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Black Friday: Top 12 Best/Worst Christmas Gifts for Travelers

November 27, 2009 | Posted in: Frequent Flyer,Holiday Travel,Passengers

You say you need a gift for the traveler in the family? Say no more.

After doing some serious surfing, I’ve come up with 12 gifts fit for a frequent flyer. And, since I didn’t want this to be boring, some gifts are terrific while others might be considered, uh, terrible.

I’ll leave it to you to decide which is which.

The best part: most of these gifts can be ordered online, so you don’t have to brave those Black Friday lines! Ready? Here we go…

Top 12 Best/Worst Christmas Gifts for Travelers

1. Bacon Curls: The perfect snack for hunger pangs on planes, and at just $2.95, it’s a lot cheaper than most airline food; brought to you by the Bacon of the Month Club (which also has gifts like “bacon soap” – 3 slices for $24.95).

2. Knee Defender: An old favorite; it prevents the person in front of you from reclining his/her seat (but careful – some flight attendants don’t approve of the Knee Defender and may confiscate it); just $14.95.

Keep reading – ten more gifts are coming your way…

3. MiniMotel: Your own little hideaway for airport delays, and comfier than most airport seating (unless you happen to be in one of the world’s best airports); just $49.95 and it comes with a reading light and alarm clock!

4. Hand-held Luggage Scale: Don’t pay big bucks for overweight baggage, pay little bucks for this gizmo from Sears – just $11.24.

5. Security-friendly Laptop Bag: Quit making the rest of us wait while you haul your laptop out of its bag in the security line; these TSA-approved bags let you leave your laptop alone. This one looks big enough to stash some undies in the pockets and it’s a steal at $49.95 (regularly $139.95).

6. Carryon Bags for All: A.) The traditional Gladstone bag by Swaine Adeney Brigg is a hefty $4,200 but they will personalize your luggage tag for free! B.) Trendy Kitson has an “aqua sequin duffle” for $98. C.) Trendy Target has a “weekender canvas bag” for $29.95.

7. World Map Hip Flask: For the thirsty traveler, this container features a map of the world on it, so you can take a sip and blearily trace your travels; just $28. Note: drink up before you go through security (liquids are a no-no).

8. Starbucks Gift Card: You know they’re everywhere. And as the website says, you can “select from $25, $50, $75 or $100″ (fat chance on that last one).

9. Kindle: These amazing book reading machines are just $259; or you can get a library card (cost: $0) and have access to thousands of books for free – though it’s not nearly as cool.

10. Lonely Planet Guide: They’ve got plenty, including offbeat selections like “Extreme Cuisine” and “Jaywalking with the Irish”, under $12.

11. Noise Cancelling Headphones: Bose has some nice ones for $299.95, or you could always borrow that guy’s hip flask (see #7).

12. Airline Gift Cards: Most carriers have gift cards and American Airlines even gives $5 to charity for every $50 you spend; AA cards available in any denomination between $50 and $1,500 (see your favorite airline’s website for details).

As for me, I send you a holiday wish for safe travels always…

3 Responses to “Black Friday: Top 12 Best/Worst Christmas Gifts for Travelers”

  1. Rebecca Ross says:

    Worst gift: On Nov. 20th Orbitz cancelling my flights (which I had booked on Sept. 2) to visit my grandchildren in Northern Ireland for Christmas. My husband walked in as I was saying “Let me understand – You are cancelling my flights; Not offering any alternatives; And not refunding my money for 41 days” – to which the reply was “yes, m’am”

  2. Rick Seaney says:

    We have a winner, in the “worst” category, anyway. Would you like to share the name of the airline?

  3. Rebecca Ross says:

    United dropped flight 7972 from Newark to Dulles which was the second leg (of three) of our return trip on 12/31. Because of that, Orbitz cancelled the entire itinery. I felt that Orbitz should have been willing to work with me to come up with another itinery at that time. When I rebooked (without Orbitz!) the Continental flight to Belfast had only one seat left. If Orbitz had not cancelled the entire itinery, we could have made other arrangements from Newark to somewhere that would have gotten us home – CRW. We were able to book new flights with USAir at a 40% increase in cost and a 6 hour drive to begin and end the trip. And, yes, we had trip insurance – purchased from the Orbitz web site – but no, it does not cover such items. Merry Christmas.

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