Category Archives: Tips

Pre Teen Boy’s Birthday Gift Ideas for Under $10

Tween age girls are rather easy to buy for; a Bonnie Bell lip smacker sampler, fingernail polish, hair band, earrings or bath gels and they’re good to go. For those 9-12 year old boys, birthday gift shopping is a bit harder ~ they still like building and making things, but selections are pretty limited when your birthday gift budget is $10 or less. Take the example here, casino night can be a fun and unique event for small groups and so can be these parties as well. 

So what sorts of inexpensive birthday gifts can you buy a pre teen aged boy?

Legos are one of those timeless birthday gifts that continues to be popular year after year. The Bionicles and Exoforce series puts out cool kits for ages 8-14 for $9.99. Watch for the sales; this particular line can often be found on a “buy one, get one free” special.

Models are another great birthday gift idea for a boy who likes to build and make things. Models start as low as $5, with a great selection in the $7-$10 price range. For beginning model builders, stick with Level 1. Cars and planes are always good picks.

Spy Gear is a relatively new toy on the scene that has wicked spy gear including listening devices, voice traps and voice changers, spy pens, ear light, motion detectors and a whole lot more. There’s plenty of cool spy gear ranging from $5-$10.

For the sports fan the Wilson Menace football is a half size football for back yard fun. It’s covered with black and silver zebra stripes and is priced at 8.99. Don’t forget those baseball or football trading cards! Trading cards are bargain priced anywhere from $1.99 and up, and are tons of fun for children who follow a specific sport.

When my boys were this age, the Nerf arsenal of weapons showed up pretty high on their birthday wish list. Nerf weapons are really still one of the better toy bargains out there; for $7.99, you have your pick of the Xtreme of the Maverick Nerf guns. Remember back-of-the-door basketball hoop sets? Nerf still produces this popular birthday toy for kids of all ages, for a mere $3.99.

For boys into cars, Matchbook has a great line of cars under their “Since 68” product line. Included in the lineup are circa 1970s muscle cars that are wickedly cool and priced at $3.99.

Science geeks will enjoy the Mini Labs selection of science toys price at $9.99. These lab sets offer a wide selection of science projects including fingerprinting, rocks  amp; minerals, electro-magnetism, solar energy, and electricity.

Finishing up the list of fabulous birthday gifts for pre teen aged boys, are the increasingly popular gift cards. Top of the wish list are $10 gift cards for iTunes, Hastings, Best Buy, and the mall.

Shopping for a pre teen boy’s birthday gift can be a little tough, especially since you’re never really quite sure what they might have already. With this list of ideas, shopping for that special birthday present should make your shopping experience a whole lot easier.

Simple Tips for Handling Lost Baggage

It never fails. Our annual Thanksgiving vacation has turned into an annual hunt for lost luggage. And then the annual try-to-find-a-store-open-on-a-holiday hunt. The holidays do bring out more travelers and thus more chances of losing luggage. Here are a few simple tips for dealing with this frustrating experience.

First, try to approach things calmly. My first response upon finding out that I’m going to be without luggage is to cry. But don’t let it ruin your vacation. It’s frustrating and annoying, but try not to let it take over your mood. Also, if you’re calm and collected when talking to the baggage agent at the airport, you may find her to be more cooperative.

Second, assess what you need and where you can get the items. Depending on what day it is, there will always be at least one store open. We’ve found K-Mart in Manhattan to be open on Thanksgiving Day. If it’s Christmas Day, you may have more difficulty finding a store, but I would start by looking at a 24-hour pharmacy such as CVS or Walgreens.

I recommend using a mass merchandise store such as K-Mart, Wal-Mart or Target if at all possible. They will have most, if not all, items one needs. I personally hate having to restock everything we’ve lost, but prefer to do so as inexpensively as possible. In most cases, especially with lost luggage on an airline, you aren’t going to need much to tide you over. Most airlines will return lost luggage within 24-48 hours.

Also, if you don’t want to restock toiletries, ask at your hotel for toothbrushes, combs, razors, etc. Many hotels are happy to supply these items at no additional charge. And one of the best makeup removers I’ve found is Wet One wipes. I carry these all the time for my young daughter, but found they work great at getting stubborn eye makeup off. A ball cap is another great hair accessory and has gotten me through the day until my flat iron could be retrieved from luggage.

There are a few items I recommend putting in your carry-on luggage. Any medications, particularly prescribed medications, should always go in your carry-on. If you have young children, put pajamas or one change of clothing in your bag. It’s a good idea to do that for yourself as well, particularly during the holiday travel season. If it’s too much, just tuck in a change of undergarments. If you wear contacts or glasses, take it with you. Contact solution in your carry on should not exceed 3 ounces. (See below for more on TSA regulations.)

The Transportation Security Administration does allow for you to carry on liquids/gels but with some restrictions. Follow their “3-1-1” guideline: 3 ounces or less may be carried on; put all bottles in a 1 quart, top-zip, clear plastic bag; and have only 1 bag per passenger. Pull it out and place in the bin when you go through security. You will get through much faster and with less hassle. Also, if you are traveling with children, you may declare large quantities of liquids such as formula, breast milk or juice. Do not put them in the zip-top bag but do alert a TSA agent that you have it.

Last, if this happens often, you may want to consider building in a “lost luggage budget” to your trip. After my daughter and I lost our suitcases on the last trip, we’ve decided bringing extra cash as a “just in case” measure is a good idea. That way we won’t have to dip into our spending money.

Enjoy your holidays and we wish you a speedy return of your luggage!

Losing your belongings at the airport is nothing new, but one must exercise caution as much as possible though keeping an eye on every luggage may not be possible. Atleast, important documents with personal information should be kept in a sas käsipagas that can be carried on the shoulder.