Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday Gifts: My Travel Essentials Gift List

While I can not say that I'm a travel expert, therefore knowing exactly what constitutes "essential" travel items, I can at least say what works for me on my [mostly] business travel. I can't believe I travel with all this stuff but most of these things I need for my work, sanity, or pleasure. 
1.) USB Charger/Travel Plug Adapter: $10 - $20. This is my non-sexy item, I've had it for years but I use it on every trip. It's pretty essential for me so that I don't have to carry around several different plugs - just the cables for my electronics. I charge my iPod, Nook, Flip, Camera, and other odds & ends.

2.) Stowaway Bag from Flight 001 - $30. I love this thing - it packs down into a size small enough that I just throw it in to my front compartment of my suitcase.  I do a lot of shopping on my trips and it's always handy to have an extra bag, just in case.
3.) Luggage Scale $20. I've got heavy clothes.  Or maybe its my shoes. Or maybe it's the hairdryer, curling iron, and hair gels. Whatever the case, when I'm checking my luggage in for business trips, I always seem to have difficulty staying within my weight limit.  A small lightweight contraption that helps in my quest to stay within the regulations.
4.) Travel Toothbrush Sanitizer $30. Ok, I don't use a sanitizer at home. Having said that, I also admit to the fact that I have a dedicated toothbrush that I travel with from trip to trip.  I don't do anything with my toothbrush in between my trips because I'm too lazy when I get home to sanitize and I'm usually packing at the last minute, not thinking about my toothbrush.  So I really like the feeling of cleanliness that this sanitizer provides. 
5.) Make your own kit: eye mask, ear plugs, lightweight socks, travel slippers. On long haul flights, it makes your flight just a little more bearable.  I travel with a small, lightweight eye mask, not this one below, but it just makes me want to burrow into it, it looks so soft & comfy [$35, Brookstone or Amazon]

6.) Bose QuietComfort 15 [$299.95].  I hate saying that expensive items are necessary for travel. It's not.  But let me tell you, this baby makes all the other noisy babies go away, or at least their cacophony of noise. I took this to Japan with me and it even helped me tune out my family, too!
 7.) Camera: $315 - $350 This one is a no brainer.  If you're traveling, what better way is there to capture the moment than a handy point & shoot?  I am a self proclaimed Canon Girl but my brother brought out his new Panasonic Lumix camera to our family trip to Japan.  What I love most about it was the GPS system that marked where your photo was taken so you don't have to go through your notes and timelines to try and figure things out!

8.) Mino Flip: Definitely not a necessity but sometimes you just need to capture the moment. I use mine mostly for work on Site Inspections to give a more realistic view of what I'm seeing.  Plus, if someone suddenly decides to break out in song or other embarrassing acts, I can capture it in a split second. Plus it comes with its own editing software that you can pair to music. I love the convenience of the Flip.
9.) E-Reader: I read like a maniac. I can finish an entire book in mere hours. This little device will store hundreds of books so even I would be hardpressed to read all my downloaded books on a single trip. I personally use a Nook by Barnes & Noble mostly because of the SD card option that I could use to store additional books so I can essentially never run out of memory. 
10.) iPad: I don't have this thing but it is pretty high on my list of things I need [want] to get. I'd love to lighten my load as much as possible and this would help me immensely, especially since I'm a control freak and can't manage to unplug from the office/life/home completely.  From basics of sending emails to the immensely helpful translators/guidebooks/travel notes, these travel tools are a sexy must have for any traveler [plus i can use it as an e-reader and update my blog!].


  1. Jen, this is a great list and I think I might have to look into that adapter/ USB for our upcoming trip!

  2. Could you just CC Santa on this list and sign it GREG

  3. I'm with Greg.. that is an awesome list!!! I have two items I would add to that list (for the ladies!!) Since I try to never check my bags, what I carry on has to count - so it's generally a small carry on and a totebag which contains many of the items on your list. Since I don't have a purse, I found a zippered totebag organizer at Crate and Barrel and love it - holds my wallet, tissues, pens, cell phone and keys!! Since I sometimes need a purse at my final destination, I always bring a small longchamps bag. Folds flat and takes up almost no room. I then just put the totebag organizer inside and I am ready for anything!!

    PS LOVE the new header on the blog!!!

  4. Mardi - thanks. i use that adapter all the time!! [of course, i've lost it half a billion times]

    Greg: will do!

    Nancy: thank you so much for the additions. I was going to put my favorite tote from Timbuk2, as well! the longchamps bag is a brilliant idea! i have a larger tote but would love a smaller packable one, too!
    the header is a work in progress. just wanted to see how it'd look! :)


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