Dec 15, 2009

barter gift guide #4: for suitcase slingers

A few years back we issued a challenge to ourselves to pack for any trip (of any length, for any purpose) in just our carry-on suitcase. This mission probably coincided with the increase in fees for checked baggage, but we like to think of it more as a race-against-ourselves sort of thing.  Here are some gift ideas that will make suitcases of all sizes happy.

Comfy socks. These are key for airplane travel, and will make a traveler feel cozy and at home wherever she lands. Smartwool socks are a little pricey, but they'll last longer, and treat your feet better, than the average cotton socks.

 Swimmers have long appreciated the joy that is a microfiber towel, and the avid traveler on your list will, too. These are like towels from the future! They're small enough to fit easily in carry-on bag, and have the added benefit of being the perfect 'hair towel' (those of you with long hair know what we mean).

As the sign outside of our favorite grocery store says, "A bag in the hand is worth two in the car." And a tote bag packed in your suitcase is worth...well, it's helpful anyway. We like McSweeney's weird potato bug tote (& a whole bunch of other stuff in their store) as well as the spiffy ampersand bag above (the whole alphabet available here). Super-budget versions can often be found at grocery stores and libraries. Put a batch of cookies, some tea, and a homemade card in one of these and you've officially brought the cheer.

The writer in your life will enjoy this "Working on My Novel" sleep mask (modeled above by Michael Cera). Wrap it up with a copy of Robert Olen Butler's writing guide From Where You Dream so that when they wear the mask they mean it.

Travel tips? Gift ideas? Favorite Arrested Development episodes? Let us know in the comments.


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