The story appears on

Page B6

December 3, 2010

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Feature

Christmas gift ideas for those born to travel

LIKE a lot of travelers, Simon Duvall would love nothing better than for Santa to bring him an iPad this Christmas.

It's portable, perfect for "watching a movie on a plane," says Duvall, global marketing coordinator for "And it's great for quick work or Web browsing on the go, with a bigger screen than my iPhone."

Barbara Messing, general manager of, would like to find Bose's noise-canceling headphones in her stocking. "I have knockoff headphones now, but I admit I do covet the real thing."

But with a US$499 start price for the iPad and US$299 for the headphones, this may not be the year that dreams come true.

Fortunately, there are less expensive ways to say merry Christmas or happy Hanukkah to the traveler in your life.

For the travel pillow junkie - the ones who keep inflatable doughnuts in the glove compartment and a blowup body-hugging cylinder in their carry-on - there's a new goodie on the market this year. Called Total Pillow, it looks like a blue daisy with a hole in the middle.

Fold it in half for a neck rest, twist it for lumbar support, sit on it to cushion a hard seat, and carry it by dropping the hole over the handle of wheeled luggage. At a price of US$15 to US$20 (depending on where you buy it), it won't break Santa's bank - available from or at CVS, Rite Aid, Target, and other retailers.

And what traveler wouldn't like a little kit filled with personal care products in sizes that won't lead to your getting in trouble with the US Transportation Security Administration?

The website - launched earlier this year - offers more than a dozen travel kits priced from US$17 to US$85. There's one for everyone on your list, including a baby bath kit, a men's kit with shaving cream and lip balm, and many other choices filled with skin and hair-care products.

Diapers probably don't make the most festive gift, but for parents juggling lots of space-hogging baby-related items, here's something that might make trips with infants a tad easier: DiaperBuds, individually wrapped, vacuum-packed disposable baby diapers. The designer says they are 70 percent smaller than regular diapers and can even fit in a pocket, but they open into a full-size diaper; at, eight for US$6, 24 for US$18.

Another innovative concept - this one for travelers who never go anywhere without their laptops - is a two-in-one bag. The Double Time has wheels and splits into two pieces: a bag for clothes and other items that you can stow overhead on planes, plus a backpack laptop-carrier that zips off the main bag and fits under your seat. It's US$120, available at and other retailers. also sells online and in Apple stores an item called the Joint Venture, US$70, which splits into two messenger bags, one for the MacBook and one for the iPad, along with the Brooklyn, US$100, which splits into a backpack for the MacBook and messenger bag for the iPad.

Whether you visit or Flight 001 stores in New York, San Francisco, Berkeley or Chicago, the company always has colorful and clever gift-worthy items. This season's selection includes funny luggage tags for US$12, including "Lucha Libre" and "Pez" styles; zippered Spacepak bags for packing shoes, clothes, underwear and other items as compactly as possible, US$30-US$65; and a nifty undercover laptop sleeve that hides your expensive little computer in a bag that looks like an ordinary padded envelope, US$28.

Here's an item that's incredibly useful for many travelers: A wrap. Yes, even male travelers - if you buy a suitable color and pattern - will find this item incredibly handy, as an impromptu beach blanket or sun shade, a head wrap, and a way to carry delicate items.

For women, a wrap can be a skirt, a sarong, a baby carrier, scarf or shawl. They take up no room and are best picked up from the local ethnic market of your choice, but if you need an online retailer, check out, which sells many designs for under US$20.

Daisann McLane, who writes the "Real Travel" column for National Geographic Traveler and a blog at, doesn't like to call them wraps - "I call them whatever they are called in the place I am, rebozo, pashmina, dupatta, etc." One of McLane's favorite stories about their usefulness was the time a traveling companion in Pakistan donated one to fasten a wheel to a busted axle.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend