upgrade on a drugstore standard, and if you opt for the brand’s Departure kit, you’ll also get lotion, lip balm, a face mask, and more – basically everything you need to refresh on the fly.
Departure kit, $53; aesop.com.
7. Fitbit Inspire HR
Sure, seeing the sights is rewarding in and of itself, but if you cover a lot of ground and don’t get credit for it, does it really count? Fitbit’s Inspire HR provides the thrill of validation that comes with a high step count, and it’ll keep an eye on your jet lag too. Its battery can go five days without needing a boost, and its slim profile won’t look out of place in urban environs either.
Fitbit Inspire HR, $99; amazon.com.
8. Lord Jones + Tamara Mellon High CBD Formula Stiletto Cream
So you couldn’t resist wearing those brand-new, sky-high shoes for a night on the town, and now you’re paying for it with aching arches and shooting pains in the balls of your feet? A vegan and cruelty-free blend of cocoa and shea butters, olive oil, fruit acids, and broad-spectrum hemp extract, this collaboration between CBD pioneer Lord Jones and luxury shoe designer Tamara Mellon will have you ready for more action before you know it.
Lord Jones + Tamara Mellon High CBD Formula Stiletto Cream, $70; lordjones.com.
9. Genius Pack Micro travel umbrella
Unless you’re hitting the streets in permanently sunny climes, there’s a chance of rain, and with a 39-inch canopy, Genius Pack’s tiny-but-mighty umbrella will keep you covered no matter the forecast. The best part? It folds up to just six inches long and weighs only half a pound, so it won’t be a pain to lug around. Now all you have to do is brush up on your sidewalk etiquette (hint: be mindful of your fellow pedestrians and tip the edges away from oncoming traffic), and you’re good to go.
Micro travel umbrella, $28; amazon.com.
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