My Travel Essentials

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By Sebastien Robillard  @fashionbpm  fashionbpm@gmail.com 

As I was packing for a trip, an activity that I’ve had more than my share of doing throughout the years, I realized the tricks and gadgets I have to pack to make my trip enjoyable. I have to admit that as spontaneous as I can be I also am very organized when it comes to travel, I actually treat it like a mission. Like any mission you have to have the proper equipment so here’s a few tricks and gadgets that I like to have or use when I travel.

Carry on bag
Unless I’m going strictly for business and I know for a fact I will not have anytime at all to play tourist I usually will not bring a briefcase or computer bag. I like to have a bag that will be useful and will not limit me no matter what the activity I will end up doing. My favorite bag that has followed me all over the map for the past 15 years is my messenger bag. The reason I like this bag is that it has enough compartments but one large section in the center. For me that means I can use it to put towels and lotions if I go to the beach. My camera, extra lens and flash if I’m going to do photography and anything else I might need. It’s versatile as even in the city you can put a sweater or jacket in it and you’ll still have room for purchase you’ve made through the day. The thing I really like about it compare to a back pack is that it won’t make you stick out like a tourist.
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Swiss army knife
Laws have changed but as I always check my suitcase I keep it with my shaving kit. The reasons I carry it when I travel are easy. First it has a corkscrew and since I enjoy a glass of good wine after a long day I can just buy a good bottle and enjoy. Second who does not shop when they go on a trip and a knife to remove tags works a lot better than your teeth. Also if you’ll hit the beach it’s always useful if you bring some food.
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A pen
The fisher space pen is one of my favorite as it’s very small but it can be any pen. We are so used to our device to take notes that we often forget the custom forms and other forms we will have to fill on our trips, I don’t know how many people I’ve had asking me to borrow a pen at airports.
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Umbrella
Unless you’re going to a tropical destination the weather man’s predictions are the same everywhere they are mostly WRONG so bring along an umbrella if you don’t want to ruin a day out or have to purchase one there.
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External Battery 
As plugs are often all used or simply no there at airports I strongly suggest having an external battery. I have one that can charge my iPhone or iPad twice before needing recharge.
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Book or EBook 
You never know when you’ll be delayed and obviously it will help time pass a little faster if you have something to do. I like a paperback as it also helps me save battery on my gadgets.
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Headphones
Of course almost everyone as headphones now since they all come with the phones but I also like to bring a spliter that way if you’re 2 people traveling you can watch the same movie or show from your iPad or laptop.
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Wine glass
Ok I might be pushing it with this one but as I said I enjoy good wine call me snob but I don’t like drinking it out of a plastic cup and not all hotels have real glasses. Those stainless steel glasses are perfect as they wont break and are also thin enough as a regular wine glass.
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As for the apps I find essential here are the ones that I really like to use.

Tripcase
Just forward all your reservation to the app and it will keep them all in the trip it will create for you. One of the features that saved me headaches a few times is that the app will send you a notification if you have a gate and flight times changes.
Crackle/Netflix
Of course if you have a Netflix account watching it on your iPad or laptop is perfect but if you don’t have an account the free alternative is Crackle. It’s a little bit the same as Netflix except it has older movies and shows. The upside of Crackle is that it’s free, I did get some commercials on it while I was in the US but I used those 2 minutes to check my emails.
If you have some essentials you also like to bring when you travel leave it in the comment section.
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