I travel a lot for work.  I’ve gone from Washington DC to Wisconsin to Kolkata, India.  I can and have lived out of a suitcase for 6 months.  When you travel like I do, you learn quickly that the are some serious essentials.  If you’ve got a travel geek on your Christmas list, here are some awesome gifts to consider.

With the economy crunching, airlines are scrimGorillamobile Action Shotping as much as they can.  This means things like food, and even entertainment is going away.  Even if you have entertainment, it might not be what you’re looking for.  Mp3 players with video, netbooks and even laptops can all have video capabilities.  Who wants to hold a iPhone or Creative Zen for a two and a half hour movie?  That’s where the Gorillamobile comes in.  The Gorillamobile by Joby is a flexible tripod that can attach to smart phones, iPods and mp3 players.  This is great as it means you can hook your mp3 player to just the right spot in order to get the best viewing angle to catch up on The Big Bang Theory.

Lots of people talk about noise reducing headphones.  They work awesome, but are extremely Ink'd Headphonesexpensive and often don’t work if your battery dies mid flight.  I’ve found that a set of in ear headphones can have the same effect, minus the batteries.  Especially Skullcandy earbuds .  These things work so much better than the expensive Sony’s I bought a few years ago at filtering out the noise.  Best yet?  The Ink’d are only 21.99.

Katadyn Personal Water PurifierWestern Europe and North America is gifted with good clean water that can be drank for free right out of the tap.  Unfortunately, the rest of the world isn’t so blessed.  This is where the Katadyn Water Filtration Bottle comes into play.  As someone that’s had giardia and other water born nasties, this is perfect for both business and pleasure, taking out 99% of the nasties that can make any trip painful.

Pashminas were all the rage back in the early ’00s and there have been a plethora of knock offs.  PashminasWhile a 100% pashmina wool shawl is close to 400 dollars, you can get imitations that work just as well.  The point is to have something that doubles as a blanket and is light and easy to pack.  A Pashmina shawl is large, folds down to easily be put into a carry on or laptop bag and will keep the travel warm and fashionable at the same time.

Last but not least are two gifts that work both inside and outside an airport.  Power is a the bane of most travellers existence.  No matter what TV would have you believe, laptop aren’t powered but nuclear fission and therefore need to be plugged in from time to time.  If you’re lucky enough to have power in economy (and seatguru.com is an awesome place to go to find out if you will or not) you’ll more than likely need an adapter.  Which is something else to stuff in your already overfilled carry-on.  If you don’t have power?  You’re relying on your laptop battery to last long enough to stay caught upThermapakThermapak Cooling Pad on Being Erica.  So, I offer two last gifts.  One is a ThermaPAK laptop cooling pad that is self cooling, takes no power, and will prolong battery life by keeping the battery cool with the rest of your laptop.  The other is a universal power adapter.  Just in case you get one of those coveted seats in economy or are lucky to fly business.  Bonus is that most of them will work in a car as well for those long car trips.