Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Stocking Stuffers for Travelers

There are a number of items we don't leave home without when we travel. . .all are small and would make great stocking-stuffers for that hard-to-shop-for-traveler on your list.

They are simple things that make life on the road just a tad bit easier and sometimes cheaper as well.  So if you are about to make a last-minute shopping dash, consider:

* A Picnic Pack:  A half dozen small plastic food storage bags, a packet of fancy cocktail napkins, a wine/beer bottle opener and a small cutting knife. (The knife and the wine bottle opener go in the checked baggage).
(We buy cheese and fruit and a bottle of local wine at farmer's markets and have picnics in our room or along the way, storing the extra fruit and cheese in the bags).

* Souvenir Savers: Wine bottle shaped bubble wrap protectors. (Available at wine stores.) These work well for protecting wine and other glass containers in your suitcase.
(I've packed honey and olive oil jars in them to bring home).

* Gadgets and Gizmo's: Roll of adhesive tape, small sewing kit with some thread in basic colors, and a needle and small pair of scissors. (The scissors go in checked luggage.)
After being on a cruise ship in the middle of the Atlantic and needing a needle and thread with neither housekeeping nor the on-board store having them, we've since always brought our own.)

*The Laundry Basket: Plastic clothes hangers, two or three will do, and a half dozen plastic clothes pins  and  a couple of those tiny boxes of laundry soap (usually found at local drugstores in the U.S.).
(I've calculated that on our longer cruises and hotel stays we have saved at least $75 to $100 per trip by simply doing a bit of hand laundry. With a pair of socks or underwear coming in a $2 a pair, using a laundry service over a long-period of time can be pricey.)

* Take Note:  Light-weight, small notebooks (journal type or those with tear out pages) and pens always come in handy. (These can be found at drugstores and bookstores)

*S*** Happens:  To be honest, sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't, when you travel.  A packet of Imodium or other such brand and a small bottle of stool softeners will come in handy for either eventuality - and could end up being one of the most used gifts you tuck into the traveler's stocking. Along that same theme, travel-sized toilet paper packets -- especially for women travelers -- are sometimes worth their weight in gold. (all can be found in drugstores in the U.S.) 

 Got more gift ideas for travelers?  Use the comment link below to share your tips:


  1. Eddie Bauer is selling a plastic spork that looks like it might even be something you could get by with in carry on -- guess you would have to check it out and see what you think. They have lots of them at the check out stand in Woodinville.

  2. Sounds like a great gift idea to me. I may have to drop by and get a couple for our stockings!

  3. Small tubes of hand lotion. I always put lotion on my hands after washing them. Public restrooms usually don't have lotion and my hands are chapped by the time I'm done travelling. -Kristin

  4. Great idea! And if they are small enough they can even go in the 1-quart bag that you can take through security. Lip balm is also a handy one, I had forgotten those. . .thanks for jogging the memory.


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