The good, the bad and the bizarre from the world’s best travel media
GIFTS THAT TRAVEL WELL
Not sure what to get your favorite traveler this holiday season? Never fear, IBIT is here to hook you up!
Tis the season to start making your gift list for the traveler you know and love, and there’s no end of cool “stuff” from which to choose.
Clothing is always a good option. A warm sweater that packs well or a good-looking windbreaker with lots of pockets (especially pockets with zippers and/or hidden pockets inside), or one of those photographer’s vests with enough pockets to stash the supplies of an infantry squad, are always practical presents.
The vest is especially useful. Wearable any season, you can cram it with an unbelievable amount of stuff, maybe enough to let you carry one less piece of luggage, but it should still fold up readily enough to fit in that bin that you have to send through the airport X-ray machine. Think of it as a carry-on you can wear.
Indeed, one company, ScotteVest, makes a whole line of travel clothing designed to stash your belongings, including vests and jackets loaded with pockets for this very purpose. But if you want to go for a lower price range, just Google the term “travel vest” and you’ll find lots of alternatives, some of which may be cheaper.
Between the rigors of airport security and the discomforts with flying itself, your favorite traveler might appreciate a nice jogging suit or something similar. Not too flashy, something done in a simple style and understated colors, but with a few pockets and best of all, a built-in belt with a non-metallic buckle.
Result: an ensemble you can sit comfortably in for hours, even in the most diabolical miserable Coach seat — and no need to take off your belt for the TSA.
The folks at TravelSmith have a half-dozen examples of what they call “travel suits” that fit this bill exactly. The Duluth Trading Co. has a pair of sweatpants they designed for workmen, but also look like they might be ideal for travelers. You may be able to find other examples on the Web.
Or you could forget about all of that and just get your favorite traveler a T-shirt from the IBIT Online Store.
If you don’t want to hassle with clothing sizes, you can always give the gift of luggage. A lot of travelers are forever searching for the perfect travel bag (I should know; I’m one of them). One of the best places online to shop for luggage is eBags. For sheer variety alone, they’re hard to top. You could be on their site for days. Their prices aren’t bad, either.
I have a split-level rolling duffel of theirs that I absolutely swear by.
Electronics is another good bet. Music players, noise-cancelling headphones, digital cameras — the possibilities are endless. Beyond that, however, there are enough gadgets designed for the specific needs of travelers to give one for each of the 12 days of Christmas.
You can seldom go wrong with a Swiss Army knife from Victorinox or Wenger. I always travel with one, and it’s never failed to come i handy. (I lean toward Victorinox myself, but that’s just me).
Speaking of handy, the folks at Smarter Travel have created their own Christmas gift list for the traveler in your life, and it’s a beaut.
A voice-activated alarm clock that you tell what what time you want to wake up? (I could use that at home!) A power converter that sits in your car’s cup holder while it charges multiple devices at once?
A camera bag disguised as a stylish purse? An insanely flexible tripod for your camera or iPod that you stand on or attach to just about anything?
And even that list barely scratches the surface of what’s available out there.
Or you could just get your traveler a nice aluminum water bottle from the IBIT Online Store. Just sayin’!
And now, here’s this week’s Digest:
George Hobica knows as much about airfares as anybody, and more than most. He has ten tips for scoring a bargain fare — or at least, what passes for a bargain nowadays.
from Smarter Travel
Could you be ripped off by the TSA? Some travelers have been.
from USA Today
Royal Caribbean is seriously considering creating cabins aboard its cruise ships specifically for singles, and Norwegian Cruise Lines is already moving in that direction. I can already hear some of you out there muttering, “It’s about time!”
from Smarter Travel via Yahoo! Travel
Looking for a winter getaway that won’t render your family finances null and void? The ST folks have these five nominees — the cradle of American liberty, an African desert kingdom, the nation that gave us Caesar and Chianti, some of California’s most beautiful seashore and…Bulgaria?
from the Times of India
While most tourism efforts in Africa focus on bringing more tourists to the Mother Continent, India is looking to draw more visitors from Africa.
Is Ghana ready to put its failed aviation past behind it and build its own air bridge from West Africa directly to America. These writers say yes, and the sooner the better.
Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airlines has just picked up the first of five Boeing 777-200LR jumbo jets. The “LR” stands for long range — long enough to connect any two cities on the planet. Non-stop.
from the Voice of America
The State Department has reissued its travelers advisory for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It can be summed up in one word: DON’T.
from the Jamaica Observer
A look at the bond between reggae music and Africa.
from the New York Times
The Tigre Delta near the mouth of the world’s wide river is a watery playground undergoing a renaissance in Argentina, within easy reach of Buenos Aires. And while we’re already deep into an increasingly bone-chilling fall up here, down there below the Equator, spring is moving into summer. Just sayin’.
from the Guardian (London, UK)
Ecuador’s Isla de la Plata offers wildlife on a par with the better-known Galapagos Island, but without the equally wild prices.
from the Times of India via asiaoneNews
Word to the wise men: If you’re visiting Delhi and travel by subway, don’t — as in DO NOT — slip into the car reserved for women only, even if there are a bunch of empty seats. The ladies aren’t HAVIN’ it.
from the New York Times
Is winter the best time of year to visit Venice? The weather may not be picture-perfect, but the tourist mobs are gone and Venice is still Venice. The NYT’s Rachel Donadio makes the case.