Tuesday, March 10, 2015

It's Come To This - My First Blog List: 9 Things I Travel With

At this point in my blogging life, I have finally succumbed to the need to make an actual enumerated list. I've been doing a lot of travelling seeing family and have put a lot of thought into my travel gear. I'm still trying to nail down a good personal backpack that can easily store my stuff that I like to have easily accessible to me on flights, but for now, I have a small sling pack that I got from a trade show. I'd like to find one that isn't as large as the usual backpack as I've found those a little too big for my needs. I notice myself seeing what others are carrying in hopes that I can find some good ideas for this need.
Anyway, without further adieu here's my 9 travel accessories that fit my needs. I present them to help you find some ideas that work for you. Of note, I'm very much a "travel light" type person. I think there's something adventurous being able to make due with a small number of versatile items.

1. Dell 3147

Right now I'm on a connecting flight heading home and am composing this entry on my Dell. It has a ten inch screen and is used as my home desktop (with dual monitors), travel laptop and tablet (folding completely over and with Window 8, it has a touch screen capability). I had it upgraded to 8 GBs of memory and a solid state hard drive (quiet, and very low battery consumption). This has been by far the best computer I've ever had. Thin, light and versatile it fits my needs very, very well.

2. Rolling backpack

This backpack has literally been around the world with me. It is a relatively small carry on that is good for about 3 days worth of clothes. I find that even if I'm travelling for longer than that time frame, I wash my clothes during my travels. I admit that I'm a t-shirt, jeans/short and high tops type of person so the small size works well for me. I usually roll this bag but at times it's been nice to be able to throw it on my back. I've used it so much that I'm looking into replacing it because it is beginning to show some well earned wear.

3. Bluetooth headphones

I settled on the Power Beats 2 but I would consider any bluetooth headphones to work just fine. Wires are a pain and I do like listening to music so this is a great pick up. I use it at home on walks and runs as well. It has a microphone so it also is useful for hands free calls. There's also a few controls to activate some of the features on my iPhone (most notably, Siri). The sound quality for my taste in music is great!

4. Glasses case

I admit that I found this travel hack on another bloggers website: use old glasses cases as places to store your charging cables. I carry two cables (iPhone and micro USB), an SD card, a standard US wall plug and a car plug adapter in it. It's amazing how this can keep those cumbersome wires untangled and organized.

5. Bluetooth folding keyboard

I don't always carry this when I travel but when I want to go super light and forego my laptop, this keyboard is great. I'm pretty old school when it comes to data entry so a real honest to goodness keyboard is a must for any entry greater than a text. I got this on Ebay for less than $20.

6. Ear plugs

On flights the reduction in noise helps with travel fatigue. It's also nice when you want to sleep. I pack a pair in the glasses case I mentioned above.

7. iPhone 5c

This is almost a given. Versatile and portable, a smartphone serves so many purposes I probably couldn't list them all. A few handy apps are Flight Stats (for travel information), Uber in case you need a ride (and it's usually cheaper than a cab), and Google Maps (for directions).

8. Battery powered charger

This can be had for anywhere from $200 to $10 but is one of those things that gives a lot of peace of mind while travelling. With so many devices, besides WiFi one spends a lot of time looking for wall outlets. This little guy can be a lifesaver when you're smartphone is running out of juice. I have a $20 charger that I picked up at WalMart. It has a built in flashlight and does great in a pinch. I recommend something no bigger than your wallet so it doesn't take up as much space.

9. GPS

Even though I have Google Maps on my smartphone I like having a dedicated navigator to save on battery life and data usage on my smartphone. I got a Garmin for about $40 on Ebay. It's slightly out of date but again I use Google Maps as a backup.

OK, there you have it. My list of things I take when I travel. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Happy travels!