I’m a big fan of doing all my holiday shopping at airports and this year Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has made it super easy and ultra-enticing to head there to get presents for everyone on my list.
The airport has created its own holiday catalog featuring items available in the shops at Sky Harbor. Flip through the catalog and you’ll see the price, airport shop name and location listed with each gift idea.
Arizona-centric and local gifts are featured and you’ll find items from local retailers such as Bunky Boutique and Roosevelt Row, holiday cookies from Tammie Coe and growlers of local craft beer from O.H.S.O Brewery.
There’s even a page featuring cactus candy and a variety of Arizona-themed chocolate ‘poop’.
It is only Tuesday, but this airport holiday catalog is definitely in the running for Airport Amenity of the Week.
It’s Souvenir Sunday – a day to look at some of the inexpensive, locally-themed gifts you can find when you’re stuck at the airport.
Here are just a few Hawaii classics from Honolulu’s Daniel Inouye International Airport:
Next time you find a charming or unusual locally-themed item for sale at an airport, snap a photo and send it along. If your item is featured on Stuck at The Airport, you’ll receive a special souvenir.
The shop I passed lured me in – and kept me looking – with all manner of true locally-made gourmet treats, including coffee and chocolate.
Then I found these “old fashioned” Hostess Snoballs and Twinkies.
I almost bought them to put on a shelf somewhere and test that “never goes bad” rumour, but passed.
But I didn’t go home souvenir-less.
When I boarded Flight 747 for United Airline’s farewell flight for its final 747 I found this on my seat, filled with some other “old” food (Pop Rocks, for one..) and a few other back-to-the-70s souvenirs.
It’s a big coffee table-style book – 440 pages, in full color and pretty heavy – and is separated into 7 chapters, or “ages,” each tackling advances, experiences and the means by which humans have made their way around the world.
Chapters 1 through 3 tackle the Ancient World (including travel in ancient Egypt and the travels of Odysseus and Alexander the Great), travel that powered trade and conquests, including the travels of Marco Polo, and The Age of Discovery, when explorers set out to find “new” parts of the world.
Chapters 4 through 7 dig deep into the ‘The Age of Empires’, ‘The Age of Steam,’ ‘The Golden Age of Travel,’ and “The Age of Flight,’ with lots more achival images, historic maps, artifact images, bits of journals, and works of art.
I was delighted to find a spread on the Wunderkammern – or curiosity cabinets – that collectors began putting together in the 16th century to show off souvenirs such as shells, preserved animals, scientific and mechanical obects, and other odd tidbits they’d picked up on far off journeys or purchased from others who had gone on adventures.
The three voyages of Captian Cook are detailed, as are the inventions and inventors that brought the world flight.
There are sections on the rise of the manufactured souvenir, World’s Fairs, Grand Hotels, luggage labels, national parks, efforts to create maps that accurately reflect the world and parts of it, camping, Route 66, travel to every corner of the world, the Jet Age, space travel – and much, much more.
Towards the end of this big book there’s a section of biographies stretching from Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen, to Amelia Earhart, Thor Heyerdahl, Ernest Shackleton, and Amerigo Vespucci.
This one is a keeper and a good gift for anyone interested in travel or history.