Like this bag? Here’s the, um, more vulgar version.

I’ve learned certain things can make the journey easier. I balance an object’s convenience against my rule of never checking bags, making the items on my “take” list pretty much indispensable. Here are two of them:

Prod2A. Compact Power Strip. How many times have you walked into a hotel room and said, “Wow! Look at all those outlets!”? Me neither. I always travel with a compact power strip in my carry-on bag; Amazon sells one for less than $15; it has three outlets and surge protection. In addition to preventing balance-the-iPad-on-the-Kleenex-box-in-the-bathroom syndrome, it’s also useful in crowded airline lounges and by gates when I have to share space with other travelers or need to charge more than one device.

Prod3B. Noise-cancelling headphones. Plane rides give me a chance to catch up on movies.  Without a good pair of noise-canceling headphones, aircraft noise can make it tough to hear the dialogue. Top-of-the-line headphones are expensive; Bose is considered the gold standard. For something I use so often, it was worth the splurge. (I’ve tried cheaper models and they either don’t work or expire after a few uses.) I prefer the in-ear QC20s (they take up less room in my bag and don’t make my big head feel as though it is in a vise), while Husband (my intrepid traveling companion) likes the Bose QuietComfort 25s. I rarely see them discounted, but right now Amazon has the over-ear model at $269 (for Apple and the other guys).

Never want to miss my travel product recommendations? Want to receive all my writing and travel news at once, delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to Scribbles from Twist, my free monthly newsletter; all you need to do is click here.