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Practical Makes Perfect

Holiday gifts put functionality first.

Finding the right present for the frequent flier in your life may be a little easier this year.

"Holiday gifts for business travelers are going to be very practical," predicts Baltimore creative sales and trends consultant Joyce Baker. Among the favorites are watches that display multiple time zones so travelers can adjust to new destinations without tinkering with their timepieces.

Another popular present is the carry-along pillow. Designed to replace the flat, uncomfortable pillows in hotel rooms, products like Latex Foam Products' executive travel pillows can be rolled up and transported compactly inside carry-on luggage. The latex headrest ($29.95) offers more support than hotel pillows and resists bacteria and dust mites.

What business traveler couldn't use a highly functional overnight bag? The Freedom Bag ($39.95) from Family Visions Inc. features durable transparent plastic compartments and heavy-duty elastic straps that help securely restrain up to 200 items, including full-sized product containers. It also meets FAA requirements for overhead luggage.

Travel-friendly cigar holders and cutters are also in demand. Colibri's Quantum Tank ($59.95) is billed as the first cigar lighter with a built-in retractable circular cutter, and it automatically ejects the tobacco plug.

Christopher Elliott is a writer in Annapolis, Maryland, and a columnist for "ABC News Online."

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Christopher Elliott is an Orlando, Fla., writer and independent producer who specializes in technology, travel and mobile computing. His work has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines and online. You can find out more about him on his website or sign up for his free weekly newsletter.

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This article was originally published in the November 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Practical Makes Perfect.

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