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Vox’s gift guide for global citizens

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Our staff selections for those on your list who want to travel the world or just understand it better.

Peak Design Everyday backpack

This bag has changed my travel life. I’m headed to the airport right now, in fact, with just this bag. For weekend trips, it’s my only bag; for bigger trips, I just use it for my camera gear. (I have the 30L, as opposed to the smaller 20L). You can customize how the inside is set up, it’s really well-designed, and everything from the zippers to the material is noticeably high-quality. ($259 for 20L bag)

—Johnny Harris, senior producer, Borders

Soviet avant-garde poster collection

I am obsessed with the Cold War and have been collecting vintage Soviet propaganda posters and other USSR paraphernalia for years. This poster set, which includes a selection of 24 different Soviet avant-garde posters, is at the very top of my wish list. Each print is a full-color, 9.4-by-12.9-inch reprint of an original image from Soviet propaganda, art, film, and advertising. They’re visually arresting and represent a diverse range of Soviet constructivist art. (Soviet Visuals, $49)

—Jenn Williams, foreign editor and co-host of Vox’s Worldly podcast

LKY Digital travel adapter

Sure, nobody actually wants a travel adapter as a gift. But if you’re like me, your suitcase will be halfway packed for your flight to Europe before you realize, “Oh, right, the plugs are different!” So it’s nice to have an all-purpose one on hand ahead of any trips. This is lightweight, compact, and comes in a protective case so you can toss it in your bag without worrying. It also has multiple USB ports so you can charge up and plug in a bunch of things at once. The company says the adapter works in more than 150 countries worldwide, and while I can’t say I’m that well-traveled, it hasn’t failed me yet. ($12)

Jen Kirby, foreign and national security reporter

Where Chefs Eat: A Guide to Chefs’ Favorite Restaurants, edited by Joe Warwick, Joshua David Stein, Natascha Mirosch, and Evelyn Chen

I’m definitely not a person who likes to travel with an itinerary or predetermined list of spots to hit, but I also don’t like to stumble into any restaurant without any idea of what I’m going to get. This book is kind of a middle ground, and it’s been a lifesaver for me on countless trips. It has a good mix of restaurants in virtually every neighborhood of every major city, and you can rely on it for nice dinner recommendations or when you need to find a cheap lunch place by your hotel. The book is admittedly a little too big to be considered travel-size, but it’s also so much fun to look through while flying to a new place. ($35)

Gaby Del Valle, reporter, The Goods

Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (The Criterion Collection)

Stanley Kubrick’s legendary 1964 political satire about the Cold War and the nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union is one of my five favorite films of all time. It’s both a hilarious black comedy and a crash course on nuclear deterrence theory. The Criterion Collection version of the film makes a great gift, as it includes a ton of bonus material, including excerpts from a 1965 audio interview with Kubrick and interviews from 1963 with actors Peter Sellers and George C. Scott. ($18, DVD)

—Jenn Williams

No Turning Back, by Rania Abouzeid

This book is a great gift for anyone who wants to understand what’s happening in Syria. Abouzeid is an award-winning journalist who spent six years covering the war and obtained astonishing access to groups on all sides of the conflict. She uses the perspective of various people — like a Jabhat al-Nusra leader, an Alawite family in regime-controlled territory, and the leader of a faction of the Syrian Free Army — to show how the conflict unfolds. Rather than taking a bird’s-eye view, this book centers on the people at the heart of the conflict and brings their experiences to life. ($20, hardcover)

Alexia Underwood, associate foreign editor

Teva sandals

I know what you’re thinking: Who wears Teva sandals? Hippies, that’s who. But I wear Teva sandals all the time, especially when I’m traveling, and I’m not a hippie (at least not on weekdays). These sandals make a great gift for anyone who hikes or spends a lot of time outdoors. They’re affordable, durable, and they hold up in almost any terrain. They’re also incredibly comfortable, particularly in the summer when you’re walking around a lot and need a compromise between flip-flops and tennis shoes. And if you’re in airports all the time, they make the TSA security checks just a little breezier. ($60)

—Sean Illing, interviews writer

Urban Sketching: 100 Postcards: 100 Beautiful Location Sketches from Around the World by Gabriel Campanario

Postcards are snail mail’s version of text messages, and I love sending them to friends and family just to say hey. I stumbled across this box set recently, which features various scenes from around the world. The sketches are pulled from Campanario’s The Art of Urban Sketching, and many different artists — with very different styles — are included in the collection. Because they’re sketches, each postcard tells an almost personal story about the people and buildings and scenery, whether it’s New York City or Berlin. Plus, you can flip through the collection and pretend you’re a world traveler without ever leaving your desk. ($20)

—Jen Kirby

Coach card case wallet

The world is increasingly cashless, which should make it easier to pack light. Yet for some reason, until about a month ago, I was carrying around a huge wallet with a change purse and room for bills. Then I came to my senses and downsized to a card case. Slim and light, it’s so much easier to throw into my backpack or jacket pocket than my old wallet. Lots of places make card cases these days, but this Coach version is simple, elegant, and comes with a free monogram if you want to add a personal touch. (Coach, $75)

Eleanor Barkhorn, deputy managing editor

REI packable rain jacket

Everyone needs a good raincoat, and I really like this one. It has a great fit and is so light that you can cram it into any overstuffed suitcase. I’ve tried a few versions of these lightweight rain jackets, and I think REI makes the best one for the best price. It doesn’t stick to my skin and has a good selection of colors. (REI, $70)

—Alexia Fernández Campbell, economic policy writer

Cuyana classic leather tote

I travel a lot, and this bag comes with me on every single trip I take. It’s also become my perfect everyday work bag. It’s beautiful and made from soft Italian leather, and it’s roomy and sturdy enough to survive the TSA X-ray belt. It’s like the Mary Poppins bag: Somehow, it seems to magically expand to hold every single thing I could possibly need with me on my flight and on trips, whether for business or pleasure. I bought it just a year ago, but it’s already been to four countries with me and is barely showing any signs of wear. (Cuyana, $175)

—Nisha Chittal, engagement editor

Point It translation book

You can get by almost anywhere in the world these days with English, a friendly smile, and a willingness to learn a few words of the local language. But I love this little book — a mise-en-scène collection of old-school pictures of everyday items, from farmyard animals to medical supplies to various types of accommodations. Want to tell a waiter in Prague that you’re allergic to raisins? Point at it. Need to find the subway — not the train — in Beijing? Point at it. Missing a jack for your rental car in Dakar? Yep, point at it. With more than 1,300 items in just 64 slim pages, it’s kind of wonderful to know that, wherever the world might take you, you’ll never struggle that hard to get the point across. ($7)

—Ben Pauker, managing editor, news

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