Business travelers need a little cheering up when they're away from their families this time of the year. Here are some gift suggestions that might make life on the road a little more pleasant:
This cashmere trifecta -- a blanket, pillow and eye mask -- is a must for sophisticated world travelers. With factories in Italy, Mauritius, Hong Kong and China, Sofia Cashmere specializes in extra soft, high-quality cashmere yarn. This set comes in grey, black, charcoal and burgundy, and includes a carrying case.
The blanket is 36" by 72."
Available at Saks Fifth Avenue.
In the growing category of ultramobile PCs (which have most of the features of a laptop, in a smaller package), OQO has been rated the most comfortable for typing. The 02 model has a backlit thumb keyboard, a five-inch screen and weighs just over one pound. It comes with WiFi and Bluetooth technology and connects to the Internet even without a hotspot, with service available through Sprint Mobile or Verizon Wireless.
Inside, the model 02 features a 1.2GHz, 1.5GHz, or 1.6GHz CPU, storage capacity of up to 120GB, and up to 1GB of RAM. It comes with Windows XP or Vista.
It's not cheap, but a lighter load may be, well, priceless.
Oqo.com and other retailers.
The Alta collection blends style and technology with an extra tough polycarbonate shell coated by a sleek black or brown checkered print. For added elegance, the handle and rim of the frame are covered in fine leather. The interior is lined in jacquard, and features practical mesh divider panels and cross straps.
The 20" spinning carry-on is ideal for quick business trips; wheels at each corner provide easy upright rolling in any direction. It comes with a TSA lock.
samsoniteblacklabel.com and other retailers.
The iPhone's new sibling is slimmer, lighter, and lets you have all the fun without costly phone service plans. Although the iTouch isn't big on storage capacity (it comes with an 8GB or 16GB drive), it makes up for it with great sound, high-quality image, and the übber cool multi-touch interface. Plus, it gives you wireless access to the Web using the Safari browser, and lets you download music through the iTunes music store. Unlike the iPod, this player's screen is scratch resistant.
In other words, it rocks.
apple.com and other retailers.
These headphones are smaller than its predecessors, have extra comfy memory foam earpieces, excellent sound and effective noise reduction (no irksome engines roaring when you fly). The QC3 folds flat for storage in its slim carrying case.
The headphones are powered by a rechargeable battery, promising 20 hours of run time. A battery and wall-socket charger are included. Bose offers a 30-day home trial. Go on, tune into your favorite music, and totally tune out.
Bose.com and other retailers.
Paola Singer is a freelance writer based in New York City. She has written for The Wall Street Journal, Newsday and Hemispheres magazine.