I find gift guides very helpful, so here are my own suggestions for travelers and those interested in sustaining our world. All are available on the Internet, so you save time and gasoline.
1.Olympus Stylus 1030 SW– This compact point and shoot camera works underwater (up to 30′), in the snow and is shockproof. The 10 mega-pixel baby also takes video. Great for outdoor active adventurers. Everyone who sees mine wants one; I ought to be getting a commission from Olympus! I guarantee this gift will please travelers. I love this camera. http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_digital.asp
2. Kiva – Give to others through www.kiva.org. You choose an entrepreneur, loan money in $25 increments and then get repaid. Money can then be re-loaned to someone else. These micro-loans change lives. A very well run and reputable organization.
3. Flip Video Mino– a pocket-sized camcorder that records 60 minutes of video. You can attach this to a bike, a helmet, where ever– just think of the fun. Uploads easily to the computer for sharing or connect and watch on TV. Weighs only 6.4 ounces. Very cool. High-definition model also available. www.flipvideo.com
4. World Wildlife Federation gifts- adopt an endangered species or buy a child an unusual stuffed animal (a snow leopard or blue-footed booby) and help save the animals on our planet. www.worldwildlife.org.
5. The Nature Conservancy — plant a tree, rescue a reef, or adapt an acre of forest in the US. To see all the green gift options go to: http://support.nature.org/site/PageServer?pagename=holidaygiving_xx_hgg&autologin=true
6. Global Lost & Found — an E-tracker ID with lifetime registration to stick on your phone, laptop computer or MP3 player. If you lose the item, the person finding it can call a toll-free number and enter the code. A box is shipped to the finder and he/she returns it directly, to GLF for privacy protection. The neat part is the finder receives a cash value gift card and is entered in a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree. http://www.glfound.com/
7. Compact convertible backpack — Unfold the contents of 10″x 6″x1″ pouch and you’ve got a waterproof backpack. Makes a great day bag or fill with extras you bought along the way. www.travelsmith.com
8. Kindle- Amazon.com’s wireless reading device. Instead of lugging heavy books on your trips, you simply download them onto your 10.3 ounce Kindle. The process is quick and the screen is very readable. The device can hold up to 200 books. Really terrific, I bought one of these for Jay last year.
9. Retriever Luggage Tags — When (sadly, not if) your bags get lost, these bright yellow or green luggage tags invite agents (in eight languages) to remove the itinerary you’ve placed inside, and forward your bag to you while you’re still en route- instead of sending it to your home address. www.magellans.com Very useful on international flights.
10. Travel Magazine subscription — I could suggest many (National Geographic Traveler, Travel & Leisure, Islands and Travelgirl to name a few.) Just pick one and help keep the writers, editors and publishers in business!