Here are some ideas for making trips more pleasant, along with some suggestions on where to send your favorite globetrotters.
Maya My, What A Wonderful Day (And Night)
Give a gift of relaxation at the intimate Hacienda Xcanatun (ssh-kana-toon), the recreated “Tall Stone House” of an 18th century farm near Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. The 18-suite luxury hotel on 9 garden-filled acres has a highly rated dining room, two swimming pools and a spa, where Mayan treatments include massages using honey and flowers or sacred rocks.
From this secluded spot, it’s a day trip to the famed Mayan architecture of Chichen Itza and the Flamingo Sanctuary at Celestun, on the Gulf of Mexico.
Wrap up a four- or five-night All Things Maya package or A Flamingo Eco-Adventure package; they range from about $1,500 to $1,900 a couple (five-night packages receive a sixth night free).
High bid wins a stay at Amberley Castle in West Sussex, England, a Viking River Cruise through the Burgundy region of France or four nights at the St. Andrews Bay Golf Resort & Spa in Scotland in the online auction hosted by the Society of American Travel Writers. These and many other trips and gift items are up for bid through Dec. 12 (www.satwauction.com).
Colorful graphics in 31 designs – sunflower, cats, dogs, yoga, golf – on oversized (3.5-by-4 inch) BagTags help distinguish luggage ($7.50 each, JetSetGo, Write Impressions).
Have putter will travel
The three-section wooden handle of the metal-headed travel putter (right), plus practice hole and two golf balls, fit neatly into a zippered vinyl case ($36.85, Magellan’s).
Compact and lightweight, the torch clock combines a clock and flashlight ($14, FlaxArt).
Some like It hot
Warm them up with Coffee & Tea for Two, an insulated thermos tote outfitted with insulated, brushed stainless cups, a 24-ounce vacuum flask and accessories ($45, FlaxArt).
AM/FM travel clock radio with CD player (ICF-CD2000) comes with headphones, built-in speakers and AC adapter ($189.95, Sony).
The 8.9-inch-wide screen of Toshiba’s portable DVD player SD-P2500 boasts high resolution, two headphone jacks and many audio/video features at less than 2 pounds without battery ($699 Best Buy, Neiman Marcus).
Equip foodies with a travel picnic kit (right), packing a cutting board, cheese knife, wine glasses, corkscrew and more in a slim carrying case with handles ($34.85, Magellan’s).
The New York Times Touch Screen Crossword Puzzle Game carries 1,000 crosswords at different skill levels and includes a stylus and adjustable contrast for varying lighting conditions ($69.95, Marshall Field’s).