A holiday gift guide for that special traveler in your life
Your face says it all: You are starting to panic. Don't. If you're shopping for a traveler, you might just find the answer to your gift-giving conundrum in these pages. Our team of travelers has tested items large and small, pricey and affordable, and we want to share them with you so you can share them with others. This is by no means comprehensive, but it can start the old synapses firing. If you can't get said item in time for the big day, cut out the picture, tie it up with a bow and use it as an IOU. The true traveler will always have a use for it because there's always that next trip.

Bags, bags and more bags

Lighten up: They say breaking up is hard to do. Nonsense. My old black carry-on bag and I have been tight for years, but there's a new charmer in my life. It's the Lipault folding 22-inch bag. This lightweight beauty comes in a variety of colors, is made of nylon twill and sports what the French company calls "airplane grade" aluminum handles. It doesn't have as many pockets as my old Black Beauty, but it also weighs 5 1/2 pounds empty, about 2 pounds less than BB. On a weekend trip, it was a breeze to roll through the airport and so light to lift into the overhead that I felt like Charles Atlas. Bye-bye, BB; bonjour, Lipault. You're not cheap, but you are easy.

Info: From $200, www.lipault-us.com/foldable.html

—Catharine Hamm

Pelican brief: Here's a briefcase that's got your back and your tablet as well. The Pelican ProGear U140 Urban Elite Tablet Backpack has a hard-sided latching case built in, which is designed to shield your tablet from the rigors of travel. Besides that case, it has a pocket for your office gear and another where cords and chargers will snuggle right in. Because of the hard-sided case, the pack weighs about 6 1/2 pounds, so it's no lightweight. This backpack says it's designed for netbooks, but measure first; my 11.6-inch netbook did not fit.

Info: $259.95, www.pelicanprogear.com


Light and easy: The sleek Delsey Helium Aero carry-on is the "it" bag for a weekend getaway. The 100% polycarbonate construction means the case is durable and lightweight — a measly 8.4 pounds —and easy to maneuver up and down stairs or in and out of the overhead bin. The case can expand up to 2 inches to accommodate your shopping spree, and the double spinner wheels mean it can roll easily alongside you. The Helium Aero also comes in 25- and 29-inch sizes and is available in titanium, cobalt blue and red.

Info: Carry-on, $300; 25- and 29-inch cases, $400 and $450, respectively. www.delsey.com

—Anne Harnagel

Walking on air: Airbac backpacks are outfitted with a built-in air cushion that protects your camera and other tech gear — as well your back — from the bumping and jostling you encounter while traveling. You need only inflate the cushion, using a standard hand pump, to your desired level of comfort and lumbar support. I tried two: The smaller Zoom, part of the Airbac photography line, weighs about 3 pounds and has six sturdy padded compartments to hold your camera equipment. The under-seat-size Airtech travel backpack weighs about 3 1/2 pounds and has a thickly padded sleeve to hold your laptop, as well as two roomy compartments and zippered pouches in which to stash the rest of your travel gear.

Info: Zoom, $99.99; Airtech, $89.99. www.airbac.com


Bag check: RuMe's colorful luggage tags, made from recycled aluminum, do more than distinguish your bag from all the other black bags on the luggage carousel. On the back of each tag is a QR, or Quick Response, code and a URL. To register your contact information, you scan the QR code with your smartphone or log into the URL. If your bag is lost, the finder scans the tag's QR code or enters the URL to locate you. RuMe's anonymous third-party email link allows the finder to reach you without disclosing your personal information. Each luggage tag contains a unique QR code pattern and URL address; the printed image won't chip or fade.

Info: $14.95, www.rumeid.com


Express yourself: Luggage tags and passport holders-wallets by Brazilian-born artist Romero Britto are so pop-art bright and cheerful they could elicit a smile from even the sternest TSA or immigration agent. The luggage tags ($15 and $16) have a slit in the back to hold contact information. The passport cases ($25 to $30) have a flap to hold your travel documents, pockets for currency and slots for credit cards and indentification.

Info: www.bedbathandbeyond.com, www.amazon.com