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Coupon Corner: A good travel alarm clock is hard to find

Whenever I travel, I always like to take my alarm clock with me. Until recently, I had one from the Sharper Image that I loved, but it broke and isn't available any longer. So that meant shopping for a new one, something I really dislike.

Buying a travel alarm clock is hard, because I need something small, lightweight and very loud. When ordering from a catalog, or even in a store, you can see the size and weight, but you usually aren't able to test the alarm.

In the meantime, I bought a folding one from L.L. Bean. It was similar to my old one, only lighter, but I found I could easily sleep through the alarm. And, the case was a lightweight plastic that didn't seem very durable.

Then, I received a new catalog from National Geographic and found a couple of possibilities. I settled on one called a National Geographic Miniature Travel Alarm Clock.

It's only 1.5 inches in diameter and .75 inches deep (about the size of a 50-cent piece), made of stainless steel with a gold-tone finish, has luminescent hands and numbers, a mineral glass crystal face and comes in a wooden box. The front cover, etched with the National Geographic Society seal, opens and folds back to form a stand.

This alarm clock is not only loud, but very irritating because after the first alarm, it immediately makes a double noise. I love it, because there's no way I can sleep through it.

The clock takes a round, #357 battery, which is available at many stores, including Walmart and Target.

I also like this clock because it's easy to set; similar to old-fashioned clocks with two round buttons for setting the time and the alarm. The small wooden case has a molded interior, so the clock is safer when traveling.

To order, visit http://www.shopng.org, call 888-225-5647 or fax 1888-242-0531. The travel alarm is $34.95 and the catalog number is #72133. With shipping and handling fees, the cost is $42.90 and takes about seven to 10 business days via UPS or USPS.

While you're at the website, sign up for National Geographic emails. You'll receive notification about frequent sales; sometimes shipping is free, too.

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