I'm trying to get away from being a 'gadget' guy - but it still happens, something new will come out and I'm always looking to see if it better than what I currently have, worth the money, and a quality product. After exhaustive research, reading of every review available, and finding the best deal on a product, I'd like to share with you some of the travel gear that I have and use.
I started with the Beats Solo2 headphones and found these too small for my fat head. I quickly gave these to my daughter who uses them. I next found a pair of Bose Soundsport in-ear headphones which were very very comfortable for being in-ear. I didn't want to plunk down an extra $150 for the noise cancelling version Bose Quietcomfort 20 and thought I'd just turn up the volume on the plane.
Boy was I wrong, noise cancelling makes a world of difference on airplanes so I next invested in a pair of Bose Quietcomfort 35 over the ear noise cancelling headphones. These were larger than the beats solo2 and fit my large head well - I thought I had a winner. After using this for a year, I noticed after wearing for long period of time 3+ hours, they would start to hurt a little. There will also a little large, other than that, I loved them.
Bose next came out with Bose Quietcontrol 30 wireless headphones. These have the same in-ear form factor as the Soundsport model I love, they are wireless (but have a small band around your neck), and are noise cancelling. I had to have these and got them at Christmas and they are currently my favorite pair of headphones - I bring them on every domestic flight. I'll still carry the over the ear Quietcomfort 25s on long haul international flights that have entertainment systems that you plug into since the Quietcontrol 30s only connect using bluetooth.
I try my best to never check a bag unless its a long trip and unavoidable. While some people purchase crazy expensive brands (Briggs & Riley, Rimowa, Tumi) that go for $400-$700 just for a carry on, I use Costco's Kirkland Hybrid Spinner. It was only $100 and is very well made. Costco has a legendary return policy - no question asks - return for a full refund at any time. Here is a review of the carry on.
For beach vacations and trips - I like to bring a portable speaker. I got the JBL Charge 3 at Christmas and it came in handy on our trip to the Maldives. This has been my favorite portable speaker yet. It's not too small like the JBL Flip and not too large like the JBL Xtreme, it's just the right size. It's also waterproof and has a USB port so you can charge your phone.
I also carry a small Anker 'lipstick' charger in my pocket for long flights and when touring cities on trips.
Credit Card Holder Case
I searched for a while to try to find a good cheap case that would hold all of my credit cards and loyalty cards. Most people just use the clear sheets that hold business cards - I used these for a while but quickly learned that credit cards are slightly larger than business cards so I would be forcing them into the plastic sheets, they were hard to get out, and the plastic started to rip. I found this Boshiho leather credit card holder on Amazon that has been working great. I purchased in December 2015 and have been happy with it since. Credit cards slid in easily and there is room for 90 cards. I highly recommend.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.