Gifts for your favorite traveling companion
It doesn’t matter whether you’re shopping for a Valentine’s Day gift, something fun for your favorite traveling companion, or treating yourself to something smart and useful for your next getaway. These products can help make getting to your next destination a breeze.
Lowepro HighLine BP 300 AW Packable Bag
Details: $169.95 at lowepro.com or ebags.com, 800-820-6126
Strong, sturdy and well built with tons of bells and whistles, this heavy-duty backpack is ideal for that outdoorsy friend or road warrior who’s obsessive about his/her backpack. It’s like a backpack on steroids with just about every feature imaginable including: clothing packing cube, airline-regulation-sized liquids pouch, plus Lowepro’s exclusive, removable JumpKit device and work station and dedicated CradleFit laptop compartment to suspend and protect devices up to 13 inches. My techie friend Richard Cole, a computer whiz, gives this durable backpack rave reviews. He loves all of the individual zippered and padded compartments and especially the adjustable compression straps and the protective “rain bonnet” that covers the exterior to protect it from the elements.
Travelon Packable Backpack — style 42817
Details: $25 at travelonbags.com, 800-537-5544
I don’t like backpacks, however, sometimes they’re indispensable and I need to use one — like when I’m on a jungle trek in Guam and just can’t schlep around my purse. It also comes in handy on cruise shore excursions for packing sunscreen, water, a towel and maps. This well-designed packable backpack made out of lightweight nylon zips up into its own little pocket that easily slips into a suitcase without taking up too much space. Features include two side water bottle pockets, front compartment that has a media pocket with an audio port and two zippered compartments.
Reisenthel Black Multi Dots Bag
Details: $24.99 at containerstore.com, 210-341-7848 (San Antonio store) or 1-800-786-7315
With its clever design and high-fashion look, the Touring Bag by reisenthel will be your favorite travel companion and perfect for day tripping. Just unzip the compact pouch to unfold a roomy tote made from lightweight nylon. The back panel slips over the handles of rolling luggage. Inside you’ll find plenty of space and an interior zipped pocket. Easy to toss into a glove box, suitcase or desk drawer, this can be an emergency extra tote for all those last minute souvenirs or just to separate your dirty laundry on the road. Get double duty and use it at home for a cute gym bag.
WineSkin Bottle Bag (750 ml.)
Details: $2.99 at containerstore.com, 210-341-7848 (San Antonio store) or 1-800-786-7315
Take a handful of these along on your next wine tasting tour if you’ll be tempted to bring a few bottles home. This is the best $2.99 investment wine connoisseurs can make. Never again worry about bottles breaking or leaking in your luggage.
Travel with peace of mind when you pack wine in your suitcase using a WineSkin Bottle Bag that is sealed and protected in a cushioning bubble layer. No more unpleasant surprises when you return home — your wine will be safe, your suitcase dry and your clothes won’t be permanently dyed bugandy.
Allura 22-inch Hardside Carry-On suitcase by eBags
Details: $169.99 at
A white suitcase might seem a bit impractical. But, it’s totally drop-dead gorgeous. There are times that fashionistas sacrifice practicality for trendy style. So, why not look glamorous and sophisticated in the airport or hotel lobby with this knockout carry-on bag.
According to ebags.com CEO, Peter Cobb, this surpising beauty is selling like hot cakes and contemporary jet setters are going gaga over it. The carry-on’s features include: Pure BAYER Makrolon Polycarbonate (the BEST in the world), recessed spinner wheels (8 versus 4), Travel Sentry Certified TSA Recognized three-dial combination lock and a movable shelf.
So give yourself permission to make a fashion statement with this stunning, sleek urban carry-on bag.
Happy Flight Shades Aviator Eye Mask
Details: $15.99 at
containerstore.com, 210-341-7848 (San Antonio store) or 1-800-786-7315
Just how cool are these eyes masks? Nobody’s going to bother you on your long flights except to find out where you got them.
These light-blocking eye masks make it easy to grab some extra zzzzzzz’s on flights or car trips. The look is fun, but the design is focused on comfort, with a velvety lining to ensure crease-free wear and wide elastic straps that adjust for a perfect fit. Made from soft, lightweight microfiber, this makes a great gift for frequent travelers.
Eagle Creek Exhale Neck Pillow
Details: $27.95 at ebags.com, 800-820-6126
This slim neck pillow, light as a feather and easy to tuck in your carry-on tote, comes in its own little pouch and is handy for long flights when you want to snooze. It’s teeny-tiny and not cumbersome like most of the other neck pillows on the market. I’d like to see the back of the pillow redesigned with a few inches added for extra support and comfort.
Lighten Up Belt Bag
Details: $38 at verabradley.com, 888-855-8372 North Star Mall and the Shops at La Cantera
I’m totally crazy about this pretty and practical new product and can’t live without it. I love Vera Bradley’s new hot, Havana Rose pattern. Vera’s roses will last a lot longer than chocolate or a bouquet of fresh roses. I used my new belt bag every single day on a 10-day road trip. It freed up my hands so I could take tons of photos and stuff my face with gumbo at a recent Cajun festival in southwest Louisiana. It’s comfortable and large enough to hold my iPhone, glasses, keys, lipstick and money. Well designed with ample interior and exterior zippers, pockets and card slips, the belt adjusts up to 42 inches and is the perfect companion for cruise shore excursions, hiking and festivals.
Flip-flops in Very Bradley’s Havana Rose
Details: $24 at verabradley.com, 888-855-8372 North Star Mall and the Shops at La Cantera
Now you can look great all the way down to your tippy toes on your next cruise, at the beach or lounging poolside in Cancun in these adorable flip-flops in Havana Rose.
Keep Charged Vera Bradley Tote in Havana Rose
Details: $128 at verabradley.com, 888-855-8372 North Star Mall and the Shops at La Cantera
Leave it to Vera Bradley to design a terrific bag to tap into your techie side and keep your devices charged at all times. This tote comes with built in charging system (a slim battery pack) that connects through a button hole and keeps your devices charged and ready to use — plus you’ll always look glam. Comes in array of fashion forward and gorgeous patterns.
Eagle Creek Blue Specter Pack-it Compression Set
Details: $39.95 at containerstore.com, 210-341-7848 (San Antonio store) or 1-800-786-7315
These packing cubes are indispensable for travel, providing terrific organization and you can pack more in less space. The days of searching through your entire suitcase for socks and having to unpack everything are over. Keep your undies, socks or other items sorted and easy to find. The set is made from a material similar to parachutes, so it’s translucent and lightweight. Plus each bag features a quick-grab handle.
Travelon Anti-Theft Bags
Details: $40-$70 at travelonbags.com, ebags.com and
Travelon, an industry leader, offers more than 60 anti-theft bags in a variety of styles, shapes and fashion forward colors. Inside each anti-theft bag is a layer of stainless steel wire mesh. You won’t see it, you probably won’t feel it and it will protect the contents of your bag from a slash-and-grab theft. Inside the straps are stainless steel wire cables that prevent the strap from being cut. Built-in RFID protection uses a special blocking material to protect your information from cyber theft and stops identity thieves from accessing personal information contained on RFID chip enabled cards and passports.
Follow travel writer Michelle Newman on twitter and Instagram @travelyenta. Watch Newman at 10 a.m. Friday on WOAI’s San Antonio Living show as she shares travel tips with Shelly Miles.