Holiday Gift Guide for Public Transit Commuters: Parts I & II

One of my favorite things in the world is giving gifts. I love to give gifts of all kinds, tangible and otherwise, to the special people in my life regardless of the time of year. So when the holiday season comes around, I revel in the experience of sharing joy, love, and gratitude, often in the form of buying gifts for my friends and family. One of the most satisfying things about giving gifts is achieving that delicate balance of what a person wants and what they will find useful … thoughtful presents with a purpose. Here you will find thoughtfully curated gifts for the public transit commuters in your life (or possibly your own wish list!).


Holiday Gift Guide for Public Transit Commuters Part I: $0 – $100

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Holiday Gift Guide for Public Transit Commuters Part II: $100 – $300

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Article by Stephanie Paris

Holiday Gift Guide for Public Transit Commuters $100 – $300

The items in this gift guide come with a personal recommendation from me because they embody attributes that I find desirable, and often times necessary, for someone who commutes primarily by bus. Whether you’re on the hunt for that perfect gift, or just window shopping, the items listed here are worth perusing. So what are your “must-have” items for being out in the elements, or on a journey by bus? I’d love to hear your suggestions or tips in the comments below. Enjoy! (And if you missed it, check out my Holiday Gift Guide for Public Transit Commuters Part I: $0 – $100)


Keen Anchorage Boot, $130

keen_mens_anchorage_boots_32151_1Their words: “The Anchorage Boot offers the warmth and all-season traction of a winter pack boot. It boasts a handsome leather upper and an aggressive dual climate rubber outsole – enabling this hiking boot to stand up to harsh conditions with a clean look. 200g KEEN.Warm™ insulation. 4mm multi directional lugs. Dual climate non-marking rubber outsole. Gore stretch panel for easy on and off and added comfort. Injection molded EVA midsole. KEEN.DRY ™ waterproof breathable membrane. Removable thermal heat shield footbed. TPU stability shank. Waterproof nubuck leather upper.”

My thoughts: I chose to feature these because a friend of mine has them, and not only did he mention to me how comfortable they are, but they also look really great. Check out the link to Keen’s website to see a really cool feature where you can preview what the boots will look like when worn with a variety of pants. The Anchorage Boots are very sturdy, waterproof, and warm. Perfect for the upcoming cold, rainy winter.  Click here to buy the Keen Anchorage Boots.

Keen is local to Portland! (505 NW 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97209) Click here for the nearest bus stops.


LFLECT Reflective Knitwear, $138.89

LFLECT

Their words: “A cozy and extra large scarf from our exclusive reflective knitwear collection, crafted using locally sourced wools and designed in a closed loop to ensure your scarf stays in place at all times. Large enough to be wrapped three times for a cozy snood style or twice for a loose gentleman look all year around. Its technology reflects light, ensuring you are visible when a car approaches. A trendy unisex design for all ages and particularly trendy to ensure grandpa is visible on the streets when walking the dog in the evening.”

My thoughts: Reflective knitwear is one of the best inventions ever. In normal light, there’s nothing unusual about the scarf. But when it’s dark and a bright light is shined on it (like the bus’s headlights as it approaches your dark bus stop!) the reflective bits in the scarf become super bright and ensure that you are seen. This is not only great for ensuring your visibility to bus drivers while waiting at a dark bus stop, but also to other cars if you have much walking to do on your route. In addition to the reflective knitwear, this British website has a ton of other really cool reflective products. At the time of publication, they offer free worldwide shipping on orders over $78. Click here to buy something from the LFLECT Reflective Knitwear collection. Continue reading

Holiday Gift Guide for Public Transit Commuters $0 – $100

The items in this gift guide come with a personal recommendation from me because they embody attributes that I find desirable, and often times necessary, for someone who commutes primarily by bus. Whether you’re on the hunt for that perfect gift, or just window shopping, the items listed here are worth perusing. So what are your “must-have” items for being out in the elements, or on a journey by bus? If I’ve missed something important, leave your suggestions or tips in the comments below. Enjoy!


Yahoo! Weather App (Android, iOS), $0

Their words: “Don’t just check the weather – see it. Prepare for your day with the most accurate hourly, 5-day, and 10-day forecasts. Stunning Flickr photos match your location, time of day, and current conditions. Get all the details: wind, pressure, and chance of precipitation. Experience weather conditions for rain, snow, fog and extreme heat with animated weather effects. See animated sunrise, sunset, wind, and pressure modules. Browse interactive maps: radar, satellite, heat, and snow. Track all your favorite cities and destinations! Twice daily notifications help you be prepared, whatever the weather.”

My thoughts: If there’s one thing that I use daily as a public transit commuter, it’s my weather app on my smartphone. The only problem is, I’m not really sure how you give someone an app that’s free. Email them the link? In any case, this app is just too cool not to share with fellow commuters. It’s by far the prettiest weather app I’ve found. It’s fun to look at, and just about as accurate as predicting the weather can be. Click here to download the app.  


Knit City Shopper by Blue Q, $11.99

knit city bag

Their words: “Take me down to Knit Knit City, where the buildings are green and the yarns are pretty, oooh ohhh take me home! By Leslie Clerc. Double Duty Handles, this style also has a convenient shoulder length strap. Made with 95% post consumer recycled material. 15″h x 16″w x 6″d”

My thoughts: I’m pretty sure I’m a reusable bag hoarder. Not only because I forget them and have to buy new ones all the time, but because when I see something as cute as this, it’s too hard to resist. Being a knitter, I love that the image looks knitted and like the city has been yarn-bombed, and that there’s a lady on the bag actually knitting. The Blue Q website has a huge variety of other designs as well. Click here to buy the Knit City Shopper. Continue reading

How to enjoy your time on the bus.

 

JustinHouk

There are different ways to look at time spent in transit. One view is that commuting by bus can sometimes take longer than it would if commuting by car, and therefore can feel like a waste of time. I personally choose a different view. The time I spend on a bus or train is always productive, in one sense or another, even if it’s just relaxing after a long day. And if you think about it, bus and car both get you from point a to point b, however when you’re driving, that’s all you can accomplish. One of the nice things about commuting by bus is that someone else does the driving. This opens up some extra time in your day to get things done. So which one really is the more efficient use of your time? Below are some things that you can do to be productive, or just pass the time while using public transportation.

Read. Whether it be a novel, magazine, or a website on your electronic device, reading is a fantastic way to pass the time, especially because once you’re at home or work, there are usually other responsibilities that keep you from the luxury of reading.

Knit/Crochet. I can’t tell you how many knitting projects that I’ve started and finished on the bus. It feels so great to be so productive while in transit. Don’t know how to knit? Youtube is a fantastic way to learn how to knit or crochet, where there is a plethora of how-to videos. Click here for an example.

Work/Play on your laptop. A long bus commute can serve as extra time for work or play on your computer. If a wifi connection is needed, many smartphones can also be used as personal wifi hotspots. Click here for a how-to tutorial.

Listen to music. Whether on your smartphone, mp3 player, or portable radio, listening to music can be so enjoyable on the bus. Sometimes it may be the only time you get to really listen without distractions to your favorite band, opera, or podcast. Just remember to keep the volume of your headphones down to a level that doesn’t disturb others.

Meal-plan. I always find that my family and I eat healthiest when I have taken the time to plan our meals for the week. We also waste less food, shop more efficiently, and it ends up being much more economical. You can do it the old fashioned way by bringing along a favorite cookbook and a writing notebook, or just use your smartphone or laptop to look up recipes and make your lists.

Phone or text a friend. I like to reserve actual phone calls for times when the bus isn’t very crowded. I don’t like to be “that person” who’s having a loud conversation that everyone else finds annoying. Use your best discretion and respect other riders. Chatting via text can also be fun and much more private.

Watch a movie. Again, technology wins. Smartphones offer a myriad of ways to view your favorite tv shows and movies. If you are a cable subscriber, there are even smartphone apps that allow you to watch various networks’ programming on your mobile device. Just remember to pack and use your headphones.

Daydream, relax, meditate. A bus commute can often be the one time in the day when you don’t have to do anything. No work, no children to tend to, nothing to do but be with yourself and your thoughts. Take this moment to breathe and relax.

 

Image in post courtesy of Justin Houk on flickr.