A Traveler’s Gift Guide

By Sheryl Kayne

I love receiving gifts, but I also love giving a most carefully figured out gift to just the right person. I’ve gotten into many an argument over gift registries because I don’t like being told what to buy.

“You were in Williams-Sonoma and bought and sent her a salad bowl,” my friend Marlene called after her daughter received an engagement gift from me. “Why didn’t you buy her the one she wanted?”  I didn’t even know she was registered in that particular store.  I happened to be shopping, decided to send her an engagement gift, and sent what I liked.

Unfortunately, my friend and her daughter thought I’d made a commentary on her taste in salad bowls.

I’m going to save you the angst I went through. It’s the holiday season and I have a few favorite things on my list this year that I’m sure you can give to anyone who loves to travel, and you’ll be thanked a lot more than I was for that beautiful salad bowl.


This is a great year to buy Global Positioning Systems (GPS).  Models that sold for over $300 a few years ago are now under $150. GPS devices are becoming commonplace in cars, but the portable, handheld units open up the world of geocaching: high-tech, outdoor scavenger hunts that everyone everywhere can enjoy.  Choices for thousands of Geocaches are free on the Internet (www.geocaching.com; www.gpsmaze.com). Sign up and you’ll have access to adventures in different locales. Select one that interests you and print out the directions, which have latitude and longitude specifics that you feed into your GPS. It’s like following a modern-day pirate’s map with rules, guidelines, and geographic puzzles to figure out. Great fun on your own, with kids or friends, it gets everyone outside and active.

Pictured Here: Navigon 5100 3.5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator with Text-to-Speech and Lifetime Traffic ($129.97  on Amazon.com)

Now let’s get super practical. I like to be warm and comfortable. Boot and hand warmers are a delicious treat that I often give to hikers and travelers. All the sporting goods stores have them. They slip into your boots or gloves, and spread their warmth in seconds.

flip-ultra-series-camcorderAnd then there’s the gift of my dreams: a small, easy to use camcorder to document my travels and make me the star of my own show. Every year I think I’ll get one. I’ve waited so long, my new cell phone takes videos, so that might be my new camcorder this year!

Pictured Here:
Flip Video Ultra Series Camcorder, 60-Minutes ($116.10 and Free Shipping, on Amazon.com)

Don’t forget the little fun things that make holidays and traveling terrific. I always gift friends with journals, and encourage everyone I know to journal while traveling. I also keep a guest book with me on my trips. When I meet someone along the way, I ask them to sign my guest book. It’s amazing what people will write to you that they wouldn’t necessarily say. It’s a wonderful memento from trips and from daily life.

immersion-travel-usaI enjoy reading and so do most travelers to find out where to go and what to do! I’d love for you to have and enjoy and share my new book with your friends and family. IMMERSION TRAVEL USA: THE BEST & MOST MEANINGFUL VOLUNTEERING, LIVING & LEARNING EXCURSIONS (Countryman Press, a division of W.W. Norton & Company) is available at Barnes & Noble, additional bookstores throughout the country, and www.immersiontraveler.com.

It’s the perfect holiday gift. Immersion Travel means doing what the locals do to understand the culture, traditions, and characteristics of the community you visit. This book has over 200 trips suitable for vacations, side trips, weekends, sabbaticals, and internships, including fee-free opportunities, trades, and stipends, with something for every budget, along with insightful and inspirational personal stories.

Send me a note to sherylwolffkayne@aol.com and I’ll send you free personalized and autographed stickers for your books! And please add your personal reviews at barnesandnoble.com and Amazon.com. Happy Holidays!

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