5 Stocking Stuffers for Your Business Travel Road Warrior

power strip gift for business traveler

stocking stuffers business travelers

“Oh I don’t know, I don’t really need anything in particular right now.”

Have you heard this one before when asking for holiday gift suggestions? I know I’ve said it plenty of times myself. The older we get, especially if our clothing sizes don’t change much, the less we have  running wish list of more stuff we want to accumulate.

This is especially true for road warrior business travelers, who are often traveling with just a carry-on. They want nothing to do with those bulky and of-the-moment travel gear gift ideas you see in the glossy magazine round-ups. They’re constantly paring back, not adding on. Tell them they can have anything they want from the Brookstone store and they’ll probably use the shopping spree to pick up gifts for their kids instead.

Here are some small things you can think about as stocking stuffers for your favorite business traveler if you follow that tradition. They’re small enough to fit inside and inexpensive enough that you’re not taking a big gamble.

A Comfy Eye Mask

Business travelers, especially international ones, need to catch some sleep on the plane. The eye masks they get for free in the amenity pouches though, even in most business class cabins, are scratchy and not all that comfortable. They’ll do in a pinch, but a soft and comfortable eye mask will be appreciated and doesn’t take up much room.

Earplugs

a gift business travelers really needSoft and squishy disposable earplugs don’t take up much space, but they can come in really handy when there’s a screaming baby on the plane, a hotel room facing a busy street, or a hotel where there’s a wedding going on in the courtyard until the wee hours. Plus you can find them at any drugstore or Target.

Get a small travel pack for a stocking stuffer, or if you know they go through a lot, a jar of 50 for less than 10 bucks.

Melatonin Tablets

Giving drugs for Christmas? Well, it’s a natural drug at least and it won’t get you high. What melatonin will do is help rejigger your body clock when you fly across multiple time zones. Your recipient will thank you later when they find they’re recovering from jet lag faster and getting a better night’s sleep after popping the recommended dosage at bedtime in their destination.

Travel Power Strip

This is a larger item than the others on this list, but a portable travel power strip can be a godsend for travelers who need to keep multiple gadgets charged. It’s not unusual these days to be traveling with three or four different items that keep running low on power–with Apple adding another to the list when they forced the use of Bluetooth earbuds–so it’s handy to carry a small strip that turns one outlet into three or four.

power strip gift for business traveler

Travel Sized Toiletries

This is more of a “saving you a trip honey” gift than a long-term keepsake one, but anyone who travels with a carry-on is constantly replenishing key toiletry items. It may not be very sexy to give travel-sized toothpaste, quality disposable razors, or travel-sized shaving cream to your special someone, but those are items they will be sure to use!

Bonus item: compression socks. Nothing says “I love you” as much as an item that could keep your significant other from getting blood clots on a cramped plane.

Now if you are the road warrior yourself, we know a gift that won’t cost you much but will really be appreciated. Cash in your Bonwi Rewards points for a weekend getaway together. You can use your points for a hotel room, a rental car, or even a couple flights if you’ve banked enough.

What about you? What travel stocking stuffers have you received over the years that really got used?

Article by Tim Leffel, travel writer and editor of Hotel Scoop.

McMenamin’s Has Cornered the Weird and Wonderful Hotel Category

McMenamin's Grand Lodge, Forest Grove, Oregon
McMenamin’s Grand Lodge, Forest Grove, Oregon

Ask anyone who lives in Portland, or Seattle, and they’ll probably know what the name McMenamin stands for.  It’s two brothers, Mike and Brian McMenamin, who have cultivated a big following for their eclectic one-of-a-kind hotels and breweries which are all in Washington and Oregon, with 54 in all.

We recently stayed at McMenamin’s Grand Lodge, in Forest Grove, Oregon, where the building was once a home for aged Masons.  The brothers are big fans of the Grateful Dead so you could call the theme of many of the hotels “a hippy-influenced free spirit.”  Dark colored walls and ceilings, lots of customized art, glitter, and posters from the dozens of years that concerts have been played in their venues or in nearby theaters.

 

The hotel's kitchen garden provides a whole lot of the restaurant's needs.
The hotel’s kitchen garden provides a whole lot of the restaurant’s needs.

 

They name the rooms at the Grand Lodge after famous books, and inside, each room is painted by hand, lots of darks and not many overhead lights. More the dim mood type.

The Grand Lodge has a feature that’s popular in these hotels, a Japanese soaking pool. It’s a very hot tub, about the size of a regular swimming pool, outdoors.  It is better than 90 percent of the hotel pools I’ve ever dipped into.

It’s a different experience than just a pool, it has a rustic feel.

The McMenamin brothers also really like movies. That’s why so many of the converted schools, homes for the aged, and former municipal buildings they convert into hotels include a movie theater.  So you can often catch a first-run movie at many of their hotels, which are considered resorts that many people enjoy for a long weekend.

As Grateful Dead Fans, the McMenamin Brothers adopt that theme in many of their hotels.
As Grateful Dead Fans, the McMenamin Brothers adopt that theme in many of their hotels.

The Japanese soaking pool is just a little hotter than most hot tubs and plenty spacious.

The Japanese soaking pool is just a little hotter than most hot tubs, and plenty spacious.
The Japanese soaking pool is just a little hotter than most hot tubs and plenty spacious

 

If you’re traveling to Oregon or Washington, find a McMenamin property on Bonwi, and when you book you’ll earn points to use…on rental cars or perhaps even a stay in a different McMenamin hotel another time.

Bristol, England, Makes a Great City Break

The Bristol Hotel, right near the river and in the heart of the city, is perfect for a City Break.
The SS Great Britain was built in Bristol and is the top attraction in the city. You can tour even the very bottom of the outside of the ship!
The SS Great Britain was built in Bristol and is the top attraction in the city. You can tour even the very bottom of the outside of the ship!

Sometimes, frequent travelers like to avoid the most popular cities, hoping instead to discover an out of the way place that won’t be overrun with tourists.

Yet there are times when it’s fun to visit the most popular tourist cities because they’re set up to provide visitors with fun experiences,  restaurants of all stripes, and more hotels.  Bristol, England falls into this category, it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Britain.

Visitors come to Bristol for what people on the Continent like to refer to as ‘City Breaks.’  The advent of City Breaks came mostly after inexpensive flights became widely available from Ryanair and EasyJet made flights to places like London, or Prague, or Faro, Portugal very very affordable.  So today you’ll see many Brits and other Europeans planning their own 3-night city breaks, and Bristol is a perfect place for this.

Either take a cheap flight from Paris, or Rome or just take the train two hours from London.

The Bristol Hotel, right near the river and in the heart of the city, is perfect for a City Break.
The Bristol Hotel, right near the river and in the heart of the city, is perfect for a City Break.

Bristol’s fine Bristol Hotel would be a great choice for anyone visiting the city, with prices from around $135-150 US.  You can find a deal using Bonwi and have around 6000 points to use on a future trip.

What else do visitors enjoy in Bristol?   One new attraction is called Cargo, at Wapping Wharf. This is a collection of shipping containers that have been put together and strapped into two stories where cafes, small shops, a bakery, high-end restaurants and other businesses have opened up.  Building using containers means that you can put two or three together to make it larger, and the rent is low. So all manner of experimental businesses can give it a go.

Cargo is a shopping and dining area built out of shipping containers.
Cargo is a shopping and dining area built out of shipping containers.

Bristol is just one of thousands of cities where you can enjoy a city break, and with Bonwi, you’ll get points you can use for the NEXT one too!