Confession: I haven’t done a lick of Christmas shopping yet (yes, I know it’s t-minus 14 days til jolly Ole’ Saint Nick arrives). As I continue to procrastinate my gift giving duties I created a list of ideal gifts for the traveler.
For the Frequent Flyers:
Ticket and Receipt Holder: I mentioned to a biz travel pal that I was working on this post and she raved about the (hot pink) receipt/ticket holder her husband gave her for Christmas last year. “I haven’t lost a receipt this year!” she said. I need one of those. I’m still rueing the $30 I had to eat in NYC last month because the receipt went rogue. Price (at Target): $15
Power Mat Battery Charger: This bad boy is wireless and works with hundreds of devices. Charge up to three at a time. Sign me up! Price: $69.99
Dual-Voltage Power Strip: There’s not much worse than scavenging airport gates for an open outlet (what sends me into a tizzy is when I find one and it doesn’t work. Grrr.) or checking into a hotel room that doesn’t realize that today’s world requires travel with 752 rechargeable devices. It features three outlets and even a USB plug-in (Garmin 405 users, rejoice!). Now that’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout. Price: $29.50
Wet bags: Oh man, when my cousin’s wife whipped one out at the pool this summer
I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. They were invented for diapers, but the possibilities are endless. Bags come in numerous sizes, shapes and colors/patterns. They are cloth on the outside and waterproof material on the inside. Even betta? They don’t get smelly! I bought a large and small one for my trip to Italy this year. Both have since been to Dallas, San Francisco, New York City and they are Chicago-bound this weekend. I also use them for my stinky workout clothes after my lunchtime runs. Other manufacturers make ’em, Planet Wise just has my fave patterns. With many different sizes and shapes, multiple will make ideal gifts for the traveler. Price: varies depending on size, $12.99 to 21.99
Noise Canceling Headsets: When the little kid in 25C starts screeching everyone grits their teeth. For the frequent flyer, it’s just another day in the life. There are a myriad of options and price points out there for noise canceling headsets. Of course, Bose is known for being the best of the best, but Skullcandy also makes noise canceling ear buds. Price: varies $69.99 to $299.95
Digital Scale: Keep tabs on how much weight your luggage is gaining — not you! Unless you’re a frequent flyer, you most likely have weight restrictions for baggage. I know from experience that some of the low cost European airlines are extremely rigid about weight limits. My five euro bottles of wine from Bordeaux ended up costing about $20 after I paid overage fees on an EasyJet flight back to London. (Definitely worth it.) Price: varies starting at $18
Hotel Sheets: Anyone who knows me or reads my blog posts is probably aware of my loyalty to Hilton. But, in November I stayed at Kimpton’s 70 Park Ave Hotel in New York City. All I can say is the Kimpton sheets are heavenly. Make the splurge for that favorite traveler in your life. They will appreciate the 300-thread count 100% Egyptian cotton that lulls them to sleep. Sigh.Price: varies by size
or domestic travel, I swear by the two-bottle wine tote that was gifted to me years ago. Two bottles fit securely in the colorful neoprene holder. It also insulates, so it’s great for keeping whites chilled for short distances, but it also doubles as padding for the long flight home (in checked bags, natch; TSA isn’t scared to chuck that $60 of Silver Oak). Price: $17.99
Label Remover: I feel like I’m having a Jack Handy moment when I am trying to find that faboosh bottle of wine I had on vacation. Well, it was a cab, from Napa, really oaky — you know what I’m talking about, right?Labeloff makes it easy to remember that bottle by bringing the label home with you — also creating a pretty cool souvenir. A small sheet of paper magically peels off the label, making it easy for you to order your new favorite vintage in no time! Price: 10 pack, $8.95 (they even have a wine label album to keep a collection!)
Passion on the Vine: Easily the most amazing travel and wine book I’ve ever read. It’s like you’re really zipping through Italy with Sergio Esposito and his family. It makes you want to jaunt through Italy, eating and drinking all the way. Also available on eReaders.
Aluminum Travel Safe: The gift that keeps on giving! Bring home your wine finds in style with this 12-bottle holder. It’s
FAA approved AND temperature controlled. One day, I’ll make the splurge…Price: $499
Gifts for the Traveler Who Has It All:
It’s devastating to watch news footage of your favorite travel destination ravaged by natural disasters. I remember my first experience with this after my 1999 study abroad program. We
spent nearly two weeks traveling through Turkey. About a week after returning State-side the horrific 1999 Turkey earthquake hit. I was haunted by the lack of concern by those close to me. But, of course they had no idea what I’d seen there, the beautiful land, the friendly, giving people who were affected and could not afford medical supplies that we so often take for granted.
Save Vernazza: I was again jolted from my comfortable life in October 2011