Some people travel with a toothbrush and a credit card.
Others prefer to be prepared — sometimes even pampered. For these travelers, there are holiday gift possibilities galore — from practical items like book lights and electrical adapters, to extravagant presents like trendy bags or a digital camera. And for the traveler whose suitcase is already bursting, go for the gift certificate.
GIFTS FOR A CRUISE: Have fresh flowers or a bottle of champagne sent to someone's room, or buy a gift certificate, in the form of an on-board credit, for use at a spa or shop on the ship. Contact the cruise line by phone or Web site. You should know what company the recipient is sailing with, plus departure place and day. Note that you cannot purchase credit for use at a casino.
GIFTS FOR DISNEY: You can order gift certificates for Disney theme parks and resort hotels. Call (714) 781-4400 for Disneyland in California, or (407) WDISNEY for Disney World in Florida. (Disney is the parent company of ABCNEWS.com.)
GIFTS FOR DOMESTIC TRAVELERS: For travelers headed to Boston, New York, Seattle, Chicago, Hollywood, San Francisco, Philadelphia or Southern California, consider buying a CityPass. Each booklet contains tickets to a half-dozen local attractions. If you live in a CityPass region, buy the booklets for guests who want to sightsee while visiting you over the holidays.
For details, visit http://citypass.net/cgi-bin/citypass/ or call (888) 330-5008. Prices vary, but CityPass provides at least a 50 percent discount over regular admissions. In New York, the $45 CityPass gets you into the Empire State Building, the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art, the Intrepid, the Museum of Natural History and the Circle Line cruise around Manhattan. And in Chicago, a $49 CityPass buys admission to the Hancock Observatory, the Art Institute, the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, the Adler Planetarium and the Museum of Science and Industry.
GIFTS FOR A ROAD TRIP: To give AAA memberships as a gift, call your local AAA or look for the "gift membership" form at www.aaa.com. Allow 10 days to process paperwork; if the recipient is already a member, AAA will add a year to the membership. The $55 fee provides roadside emergency service, maps and driving directions, and discounts at many theme parks and hotels.
Other gifts for carbound travelers: travel coffee mugs, book light for passengers, road atlas, prepaid cell phone and/or prepaid phone card, backseat blanket, books on tape, individualized bags of toys and snacks for kids, and for snowy weather, a shovel, long-handled brush, and ice-scraper.
GIFTS FOR BOOK LOVERS: Think books for armchair travelers. Classics include Paul Theroux's The Great Railway Bazaar, about a train trip around the world, or E.B. White's Once More to the Lake, about summers in Maine. A current best seller is Frances Mayes' Under the Tuscan Sun.
Or consider a personalized book-of-the-month gift from "Aunt Lydia's Book Club," a service offered by Book Passage, an independent bookseller with stores in San Francisco and Corte Madera, Calif. Book Passage will custom-choose a book on travel (or any other subject) and ship it anywhere, gift-wrapped with a card from you, once a month or bimonthly for a year. To arrange, call (800) 999-7909, extension 450, or send an e-mail to classesbookpassage.com.