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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Great gifts for the travelers on your list

A lump of coal, we realize, might be beyond your budget this holiday season. But if you've got any disposable income left, we have some suggestions for the traveler on your gift list. What follows are items my colleague Spud Hilton and I have field-tested over the last year and can personally vouch for. Also, keep in mind that just about all the things listed here can do double duty in your non-traveling life.

TSA locks: A great stocking-stuffer that's been around a while, but I'm amazed how many people don't have these. These locks, which airport security inspectors can open with a special key, are the only ones you're allowed to use on your checked luggage. They won't stop a determined thief or a crooked TSA inspector, but they'll persuade a casual miscreant to mess with someone else's luggage. They're available from many manufacturers and sold almost anywhere travel gear is found. The cheapest I've found is the Travelpro 4-Dial Safe Skies TSA Lock, which sells for two for $1.97 at

-- Piccadilly notebook: A virtual clone of the elegant but pricey Moleskine notebook at a fraction of the price. Leather-bound, Italian-made Moleskine notebooks have developed almost a cult following among journal-writing travelers, in part by invoking the names of Hemingway, Picasso and Chatwin as past users. But at $10 to $12, they're frightfully expensive. The Piccadilly's paper is marginally coarser than the Moleskine's, but otherwise it's such an exact copy, down to the packaging, that you wonder about copyright violations. But that's a question for lawyers. $3.99 at Borders. read more...

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