The Ultimate Guide to Traveling Obsessively (Part 1): The Gear

Free martinis, fold-flat massage seats, and champagne bubble baths at the hotel might be the norm for Warren Buffett and the 1%-ers. But the rest of us are lucky to survive our trips without strangling a flight attendant. With pay-toilets on the airplane, $30-a-day hotel Wi-Fi, and this lady at the check-in counter … these days, travel can royally suck.

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But it doesn’t have to. You just need to retake control of your travel destiny. Call it: “being a control enthusiast“. In this three-part series, we reveal our favorite tips for doing just that …

“Better travel through technology.” That’s my personal motto. These days, there’s a gadget, app, or gizmo for almost everything. I mean ev-er-ee-thing. And when you’re a control enthusiast, that means being able to claim your personal travel space like a boss. Here are my favorite bits of kit for obsessive travelers looking to leave home without ever leaving all the comforts of home.

Keep It Tidy with a Real Seat Back Organizer


You like to control your personal space, to keep things neat and tidy. Everything from your underwear drawer and medicine cabinet, to the change tray in your Volvo … so why not the seat back on your next flight? Stay organized like a pro with a proper seat back organizer (or seat back valet if you’re a dandy), preferably something with at least 60 pockets so you can alphabetize your necessities by color, size, and level of usefulness. If you’re a real executive, splurge for an Executive TRAYblecloth Airplane Tray Organizer so the world knows you’re not messing around.

Leave the Suitcase, Pack the Vest


Checked luggage is for rookies. And, honestly, carry-on bags are too. Just leave the suitcase at home and pack it all into the Rufus Roo BIG POCKET Travel Jacket. Imagine everything you need for a weekend away, neatly organized, and within arm’s reach. Shoes, passport, iPad, shirts, a parka, wine bottles, firewood … everything. This way there’s no potential for lost luggage or anyone messing with your stuff unbeknownst to you. And the best part is that it’s available in Stealth Black so no one will see you comin’.

If You Must, Pack Luggage That’s (Probably) Smarter Than You


If you absolutely must pack a proper suitcase, leave the tattered Samsonite at home. Upgrade to a suitcase that would make James Bond proud — one that constantly checks in with you and lets you know where it is at all times. Check out Bluesmart: the “world’s first smart, connected carry-on”. It’s a high quality uber-suitcase that features location tracking, a Bluetooth lock, USB battery charger, integrated smart scale, and its own trip data app. It probably even has more Twitter followers than you.

Less Humans, More Travel Apps


Travel would be so much awesomer if it weren’t for all those other people. Thankfully, there’s a mobile app to replace most human interaction these days. Every major airline worth its salt offers a free app to ensure all your flight info is in one convenient place. Many offer mobile check-in so you can skip the ticket counter and any unnecessary chit-chat. Ditto for major hotel chains.

And with rental car apps like National’s, not only can you bypass the check-in counter entirely and head straight to your car (a perk offered to all National Emerald Club members), you won’t have to dig around for your confirmation number or small talk with Tammy, the over-caffeinated, way-too-bubbly “Associate Guest Reservation Specialist Supervisor” … just show up and be on your way.

Organize Your Packing + Itinerary


… and that list of travel apps includes serious essentials to help organize your obsessive packing routine and keep your travel plans in check. TripIt Pro puts all the details of your itinerary in one easy-to-read app, meaning there’s never a question about your flight, hotel, or car reservations. The Packing Pro app lets you create, customize, and organize your packing lists so you can rest assured that you’ll never forget a single toothbrush cover or your favorite Hello Kitty dress socks.

Stay Dry Under Any Conditions with the Ultimate Umbrella


It probably rains in other parts of the world. But real control enthusiasts don’t worry about such things. They don’t get wet because they don’t have to – especially with the ultimate umbrella. The Senz original storm umbrella can survive 100 km/h winds so it has you covered in any weather conditions. No matter if you’re visiting Bora Bora in monsoon season or BASE jumping in a drizzle, your wrinkle-free khakis and perfectly coiffed hairdo will remain so.

Get Perfect Joe on the Go


Everyone knows it’s hard — nay, impossible — to find good coffee away from home. You don’t wanna be stuck in, say, Colombia without access to a reliable Starbucks. No worries. Just throw the hand-powered Minipresso Portable Travel Espresso Coffeemaker into your Rufus Roo Travel Jacket and you’ll never be without the perfect macchiato again. As long as you have access to mini espresso pods, piping hot water, a cleaning brush, your Peppermint Mocha creamer, and a hand, you’re good to go.

Founding Editor
  1. As a travel professional (airline pilot) and a travel enthusiast on my days off, this might be the stupidest travel article I’ve ever read. Except for, perhaps, the umbrella and espresso maker, everything else is useless.

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