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Holiday Gift Ideas

It's Holiday shopping season again! So, what do you get that avid traveler in your life? We asked visitors that very same question. As a special feature this month, we've posted your suggestions.

E-mail the Savvy Traveler Q&A highlighting bulletLetters of the Week Savvy Travel Bulletin Board

I would not hit the road without a vest--like a safari or photographer's vest with many pockets inside and out. I do not like to carry a purse and can carry everything I need--maps, camera, passport, food, money, etc. You can layer underneath or over if you are cold, just wear a T-shirt if it's warm. They come in a variety of styles for women and men and a variety of weights.

I used to think they were too unstylish to wear, but I found one that is really O.K. looking. Besides, who cares? You will never see those people again.


I wouldn't take any trip without a few essentials attached to my key ring. I have found ALL of these useful, handy and necessary on almost every trip!

Compass: helps to orient me, even after navigating the tube tangle in London, and exiting to find no sunlight to indicate which way is up.

Folding Scissors: easily open the CD from local musicians, clip a newspaper article with details an interesting attraction, break into the impossible to open Doritos package, etc.

Clip: the type that allows me to easily anchor the keyring to a zipper loop, a belt loop, etc. Also accommodates easy key additions (like my hotel room key) without having to deal with all those metal loops.

Whistle: great for attracting attention or scaring off potential nabbers. Hey, I often travel alone.

Flashlight: a really small one (the size of a AAA battery) made by Maglite. Absolute essential for any trip. If you cover the bulb with your thumb you can still read a program at the opera and not disturb anyone. Great for finding the facilities at the charming, but not private, pensione or B&B.

Hope you find this list useful. Happy to participate.


Quick-lock wire ties -- can be used as luggage locks, emergency repairs, even toothpicks.


I travel a lot and the one item (aside from normal clothing and toiletries) that I cannot do without is a Swiss Army Knife.. My Swiss Army Knife goes with me to every continent! -- But make sure it has a wine corkscrew (how can you visit Paris without one?) and a bottle opener in addition to the usual knife blade(s) and screwdrivers which are indispensable!


It may not be the most expensive gift in your stocking, but you can't beat an inflatable neck pillow for changing long trips, particularly on airplanes. They fold up nice and small, and keep your neck from becoming sore after sitting for hours. Mine changed my whole outlook on flying.


Soap Opera Body Shampoo. Custom scented, a one product fits all for travelers. Shampoo, soap, quick laundry applications, wash up dishes after snacks or breakfast, great for camping too. I don't go with out it. 800-562-5222.


Something I have that I love, and would be happy to give as a gift to a traveler, is an inflatable neck pillow for use on trains, planes, buses, cars. It is moderately priced, easy to pack, and prevents that neck-snapping-while-dozing syndrome that I used to suffer from so much before I had mine.


My all time favorite travel necessity apart from the ubiquitous "Swiss Knife" is an automatic night light, very useful in strange hotel rooms or inside cabins on board a cruise ship at night when trying to find the bathroom without breaking a leg etc. It is also a very inexpensive bon voyage gift.


I'm a filmmaker, and after finishing our last project my editor needed a long rest and headed off to the Delta in Argentina. I got him a Leatherman, which is like a Swiss Army Knife on steroids -- it's even got a saw. The Leatherman seems like it's built to last forever.


In order to sleep on long international flights, I feel that a good set of comfortable headphones which cancel out engine noise is essential.


A golf ball: every world traveler needs one, to plug the lavatory when the little rubber thing on a chain is long gone.


Medjet Assistance, a membership program for travelers. If you're hospitalized anywhere in the world, Medjet Assistance will fly you and your family back to your hometown hospital on a Learjet. The annual membership fee covers everything: $150/year for individuals and $225/year for families. Call 800-9MEDJET or check out

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