Back on the road-The essentials

First, those of you commenting on my posts here, on Twitter and Facebook. Thank you. It helps me know that these aren’t just spewed out into the cyber-space. I’ve had several requests for this post, so here goes;

Jud’s Travel Essentials:

These are my travel essentials for travel by car, train, plane, and if I’m ever dumb enough to do it, bus. It is not my camping list, which is far more extensive and a completely different philosophy.The organizing principle of my travel kit is traveling light.

  • First, the actual bag: I actually bought this at WalMart. It’s not the fanciest, nor the cheapest, but I got for for the three large pockets and numerous little pockets inside. I also highly recommend good comfortable padded straps. It’s a nice tough fabric, so it won’t rip or snag. One thing I really like is that it has four loops to hang things on caribiners on the outside, saving space inside.

  • Next, power. I always travel with at least enough extra battery that I can charge my phone 4 times without access to an outlet. They are very cheap nowadays, and I highly recommend grabbing a few of these battery packs. I also found a product by Rayovac that uses regular aa batteries to charge your phone. 4 batteries will do a total recharge if you turn the phone off, or will extend the charge if you have to stay powered on. These are just two of my batteries. I highly recommend each of these. The gray one is good for about a charge and half, and the green one is nice because it has a little LED flashlight.

  • Earphones. These are quite useful for three things. First, passing time. I’ve always found that some tunes certainly help the time pass more quickly. Second, sleep assistance. I have a sleep playlist that I’ve sort of trained my body to fall asleep when I hear those songs. The last reason is a little sad, whether you are listening or not, visible earphones are a good signal to people that you don’t want to talk. They are effective against talkative neighbors. I carry these Bluetooth, and one set of wired headphones.
  • Hydration. I like to carry something to drink with me. When I travel anyway but by car, I use this bottle. It attaches nicely to the bag and was less than 2 dollars, just in case some security guy decides I can’t have it, it can be thrown away without any consternation. Welcome Reno, acting like Vanna White tonight.

  • Organization. I hate digging through a giant ball of wires trying to find the right one. I just found this at Marshall’s and is small, but will organize all the wires.
  • A tablet. I am a huge believer in tablets. They let you do pretty much all computer functions in a cheap, light format. This was actually Kelley’s iPad, and what I use to write the blog.
  • The most important, the camera. I’m not a big souvenir guy. Instead, I preserve my memories in photos. I know phone cameras continue to improve and have great resolution, but to me, nothing can beat a nice digital SLR. I’m a Canon guy, and really like my Canon T6.
  • Keeping the time. A watch. I remember a character on some TV show said “a boy checks his phone for the time, a man checks his watch.” I have an Apple Watch I really like, but I also wear a nice non-smart watch, because I’ve still not determined how long the Apple Watch’s battery lasts.
  • Don’t go naked. I am a big fan of rolling clothes. They pack tighter and stay less wrinkled. I actually roll my underwear as tight as I can and put a piece of tape on them. For summer travel, I have two pairs of shorts that are kind of a thick swimsuit material. They are impossible to wrinkle and stay really clean. I try to get 2 days of wear out of all my pants on a trip. For shirts, I go pretty generic. A plain V neck colored t shirt can look more dressy than something with print. I also try to go mid darkness colors, so they show less mess, and the fact that I am a messy eater. I’ve found a really nice and supportive pair of sandals so I don’t have to pack socks. I’ve gotten to the point now where I can get 6 days in my bag without doing laundry. Also, I know they are no longer in fashion, but I’m sorry, my whole system depends on the extra pockets in cargo shorts.
  • My ultra secret flying tip. If you are flying, dress up just a little. I have a canvas sport jacket I always wear when I fly. Add a pair of non-wrinkle cotton pants and it’s a possible business wear outfit. Airlines always fill coach, but they often don’t fill first or business class. If the gate agent is considering who to upgrade, I’ll take my chances against the guy in the Bon Jovi tour T-shirt from 1988. This strategy has worked for me about 40 percent of the time.

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