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Speed travelers on their way with helpful, fun gifts

Do you know someone who is about to make an important trip -- maybe an office friend flying to Europe, a college student on a summer odyssey, a neighbor taking a big family vacation, or perhaps a retiree off to visit children and grandchildren? An inexpensive bon voyage gift can be a practical and fun way of conveying your good wishes for the trip. Consider these ideas:

A map of the area to be visited. You can buy one at a bookstore or write to the chamber of commerce in that area.

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A guidebook.

A gift certificate from a national chain of cafeterias or fast-food restaurants for a meal on the road.

A supply of post card stamps.

Addresses of friends and family, perhaps typed onto self-stick mailing labels.

A small sewing kit, bought in a dime store or assembled yourself.

A pocket notebook for recording new experiences.

Film and mailers.

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A photo album for snapshots of the trip.

Ball-point or felt-tip pens for writing post cards and letters.

A travel ``washing kit'' with laundry soap, face soap, and a small washcloth.

A pocket toothbrush, toothpaste, and plastic containers for shampoo and cosmetics.

If the travelers are going by car, send them off with a snack box containing fruit and crackers.

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