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When it comes to gifting, seasoned travelers are a tough bunch. They’ve got hacks for everything from packing to awards points and are often incredibly loyal to their favorite products and brands. That said, we’ve sourced a few useful and/or indulgent items sure to surprise and delight a globetrotter on your list. Best yet: They’re all under $50.
These gadgets are a must for anyone who checks luggage. Last year, Apple released its version, the AirTag ($29, apple.com/airtag), a little disc that syncs to the Find My app and has a huge range of accessories it snaps into, from the uber-luxe Hermès luggage tags to cool and utilitarian carabiners. The Tile Sticker ($19.99, tile.com) is similar in size and, as the name implies, has an adhesive back so it can stick onto anything you might want to track, from remotes to glasses cases. It works with both Android and Apple devices as well as Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant. Chipolo ONE ($25, chipolo.net) is another small, circular wonder. It works with the Chipolo app to notify you when you’re out of range and you’ve left that item behind and offers a variety of ringtones to help you find your item.
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Socks may seem like a lame gift, but wool socks are not. Why? Wicking. Every traveler has been in that situation where your shoes get soaked; but now your feet will be dry. (Personal note: I have a wardrobe of wool socks — no-shows for loafers, anklets for running shoes, taller ones to wear with boots, etc.) Smartwool’s site allows you to search by type of sock and cushioning but you can’t go wrong with the Smartwool No Show Socks ($16, smartwool.com). Patagonia’s Lightweight Merino Performance Crew Socks ($25, patagonia.com) are a very cool 1970s tube-sock-reminiscent design. Bonus: All of the virgin wool Patagonia sources is certified to the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) from farm to fiber to help ensure protection both for the animals that supply it and the land they graze. Farm to Feet creates socks made only with materials from the U.S. and fun designs include city names paired with nature-inspired prints (the Eureka features a live oak on the ankle; $23, farmtofeet.com). Choose from a range of cushioning types and zones, as well as circumferential compression to support the foot and minimize fatigue throughout the day.