A Second Carry-On and Nine Other Nifty Travel Gifts

Our guest post comes from Howard Hian, who writes at Travels with Hian. Howard is a regular contributor to The Military Press, a California semi-monthly journal. His travel features can also be found online monthly at Travel Savvy News.  Additionally, he is a regular guest commentator at On Tour with Dave and Carmel broadcasting from Sacramento, CA.

Here are 10 suggestions for the upcoming holiday season.


1. I recently discovered a clever way to get a second carry-on aboard when you fly.  How?  By wearing the Magellan Travel Vest.  It features five exterior pockets and three interior ones. I load it up with everything needed during the flight including snacks, a paperback, pens, notepad and a camera. It’s TSA-proof and has become a favorite, because it’s stylish as well as functional.

2. Have you ever lost a cap in the wind when you are on a boat or in a convertible?  You won’t have to worry with the “hat-leash,” which has a powerful alligator clip and lead that attach your cap to your collar.  It’s simple and works; no more “fly-away” headgear.

3. Another gift suggestion from Magellan’s is a pair of travel slippers for in-flight or hotel use.  They are comfortable, lightweight and fold into their own small mesh bag.

4. I’ve had a Tilley Hat for several years and see why they have a cult-like following.  Don’t tell her, but my wife will have one soon (model LT6b). It is stain repellent, packs easily, retains it shape and is very durable; it’s a classic.


5.  Princeton Tec’s Amp 3 handheld flashlight features four powerful, ultrabright LEDs which provide superior lighting for camping, around the house, evening walks, while traveling and during emergencies.  Their Remix is a lightweight headlamp that features a simple design for close-range or distance, with a single Maxbright LED and three ultrabright LEDs. It is versatile, compact and water resistant.

6.  Balanzza’s ergonomic Mini Luggage Scale from Magellan’s is a digital device which allows you to check if your suitcase is overweight; if so, you can repack and avoid airline fees.

7.  My final gizmo recommendation is the pocket-sized Powermonkey, also from Magellan.  It holds a charge for up to a year, comes with various adaptors and provides emergency power to portable electronics, e.g., iPods, most cell-phones, digital cameras, etc. Its travel pouch makes it easy to store.

Fun Stuff

8.  High quality and unusual kites of all shapes, sizes and colors can be found at Kite Flite, a shop in San Diego’s Seaport Village. My suggestion is the unique Stowaway Diamond.  It folds into a convenient, foot-long sleeve and fits into a backpack, briefcase or carry-on.

9.  The venerable Entertainment Book has a new feature this season.  Along with your hometown edition, chock full of coupons for restaurants, sightseeing, attractions, hotels and travel, you can buy a one-month membership which provides discounts in cities nationwide for only $4.95 or $30 for the year. Quite a deal.

10. My last suggestion allows you to put everything mentioned above into a new product, the AirBak Focus Tech backpack. Its patented support system shifts the majority of weight off the upper back/shoulders onto the hips, waist and lower back while resting on a built-in air cushion.  It is comfortable to carry, well designed and has lots of interior nooks and crannies for storage.