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Best Travel Gifts 2010

Flip camera

T+L Studios

What do you get for the person who’s been there, done that?

With all of its planning, fraught family interactions, and party logistics, the holiday season causes its share of stress even before you rack your brain for great gift ideas. To help out, we’ve delved into the world of travel-friendly presents and found plenty that will make any road warrior—or casual traveler—appreciate your holiday generosity.

To start, keep things easy by bearing in mind some basic themes. First, no mementos or tchotchkes: your intended recipients have probably already bought the souvenir (or don’t want one in the first place). Instead, give them a way to capture memories on their next trip: the Instax Mini 7s camera provides the same instant-film gratification as a Polaroid. Or step up the tech level with the V-Lux 20 camera from Leica, which not only takes 12.1mp shots and records HD movies but geotags them via GPS.

Next, keep it portable: it has to fit neatly in a suitcase and not weigh anybody down. The Shure se535 noise-canceling earbuds will ensure a happy listening experience even when surrounded by a racket. And a pair of portable folding speakers from Muji will bring the noise anywhere.

Also, make sure your gift is practical: adventure travelers in particular love the latest gadgets that will help them stay safe and in touch while venturing far and wide. Check out Tivoli’s water-resistant satellite travel radio, which will pick up stations almost anywhere. Adventurers also love cool footwear, like self-heating, waterproof boots from Columbia.

If your footwear-lover is a bit more style conscious, give a pair of cashmere-and-deerskin slippers from Hermès—nothing better than kicking off your shoes once you settle into an airplane seat or hotel room.

Do the travel-obsessed on your list just need a place to dream about? Consider the talking city globe from Pylones; press a location on its surface and hear about local landmarks.

Read on for a sackful of other great ideas for all peripatetic types. Once you’ve found that perfect choice, remember to ask for a postcard from your recipient’s next destination. —Soren Larson

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