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The Malin & Goetz Tumi Travel Case, at left, and Flight 001 Carry-On Quart Bags

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A do-it-yourself travel snack of Manchego cheese, quince fruit paste, Marcona almonds, and cheese bags to hold them

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The Monoprice Product ID 9752, a useful and affordable cellphone battery backup and LED flashlight

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The 40 Blinks Ultralight Sleep Mask

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“Art & Place: Site-Specific Art of the Americas” by Phaidon Press, and a London guidebook from Analogue Guides

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Kind Bars, an affordable and popular brand of snack bar ideal for travelers

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Hunter Boots' Packable Tour Rain Boots and WalkSafe Mini Umbrellas

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The Brookstone Mobile 7800 mAh Charger, which holds enough power to recharge multiple devices, even at the same time

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Silk pajamas from Araks, quite warm but thin enough to pack well

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Travel gift ideas for the thrifty and flush

  • Article by: STEPHANIE ROSENBLOOM and SETH KUGEL
  • New York Times
  • November 22, 2013 - 1:30 PM

Big spender or bargain hunter? Our resident experts have you covered in this year’s travel-themed holiday gift guide. In six categories, Stephanie Rosenbloom, the Getaway columnist, gives her high-end picks, and Seth Kugel, the Frugal Traveler columnist, scrounges up some deals.

 

HIGH-END

CHARGER

Brookstone Mobile 7800 mAh Charger, $99.99. brookstone.com

You can buy a small smartphone charger for cheap. But they’re not efficient if you need a lot of power in a hurry or want to charge more than one device. Consider instead the Mobile 7800, which, while bigger (about the size of your palm) than cheaper chargers, resuscitated my iPhone swiftly and completely during a three-hour hike. In fact, it can provide up to three charges for most smartphones before it needs a recharge and is made for sharing: It can charge two tablets or devices (including iPads, Androids and BlackBerrys) simultaneously.

RAIN GEAR

Hunter Packable Tour Rain Boots, $140. usa.hunter-boot.com

Hunter, the maker of those tough, ubiquitous Wellingtons originally produced in Scotland in the 1850s, is making it easier to take Wellies on the road. These flexible, foldable boots — available online in red, navy, yellow, black, green, blue lily and, for would-be aristocrats, “sovereign purple” — can be rolled up and stuffed into a drawstring bag, providing the coverage of tall rain boots without hogging precious luggage space.

BOOKS

“Art & Place: Site-Specific Art of the Americas,” $79.95. phaidon.com

This new coffee-table book takes readers through 15 countries and an array of time periods as it catalogs more than 500 artworks that are “inextricably linked” with their location, be it desert, mountain, gallery or subway station. Included are Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome (Canada, 1967), Walter De Maria’s desert installation “The Lightning Field” (New Mexico, 1977) and Jos Rodrguez Fuster’s “Fusterlandia” (Cuba, 2000).

TOILETRIES

Malin & Goetz Tumi Travel Case, $125. tumi.com.

The New York bath-products company Malin & Goetz teamed with the luggage maker Tumi on this “ballistic nylon” and leather travel kit (available in “his” and “hers” styles), which includes grapefruit face cleanser, vitamin E face moisturizer, bergamot body wash, peppermint shampoo, cilantro hair conditioner and (for women) vitamin B5 body moisturizer — all small enough to be stashed in a carry-on. Two zippered compartments provide plenty of room for must-haves, with additional zippered interior pockets.

SLEEP GEAR

Araks Kate pajama top, $328. araks.com

Araks Ally pajama pant, $237

Pajamas need to be thin yet warm enough to stave off a chill. This silk pair feels light as air and, unlike a lot of fuddy-duddy button-front pajamas, hangs beautifully. The pants are delightfully long, and, for warm-weather getaways, you can leave the top at home and just pair the bottoms with a white ribbed tank. For a stocking stuffer or, say, Night 6 of Hanukkah, add the 40 Blinks Sleep Mask ($12.95 at bucky.com). The mask’s contoured cups block light without smushing your lashes.

SNACKS

Manchego Mini-Wheel, $42.98. zabars.com

Membrillo (Quince Paste), $5.99, Marcona Almonds, $8.98

Trade processed snacks like pretzels and potato chips for this DIY package, all available from Zabar’s. Start with the Manchego, a nutty, buttery, hard cheese from La Mancha, Spain. Add some quince fruit paste (membrillo) and Marcona almonds, and this travel snack (cheese bags, $5.98 for 15, help ensure proper storage) is so tasty you’ll want to indulge at home.

FRUGAL

CHARGER

Monoprice Product ID 9752, $19.95. monoprice.com

You can spend a fortune on a turbocharged, jewel-encrusted smartphone charger that takes your battery from zero to 100 percent in the blink of an eye. But, Monoprice makes solid, affordable chargers that do the job and are moderately attractive. Product ID 9752 — hey, cool names cost money — is about the size of an electric toothbrush handle, works with any phone via USB port and doesn’t overheat like some of its lower-end competitors. It also has a built-in LED flashlight, which is handy, even though an electric toothbrush would be handier.

RAIN GEAR

WalkSafe Mini Umbrella, $24. shedrain.com

Packing an umbrella means giving up space for an item you may never use, so the itty-bittier the better. The WalkSafe from ShedRain, a Portland, Ore.-based umbrella specialist, is solid and collapses to just over 8 inches long. A snappy case adds a little flair; the brighter color choices (mesa orange, wasabi) add still more. A bonus: 3M Scotchlite reflective material increases your chance of survival when you look the wrong way before crossing the street on a rainy London evening. (The umbrella can be found for $18 at sites such as Amazon.)

BOOKS

Analogue Guides, $12.95. analogueguides.com

The almost pocket-size Analogue Guides are written, produced and all but hand-stitched by the wife-husband team of Alana Stone and Stefan Horn. Stone, who handles the editorial side, divides each guide into neighborhoods, offering a curated selection of hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars and other highlights, along with wonderfully clean street maps. New York and London came out last year, and Los Angeles, Barcelona and Berlin will hit shelves on Nov. 28. (Ah, and the Paris guide should be out in time for Valentine’s Day.)

TOILETRIES

Flight 001 Carry-On Quart Bag, clear or neon, $10 to $14. flight001.com.

Instead of putting your 3.4-ounce liquids and gels into a zip-top bag to get through security, use this TSA-approved plastic contraption. Just pop it out of your carry-on and through the X-ray machine as is. Either way, zip-top bags can return to their original mission: transporting your kids’ peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

SLEEP GEAR

Travelrest Travel Pillow, $26.95. travelrest.net

Many travelers hoping to sleep on a plane know to reserve a window seat, lean their head against something solid and let their neck muscles fully relax. The Travelrest Travel Pillow essentially replicates the window seat experience wherever you’re sitting with its warped-banjo-shaped, easy-to-inflate design that attaches to your seat. (It’s also much softer than an airplane wall.) You can also just sling it around your neck (say, for snoozing in the back seat during a road trip), though it’s not quite as stable that way.

 

SNACKS

Kind Bars, $17 to $21 for a case of 12. kindsnacks.com

The world will never agree on which of the dozens of brands of snack-protein-fiber-energy-workout bars are the most nutritious or effective. But since when did nutritious or effective become criteria for gift-giving? Just about everyone loves Kind Bars, which are low in sugar and high in deliciousness. They also fit easily into suitcases — and stockings.















 

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