How I spent my AmEx Shop Small credits today

I wasn’t out too early this morning for Shop Small Saturday but I have successfully completed my shopping efforts, getting my freebies courtesy of American Express. A couple of the stops I made were just general errands – I’m not the type to buy extra junk just because it is free – but there was one stop I made specifically to restock on some travel gear. I figured I’d share what I got since I think they are goodies which make my travel experience significantly better every time I head to the airport.

My shop of choice was Flight 001 in Manhattan. They aren’t always the cheapest price-wise but they have some awesome travel gear and the staff is generally quite nice. Plus, today’s purchases are free anyways so why not.

I picked up a few extra GoToob bottles for my liquids. These are refillable silicone containers which I use for sunscreen or body wash. They seal well and pack even better. Plus, they are 3 ounces or smaller, making them TSA-safe. Amazon sells them as well and I cannot recommend them highly enough. My only problem is that the 2oz version comes with a suction cup on the back which I have a habit of sticking to the wall of the shower in my hotel and then leaving there when I depart. Whoopsie. Good thing I could pick up a few more for free this afternoon.

In addition to needing to replace my liquids tubes it turns out that I have a habit of leaving my eye masks on the plane. I know that the airlines give you one in business or first class on the long-hauls but those are generally crappy and not so comfortable; I think that spending a few bucks is well worth it for a more comfortable sleep. I just really need to stop leaving them on the plane. In this case I needed not one but two of them as I’ve also managed to borrow – and lose – my wife’s eye mask on a recent trip having previously lost mine. Ouch.

Historically I’ve purchased the Lewis N. Clark Comfort Eye Mask and I’ve very much enjoyed it. The one caveat is that the velour cloth is a bit heavy, feeling like a blanket on my face. If the plane is too warm that gets very uncomfortable to me. There was another option next to them on the shelf today that I’ve decided to try, the Bucky 40 Blinks Mask. It is even lighter than the Lewis N Clark one and the nose cutout seems to block out the light even better based on my limited in-store testing.

I spent WAY more time than necessary in the shop, checking out the other travel gizmos, bags and books they had in stock. I managed to avoid buying anything more than what I initially planned, though I did have to buy one extra piece to get over the $25 mark because the store was also having a 20% off sale all weekend. Still, I’m quite happy with my purchases and look forward to using them on future trips. The prior versions were always nice on my past trips.

FYI: The links to Amazon for these products are affiliate links. If you shop through them I get a few cents back. I use the Amazon links because they’re available to pretty much everyone and the prices are cheap if not the cheapest. If you’ve got a better place to buy ’em have at it.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Id be interested in seeing how the 40 Blinks mask compares to Magellan’s Good Night Sleep Mask which is similar. It has a little more fabric on the nose area but doesn’t make me sweat. I’m in the process of trying out a newcomer on the market called “Total Eclipse”, Its a lot more bulky (by an inch) than other masks but block a lot more light.

  2. I registered my card and promptly used at my own business that is on the amex list for the area.

    Now to wait and see if I get the $25 credit.

    If it does, I may register all 4 of my amex accounts next year.

  3. Safeway chain grocery stores are ” small” here in northern VA. Good for stocking up on on beer and wine!

  4. Registered two cards, made purchases at two different stores, got acknowledgements but credit has not been posted as of Monday afternoon. When is this supposed to happen?

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