The Things I Can’t Travel Without

Since it’s Friday and I’ve already shared more personal stuff this week than I normally do, I figured I’d step up to Josh’s challenge and share the travel goodies that you’ll find with on every trip.

Wenger backpack and/or rolling bag: I work hard on every trip I take to do two things, a) avoid checking anything and b) reduce weight by every possible ounce. Seriously, I’ll take only the exact number of pills for prescription medications. I search for travel sizes. I forgo my own shampoo (which I hate doing). I’ll do anything to reduce weight, and finding just the right bag helps me to do that. Most trips I take are short since the baby’s come along, so I’ll use either the backpack or the rolling bag from Wenger. Neither are perfect, but since I can never seem to find the perfect bag, they’re pretty close. For longer trips, I pull out my TravelPro roller board… if they’re good enough for flight crews, they’re good enough for me.

MacBook Pro w/ wireless card: I’d like to say that there trips where I can rip myself away from my laptop, but there’s not. Even for family events, I bring my camera and the way I take pictures, I’ll want to review and perhaps even edit the photos while I’m there. That way I can tell if I’m missing any desired shots or family members. On the road for business, and even at home for that matter, the laptop is my office. My AT&T card saves me tons of money on airport/hotel/Starbucks wireless, and helps me ensure that I’m always online when I need to be, even in a client presentation.

Nikon D50 and/or Canon SD700 IS: I never take a trip without a camera. I wish I was as dedicated as Josh is with bringing the DSLR everywhere, but I find my desire for small footprint travel conflicting with my desire to bring my camera. (I’ve also yet to find a decent one bag solution for laptop + camera. Why is that so difficult??) Every trip I take, however, includes my fantastic, pocket-sized Canon SD700, even if I bring along the DSLR.

Bag o’ Cables: When you speak as much as I do, you never want to find yourself unable to connect to the projector, or unable to copy files from your computer to another, or any other technical task. Over the years, I’ve refined the list of must-have cables, connectors, adapters, and gadgets to the bare minimum. When I pack of a trip, I just grab my Bag o’ Cables and I know I’m set. (The only addition is international travel where I’ll grab my power converters as well) Pictures here and here.

iPhone: I’m not sure how I would travel without this device these days. I can keep up with email and news while at the airport, and occupy my time by watching movies & TV on the plane. And boy do I watch. As part of the watching process, I also bring my iPhone stand and the amazing noise canceling Shure e2c headphones. And of course, don’t forget about the fantastic iPhone screen protectors that help ensure my video viewing stays scratch free. The iPhone hasn’t eliminated the need for my iPod Video, unfortunately, mainly because of the weak iPhone battery. Hopefully that changes with the next iPhone I get.

Jawbone Bluetooth Headset: I’d be lost without this noise canceling wonder. Walking through the noise airport or driving in a noisy rental car, this headset does wonders for the other party on the call.

Moleskin: These expensive notebooks are fantastic to use. Expensive, but a joy for note taking. Since my mind never stops working, even on non-work trips I take along the pocket sized reporter style. For work, I bring the lined notebook.Mag-Lite: This may sound a bit odd, but one of my biggest lingering traumas about 9/11 was hearing the stories of the people in the towers trying to make it down countless flights of stairs with only their cell phones to light the way. Since then, every trip I take has a small Mag-Lite stuck in my bag. I used to carry the amazing Surefire pocket size, but the way it’s designed makes it too easy for the on switch to get depressed and deplete your batteries. The thing is bright like the sun but chews threw expensive batteries, so I opt for the Mag-Lite instead. (Bonus insight: I also don’t take off my shoes on planes after seeing Castaway)

The Bourne Identity: One of my favorite movies of all time and one that I can watch a 1000 times and still enjoy. There’s something about a long trip that this movie is great for. When I bring DVDs, this one is included every time.


And I’ll further expand the meme… here’s a quick list of things I wish I could travel with.Kindle – Again, I’m on a weight elimination kick. Imagine not having to lug around the weight of a book(s) and magazines like I tend to do. Drool.

Tumi Ducati T3 – Josh swears by it.

iPhone Juice Pack – the idea of adding 7 extra hours of battery life to my iPhone makes me drool. Imagine getting off the plane and not having to immediately recharge the phone…. mmm.

3 ounce travel sizes of the toiletries I actually use. That’s 3 ounces, like the max size allowed now on a plane. Hello product manufactuters, 4.5 oz containers might look cute, but I’m federally prohibited from using (thus purchasing) them.


OK, time to tag some others to play this game: Joi, Sean, Chris, and Virginia …. what about you?