I flew to Minnesota this past weekend, and I was reminded that I don't fly nearly as much as I used to. There was a period during 2004-2006 where I was flying somewhere every other week on business. When you travel that much, you accumulate a lot of items that make traveling easier. Even though I don't travel for business nearly as much now, I still pull out all these goodies out whenever I fly - and I couldn't live without them:
Brooks Brothers Non-Iron Dress Shirts:
These are actually about the only dress shirts I wear, but they're particularly good for travel. I've had other 'non-iron' shirts, but the Brooks Brothers ones truly are worth the price. You can pack these in a suit case, hang them up in the bathroom when you shower in the morning at the hotel, and they'll look like they just came from the dry cleaners. I recommend buying the 'slim' fit shirts for a much more tailored look. $79 - $139 www.brooksbrothers.com
Bose Quiet Comfort 2 Headphones:
I absolutely cannot be on a plane without these headphones. Nothing irritates me more than the sound of people coughing and babies crying. With these noise-cancelling headphones, they put you in a silent little bubble of relaxation. I plug into my iPod, and I fall asleep in about 5 minutes. When I have to take them off to give the flight attendant a drink order, it sounds like I've walked into a beehive. They also come in handy in 100 other situations where there are loud and annoying people or sounds. $299 www.bose.com
Nike+ Running Gear:
I get a little stir crazy sitting in hotel rooms or my parents' basement, so I try and get out and run whenever I can. Problem is, in a strange city it's often hard to find a running trail - and harder still to figure out how far you've gone. The Nike+ running chip that connects to my iPod tells me exactly how far I've run, and uploads the run to a website that tracks all my mileage. I remember a particular run through downtown St. Louis - great way to see the city, if you don't mind the occasional bum and all the guys wearing Nelly headbands. http://www.nikeplus.com/ $300 for the works, including iPod and shoes.