If you’re here in the States, you know today is Black Friday — the biggest shopping day of the year.
Today, look no further for your “everything else” gifts.
From cool travel gadgets to useful items for around the house, today I share with you our Travel Division Staff wish lists, starting with our newest addition to the crew…
>> DENA WEINSTEIN, Marketing Assistant and Member Liaison, Great Escape Publishing
** 1. This year, I’d really like an iPad. I love living in Washington D.C., but I travel quite frequently on the weekends. I’d love the convenience of being able to carry an iPad instead of my laptop. It’d be a great way to keep myself occupied on long car rides, train rides, plane rides… wherever!
** 2. I’d also like a new rolling suitcase. Every time I fly, it seems my plane always ends up departing/arriving in the gate that’s farthest from the airport exit. Brookstone makes great lightweight suitcases (in really fun colors) with four wheels. They’re great for carry-on, and would make the long airport walk less strenuous!
>> AUDREY HARTLAND, Marketing Manager, Great Escape Publishing
** 1. I’d like a new coffee-maker — preferably a Keurig single-cup home brewing system. I’m not much of a morning person and need a good cup of coffee before I can pretty much do anything. These machines can brew great coffee quickly so I can grab it as I’m running out the door. The individual pods come in so many different flavors, so I could drink a new kind of coffee every morning!
** 2. I go back home to Ohio a lot and to New York to visit friends. When I’m gone, I miss episodes of my favorite TV series because I don’t have a DVR to record them. So this year, I’m asking for an Apple TV. With Apple TV, you can watch anything from your Netflix account, rent movies and TV shows, and stream videos right from the Internet.
>> CHRISTINA MERCHANT, Product Manager, Great Escape Publishing
** 1. I’d like a cushioned iPad case. I travel with my iPad a lot and would like to get a more protective case for when I drop it (notice how it’s not “if I drop it”). Almost every store and designer is making their own version of iPad cases now, so the options are endless! I’d love a fun printed one.
** 2. I could also use a multi-compartment toiletry kit. Lately, while packing, I’ve found myself throwing several little toiletry bags in my suitcase — one for shampoos, one for make-ups, one for jewelry… I’d like to be able to combine all these into one large, multi-compartment bag.
>> JACKIE GRAY, Marketing Director, Great Escape Publishing
** 1. I really want an iPhone 4S this year. I’ve been thinking about making the switch from my Blackberry to an iPhone for a couple of years, and now that the new 4S is available with features like Siri and a better camera, I just have to add it to my wish list.
** 2. I travel a lot, both for my job and for pleasure, so I’d like to get a nice pillow to make my flights a bit more comfortable — especially when I’m taking a dreaded red-eye. Most travel pillows are simply horseshoes you can put around your neck, but this one supports your whole upper body too so you don’t wake up stiff and sore:
>> BONNIE CATON, Editorial Manager, Great Escape Publishing
** 1. Yesterday I picked up a new pair of lightweight travel shoes that I would put on my list if I hadn’t just bought them — they’re the Merrell Pace Glove Cross Training Shoes. I. Love. These. Shoes. They’re meant for minimalist running, but they’ll be perfect for travel on our photo expeditions, since they’re lightweight, breathable, and have really good tread. The men’s version is called the Trail Glove. They come in all kinds of colors, from wild to subdued.
** 2. I also just bought some Sea to Summit Pocket Laundry Soap sheets for travel. These would make a GREAT stocking stuffer. They’re little dry leaflets that turn into soap when you get them wet. They’ve also got hand wash, shampoo, body wash, etc. They’re totally TSA-friendly, so you can bring them along in your carry-on luggage without getting them out at security.
>> LORI ALLEN, Director, Great Escape Publishing
** 1. I’d like a portrait lens for my Lumix camera – something around 50mm or 60mm, with a wide aperture, like 1.4 or 2.8. With a 2-year-old running around and another kid on the way in February, I’m taking a lot of photos at home. In dim light with a child who won’t sit still, I need a faster lens than the telephoto I take on my travels. And I like the shallow depth of field a wide aperture would give me on a portrait lens.
** 2. A swing strap for my camera. Again, with a fast-moving 2-year-old, I could use some speed in getting my camera into position. The Black Rapid Strap, which a few stock photographers recommended over in the Breakfast Stock Club’s Stock Photographer Wish List, looked good.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]