Traveling to new places or familiar ones is an exciting experience. Helping someone get ready for a trip and sharing in their excitement may not be as much fun as preparing for your own trip but it is still fun.
Giving a small gift to someone getting ready for a trip is a nice token that lets them know you are sharing in their excitement. Whether you are helping a novice traveler or someone who boards a plane weekly everyone can use a few travel gadgets to make their trip easier.
There are a few things to keep in mind when buying a travel gift. Gifts should be small; you don’t want to be the one to prevent your friend from only taking carry-on luggage. They should be inexpensive; you don’t want to give someone a gift they have to worry about if they lose it or it is stolen. Travel gifts should be lightweight; no one wants to lug around something that is going to weigh down their suitcase. And they should be useful; you don’t want to give a gift that is going to be left behind.
Here are some travel gift suggestions:
A Small Flashlight – Flashlights can be used on planes, trains, in hotel rooms and in emergencies if the electricity goes out iin the hotel. I carry the Streamlight 73001 Nanolight Miniature Keychain LED Flashlight because I can hook it on my backpack.
Luggage Scale – These small luggage scales are very useful these days when airlines charge extra for heavy luggage. These little portable scales are a necessity if travel involves taking a small plane where there are strict weight limits. One that I like is the Taylor #8120 Digital Luggage Scale
LED Booklight – These little lights are handy for people who like to stay up reading long after their companions have turned in for the night. They emit very little light other than what is needed to read. On one of my trips to Venice my travel companions and I blew a fuse in our apartment after all the staff had left for the day. Fortunately I was able to use my booklight as a flashlight and we were able to make it through the night without any stubbed toes. I use the Great Point Light 3 LED Book Light
Travel Alarm Clock – Not all hotels have alarm clocks so it is handy to have one if you will need to get up early at some point in your travels. My travel alarm clock is very similar to the Chaney Instruments Sojourn LCD Travel Alarm Clock
Eyemask – For travelers who are sensitive to light an eyemask is a necessity. I always take one to use on the plane and for hotels that have sources of light that stay on day and night. I love the Earth Therapeutics Mind/Body Therapy Sleep Mask, Cotton, Silk , 1 mask (Pack of 2) and buy several packages at once since I am always afraid they will stop making them. The strap is adjustable and does not get caught in my hair which is a risk with eye masks and the eye cushion is not too puffy so it is comfortable without being too big.
Travel Pillow – Travel pillows are great to have on long flights, train trips and even hotels whose cleanliness you question. Okay, so this is just over my $25 limit and I have never actually used this pillow but it got great reviews and it would be worth the extra dollar not to wake up with a stiff neck. TravelRest – The Ultimate Inflatable Travel Pillow – NEW PRODUCT!!
Travel Related Literature – These can be guidebooks or fiction or nonfiction books about Italy or that take place in Italy. Check out the AmoreTravelGuides forum for suggestions from our members.
Travel Dictionary or Phrasebook – Small dictionaries and phrasebooks are useful for all travelers even if they will only be visiting bigger cities where most people speak English. It is fun to try to translate the newspaper or road signs and really everyone should venture outside of their comfort zone and try to say a few words of Italian while they are on their trip. One of my favorites is Rick Steves’ Italian Phrase Book and Dictionary