Susan Michelle's Compass
The Traveler's Holiday Gift Guide 2008
By Susan Michelle
Dec 21, 2008 - 4:53:35 PM
Still scrambling for a gift for your favorite globetrotter this holiday season? You’re in luck! I’ve got a handful of stocking stuffer ideas comprised of some of my favorite travel accessory finds from the past year. They’re all ultra-useful and wallet-friendly items that any traveler can use in 2009…and beyond!:
SECURITY-FRIENDLY TOILETRY PACK: If you know someone who passes through airport security often, their Ziploc bag probably ain’t holding up to all that rustling. Get them a more durable version with the sturdy, reusable 1-Quart Zip-Top Bag from Travelon ($6.99, with refillable toiletry bottles). Make your own security-friendly gift pack by adding in some other Travelon toiletry conveniences, like their Toiletry “Sheets”: solid, petal-sized slivers of shampoo, laundry detergent and shaving cream; just add water to turn the petals into usable liquid. Fifty sheets for $4.99.
GREEN LAPTOP JACKET: Every laptop owner needs a great case for his/her computer. GreenSmart makes a variety of handsome-looking cases from 100 percent recycled bottles. The All Around Laptop Jacket, $39.99, has a carrying strap and handle, and opens and closes with your laptop, so you never need to slide your computer in and out of a bag again.
OLYMPUS STYLUS 1030SW: For an easy, compact camera that takes great pictures, and can take a beating in your backpack, the Olympus Stylus 1030SW is hard to beat! Drop it, spill on it, bury it in sand—it’ll stand up to it all, and still churn out phenomenal vacation pics. With such ultra-durability, a price tag of $279-$412 is well worth it!
NOISE CANCELING EAR BUDS: Headphones that block out airplane noise are a great idea, but over-the-ear types (like Bose’s Quiet Comfort headphones) are too bulky for limited luggage space. Now, there’s an alternative: noise-canceling ear buds that fit inside the ear—they look like your iPod earbuds, but work much better. Choose from any of the following models: Audio-Technica ATH-ANC3 QuietPoint Earphones ($109.99), JVC HA-NCX77 Noise Canceling Earbuds ($29.99-$79.99), and Sony MDR-NC22 Noise Canceling Earbud Headphone ($65.48-$99.99).
ULTRALIGHT FLASHLIGHT: It’s a flashlight, radio, siren, weatherband and cell phone charger all in one—and, it doesn’t require batteries! Just wind the Ultralight up for up to 20 hours of light, five hours of radio, or one to two hours of talk time. Great for camping, or just to have on hand in case of emergency! $39.95.
LUGBUDDY: This is, hands-down, my favorite new travel accessory of 2008. The LUGbuddy’s a little, handle-like device that attaches to your wheeled suitcase to allow you to clip anything else on top of the bag: a coat, purse, shopping bag, another small suitcase, etc. Sure, most wheeled bags come with their own clips to attach other bags to, but I find that doing that throws off the balance of my suitcase, making everything fall over or flop around…and their use is limited to other handled bags—no coats, boxes, etc. The LUGbuddy, $15.95, attaches anything, very securely: a genius little item which should become a mandatory travel accessory for all road warriors.
About the Author: A former Hollywood producer and now 2nd-generation travel professional, Susan Michelle travels the planet as the “face” of the fashion-forward Compass travel lifestyle brand.