Gifts on the go

Weekend Wanderlust

By Jamie Hazlett
Sun Star Columnist

As Santa Claus, that most well-traveled of fellows, prepares to touch down on your roof in a couple of weeks, it seems high time to consider what you and other venturers on your holiday gift list might be excited to see under the tree this year.  Some items are obvious. For example, passport holders, unique luggage, or books and gear specific to the recipient’s upcoming destination are always popular.  If you want to give something truly suited to the needs of a traveler though, you have to think outside of the box.  With this in mind, I’ve picked out five of my favorite world-trekker-worthy items for you to keep in mind as you shop for those that fall into the ‘intrepid voyager’ category.  All of the below items are available at www.uncommongoods.com, which offers lots of travel-friendly items.  Watch out for your bank account and your closet space, as the site has more goodies than Santa has elves.

Travel Chopsticks ($12.00).  These handy little utensils are perfect for eating on the go or for anyone heading for a country with a dearth of forks.  Not only do they screw apart for easier storage and less trouble at security, they have their own carrying case.  Plus, their stainless steel construction makes them easy to clean and damage resistant.

The Hookup Purse Hanger ($40.00).  Airport bathrooms can be nasty, and many don’t offer a place to set your handbag while you do your business.  The Hookup offers a solution in the form of a clip that converts from a heart-shaped bit of purse bling to an S-shaped hook that holds to tables and doors and keeps your things from hitting the floor.  Despite its shape, this is far from a ladies-only tool; its ability to hold up to 30 pounds makes it ideal for anyone carrying a backpack into places where the floor sanitation is questionable.

Wallet Pen ($49.00). Let’s face it – we all wish we had better memories.  Studying would be easier, you’d never forget how to get to that awesome party everyone else will be at, and it would eradicate the fear of jumbling up the phone number that super hot guy or gal just gave to you.  Unfortunately, we’re stuck with the memories we have, and as such, we find ourselves looking for a writing stick at the most inconvenient times.  Thanks to the wallet pen, your quill and ink can be produced in the wink of an eye.  The pen nestles neatly in the fold of any wallet, it is no longer than a credit card is wide, and it comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Picnic Backpack ($35.00). Whether you’re re-creating “The Sound of Music” in the Austrian Alps or just out for a day hike near home, the picnic backpack is a sure-fire way to get your meal and all the accoutrement safely there and back.  The main compartment fits your food and a bottle of wine, while the front flap replaces spots for pens and pencils with places for forks, knives, and plates.  Extra pockets leave space for cell phones and other small necessaries.  At this price, no picnicker can afford to be without this backpack.

Bottle Cap Tripod ($10.00).  If you have a photographer on your list, this item is a must-buy.  The name explains the item: a simple plastic cap, designed to fit over the regular lid to any standard-size plastic water bottle, that also happens to feature a universal camera mount.  The only caveat here is that heavier cameras will require a mostly full bottle if you’re planning on letting go long enough to hop into the picture.

If none of the above items tickle your fancy, check out the rest of the site to find something that suits your needs and tastes.  Wherever in the world you spend your holidays this year, be safe, be savvy, and have fun.

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