Gift Guide: The Best Travel Gear

Need a Christmas gift suggestion for the traveller in your life? Here are six choices that will keep your favourite road warrior smiling all year.

Picture by Sean Gallup/Getty Images


Philips O'Neill Stretch Headphones

Cost: $129.95 Where to get it: Shop around online and offline Why it's a good choice: Lifehacker has been a big fan of the O'Neill Stretch headphones ever since we first got our hands on a pair, even though we can fairly claim to know absolutely nothing about the surf brand which gives them their name. The appeal for travellers? Apart from awesome sound quality, the cloth-covered cord doesn't tangle in the fashion of regular earbuds, making them a much friendlier prospect to cram into your overnight bag.

Telstra 4G USB Dongle

Cost: Contract from $49.95 a month ($299 outright for business users) Where to get it: Telstra Why it's a good choice: If you're in an area where Telstra's LTE-based 4G network operates, you can experience some very impressive speeds. In those parts of the country where the data-only 4G network doesn't operate, you'll still get good results from standard Next G.

Jabra Freeway

Cost: $149 (RRP; often cheaper with a little searching) Where to get it: Shop around online and offline Why it's a good choice: There are dozens of Bluetooth-based hands free kits out there, so what makes the Jabra worth recommending? In our tests, the big selling point was the improved sound quality: you don't appreciate how tinny many in-car systems sound until you test a quality alternative.



Cost: From $24.95 Where to get it: iBottleopener Why it's a good choice: Travelling without a case for your iPhone is asking for trouble, as millions of people with smashed screens can attest. Travelling without a bottle opener is asking for trouble, but packing a normal bottle-opener doesn't always work when you have to go through airport solution. So a case with a built-in opener is the ideal solution.

Binder Clips

Cost: Varies Where to get it: Shop around (the pictured sample is from Officeworks) Why it's a good choice: It's no secret around here that we love binder clips. On the road, they can help eliminate cable tangle, fix broken keyboard feet and mend broken bag straps. Oh, and they're handing for keeping travel documents together.


Cost: $5 and up Where to get it: Your local supermarket Why it's a good choice: Yes, we constantly recommend having an (Australian) powerboard, because it's constantly useful. It saves you needing multiple adaptors overseas, lets you share power outlets at crowded conference venues, and can act as an impromptu extension cord in hotel rooms. Any basic model will do, though having a little more spacing between each outlet can be helpful if you travel with a lot of devices, and added surge protection can be worthwhile.


    Portable Stove - $13.96 from BigW:

    Run on butane cans (4 pack is about $4) with each can able to produce 60mins of cooking time at the highest setting. Very lightweight and ultra portable. Also has it's own ignition. May not be too great in high wind but is very good for the price. Keep it in the back of the car and you can have a meal or cup of coffee whereever you go.. provided you have a saucepan :)

    Good tips!
    I can't imagine giving someone binder clips or a powerboard for Christmas though, might be a bit harsh to put that in the old secret Santa.

    I think the sleepphones ( that were LH a few weeks ago were a good one for this list. I've already bought a couple

    A small bag so you can't pack much.

    great stuff. more please?

    I need an idea for a gift worth $50.

    I already have everything - prove me wrong :-)

      I just posted a reply below- but do you have a digital luggage scale?

    A much cooler iPhone bottle opener case:

      I wasn't a big fan of that model. The slide-out opener just seems less stable, like it'll put pressure on the back of the phone. Plus, it's more expensive.

      The model chosen by Life Hacker looks like the better deal.

    What about the gift that keeps on giving: a digital luggage scale ($29.95 from It takes the anxiety of getting to the airport, worried that you will get slugged an extra $50 or more for excess baggage!

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