Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gifts for the Frugal Traveler?

The New York Times' Frugal Traveler posted this list of items he'd like to get for himself.

Sixteen dollars for a travel toothbrush? Frugal?

Obviously, we have a different idea of what's frugal. The only item I thought was practical for me was the Petzl headlight, rechargeable via USB. Everything else was frivolous. 

Here's my list of what to buy a frugal traveler, i.e. me
  1. Cash, always in fashion, welcome everywhere, doesn't take up a lot of space, and self-corrects the space it does consume as time goes on
  2. Diminutive, but good quality headphones for my mp3 player; I think I've had it with earbuds
  3. Amazon gift card I can use for downloading ebooks and music
  4. Good quality ear plugs
  5. Crossword puzzles book - maybe at the level of NYT's Monday through Wednesdays (they get progressively more difficult as the week goes on)

Here are some other folks' ideas of great travel gifts:

Frommer's - Gifts under $100. The solar cell phone charger is kind of seductive. But at $50, I don't think I'd get enough use out of it, and the vast majority of places I go to there's an outlet I can use. If I'm in my car and I need to charge my phone, I have a converter I bought many years ago prior to the Alaska road trip. One end goes into the lighter port and the other end is a blocky power strip in which I plug my charger.  

Executive Travel's gift suggestions. Are they kidding? Here's one of their ideas (besides the airplane tie): "triple-milled, handcrafted vegetable-oil-based maritime soap." At $19.

Travel and Leisure - Seven travel-size perfumes to throw into a carry-on? I checked to make sure this was for 2012 and not for 1999. Oh, wait. Maybe they're assuming you'd only take one at a time. Doh.

Budget Traveler's list isn't too bad. If only it hadn't made this silly statement:  True lovers of travel don't want to be weighed down with stuff.

Finally, here's a list to do something with, from International Business Times. Some of the items are too expensive for me, but there are budget-priced versions of same, like a portable drive.  And can you ever have too many packing cubes? I think not. I do think a few choices are too personal, the kind of thing I'd prefer to choose for myself, such as a backpack (but see #1 in my list above).  

Overall, I'm surprised at how few of the list items appeal to me.

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