Take Your Lavish Lifestyle On The Road With You This Holiday Season

Traveling to inhospitable guest rooms this holiday season? It’s easier than ever to take your lifestyle with you. Here are BlackBook’s picks for making your stay at the in-laws’, the family cabin, or Dad’s Winnebago as luxurious as a five-star hotel.

1. The J. PANTHER RUC TOTE ($590; jplc.com) is everything you could ask for in both an everyday bag and a long-weekend carryall. It zippers shut to keep out snow and rain, and the lightly waxed canvas keeps everything dry.

2. Make any musty or over-potpourried guest room your own with a scented candle from CIRE TRUDON. We love the woodsy Balmoral and the Havana-inspired Ernesto. Use their elegant long matches to rekindle the flame (candles $85; matches $12; both at ciretrudon.com).

3. Barnes & Noble’s SIMPLE TOUCH WITH GLOWLIGHT NOOK ($119; barnesandnoble.com) is barely larger than a phone, has a battery that can last a month, and allows you to trade day for night reading with The Touch of a button that backlights the screen.

4. A ready-made heirloom, THE JAMES DIXON FLASK ($550; sirjacks.com) is based on an early 20th century design—its upper half wrapped in rich brown leather and its orbed screw cap and removable cup made of sterling silver. We suggest filling it with a spirit as complex and mellow as TULLAMORE DEW’S 12-YEAR-OLD SPECIAL RESERVE WHISKEY ($40; tullamoredew-usa.com).

5. BANG & OLUFSON’S BEOLIT 12 PORTABLE SPEAKER ($799; bang-olufson.com) is a sleek update to the company’s classic 1960s transistor radio. It features a leather handle, and you can get eight hours of sound from the rechargeable battery.

6. No critters were harmed in the making of Restoration Hardware’s deceptively soft LUXE FAUX FUR THROWS ($99; restorationhardware.com). They come as portable as can be in a blanket roll with a leather handle.

7. Get the best shave your great-grandfather never had with The Art of Shaving’s BOCOTE WOOD STRAIGHT RAZOR and 4 ELEMENTS OF THE PERFECT SHAVE KIT (razor $225; shaving kit $115; artofshaving.com). Or pack even lighter with JOHN MASTERS ORGANICS 2-IN-1 FACE WASH AND SHAVE FOAM ($22; johnmasters.com).

Photo by Joshua Scott.

The Real Reason Not To Use A Kindle

Book fetishists are a little gross, let’s admit. I can appreciate musty library stink as much at the next reader, but we can stop acting like that’s cause enough to dismiss Kindles, Nooks, Kobos, iPads, Sony Readers, Kodles, iNoods, SonyPads, Kinkos, and PackNobs out of hand. I’d argue that it’s the built-in disposability of books—not their enduring, sentimental charms—that make them essential.

Simply put: you’re afraid to break your Kindle. You’re afraid to even get it wet (you pussy). Books, meanwhile, are designed to be lovingly abused unto their destruction. To be hurled across the room in anger. To be lent to a friend who will take it to a rodeo where it falls in the mud and is trampled by angry bulls. You get sand in them at the beach, soap on them in the bathtub. You mercilessly break the spine to mark your place. Maybe you leave it outside on the porch to finish later. Who cares!

So don’t buy this nonsense about the book as a pristine, holy artifact that must be protected from the onslaught of digital tablets. Because aside from the scrolls in the Vatican Library, there’s usually at least a thousand copies too many of any given book out there. Go ahead, destroy a few. Knowck yourself out. There’s more where that came from. They still punch a hole in the Farmer’s Almanac so you can hang it in your outhouse and rip out pages for toilet paper, you know.     

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