Traveler's Holiday Gift Guide: You Can Take It With You

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Even the most organized traveler, that person in your life who seems able to pack and go in absolute comfort every single time doesn't have it all. Just yesterday, my darling husband handed me a purple silk bundle that contained a super handy travel item: A silk sleeping bag liner, a double, even, for those romantic camping weekends. With that in mind, here's a list of a few thing that travelers can't have enough of, don't know they need, or won't spoil themselves on because they're saving their pennies for that next big adventure.

For travelers in transit:

The classic neck pillow. Many like the grain filled Bucky, I prefer an inflateable model because it takes up a lot less room in the carry on bag.




Close up of a travel neck support


Warm feet: Leather or some kind of sturdy soled slippers that don't take a lot of space are a must have on those long haul flights. I've got an ancient pair of Acorn fleece booties that I never leave home without, but Googling for slipper socks will turn up dozens of choices, including the wacky fair isle muck-luck style option. Get the kind with leather or faux leather on the sole.

A little peace and quiet: You can't make it all go away, but from isolation to noise canceling headphones, there are a few options to ease the noise. I have a pair of Shure isolation earphones that work great with my iPod, but I'm saving my pennies for a noise canceling model.

For photographers:

Tanks for the memory: Those CF and SD cards fill up fast, especially for the shutterbuggy traveler. Find out what your photographer friend is carrying and buy them some storage. Last I checked, CF cards were available in up to 4GB sizes.

Camera backpacks: Schlepping all that gear can be a drag. There are cool compartmentalized backpacks that have movable dividers to keep your kit secure. This little guy from Tamrac is super cute and converts to a shoulder bag. The Beseler pack is cute too, and green!

For artists:

Sketch and go: The Moleskine notebook never goes out of style. Don't take my word for it, though, go see the Moleskine group on Flickr.

Draw on what you see: Watercolor pencils and crayons come in compact kits and won't squeeze out all over your luggage. I like Derwent, but there are other brand that will do the trick. Pair that with a traveler's brush, and the possibilities are endless.

For the generous:

Hardened travel: Softsided luggage is tougher than it used to be and takes a lot of abuse, but if you're willing to spend a little more to protect your stuff, hard sided luggage is a great gift, especially for those that travel with expensive electronics. Porter Case makes a carry on that can also be used as a cart and for travelers with kids, there's the adorable Trunki. (Okay, I kinda want one.)

Compact computing companions: Subnotebooks come with full keyboards, DVD drives, and tons of memory. They cost a packet, but wow, what a great travel companion. For upwards of 3k, you can get the Panasonic Toughbook, waterproof, dustproof, off you go! Sony and Flybook also make tiny lightweight laptops - The Flybook V5 has a just under 9" display and a truckfull of options including built in cell phone connectivity. The TZ series from Sony is just over 11 inches and starts at 2100 dollars.

Pam blogs about travel and other adventures at Nerd's Eye View. She's got a whole 'nother wish list, but wouldn't say no to any of these things.

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