Posts in the category "Souvenirs":

Souvenir Sunday at Portland Int’l Airport

Elves for sale at Portland International Airport

Elves for sale at Portland International Airport

I had the great pleasure of visiting Portland International Airport this week to help Travel Portland welcome the tallest freestanding cuckoo clock in the country to the spot where it will entertainingly tell time till the end of March 2015.

PDX CLOCK

I also had a chance to see, smell and taste some of the Oregon-sourced delicacies offered up at the farmer’s market that pops up twice a week at the airport.

PDX MARKET TABLE

The market is the brainchild of Christian and Annette Joly, who own Caper’s Cafe at the airport, and they were on hand during my visit offering tastes of cheese and freshly sauteed mushrooms as well as intoxicating whiffs of Oregon truffles, from a table also laden with fresh Oregon produce and other tasty treats.

PDX Oregon market

Souvenir Sunday: last minute gifts for travelers

Santa

Still puzzling over a gift for the road warrior or frequent traveler on your list? How about a plane ticket?

That’s what a recent poll from Switchfly discovered people really want.

More than half of those interviewed (65 percent) said they would be delighted to receive an air travel gift for the holiday. Thirty-five percent of respondents said they’d prefer a gift of a first-class upgrade, while 31 percent would rather have a plane ticket to a foreign country.

Buying plane tickets for your friends and family can be complicated – and costly – so consider instead one of the travel-related gifts on this list.

Some help travelers be more efficient on the road. Others may improve a travel experience, help someone out of a jam or just serve as a pleasant perk on a stressful travel day.

Best of all, the items here can be purchased on-line and delivered to an email inbox at the very last minute.

Because we know you’re a busy traveler too.

Words and pictures for travel

The classic DK Eyewitness Travel Guides were recently revamped and now have updated itineraries, new content, even better images and improved usability. The books are still a bit heavy for those who need to travel light, so it’s a good thing that most all the guides, along with the DK Top 10, Eyewitness Family Travel and the Eyewitness Back Roads series are now available as e-books.

Rosetta’s Stone’s courses in 30 languages can also be delivered as e-gifts and can help travelers with down-time on long plane rides learn how to order a great meal or close a deal in another country.

TSA-compliant conveniences

Day of Relaxation Gift Set from Minimus.biz

Relying on hotel toiletries can be a hit or miss proposition, so most frequent travelers stuff their TSA-compliant 3-1-1 bags with tiny tubes and bottles of lotions and potions from brands they love or an assortment of items snitched from hotel bathrooms along the way.

The gift of replenishing those minis is made easy with an e-gift certificate from Minimus.biz, a website that carries more than 2,500 travel and individual-sized items (including food) and a nice variety of gift and personal care travel kits.

Another option is a subscription to Birchbox, which will send your favorite traveler a box filled with five beauty and personal care samples for the next 3, 6 or 12 months. (Prices start at $30 for women and $60 for men.)

Birchbox chooses the grooming products in the amenity kits offered to travelers flying in JetBlue’s Mint premium cabin between JFK and LAX or SFO and has a couple of JetBlue discount codes out there that anyone can use for subscriptions and product discounts.

For the hassles

Just about every airline offers gift cards for travel that can delivered electronically. But for those days when a buddy is stuck at an airport due to bad weather, an ailing airplane or a canceled or just-missed flight, a gift certificate for a service at an airport day spa, such as XpresSpa, or a day pass or full year’s entry into a club lounge may be the answer.

“One option for e-gifting lounge access is — if a friend or family member is a frequent traveler, purchasing a lounge membership online for them could make a lot of sense. For example, United offers their United Club membership for $500 per year, while Delta offers their Delta Sky Club membership starting at $450,” said Lounge Buddy co-founder Brent Griffith.

The Plaza Premium Lounge, an independent all-travelers-welcome lounge with branches in London, Vancouver, Hong Kong and 15 other airports, offers e-certificates for gift cards that are good for a package of 5 to 10 visits that can be used by one person or shared around.

Need more ideas? In his Seat 2B column, Joe Brancatelli has a great list of tried and true gift ideas for road warriors.

(My story about last minute gifts for travelers first appeared on CNBC Road Warrior in a slightly different version.)

Souvenir Sunday at Hoedspruit Airport, South Africa

It’s Souvenir Sunday – the day Stuck at the Airport stops to take a look at some of the inexpensive, offbeat and/or locally-themed items you can find at airport gift shops.

This week’s Souvenir Sunday items come to us courtesy of world traveler Jon Douglas, who sent images and greetings from Eastgate Lughawe Airport in Hoedspruit, South Africa.

Eastgate Airport South Africa

Jon was just finishing up a safari adventure in the nearby Sabi Sand Reserve and said the magnets available for sale in the airport gift shop accurately depicted the animals he saw on game drives, including “lions, leopards, zebras, elephants, kudu and even a giraffe or two.”

Eastgate Animals

In the gift shop Jon also spotted amarula chocolates and liqueur, both made from the fruits of the marula tree. “The liqueur tastes like Bailey’s,” he said, “and is a popular post-safari drink.”

Eastgate drinks

Here are Jon’s notes about the airport:

“The airport serves Cape Town and Johannesburg with three daily flights on South African Express and feels like flying in a different era, with manual arrival and departure boards and a walk across the tarmac to climb the steps to the plane. In addition to all the usual pre-flight rituals, the pilots need to check to make sure there aren’t any warthogs on the runway!”

Thanks, Jon, for sharing your pics for Souvenir Sunday. A travel-themed souvenir is on its way to you!

If you spot a fun, inexpensive, off-beat and/or locally-themed items in an airport gift shop on your next trip, please snap a few photos, take some notes and send it along to StuckatTheAirport.com. If your souvenirs are featured on Souvenir Sunday you’ll get a special travel-themed thank-you gift too!

Souvenir Sunday: new airport trading card

Minneapolis-St. Paul International has joined the list of airports offering travelers a free trading card featuring a wide range of interesting facts and stats about the airport.

MSP trading card

The card is free at any airport information booth and, along with cards from other airports, would be a nice small gift this holiday season.

Here are some of the other airports that have cards in the North American Airports Collector series:

Austin-Bergstrom International; Baton Rouge Metropolitan; Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International; Dane County Regional; Edmonton International; Elmira-Corning Regional; Fort McMurray International; General Mitchell International; Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International; Jacksonville International; Kelowna International; Lambert-St. Louis International; Mineta San Jose International; Nashville International; Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International; Piedmont Triad International; Pittsburgh International; Salt Lake City International; San Antonio International; San Diego International; Savanna-Hilton Head International; Stinson Municipal; and Winnipeg Richardson International.

PIT Trading card one

Formula 1 fans race out of Austin – with souvenirs

Austin Formula 1

Austin is hosting the Formula One United States Grand Prix this weekend and thousands of race fans are passing through Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Passenger traffic at the airport is expected to be the highest on Sunday night (Nov 2) and on Monday, (Nov 3), as race fans head home. So to help the process go smoothly AUS airport is offering expanded customer services, special post-race live music send-offs and a special website section.

Sunday is Souvenir Sunday at StuckatTheAirport.com, so we should also mention that the airport shops will be offering official licensed F1 and Circuit of the Americas merchandise, including t-shirts, caps, mugs, lanyards and books.

Live music performances start Sunday afternoon with a performance by the Flying Balalaika Brothers at 4:30 p.m. More live music is scheduled on Monday Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. until 6:30 p.m, with a total of 12 music performances to be held Sunday and Monday.

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