Gift for pregnant rail commuter
February 25, 2014 1:32 PM   Subscribe

Someone I know is pregnant and I'd like to give her a gift. She does a more than hour long rail commute every day and I was hoping to get her something to make this commute easier on her in the coming months. This is the same person who gave me a good pair of headphones when I had a 3.5 hour commute a few years ago and I'd love to give her something that makes her commute better in the same way those headphones made mine better.

Things she already has: headphones, laptop, Kindle, iPhone.
Location: US Northeast corridor
Due date: Mid-August
Morning sickness: so far minimal to non-existent

She's an intelligent, well-read, person who works in healthcare policy. Wears minimal makeup, dresses for the business workplace, has no pets, likes hiking, reading, has a good sense of humor.

If there's something that will make her commute more awesome that has nothing to do with her being pregnant, I'm interested in that as well.

I'd be okay with spending up to $200 for something truly awesome, but would prefer something in the $100 range.
posted by sciencegeek to Travel & Transportation (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Gift subscription to Audible or Oyster?
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 1:36 PM on February 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Gift card for Starbucks?

Subscriptions for her Kindle or an Amazon gift card.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:37 PM on February 25, 2014

Envirosax and an amazon gift card.

I came to say Kindle but she has one; the amazon gift card will allow her to buy herself whatever books she wants.

Envirosax because I have a few of these and they're extremely useful and transportable, but also pretty and grown up, and as someone who commutes on a train I find them endlessly helpful for those days when I have unexpected extra crap to lug home with me.
posted by phunniemee at 1:38 PM on February 25, 2014

How about a USB battery pack?
posted by evoque at 1:50 PM on February 25, 2014

Maybe return the favor and upgrade her to some noise-cancelling headphones? I splurged on some awhile back when I was doing a ton of flying and they really are fantastic, even if you're not listening to music.
posted by jquinby at 2:05 PM on February 25, 2014

Here to nth. The best things on my 40 minute bus commute are my subscription (works great on Iphone), my Kindle books (ergo strong second for amazon gift card), my magazines on my Ipad (Itunes gift card would cover that), and my Tom Bihn medium cafe bag, which holds everything.

Pick any of these and you'll have a wonderful gift.
posted by bearwife at 2:05 PM on February 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

A back cushion. Her back is going to start to hurt soon after sitting in those uncomfortable seats for so long.
posted by amro at 2:06 PM on February 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

How about a tempurpedic seat cushion?

As I understand it, the theory behind these is that they're made from a material with a negative Poisson ratio, and therefore have at least a chance of living up to the "Relieves pressure and distributes weight, for extended periods of sitting" hype.
posted by jamjam at 2:14 PM on February 25, 2014

Can you make her a little sign that says "Baby on Board" or "Pregnant but not showing yet!"

That way (hopefully) people will be generous and give her their seat.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 2:20 PM on February 25, 2014

I have to second a USB battery pack. Starting your long commute, just to find that your iPod or Kindle is out of juice, is a special level of hell. Would also be good in case there's a delay. Also include a little carrying case for her charger cords.

It doesn't have to be huge; I have this one, and it's little larger than a tube of lipstick. And it's pink! It only has one USB port, but I usually only need to charge one thing at a time when commuting. Anker Astro Mini 3000mAh charger.
posted by spinifex23 at 2:36 PM on February 25, 2014

A friend who was pregnant and had an hourlong subway commute says choose a taser to keep people from smashing their bikes int her, or a gift certificate for massages because she might not get a seat.
posted by bilabial at 2:39 PM on February 25, 2014

In London the tube gives pregnant ladies free badges so that people will give their seat up.
They only rarely work, sadly.

Here is some princess (actually, possibly duchess, who knows) or other wearing one.

It's not much but if you like I can acquire one and post it to you?
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:45 PM on February 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

This isn't August-appropriate so you'd have to give it early, but in case that's an option you want to consider - fancy bluetooth earmuffs have made my commute awesome this winter. I would have made fun of them before having them, but having my ears be warm while I wait for my bus and still be able to play podcasts? And even better, to be able to do so wirelessly so I'm not forever getting headphones tangled in my bag ? Is more awesome than I would have ever suspected. Mine are 180s brand, but I'm sure there are other kinds.
posted by Stacey at 3:04 PM on February 25, 2014

As someone who had that sort of commute when pregnant, I say this without sarcasm: make her a map of clean bathrooms for stops ennroute. If its NYC memail me for recs.
posted by cestmoi15 at 5:44 PM on February 25, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks for all the excellent suggestions.

She already has Envirosax (reusable shopping totes that fold or crumple up into a tiny ball), which are, as mentioned extremely useful for commuting (and about 8 million other things - I used some at work yesterday to carry a giant pile of extension cords) and a preferred travel bag.

I believe that her headphones are already noise cancelling and finding out would involve a level of subterfuge that I'm just not good at.

I think that I'll likely get her a gift certificate for audible/oyster and a battery pack.

In terms of bathroom mapping, she travels Baltimore-DC and I believe that both Amtrak and MARC have bathrooms.

And to all of you with long commutes: I wish you quiet fellow commuters, not horribly packed trains/buses/subway cars, no delays and a good day at work.
posted by sciencegeek at 3:13 AM on February 26, 2014

« Older Gifts for 18 yr old nephew about to travel then...   |   Can You Help Find the Missing Pieces in These... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.