I recently had a question from a person in the UK who had read one of my reviews on TripAdvisor. Before I started doing some blogging - and continuing today I post some things on TripAdvisor. I found out I have had over 25,000 people read my reviews !!! Wow - I thought that was pretty cool - 25,000 - I never would have thought.
That doesn't compare to a bunch of folks I am sure but since I was only doing it every now and then it made me smile !! So in honor of the first 25,000 today's blog:
I read an article from the NYT that talked about Necessary or "Don't Leave Home Without Them" items the author packs whenever she travels. It got me thinking about the few things that I ALWAYS take with me. This blog is about those things that I never go without. I carry more but trying to focus I narrowed them down to five.
One caveat: taking my iPhone goes without saying. That little piece of technology has made travel significantly easier. Movies - Books - Books on Tape - reference guides - maps - access to the Internet - currency conversion - all in the palm of your hand. On another blog I will write about my GoTo Apps for travel......but this is about my stuff.
My number one item that I NEVER travel without are my BOSE Noise Cancelling Earbuds. I love these things. You can read a full review - matter of fact a number of reviews if you Google them. A lot are about the BOSE sound profile...it isn't loved by everyone but here is the thing I am not looking for perfect sound for music or movies. Often I will just put them in and use them to cancel the ambient sounds without plugging them into my phone or iPad. I use them to cancel excessive noise - especially while flying aIthough I also use them when I mow the yard!!!!!! I had over the ear BOSE headphones that were noise cancelling but I found traveling on an overnight flight I couldn't wear them and sleep. Plus they were bulky and took up too much room. So I went for the earbuds and now they are the number one gadget in my bag. They are not cheap - $249.95 but I have owned Sony's and Panasonic's which were less than half the price so if price makes a difference there are others on the market....but don't confuse Value and Price. These are worth it for me - I love em. They are a great Value.
Next item I make sure I have is a portable multi-port charger. It is an Insignia Four-port charger with collapsable prongs. I bring USB cords so that I can charge all of my tech overnight. I try to keep most items in full charge - that way I am not caught somewhere with a dead-worthless tech tool. There are other multi-ports but Insignia has been pretty rugged and has worked well. Side note: I didn't include adapter plugs or converters which are necessary when we go overseas - but since most of my travel is domestic...I am talking about items that I would use most often.
This is a mophie portable juice pack charger. I have had it for a number of years and still use it. It isn't the most powerful one on the market. I had to do a little calculation...it is 14.8Wh with 5 Volts so the output is 2960 mAh. There are more powerful and longer lasting ones on the market today - even though this isn't the top of the line I never travel without it. INCLUDING - when we are walking a city.
I take a lot of pictures and use a remote shutter release for my iPhone. This uses a lot of battery power. That with navigation drains my battery fairly quickly. When it gets down to about 20-30 percent I will click in the mophie and power it back up.
You have to have a USB - lightning cable for the iPhone or iPad and if you use any tech that has a micro input (like the BOSE earbuds) then you need that cable too. I had another charger from Brookstone that included both cables which were integrated into the unit. I used that a ton...but unfortunately for me (but lucky for someone else) I left it in a small GoLight daybag in the Barcelona Cathedral - fifth pew from the alter on the right - dumb me - but it happens.
To solve the multiple cable problem I found this:
I found A USB cable that has BOTH a lightning end for the Apple products AND a micro charger for my BOSE and other gadgets that use that type of input. You can't use both at once but It works great and does the trick without adding additional cords to haul around.
Although it works great...technology continues to advance I am looking to add a new charger with more power that includes both types of tips in one unit. Regardless of the make - a portable charger with different cable ends is a must for me.
Finally - as my fifth item I would include: pen/mechanical pencil notebook.
Pretty simple isn't it. With all the technology we have and use - I never travel without a pen/pencil and small notebook. Analog works.
It isn't just the simplicity and ability to take notes in an instant or the fact that it keeps a record of places - dates - people and thoughts but reviewing it after a trip - after looking at the pictures, reading my notes about where I have been - whom I have met or just what I was thinking about takes me back. It reminds me about my feelings - what I was thinking at the time. Thoughts can be so fleeting. Writing them down helps me not just remember but reading them brings back the moment. Flying into NYC past the sky scrappers in Manhattan at sunset with the light reflecting off the windows. The hotel in Kitzbuhel Austria - the rain the streets reflecting the purple city lights as we walked - the emptiness of Hallstatt when the tour buses left - of the plaza in Siena Italy - eating pasta and drinking wine - just the two of us......of seeing the Pope in the Vatican during Easter....of St. Patrick's Day in Dublin, I love to go back in time with my analog journals ....
That is it - my top five must travel with items....there are more for sure but if you see me on the road - you can bet I will definitely have these with me.
Travel Safe - Travel Well............here is to the next 25,000 readers !
BK Travel Tips
To enjoy travel and see the world and often yourself as if for the first time and with with the eyes of a young child.