My favorite travel gadgets & gear in 2012

Cody Wyoming Sunrise and Sunset

Now that the year is almost over, I’m taking a look back at all of the travel I’ve done. According to Tripit.com, I’ve flown over 54,239 miles and counting this year and visited destinations ranging from Cody, Wyoming to New York, New York. I’ve earned Silver status at Hilton Hotels and Gold on USAirways, as well as a lot smaller bonuses & tiers of status on other chains. It’s been a busy year, but travel overall has been smooth & pleasant.

With all of this travel, I’ve learned to pack smart and bring along the right gadgets. I tend to favor gadgets that are “all in one” in functionality, as many of my trips are very short and I pack carry-on only. Here are the gadgets I cannot travel without:

  • iPad – I use my iPad for reading books (Kindle or iBooks app), web browsing, social media, games and even work purposes. It is truly an all-in-one device that packs easily and does a lot.
  • Extra iPhone/iPad chargers – Both my iPad and iPhone use the same charger, so I bought a few extra chargers and leave one packed in my bag permanently so I don’t forget it.
  • Electric toothbrush – an odd thing to list, but I love mine. Well worth the money…
  • Fiber one bars – I always have a few packed in my bag in case I get hungry while on the plane. They’re filling and pack well, and you don’t have to worry about them getting smashed or going bad.
  • Zip-fizz or Emergen-C – I bring along some packets to mix into water both to stay healthy and/or to have something flavored to drink without having to pay extra for it.
  • Noise-cancelling headphones – if you fly a lot, good noise-cancelling headphones are well worth the money. Half the time I don’t even have them plugged into anything, I’m just using them to cancel out noise (children, chatty passengers, etc.).
  • WiFi card – my employer gives me a Verizon 4G LTE wireless card, and it’s very nice to have. It saves me $10-12 per night in WiFi charges and I can get on the internet virtually anywhere. I wish it were a MiFi hotspot to connect my iPad, but at least I can get on the web using my laptop.
  • Lenovo laptop – my Lenovo Thinkpad is a tank. It gets thrown around a lot, and takes a beating without ever having problems. Its a true workhorse of a laptop, and I highly recommend them to people who travel a lot.
  • Bluetooth mouse – bringing the “at home comforts” on the road with me helps keep me productive. I love having an external mouse rather than using the built-in trackpad on my Lenovo…
  • Collar stays & cuff links – I bought some extras of both (I opted for brass collar stays and several colors of cufflinks) and leave them permanently packed in my bag, just in case.
  • Brooks Brothers Iron-Free shirts – the best and only truly “iron-free” shirts I’ve owned. These shirts can be rolled into a ball for days and then hung up and within a few hours the wrinkles will just fall out. If you actually fold them, you won’t need to even bother hanging them at all. I won’t travel with anything but Brooks Brothers shirts, they’re that good…

The above is my packing list for nearly every trip. I usually forget something (most commonly dress socks or a belt) but a lot of the items I’ve purchased multiples of so I can leave one in my suitcase permanently. I’ve also started running on a regular basis, and am sure to run when I travel to stay fit & healthy.

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