Monday, November 24, 2008

Best Travel Gifts of 2008

As we approach Thanksgiving and the semi-official kickoff of the Christmas shopping season, two things are pretty clear:
  1. Retailers are desperate for sales, as evidenced by them trying to start Christmas shopping season right after Halloween; and

  2. Consumers are basically tired of buying everything put in front of them, so retailers are just going to have to accept their losses this year.
There are some things worth having this year, though, especially if you are (or are shopping for) someone who travels a lot. Since I'm an avid traveler myself, here are my picks for the best travel gifts of 2008 (along with handy links to find them on Amazon):
  • 1000 Places to See Before You Die - A Traveler's Life List, as well as its counterpart covering destinations across the U.S.A. and Canada, both by Patricia Schultz ($13.57 for the original, $13.57 for the sequel);
  • An ultra-slim umbrella, because it rains all over the world but lugging a big umbrella around with you is only popular in a few places ($20.00);
  • Kensington's 33117 all-in-one international plug adapter, so you can plug things into the wall in any country you visit ($22.36);
  • The Kensington K33197 120W compact travel laptop power adapter, which comes with connectors for just about every laptop on the market and supports car, wall, and airplane Empower-style power outlets so you can charge your laptop anywhere ($125.99);
  • ViaTek's Mini Dynamo LED crank flashlight, which generates a light bright enough to read or walk by after just a few seconds of winding and lasts indefinitely ($12.99); and

  • A SteriPEN Adventurer ultraviolet water purifier, which uses standard AA batteries to kill 99.9% of all microbes, bacteria, and even viruses in water, so you can purify and drink water anywhere in the world ($79.95).
Happy shopping, and happy travels!

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