Our favorite holiday gifts for travelers and wine lovers, 2017 edition

Two trends are on our mind as we share our top holiday gift picks for travelers and wine lovers. First are the new airline-imposed bans on smart luggage -- suitcases featuring non-removable batteries, plugs, GPS tracking, bluetooth, or motors (yes, there is actually a motorized suitcase you can ride) -- that have us thinking "Wow, we're happy we never jumped on that bandwagon". The second is more philosophical: Travel makes me a minimalist. If I don't need it on the road, I probably don't need it at all.

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Review: Three great duffel bags to elevate your weekend travel

We're living in a golden age of travel paraphernalia, where the miracle of crowd funding has made it such that almost any obscure need can be met with niche product. Sometimes the wheeled carry-on just feels like overkill, too much overhead (I assure you that pun was unintentional) for a quick weekend trip. So I went searching for the perfect duffel bag, and offer quick reviews of my three favorites here.

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The Bellroy Travel Wallet is best on market, keeps me very organized at the airport and beyond

I've recently fallen in love with the Bellroy Leather Travel Wallet: Hands down the best wallet and passport cover combination on the market because it almost magically combines both into a single elegant leather object, and manages to fit everything I need into one folio smaller than any similar product I've ever put my hands on. It has helped me become infinitely more organized keeping my business together at the airport and everywhere I roam on either side of my flight, and has become truly indispensable to my travel routine.

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Review: Great Tumi Alpha 2 International Carry-on suitcase fits 17 days of stuff into the overhead bin

We field tested the Tumi Alpha 2 International Expandable 4-Wheel Carry-on as my only suitcase through four four countries over 17 nights. The verdict? This thing is both an excellent and stylish performer whose expense you'll make up in reliability and the money you'll save not paying for to check your luggage. It deserves a spot on your Christmas list. Our review and tips for packing it for 17 nights are below.

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Four countries, 17 nights, one Tumi international carry-on and a backpack. Your advice?

Next week we depart on a journey through four European countries -- Spain, Portugal, the UK, and Sweden -- that will take us from the city streets of Madrid, Lisbon, London, and Gothenburg to the wine country of Ribera del Duero, Rioja, and the Douro Valley. I'll boldly shoehorn 17 nights worth of kit into a Tumi International 4-Wheeled Expandable Carry On suitcase and their Knox Backpack. Any recommendations or packing tips as we take this on? What works for you?

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Nomad's Leather Charging Wallet is my new traveler's essential for keeping charged on the go

I've been carrying around the new Nomad Leather Charging Wallet, and have been really surprised at how great this portable battery wrapped in a high-quality leather wallet is for travelers and every day active people on the move. It's really a great answer to challenge of never having enough juice for your phone when you need it.

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Top five travel gear for people who don't have time to prep for the places they're going

You're going places, but you're busy. You probably live in a city, have a job that just won't quit, have to stay at least somewhat connected, and probably don't have all the leisure time in the world to get your life together before you travel. When I travel, I'm not worrying about liquids in plastic bags, toothbrushes, throwing my stuff together, hauling my tech gear, and figuring out where to get my next hit of battery power.

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The Nomad life: Keeping charged on the go (for pictures of planes and directions to wineries)

We're no longer the people in the airport or on the train scrambling for every drop of power to keep our devices going through the day. For this we thank Nomad, whose brilliantly well thought out gadgets have kept us charged, sane, and looking like we know what we're doing for a couple years now. we've found that these accessories really will transform one of the more stressful aspects of your travel routine, and of course give you a lot more juice to take pictures, get directions, find the best wine bar, and tell the world all about it.

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