What it is: A compact black notebook that's half travel guide and half travel diary, enabling you to create your own personalized, reusable guide to your favorite city. How it works: The notebook contains a built-in street guide for the city you choose—from Beijing to London—as well as maps for public transportation, key telephone numbers for airports and cabs, and handy information for converting sizes and distances. Then there are plenty of blank pages, some with tabbed dividers, to note and organize your own favorites, including hotels, shops and restaurants. Finally there's a small accordion folder at the back, suitable for stashing collected business cards or other memorabilia. The good: The made-to-last book is a terrific idea for those who visit the same city regularly and want an organized place to keep notes on all of their favorite—or not so favorite—places and people. The notebook is small enough that you won't feel burdened slipping it into your suitcase or jacket pocket, and that means you'll never again be left puzzling over which train stop your favorite curry restaurant is near or cursing that you have forgotten a friend's phone number. The book also is a natural to hand off to friends who ask for guidance on visiting your favorite city—as long as you trust them not to misplace it! The bad: If you're the sort to visit Rome once and never again, it makes no sense to buy one of these except as a memorabilia travel diary. Cost: $15.95 Available from: moleskines.com and from Barnes and Noble, Borders and other bookshops --Laurie Goering
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