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What to get the worldly traveller?

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People sometimes ask me what a good Christmas gift would be for someone who travels, and this gives me pause to think about what I have that makes traveling more enjoyable.

So here are a few items I’m glad I own. Maybe you’ll find a suggestion here for your favourite traveller this holiday season.

Backpack carry-on: On a trip to Philadelphia a few years ago, I had to change flights at Chicago’s busy and huge O’Hare International Airport. As luck would have it, my flights that day were at opposite ends of the terminals, with little time to make my connection. As I jogged through the airport, with a bulky over-the-shoulder carry-on constantly slipping off, I realized how great it would be to have a backpack instead of that awful bag.

The next Christmas, my fiancé answered my wish with an awesome carry-on backpack made for travelling. It’s different from other backpacks in that it has padded space for a laptop, a sturdy luggage handle on top, lots of zippered inside pockets, and comfortably padded straps and backing. Now I can dash through any airport with ease. Once I’m at my destination, I always have a backpack for daytrips and shopping excursions.

Snorkel and mask: The last time I went to Mexico, I discovered the resort we’d be staying at had an offshore reef. Being a beachcomber and relentless hunter of seashells, I knew I’d spend a lot of time exploring it. So I purchased my own snorkel and mask, and am I ever glad I did. It was certainly more hygienic to use my own, but it also meant I could snorkel as much as I wanted — not just the one-hour-per-day that most resorts provide as ‘complimentary.’

If you do purchase your own gear, invest in good stuff. A quality mask will fit tighter, fog up less, and resist scratches. If you wear eyeglasses (like me), you may also want to invest in a prescription lens for the mask, to see the flora and fishes much more vibrantly.

Roll-up slippers: Once you get to a hotel room, it’s always nice to kick off your shoes and relax. But it’s not always nice to walk around a hotel room in bare feet. A pair of roll-up slippers (or socks with grips) takes up hardly any luggage space, and keeps your feet cozy and comfortable in any climate.

Travel pillow: I never leave home without my travel pillow, which easily clips to my carry-on backpack, and makes for a more comfortable flight. If you want to carry it around, purchase an inflatable one you can pack away upon arrival.

Luggage scale: Your luggage always weighs more on the return trip. Since most airlines charge additional fees for overweight baggage, a small, lightweight portable luggage scale is a good investment.

Remember, the less money you have to spend on baggage fees, the more money you’ll have available to spend on stuff to fill those bags.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good flight!!

RoseAnna Schick is an avid traveller and music lover who seeks inspiration wherever she goes. She loves getting gifts at any time of year! Email her at rascreative@yahoo.ca  

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