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."
Relax... high flying doesn't have to mean high stress.
At this time of year, when planes are packed with people going to visit their families for the holidays, flying is enough to stress out even the most experienced business traveler.
"Stress is a part of air travel," observes former flight attendant Diana Fairechild, whose book, JET SMART (Flyana Rhyme), offers tips on how to overcome the pressures of flying. "Making the reservation, getting to the airport early, carrying heavy bags and arriving in a place where you may not speak the language can be stressful."
A few simple in-flight relaxation techniques can help you manage the stress:
- Dress comfortably. Wear natural fibers, and avoid tight clothes. Put on layers so you can remove or add clothing as the temperature changes.
- Don't sit still. Get up and walk around the cabin every hour or two to get your blood flowing.
- Exercise while seated. Flex your ankles, rotate your neck from side to side, and roll your shoulders to relieve stress. You may look silly, but you'll avoid discomfort later. Flexing your ankles, for instance, helps prevent swollen feet.
- Do mental gymnastics. Envision yourself skiing or swimming. Experts believe these exercises can help reduce tension, even if the activity is imaginary.
- Visa and Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts are offering a two-for-one deal for business travelers through December 31, 1998. Book and pay for one weekend night using a Visa card at a participating Le Méridien property in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Jamaica or St. Martin, and get a second night free. For more information, call (800) 543-4300.
- American Airlines now flies nonstop between Dallas/Fort Worth and Manchester, England. The route is serviced daily with American's 207-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, featuring three-class service. For more information, call (800) 433-7300.
- Dollar Rent a Car has a new home on the Internet: http://www.dollar.com The car rental company offers online reservations and will soon add online credit card acceptance and the ability to modify reservations online.
Joyce Baker, 14 Raisin Tree Cir., Baltimore, MD 21208, (410) 484-5877
Carolyn Izzo Integrated Communications, (800) 442-8677
Colibri, (800) 556-7354
Healthy Flying, (800) 524-8477, http://www.flyana.com
Latex Foam Products Inc., (800) LATEX-US, http://www.latexfoam.com