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The AMT Annual Gift Guide. Our Top Ten Ideas for Everyone on Your List.

Last year right about this time, we highlighted three favorite products--products we use and love. In fact, the milk frother still tops Carolyn's list and I've dropped a hint for the watch! Oh, and the traveling yoga mat (below) is now on my wish list...hint hint!.

So if you are still in search of a gift, consider the Athletic-Minded Traveler Team's top 10 picks. We have gift ideas for the road warrior, business traveler, yogi, chef, exercise enthusiast, your kids and even wine and chocolate lovers.

1. For the wine enthusiast, Oster Automatic Wine Opener. Yes there are other more fancy options...ones that use CO2 and something called the "rabbit", but trust us, this one is so easy, it'll win over even the most persnickety oenophile. And for about $20, it's a small investment. Oster Automatic Wine Opener

2. For ANYONE on your list who appreciates practicality, Seagate FreeAgent Hard Drive Back-Up. We have the 500 GB model and paid just under $80. This device is so easy to use. So if you are not already backing up your hard drive, you now have NO excuse. Seriously, you just plug it in and follow the directions. Oh, and it's super fast too. Seagate FreeAgent

3. For kids of ALL ages, Billy Jonas "What Kind of Cat are You?" This award winning, kid-centric CD is clever and a great listen. We've had it for over 2 years and it remains in heavy rotation. The DVD is pretty good too...it's a little bare bones, but seeing this guy do his thing is great. Music for the Kid

4. For the traveler and/or fitness fan, Garmin Forerunner 305: Athletic-Minded Traveler VIP Marc Buxbaum is an uber traveler, spending 10+ nights on the road each month. He sings the praises of this watch-like GPS device that tracks your running, swimming (sort of--see editor's note at end), walking and/or cycling distances and pace, as well as your heart rate and calories burned. Users especially love the software package which allows all sorts of data manipulation such as overlaying your "route" onto Virtual Earth. There is a 405 model now available, but he hasn't tested that one, and since this model came out in 2007, you can get a good deal on it--as low as $170 on Amazon, (versus the suggested retail of $300).Garmin Forerunner 305 ** And don't forget that AMT provides running maps in nearly every city we cover! Take a look here.

5. For those with a sweet tooth, Fairytale Brownies. No they are certainly NOT athletic-minded nor sensible, BUT, we have given these tasty delights to a number of friends and all recipients have raved about the product. We also like that these sweet treats break out of the ever so boring "food basket" category.

6. For the traveling and sore athlete, the Trigger Point Footballer and Massage Ball You may be wondering right about now, why spend nearly 70 buckaroos on this starter kit when you can simply engage is some self-myofascial release (we posted on this) with a $10 foam cylinder? Well, as Marc points out, the TP products are small enough for the carry-on bag and easily get through airport security! Marc leaves the block at home and uses the hotel's yellow pages for a prop. Trigger Point Starter Set

7. Traveling Yogis will love Savasa's 3mm thick 24x68 Fold & Go Yoga Mat. Athletic-Minded Traveler Yoga Editor, Becka Christian is a big fan, but suggests you unfold it when you can to avoid the fold lines. You can order the mat on Amazon for $23, but it currently doesn't qualify for free shipping. Travel Yoga Mat

8. The Burton Sleeper Hoodie is likely best suited for the younger athletic-minded traveler. What we like about this product are its travel friendly features and the recent $50 sale price--a DEAL considering the normal $100 price tag. Here's the scoop: the generously sized hoodie has a removable inflatable neck pillow, snap out light shield, removable eye mask, change/key pocket, zippered internal passport and ticket pocket, sound pocket with headphone cable, hidden stash pocket with ear plugs, cuff thumb holes, "pit zips" and a custom zipper pull! Sleeper Hoodie

9. Krups Rice Cooker is a good bet for the college student or starter chef. When AMT contributor Dan Gaz was cycling hard for the accomplished Phi Psi Team at IU, his buddies relied on this device for hot and ready food post ride. Dan became a big fan and now uses the cooker every week -- slow cooking rice and other dishes and even steaming vegetables. He swears that it's super easy; push a few buttons on the easy-to-read digital screen and that's it. The best part? You can set the cooker up to eight hours in advance and the rice will stay warm and moist the entire time! Talk about set it and forget it. Krups Rice Cooker

10. For those looking to personalize their gift, The Athletic-Minded Traveler Food Basket. Instead of buying a pre-made assortment of goodies, create your own. We have a few suggestions--that of course are team favorites.

  • Vietnamese Cinnamon. It's so much better than regular. Sweeter, tastier, just better. Get it at Whole Foods.
  • Tea: Yogi Mayan Cocoa Spice Tea, Bigelow's Vanilla Chai and Dan Gaz's favorite, Good Earth's Sweet & Spicy. If you happen to find a favorite, order in bulk because you'll save a ton (30 to 50% per box).
  • Biscotti di Suzy -- Chocolate Chip. This is a crowd pleaser. Everyone that tries this cookie like biscuit becomes a fan. Not nearly as hard as some brands, Biscotti di Suzy has just the right amount of sweetness and enough chocolate to satisfy the craving. And for those frugal shoppers, if you buy the broken pieces you can save a bundle.
  • EZ Chop Food Chopper from Zyliss. This is a kitchen must-have. It's quick, simple and cheap and makes chopping and dicing a breeze. I use mine primarily for apples, but it also is great for ginger, garlic, carrots and other foods. I also like this company's customer service. I recently had an issue with my chopper and they have promised to send me a new one!
  • Happy Holidays from Athletic-Minded Traveler. If you have a trip, check out our Browse Cities page to find places to exercise, stay, eat, run, swim, shop etc., all from a healthy-living standpoint!

    EDITOR'S NOTE: While the Garmin 305 is water resistant and can handle water for up to 30 minutes, it is not recommended as a swimming tool UNLESS you get creative! Check this post out to see how to use your Forerunner in the pool.

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    Comments

    Comments

    I found another cool product

    I found another cool product recently that I would add to this list.It’s a convenient cardio and resistance training workout that can be modified in duration, intensity, and focus using an interval timer and a set of 35 cards that depict the exercises. It's called Powerhouse Hit the Deck.I highly recommend it for travelers seeking an in hotel workout that can be easily customized.

    Re: Garmin Forerunner and

    Re: Garmin Forerunner and above Editor's Note

    Gotta love the ingenuity!!! Fyi, I have heard rumor that in spring 2009 garmin is coming out with a watch geared toward the multisport athlete that will be waterproof and have a 20 hour battery life which should solve the issue, that and the fact that my 305 has been so reliable are why I have not caved into the temptation for the 405.......

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