I always unpack my suitcase when I return from a road trip, but I never
unpack my toiletry bag. That's because I own a Freedom Bag, which allows me to tote around full-size bottles of the hair care, contact lens and other toiletry products I use. I love it that I don't have to mess with refilling tiny travel-size toiletry bottles after every trip. The Freedom Bag is durable and amazingly lightweight and compact. Its clear pockets allow me to find whatever I need at a glance.
As a writer, particularly one who writes for the Web, I'm never far from a computer. This year, I even broke down and purchased my first netbook computer, which fits in my pocketbook. My pink ASUS Eee PC is not only the cutest little computer I've ever owned, it's a powerful tool for staying in touch on the road and for managing my life as a working mother on the go.
Badger Sleep Balm is made in Gilsum, New Hampshire, by the W.S. Badger Company. I'll admit that I was a bit skeptical when I bought my first tin of this sleep enhancer, which contains essential oils of ginger, rosemary, bergamot, balsam fir and lavender. Now, I don't travel without it. I rub a bit of balm on my lips, temples and shoulders, and the comforting fragrance soothes me to sleep without fail, even when I'm in a strange bed away from home.
I'm always sure to grab either my L.L. Bean Comfort Fleece Cardigan or my L.L. Bean Comfort Fleece Big Shirt when I'm headed out the door. They provide the perfect extra layer of warmth for cool New England days and nights. Comfort Fleece is not bulky, so it hangs nicely and feels light and easy to wear. However, it provides ample warmth so that I'm prepared for whatever surprises the New England weather has in store.
What a difference an SLR digital camera makes. I've been really pleased with the quality of the shots I'm getting with my Nikon D50, which I bought in December of 2005. It's compatible with my old Nikon lenses, too, which made it economical for me to abandon my 35mm camera. My D50 has accompanied me on all of my trips for years, capturing everything from a lobsterman at work
to zuchinnis soaring through the air at Vermont's annual Zucchini Festival
. This photo gallery
from the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village will give you a sense of the quality of the images the D50 produces.
My lower back often aches after long stints in the car, so before I had to drive to Niagara Falls from my home in Connecticut, I invested in a Tempur-Pedic Lumbar Support. This proved to be a wise move, as I had no problem with lower back pain throughout my eight-day trip, even after one 11-hour day in the car. My doctor suggested I bring the lumbar pillow in from the car and use it when sitting for long stretches in my office chair, as well. I don't know why I didn't think of it!
When you're traveling along the backroads in remote places, it's not always easy to find a good radio station. My husband bought me an iPod for Christmas in 2005, and it's been with me on every trip I've taken since. With 20GB of storage, I'm able to take my favorite tunes on the road, and for long stretches of highway driving, I download audio books to help pass the time. This year, I created a fall playlist
that I love listening to on autumn drives.
I treated myself to a pair of Kensington's noise cancellation headphones early in 2005. I must admit--the headset burns through AAA batteries, which I never have on hand, so I often use it without the noise cancelling feature. I find these headphones incredibly comfortable to wear, so I use them at home when the neighbor is blowing leaves while I'm trying to write, as well as when I'm trying to catch some zzzs in a noisy hotel.