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Originally published Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 7:07 PM

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Useful gifts for frequent travelers

Stumped about what to give a frequent traveler? Here are some useful gifts. Samsung S2 Mini external hard drive: Anyone who has used a computer...

Chicago Tribune

Stumped about what to give a frequent traveler? Here are some useful gifts.

Samsung S2 Mini external hard drive:

Anyone who has used a computer knows the importance of backing up your hard drive. After the success of the chic, colorful and smaller-than-a-BlackBerry S1, Samsung recently unveiled the S2, which is a bit larger in size and capacity. The S2 comes in 320- and 500-gigabyte models and slips into a briefcase — or pocket — with ease. $88.99 (500 GB) and $67.99 (320 GB).

SleepPhones: These solve the age-old problem of how to listen to music while drifting off to sleep. Lying on headphones or ear buds just doesn't work. SleepPhones are headphones within an ultrasoft band that wraps around your head to provide both comfort and a little warmth. They work on an airplane or a hotel room. The audio isn't the greatest, but it's good enough. And what do you care? You're going to sleep. $49.95.

Seattle Sports water bottle: There are many water bottles out there, but this one holds particular promise. It is stainless steel and unscrews near the middle (as well as the customary top) for easier cleaning and adding ice. It's light and attractive, and the company touts the fact the top portion of the bottle, when unscrewed, can be used as a goblet — in case you open a bottle of wine in your hotel room. $17.95.

Chilly Jilly blanket: This light, thin, soft blanket makes flying a warmer and cozier experience. It also can keep working on the road — as a sarong, scarf or, better still, a hotel-room blanket (Who wants to use what you pull off the bed?). The biggest attraction, though, is how easily it packs in even a purse or carry-on. $45.

Echo Smart Pen: Quite the toy for the note-taking tech geek: It's a 4-gigabyte flash drive that records audio while you take notes in a notebook provided by Echo (for an extra $17.95), then allows you to tap the page to get to the approximate place in the audio when listening back. You also can transfer the notes directly to your computer. You can even draw a piano and play it by tapping the keys you've just drawn with your pen. $169.95.

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