Holiday gifts for travelers, from bags to gadgets

By Beth J. Harpaz

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 8 2011 2:36 p.m. MST

Here's a clever gift idea from the B&B industry: The Getaway Gift Card from BedandBreakfast.com, available for $25 to $1,000 and good at more than 4,000 B&Bs in the U.S. and Canada. The website promises that the card won't expire or reduce in value and has no blackout dates or hidden fees. It's free to customize the card with your own photo and is ideal as a last-minute gift that can be delivered instantly online via email or printed out at home for presentation in person. You can also have it shipped to the recipient for free. Now through Nov. 22, when you buy a gift card of $250 or more, you get an additional free $50 gift card with the promo code GCBELLS50 at checkout.

Flight 001, the fun and trendy travel retailer with stores in California, Chicago and New York as well as online at http://www.flight001.com, offers a colorful variety of luggage, gadgets and many other travel goodies for the holidays in wide range of prices and styles, but one of its best offerings this season makes a great gift for travelers who vacation in wine country and like to bring home a bottle. The VinniBag, $30, is a reusable bag with inflatable air chambers designed to protect and insulate fragile items. Wine bottles are a perfect fit but the bag can accommodate many other shapes and sizes, and it's covered with transparent material for visual inspection without opening.

Anne Banas at SmarterTravelMedia.com says she's hoping Santa brings her a Solio Bolt charger. "I tried it out a couple of weeks ago," she said. "It's cute, seems to be well made, is compact and it works as described," and is eco-friendly, versatile and packable. The charger has an on-board battery and rotating solar panels, and it can juice up from the sun, a USB port or the wall to power your phone, MP3 player, e-reader, GPS or camera, $70 from http://www.store.solio.com.

They're not solar-powered, but Duracell also has a variety of portable chargers — the Instant Charger, Powerhouse Charger and Pocket Charger — to provide hours of extra power when the battery runs out on an iPhone, BlackBerry or iPod. They connect via USB cords to the devices, and recharge via USB cord from a computer. They're compact, lightweight and starting at $20, may be cheaper than extra batteries for gadgets. They're also getting rave consumer reviews online from folks who are on the go all day or are facing long trips and dreading the prospect of an iPod or cell phone that's run out of juice.

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