Some of My Favorite Things…..
Here are some travel gear suggestions that would make terrific gifts for the holidays.
I discovered the Fold-A-Cart by accident after a frustrating trip to the beach. Parking was terrible; never a good start. As usual, my wife and I had overpacked for our day-long outing. Lugging umbrellas, a fully loaded cooler, chairs, books, newspapers, towels, beach mats, sunscreen and a camera as well as an assortment of electronic gadgets to our perfect spot on the beach was a nightmare. I was overloaded and kept dropping things along the way. When we were finally settled, I was reading the Sunday newspaper and saw an article that addressed the challenges of our beach outings: the Fold-a-Cart. It is a durable, multi-purpose, ergonomically constructed utility cart that collapses to 20% of its original size, thus fitting easily into your car trunk. Although made for backyard and garden use, it’s adaptable for the beach; the 15-inch wheels make it fairly easy to roll through sand. Now, on beach days, everything gets thrown in and off we go. The Fold-a-Cart would make an unusual yet practical gift. There are four models starting at $100. Find out more at their website, www.foldacart.com.
Fold-A-Cart at La Jolla Shores Beach
The Pack-It Shoe Sac is a sturdy 16” x 9” mesh bag that keeps your shoes separate from your clothes. It can also be used to store any number of items. You can find it online for $12.50 at Eagle Creek, www.eaglecreek.com, along with their other packing cubes and sacs.
Another inexpensive, practical gift for a frequent traveler is the TRAYblecloth. It transforms your airline tray table into a clean surface that, especially in flu season, is very practical. It slips easily over the tray table, minimizing surface exposure, is washable and has front pockets that allows you to store travel items. There is even a children’s version that includes markers and an erasable surface. Prices start at $7 for a three pack. Check online at www.lovetotravelproducts.com.
The Entertainment Book is a must for home or vacation. Its money saving coupons provide discounts to dining, shopping, entertainment, hotels, car rentals, movies, shopping and dozens of attractions. Over 150 cities throughout the USA and Canada are featured. I’ve found that it quickly pays for itself after only one or two uses. Their newest feature is an online membership that allows you to access discounts in all of their cities. For further information, log on to www.entertainment.com.
Plane Quiet Platinum is Pro Travel Gear’s, www.protravelgear.com, top-of-the-line noise cancelling headset. It is one of the lightest of these products available and folds easily into a companion travel pouch. It runs on two AAA batteries and is a must for flyers. It also provides high fidelity sound and is compatible with iPod, MP3, CD, DVD players, laptop and desktop computers. At $100, it’s perfect for any gift list. Hint: it’s also a great help if you are trying to sleep in a noisy environment.
Plane Quiet Platinum from Pro Travel Gear
My biggest travel challenge has always been that, by the time I packed my laptop and other carry-on accessories, my shoulder bag is uncomfortably heavy. Eagle Creek’s Wheeled Underseat Tote, www.eaglecreek.com, eliminates that problem. Priced at $150, this cleverly designed rolling bag fits easily under a plane seat. It has plenty of room for my larger items and there are exterior pockets for small electronics, keys and reading materials and features a telescoping handle for easy rolling. It’s a great alternative to backpacks, duffels, suitcases, etc.
Wheeled Underseat Tote by Eagle Creek
When your travels are over, Shutterfly, www.shutterfly.com, provides a convenient and easy platform to preserve and distribute your travel jpegs. Whether you want to share your shots free online, create prints, posters, personalized cards, calendars or photo gifts, they make it easy, plus they supply the software. The “A Trip to Remember” photo book allows you to create professionally bound coffee table books. They’re a wonderful way to memorialize your vacation photos. Prices start at $35.
Thanks to the various websites for information and photos. Please note that the prices on the items mentioned are approximate and don’t include shipping.