A holiday gift guide for that special traveler in your life

Personal gear

Happy teeth: On the road, I miss things that make home home. Sounds silly, but my sonic toothbrush is one of them. In the war against excess weight (I mean the bag, not me), the big sonic toothbrush, about 7 1/2 ounces, stays home. But now, I've found a Violight, a 1 1/2-ounce thing of beauty that resembles a long lipstick tube and comes in a variety of pop-artish colors. It runs on one AAA battery.

Info: $14.95, www.violight.com


Cream of the crop: If living in SoCal's humidity-free zone weren't enough, flying will sap the last ounce of moisture from your skin. Packing cream is imperative, but if you're a carry-on bagger, a tube must be less than 3 ounces, the Transportation Security Administration says. Enter Tiny Hands, by Lush, which offers a solid facial serum and a hand serum, both of which can be carried in a tin. The 0.7-ounce facial serum contains Portobello mushroom extract and camomile tea. If that's not your cuppa, the 2.1-ounce hand serum smells (strongly, be warned) of vanilla and marigold. Smooooth.

Info: Hand serum $8.95; facial serum $14.95, www.lushusa.com


Flat fabulous: These ballet flats by Tieks may be the ideal travel shoe, just right for wearing on the airplane or padding around in your hotel room. The shoes, made of Italian leather, are lightweight — about 12 ounces — yet sturdy enough to wear outside. The split-sole design allows you to fold them in half and stash them in their compact pouch, then tuck in your purse or carry-on bag. Tieks come in 41 colors and patterns, but they had me at their jazzy turquoise soles.

Info: From $165, www.tieks.com


Just for fun

On safari: Why isn't this under "Books"? Well, it's more than that. To wit: I would have gotten all my work done the day "Safari" arrived, but I started playing with it, and soon time stood still because the book did not. It's billed as a photicular book, and each page of this African animal book, created by Dan Kainen with text by Carol Kaufmann, has images that move so that rhino or zebra trots as slowly or as quickly as you like, just by wiggling those pages. It's not electronic so it's suitable for kids — of all ages.

Info: $24.95, www.workman.com



Seeing is believing: If you want to make sure the house and the spouse are in good order when you're away, TelyHD may be just the ticket. If you have HDTV and a Skype account, you hook up the device (easy enough for a nongeek), sign in to your Skype account and voilà — it's visual Skype on steroids (depending on the size of your TV). Yes, you can skip TelyHD and use a laptop equipped with a webcam, but this felt spacious and relaxed. Caveat: I called a colleague in Washington, who didn't have her makeup on either. We scared each other.

Info: $249, www.telyhd.com


Ear candy: If space is no object and fashion is, think about a different headphone experience. I tried the iLuv ReF headphones with a red canvas exterior; they're made for the iPod, iPhone and iPad and some Android devices and Kindle, among others. The musical experience was rich and, best of all, the phones blocked most of the noise that makes travel wearing. The only downside: My ears got hot. Seems a small price to pay for sanity and style.