Traveling is a part of my job, so I’m constantly looking for new bags, gadgets, and self-care items to make it easier to travel.  It’s not easy to travel long distances, and a good bag that is utilitarian (bonus points if it is cute!) will make life so much easier when you are cranky and smelly.

I was on a flight once whose entertainment system only worked for about 1/4 of the passengers (I was not one of them).  When you are facing a 14 hour flight, you never know if you’ll be able to sleep or if you need distractions.  Here are my essential gadgets for travel that can be used without the entertainment system!


I always download several books and magazines before I fly so that I’ll have reading material.  I also subscribe to the NY Times, so I have the crossword puzzle too.  For listening, I have my phone or iPad for podcasts and music.  Here is a link to some book recommendations – I’ll update there for any new faves!

I try to fly Delta Airlines, and Delta has an app that allows for streaming entertainment when there is wifi.  It’s good if the in-flight entertainment isn’t working!

Garmin Vivoactive 3

I’m obsessed with my Garmin Vivoactive 3.  It looks more like a watch than a Fitbit, and it isn’t as tall. I used a Garmin Vivosmart HR+ until a few months ago when I purchased the Vivoactive 3.  While I love the Vivosmart HR+, I found that it would get caught on my sleeves due to the height, and I really wanted something that looked more like a watch.  I considered an Apple Watch, but the battery on the Garmin lasts longer; plus, I love the Garmin software having used it with the Garmin Vivosmart HR+.  It also carried over any stats I put in using the previous device.

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is perfect for everyday use.  I occasionally hike, so I don’t need one of the newest/higher-end ones with maps.  It is great for all kinds of workouts, and you can enter shortcuts for your favorite/most used activities.  It tracks steps, stairs, heart rate, stress, sleep, weekly intensity minutes, and connects to your phone which you can see texts and notifications and control music simply.  There is a new one that stores music which is pretty cool.  For now, I’m happy with the Vivoactive 3 and give it 10/10 stars!

A Good Pair of Comfortable Headphones

I have a pair of Beats by Dre, Solo Wired (first gen).  My mother gave them to my husband for Christmas one year.  She said they are what “all the cool kids” have.  She is a nurse and works with nurses who have much younger children.  Needless to say, maybe the cool kids have them, but my husband was happy with his studio headphones being an audio engineer himself.

So, I use the Beats for the plane entertainment system and in my office.  The big headphones show people you don’t want to talk. 😉

For exercise and running, I use Bose Soundsport Wireless Headphones.  I like them.  They stay in place well, aren’t susceptible to all my sweating, and they have a clip that can keep them in place if you accidentally pull them out (I’m clumsy).

My husband recommends the following:

Sony MDR7506 Wired Headphones – He has used these for years in his studio.  A classic that sounds better than any other headphones.

JBL Everest Elite Bluetooth Headphones – He found a pair at Marshall’s and had to have them.  He uses them in the bed or on the plane to watch kayaking videos on YouTube.