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Think twice about that elusive 99-cent iPhone, people. Pushy crowds, endless lines and bitter cold can make you second-guess whether that deal is really a steal once Black Friday rolls around. Don’t even get us started on the whole sales-starting-on-Thanksgiving backlash. Here’s a better idea, several in fact, that can be ordered from the comfort of your own home.

At Travel Channel, we’ve been busy rounding up the ultimate gifts for all the globetrotters on your list – check out some of the best gear, gadgets and luxe travel essentials this holiday season below. Then enter for a chance to win some of our favorites as well as $10,000 cash in our Gift of Travel Sweepstakes!

Travel's Best Gifts

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Let’s say you get lucky and win this month’s trip to Monte Carlo … you’re going to need a whole new wardrobe, right? Lucky for us, the jet-setting editors at L-atitude, a site that offers travel and fashion lovers a way to shop by destination, provided us with a few things to pack for a luxe vacation in Monte Carlo. Just click on the shopping icon on the image above to see L-atitude’s picks for what to wear in Monte Carlo. The good news is that even if you don’t win this month’s trip giveaway to Monte Carlo, you can look like you just got back from the French Riviera anyway with these fashion finds.

And what’s one of the top things to do in Monte Carlo? Shop, of course. L-atitude also shares their favorite places to shop in Monte Carlo, from the super-luxe mall Galérie du Métropole to the funky flea market Les Puces de Fontvieille. There’s even some shopping for the men — try Formula 1, a boutique that has everything from racing helmets to model cars among its mementos of the Monaco Grand Prix.

So if you haven’t entered the Monte Carlo sweepstakes, now is the time before September ends! And remember, you’ll need something for the beach and casino that says “glamorous globetrotter,” so you better start shopping, too.

 

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Photography by Stephen Digges/Getty Images

For those addicted to the rush of bargain hunting, it’s time to gear up for the mother of all yard sales. Clear your schedule and round up some cash for 127 Corridor, better known as “The World’s Longest Yard Sale” – it begins today and continues through Sunday.

This mammoth outdoor market starts in Addison, MI, and stretches for a whopping 690 miles along US Highway 127 to Gadsden, AL. Over the past 25 years, this giant yard sale has doubled in size across 6 states, with great finds including antiques, collectibles and furniture. Along the way, visitors can soak up the flavor of each region as they bargain hunt with vendors’ homemade treats and local entertainment.

If you’re one of the yard sale lovers that will set out on this treasure hunting pilgrimage, here are some tips from our sister blog, Design Happens:

  • Expect to be stuck in traffic. Narrow roads + lots of cars = having to wait patiently.
  • Bring cash.  Bring more if you’re looking for large furniture pieces. Bring more than that if you’re looking for true antiques and valuables.
  • Bring a measuring tape. Also, measure any spaces at home that you may be looking to fill.
  • Ask locals where to eat. Some of the better eats may be off the beaten path.
  • If you see something you like, buy it. Otherwise you may be thinking about the one that got away all day.

 

Don’t worry, there are still plenty of bargains to be found after this weekend, too. Check out our World’s Best Flea Markets to score more great finds.

 

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Portland Head Light

Portland, Maine: This quaint, coastal town will win your heart over with its charm and history. The endless restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques will have you coming back for more.
Photo credit: Jessica Menk

 

STAY

West End Inn

West End Inn
146 Pine Street
Portland, ME 04102

This modern, chic B&B is located in the West End neighborhood of Portland. The historic, tree-lined streets compliment the beauty of this area. It’s about a 15 minute walk to the waterfront. The breakfast is plentiful, fresh and well thought out. You’ll want to get the Maine blueberry pancakes … at least once.

 

EAT

Jays Lobster House

J’s Oyster
5 Portland Pier
Portland, ME 04101

Skip the touristy lobster spots and hang with the locals. Get the lobster roll sandwich (a Maine staple). Trust me, you won’t regret it. Your best bet is to grab a seat outside with a view of the wharf. (pictured to the right)

Gorgeous Gelato
Gorgeous Gelato
434 Fore Street
Portland, ME 04101

It’s a little taste of Italy in the heart of Old Port. I’ve never had gelato this fabulous before. You can taste the fresh ingredients. My top 3 flavors: mango, tiramisu and hazelnut. (pictured to the right)


Flatbread Company

72 Commercial Street, Ste 5
Portland, ME 04101

Flatbread Company is a great place to enjoy the weather while sipping on a local craft beer. Their artistry in organic ingredients create tasty pizzas. The atmosphere is quaint, and reflects the culture. They also have a love for animals, so dogs are welcome in their outside area

 

SHOP

K Collette

K Colette
100 Commercial Street
Portland, ME 04101

This boutique is filled with artfully selected housewares from lush Egyptian cotton bedding to rustic and nautical vintage finds. Give yourself at least 30 minutes to wander around and get inspired. (pictured to the right)


Merchant Co. Handmade Vintage Goods

656 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101

On the walk from the West End side of town, stop at The Merchant Company for unique handmade items. This adorable store showcases local items such as invitations, housewares, jewelry and more! Located in the Arts District.


RELAX

Novare Res Bier Café
4 Canal Plaza
Portland, ME 04101

This bar is a must-find for craft beer seekers in downtown Portland. They have extensive offerings of fairly priced drafts and bottles. Their bartenders are knowledgeable and will happily steer you toward something you’ll enjoy. It’s a little tricky to find, but ask around and don’t give up your quest! With their wine menu and food offerings they aim to please everyone, including those who aren’t hopheads and beer geeks.


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Photography by JOBY

The open road can throw some unexpected obstacles your way. Pack up your car with these ultimate road trip gadgets to ensure you’re ready for anything. Whether your goal is to escape into nature, experience new towns or get adventurous, we’ve got you covered.

Wine Suitcase

If your road trip is taking you on a vineyard tour, make sure your newly coveted wine collection makes the journey back home with you. Spare your clothes from a broken bottle catastrophe, and pack your bottles in a special wine suitcase like Brookstone’s The Wine Check Luggage Set, which safely carries 12 bottles for $69.99.

Worldwide Travel Adapter

Don’t worry about blowing a fuse or destroying your MacBook or iPad with the Apple World Travel Adapter Kit. While it might not be up there with James Bond-level gadgets, don’t be surprised if it turns out to be your most cherished travel accessory. From $39.

International GPS

Road scholars know nothing puts a dent in a great trip like constantly getting lost. Luckily, we live in the era of the GPS, making traveling unknown roads — even internationally — a breeze. With Garmin, owners can download thousands of international maps from their website straight onto their device, or make their own. Suddenly journeying off into the unknown isn’t so intimidating anymore. Prices start at $99.

Pocket Camera

Capturing any moment is easy with the 18-megapixel point-and-shoot Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX300.This ultra-lightweight camera easily stashes away and will appeal to serious photographers and amateurs alike with its negligible shutter lag, sharp photos and simultaneous video and still capture. From $299.

Folding Bike

Every savvy packer knows, roll your sweaters and … fold your bike? Coming in at 20 to 28 pounds (depending on the model and configuration) packing a collapsible Brompton bike is a brilliant possibility. The P6R Brompton is perfect for a globetrotting cyclist — its P Type’s handlebars were designed with the touring cyclist in mind. And after your ride, simply collapse it down, pack it up and take off for your next destination. Starting at $1,600.

For more cool cycling gizmos, check out our Bike Gear Guide.

Flexible Tripod

With flexible legs that can attach to nearly any surface, Joby’s Gorillapod ensures you never miss a shot. Whether taking a timed self-portrait or steadying your lens to your car’s hood, this portable tripod is a must-have on any savvy traveler’s packing list. Universal screw attaches to most cameras. From $19.95.

For more road trip gadgets, check out our Road Trips Gear Guide.

– by Ashley Hardaway

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Mother's Day Travel Ideas

You read that right. So don’t find yourself standing in a grocery store Sunday morning staring blankly at the picked-over cards and flowers. Whether you meant to get her a gift last week, just made a brunch reservation yesterday or completely forgot (whoops), we’ve got you covered.

Does your mom already have the travel bug? Help her take her yoga practice on the road with a eKO SuperLite Travel Mat or stay warm on the plane with the Sofia cashmere travel set. Our Mother’s Day gift guide is chock full of travel products sure to bring a smile to her face.

Or treat her (and yourself) by planning an escape you’d both enjoy. What better way to spend time together than on a gourmet chocolate tour of San Francisco or at a formal tea at the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia?

And those of you who are mothers yourself, our hosts have a very special message for you:

Ok, so you’ve finally been inspired to book a Spring Fling. Now, you just need to answer the age-old question: “What do I pack?!” We’re here to help.

Spring Fling Packing List

1. Snap a few pics of your Spring Fling with this super-hip (and super tiny) vintage-looking Pentax digital camera. Be sure to invest in the old-school leather strap for it!

2. This vegan-approved “Ultrabalm” from Lush is perfect for those who prefer to travel light — use this multi-purpose moisturizing wonder anywhere — chapped lips, fly-away hair and dry skin.

3. Throw your sunglasses, sunblock and a beach read into your SeaBag, made from reclaimed sails.

4. Keep the sun off your face with a peachy-hued fedora.

5. Ensure no one tells you “you smell!” while on the road with this aptly-named paper soap.

6. Don’t worry boys, we didn’t forget about you. Pack up your made-in-America Filson Travel Bag — the perfect size for an overnight rendezvous — and take that special someone away for a quick spring getaway.

7. Pack a picnic and fire up this (teenie-tiny) City Boy Grill.

8. Will your spring fling be hot enough for a bikini? Take a dip in one of these super-cute (and reasonably priced) suits designed by Diane von Furstenberg for Roxy.

9. The perfect complement to spring’s bright-colored crops is a black-and-white printed blouse.

10. Take the show on the road with this handy, portable pocket projector for iPhone 4 and 4S that can project up to a 50” image.

11. The sun’s out and it’s time for some new shades. Visit Warby Parker’s website, and get 5 pairs to try on at home for free before picking the perfect set of sunnies.

12. Get that springy look, even when it’s a little chilly, with bright-colored cropped pants.

13. Keep that beloved iPad protected while on the road with a new minty-green, multicolored case.

14. See a new side of an old city with a pocket-sized Herb Lester travel guide.

Organic Skincare Products for Men

Tis’ the holiday season! Christmas is right around the corner, and finding the perfect gift for your significant other can be a hassle. Well, Travel Channel already has a few gift guides on the website, but we wanted to include a few gift-giving suggestions for the consummate gay traveler.

The Gift Guide for the Gay Guide is not only for the gay traveler, but it’s for women or that stylish straight guy who’s always on the go. Our list includes something for everyone, including skincare products, a unique relaxation mat, an emergency roadside spotlight/beacon and much more. READ MORE

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