Gifts and gadgets to help with your holiday listIf you need practical and clever gifts and gadgets for the gadabouts on your holiday list, here are some ideas that both veteran and novice travelers will love.• Touted for their antioxidant properties (said to help protect against cell damage), aroniaberries (often called chokeberries) now come as gummy chews in 100-calorie packets that are easy to take anywhere. Called Superberries, they come in fresh frozen and juice form, too, but the take-along, gluten-free, dairy-free gummies have a lively, tangy taste — sophisticated enough for adults; sweet enough for kids. They are the perfect snack to pop in a purse, pocket or backpack. Bag of 10 packets is $19.95. Visit superberries.com.• It’s easy to lose your cell phone or tablet in the rush of airport security lines and ubiquitous black cases, but wrap them in stylish, strong and brightly colored Mapicases, and you’re less likely to walk off without them. Designed for iPhones and iPads, Mapicases are made of high-quality, top-grain leather. The Nicea model iPhone case is lined with a soft fabric that prevents scratches and abrasions, and provides room for a credit card or two. Choice of four colors, two finishes and various styles and prices. Visit mapicases.com.
• According to my husband, the world is divided into two types of men: those who use electric razors and those who use blades. Being the former, he loves the sleek, lightweight ShaveTech, an electric razor about the size of a cell phone that can be charged from any USB port. This means you can use it anywhere in the world with no adapter, and its small size makes it easily portable. In this case, smaller is better. $39.99. Visit shavetech.com.
• Traveling with infants is always a challenge, especially when it comes to feeding baby. The WarmZe is the brainchild of a Florida woman who knew there had to be a convenient way to warm baby’s bottle away from home. She invented theses air-activated warmers and the fabric BottleSoc that holds the warmer around the bottle. The system warms the bottle (formula or pre-pumped breast milk) in 30 minutes to 90-104 degrees, and maintains heat for up to 12 hours. This is a long way from warming bottles and food jars with the car heater vent! (Yes, I did that.) Starter kit (BottleSoc and two biodegradable warmer refills) is $15.99. Two refills: $9.99. Visit ontheflybottle.com.
• The only negative aspect of KleenSlate paddles is that they are about 20 years too late. My kids would’ve loved stashing these in their little carry-on suitcases or road-trip goodie bags. These two-sided, whiteboard paddles (8-by-10-inches) come with low-odor, non-toxic markers that fit right into the handle and include an eraser. Multiple colored markers with erasers also available for lots of fun on the run. Plenty of non-travel uses, too. A two-paddle pack with markers/erasers is $15.99. Many variations available at kleenslate.com.
• I love it when one good idea leads to another, and that’s how Rescue Bands were born. They are bracelets, key chains, pet collars, lanyards, necklaces and more (even a Star of David holiday bracelet) made of 550-pound test paracord that double as survival gear when unraveled. Paracord was originally used in suspension lines of parachutes during World War II, and in 1997, paracord was used by astronauts to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. Use Rescue Bands in an emergency as a tow rope, tie-down for the car, pulley system or dog leash, or lash logs together to make a raft. For a long list of creative and life-saving uses, visit rescuebands.com.
• Know a high-maintenance traveler who won’t leave home without his/her pillow? The 2-in-1 Travel Pillow from The Company Store could be the compact answer. It’s a comfy personal pillow for that long drive or flight, then unzips and becomes a down-filled pillowcase that slips over a standard-sized hotel pillow. The Travel Pillow is made of 250-thread-count cotton that’s machine-washable, and comes in bright colors so it won’t get left behind. Currently on sale for $27.30 at thecompanystore.com.CORRECTION: In my column of Nov. 16, I stated that President Franklin Roosevelt “contracted” polio on Campobello Island, New Brunswick. Ruta Jordans of the Association to Promote and Protect the Lubec Environment e-mailed that “Judging by the incubation period, he probably contracted it while at his home in New York, but came down with it on Campobello.”
E’Louise Ondash is a veteran, award-winning journalist who was an investigative reporter, feature writer and columnist for the Times Advocate and the North County Times. She has written travel features for The Coast News since 2003.