2012 Favorite Travel Things

Posted: December 9, 2012    Categories: Site News

Traveling full time means I don’t own many things. What I do carry, however, are usually of high quality. I will often spend a great deal of time researching an item before I make a purchase.

This year I wanted to take a page out of Oprah’s playbook and share with everyone many of my favorite things I use while traveling. All of these items are things I use and (with one exception, a gift) are things I’ve paid out of my own pocket. If you meet me in person, there is an excellent chance I’ll be using or wearing one or more of the following items.

If you are looking for something for your next trip or a gift for the traveler in your life, I can heartily recommend all these products.

…I’m sorry there are no keys to new cars under everyone’s seat.


Men’s Casio Pro Trek 250-T Watch

Casio Pro Trek 250-T

Casio Pro Trek 250-T

I had been without a watch for several years. I began my travels with one but I learned the hard way on my first trip to Fiji that what I thought was “water resistant” really wasn’t. I finally got another watch this year when I was in Hong Kong, the watch sales capital of the world (or so it seems). I did a lot of research before settling on the Casio Pro Trek 250-T. There are several things I like about the watch. It is solar powered, so you never need to wind it or replace the batteries. It is water resistant down to 20 bar or over 600ft/180m, which is good enough for any recreational diving I’ll ever do. It has a strong titanium shell. It has an altimeter, barometer and compass. It also does a good job keeping world times as well as tracking the tides. (note: The Pro Trek brand is called Pathfinder in the US) Price: $298


Parrot Zik Bluetooth Noise Reducing Headphones

Parrot Zik Bluetooth Headphones

Parrot Zik Bluetooth Headphones

The Parrot Zik are the nicest headphones I have ever used: period. If Steve Jobs had made headphones, he would have made these. I had been using a pair of Bose noise reducing headphones but there was something about them I never quite liked. They were bulky to carry around, the cord would always pull out and the battery never lasted long. Also, if the battery died, the headphones were useless. I got these bad boys at the O’Hare airport and I’ve been loving them ever since. Not only are they wireless, but you can activate the controls for your music player by just touching the headphone! There are no buttons. If the battery should run out, you can still use them as conventional headphones by plugging in a standard headphone wire. The noise reducing ability on them is outstanding AND they also have a built in microphone so you don’t need to take them off to take a call. They are a bit pricey for headphones, but really worth it. Price: $399


Chaco Men’s Z/1 Unaweep Sandals

Chaco Men's Z/1 Unaweep Sandals

Chaco Men’s Z/1 Unaweep Sandals

I wear my Chaco sandals almost every single day I’m traveling. I’ve worn them at the Arctic Circle and in Antarctica. I’ve walked 12 miles in a day in them and I’ve also given speeches in front of 100’s of people while wearing them. I am now on my third pair of Chaco’s since I started traveling in 2007. My feet have a permanent “Z” tan baked into them. The reason I wear sandals is quite pragmatic: it eliminates the need for me to pack and wash socks. Price: $50-$100


Scottevest Fleece 7.0

Scottevest Fleece 7.0

Scottevest Fleece 7.0

I had been wearing the Scottevest Fleece 5.0 for about two years. This year they upgraded their fleece to the 7.0 and it is a definite upgrade. The smartphone pocket with the clear, capacitance window was moved from the breast pocket (where I never used it) down to the lower front pocket where it is very easy to access. The iPad pocket means I can carry around a tablet computer without anyone knowing that I even have one on me. I’ve been wearing the Fleece 7.0 for about 2 months now and have worn the Fleece 5.0 to all 7 continents. Price $160.00


Verizon iPhone 5

Verizon iPhone 5

Verizon iPhone 5

I recently upgraded from an iPhone 4 to an iPhone 5. The difference is incredible. My 4 was getting so slow that it would take up to 15 seconds just to pull up my camera app to take a photo. Now everything is almost instantaneous. For Americans, the iPhone 5 from Verizon offers something very unique: an GSM sim card slot that comes unlocked right out of the box. That means you can go anywhere in the world where the iPhone 5 is offered and get a sim card so you don’t have to pay outrageous prices for international data roaming. Verizon also has the best coverage in the US which is important if you are traveling domestically. Price: $199-$399 w/2 year contract


Monster Cable Portable Power Strip

 Monster Traveling Power Strip

Monster Traveling Power Strip

I have been traveling with a Monster Outlet To Go power strip for about 2 years now. The design has the plug fold into itself which makes it very portable. I’ve been using the 6-port strip but I’m now moving to the 4-port strip with USB. That will eliminate the need for me to carry a USB adaptor as well as shave off some weight. Using a power strip when you travel also means you only need to have 1 international adaptor for all your electronics. Price: $14.55


Adobe Lightroom 4

Adobe Lightroom 4

Adobe Lightroom 4

I can’t say enough good things about Adobe Lightroom 4. The images I create simply wouldn’t be possible without it. Everyone who takes their photography even half way seriously should consider having Lightroom installed on their computer. The latest version which came out this year greatly improves how it handles shadows and noise. They also dropped the price dramatically making it even more affordable. It is available for instant download for both Windows and Mac. Price: $119.99/New, $79/Upgrade


Nik Software Silver FX Pro 2

Nik Software Silver FX Pro 2

Nik Software Silver FX Pro 2

I’ve always been hesitant to use black and white for my images. I was never happy with how they turned out so I mostly avoided it. After buying Silver FX Pro 2 all that changed. Black and white is now an option for me that I didn’t previously consider. Every seriously photographer I’ve talked to who has used SilverFX Pro has loved it. Price: $199/new, $99/Upgrade

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