Great Gifts to say Bon Voyage
Great Gadgets, Gifts & Essentials For Travelers
My friend Marty enjoys sending gifts to friends and relatives wherever they travel. Marty usually contacts a hotel or cruise line directly and orders the pertinent present. He recently contacted three hotels in Greece and ordered bottles of wine to be placed each night in the room of a niece and her husband. “You can’t imagine how thrilled they were to find wine each time they checked into their room,” he beamed.
There’s something so special about being greeted by a gift from a friend or relative w hen you check into a hotel in a foreign country or your stateroom on a ship.
While wine is certainly a welcome donation, I recently churned up my creative juices, along with my web browser in an attempt to find unique and interesting gift to bestow upon my traveling chums. My research not only unearthed a plethora of great gift ideas, I found lots of stuff for my globetrotting self.
My first discovery was a tailored-made cookie bouquet from Cookies By Design. Guaranteed to send them off with smile, each delectable jumbo cookie is hand decorated with colorful icing in the shape of ship, suitcase, person, or even a country, 800-480-5866. Prices range from $45 to $74 depending on number of cookies. Baskets can be shipped to home, hotel or ship, anywhere in the United States. I recently ordered a basket for a birthday present. The recipient thanked me profusely.
For folks who can’t leave home without their laptop, I found the Victorinox SwissMemory Flight. This multi purpose tool features a removable USB flash drive with storage capacity of 256 and 512MB—from which they can practically download their entire PC files, or even the brag photos of the kids or grandchildren. The flash drive is available on a key ring with retractable ballpoint pen and LED mini light for about $150. www.swissarmy.com, 800-442-2706
For the beach bound, island hopper or seafaring traveler, I unearthed companies that create baskets of skin protecting products. One is Keune Hair cosmetic’s, a Holland, Amsterdam based cosmetics company, that manufactures an extravagant line of products. Keune’s “Ultimate collection” includes Shampoo for Hair and Body, that remove residues of chlorine and seawater while moisturizing skin and hair. The Protection Oil Hair &Body keeps hair and skin from drying out and protects from damaging UV rays, while the After Sun Hair Treatment revives sun stressed tresses. There’s even a Hair Gelee Spray that doubles as styling agent and UV protector. www.keune.com.
My Sistah's Stuff packages yummy products that help protect your complexion and skin from drying out during long flights or while trotting tropical parts of the globe. The products can be ordered on line and shipped anywhere in the country. www.mysistahsstuff.com.
For pet lovers I located a cool pink, mesh paneled Sherpa Toronto Pet Tote with a padded bottom, two full-length side pockets and a leash. Of course you want to give this before they embark on their trip. The tote sells for about $65 at Petco, Petsmart and boutiques through the United States, Canada and Paris. www.shepapet.com
For my fashionistas friends who want to dress chicly without having to lug a steamer trunk on their trips, I found Saint Grace, a Southern California clothing company that designs versatile, wrinkle free wardrobe necessities such as tanks, skirts, trousers and cords that flow from day into night. And to tote their stuff, A Touch of Lace, a Bloomfield Hills, Michigan company that creates handmade accessories such as space-saving toiletry bags with a jewelry role ($95), make-up bags ($92), combo cosmetic carrier with hanger ($113), and an accordion tote ($125).
To help my foreign-bound buddies learn the local language I picked out the portable Euro Interpreter that’s available online at www.franklin.com, and costs about $80. And for those who need to be constantly entertained, I opted for an Electronic Crossword Game—which provides a perfect diversion during long flights or travel delays. It sells for about $60 also at www.franklin.com. If you really want to be kind and thoughtful to any friend or relative with a food allergy concern, order them a translation card in any of 15 languages from SelectWisely www.selectwisely.com . These invaluable plastic cards fit in wallets and purses and are perfect for handing to the wait person who doesn't speak English, they can be used to alert the server for shellfish, peanut, onion, lactose, wheat--whatever ingredient you need to avoid.
Other travel-friendly gadgets that I came across included recyclable underwater cameras and more expensive digital cameras such as the new ultra compact Olympus Stylus Verve camera that’s the size of a cell phone and fits snugly n a hip pocket or travel tote. The camera features 4.0 megapixels, 2X optical zoom plus 4X digital zoom and other assets and sells for about $350.
Binoculars belong in every travel accessory bag especially for folks heading to areas such as Alaska or on whale watching or other expeditions. Prepaid phone cards are always appreciated, especially by teenagers, and come in handy for all traveler who find themselves in areas where mobile phone serviced is poor.. Ditto for prepaid credit cards such as MasterCard (also great for teens).
Every traveler’s bag should contain a first aid survival kit filled with aspirin, Advil, bandages, bug repellent, band-aids, Handiwipes, min flash light and a handheld battery operated fan. This also makes a thoughtful gift.
It took my friend’s largess to lead me on this shopping expedition, but now I am armed with lots of great gift ideas for my footloose friends, not to mention all the things I bought for myself. Hopefully it gave you some good ideas.