Road Warrior-Tested Gift Ideas for the Business Traveler

Road warriors are in perpetual pursuit of simplicity and lightness in their traveling ways.

Gadget makers are more than happy to oblige, rolling out new product versions each year that are getting lighter in weight and simpler to operate.

USA TODAY asked its panel of Road Warriors, who log millions of miles combined each year in the air and on the road, for recommendations on ideal holiday gifts for frequent travelers. Many leaned toward technology-consolidating products that enable them to pack fewer items — ranging from GPS-embedded cameras to iPad-like tablet computers.

Gadgets that take the pain out of travel were also popular — items such as noise-canceling headphones, thermal neck pillows and Knee Defenders, a pocket-sized gadget that helps protect knees against air passengers who recline their seats.

“I will not get on a plane without (my noise-canceling headphones). They let the guy next to me know ‘I am not going to chat,’ ” says Pat Makovitch, a medical sales executive from Fredericksburg, Va.

Some travelers recommended less exotic products. Ellen Davis of Peachtree City, Ga., praises her small water spray bottle, used to spritz her clothes. “Spray, shake the clothes and hang them up in the closet overnight,” she says. “No ironing required.”

Like other technology-dependent travelers, Douglas Mapson, a baseball scout for the San Francisco Giants, travels with a tangled mess of cords and chargers. “I would suggest a small, soft-sided lunch box to keep (them in one place). A good, inexpensive gift,” he says.

Other Road Warrior recommendations:

*iGo powerXtender. Provides emergency power to cellphones and other mobile devices using AA batteries when electrical outlets aren’t nearby. “I find it great during any long delays at the airport,” says Marilyn Repinski of Gig Harbor, Wash. “I even used it during a power outage at home during a storm.” IGo claims it can provide up…

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