personalProfessional Experiences

Five Friday Faves (Travel edition)

I’m loving this new gig where I get to go to new places, meet new people, teach educators some cool stuff that will make their lives (and the students!) a bit more fun.  With it, however, has come learning the ways of the road.  I was in a hotel room in Texas earlier this week, and was thinking through the little things that make traveling a little easier and this blog idea was formed.  I realize that it’s not really education-related, but it’s my blog, so I can write what I want to.  🙂

So, here are my top five travel favorites:

  1. My Incipio Stowaway iPhone case.  It has a trap door in the back to stash credit cards, cash, or a driver’s license.  This way, when I am going through security at the airport, I can just have my photo ID in the phone case.  My phone has my digital boarding pass on it, so I have everything I need right in one little place.  (Which brings me to #2Screenshot 2015-07-23 at 8.28.45 PM
  2. Airline apps (I have Delta and American) – So this one may seem a little boring, but I can’t tell you how nice it is to check-in, receive my digital boarding pass (via QR code), go through security, and board the plane all from  my phone.  Couple it with #1 and I feel like a seasoned road warrior already (well, at least, I got this part down).Screenshot 2015-07-23 at 8.48.30 PM
  3. Coffeemate Creamer 2Go – I wish I liked my coffee black – I really do.  But, I much prefer a little bit of flavored creamer in it to reach full enjoyment.  The problem is, if you rely on the hotel room coffee in the morning like I do, it’s typically plain creamer.  If it’s plain creamer, then I also need to add sugar, which I prefer not to do, and it’s still not so yummy.  So, you can imagine my delight to find a little 2Go creamer that doesn’t need refrigerated, is a concentrated-strength, AND is only 3 oz., which means (oh yes, my friends) it can go in my carry-on 1-qt. baggie.  Totally worth the space it occupies in that bag.Screenshot 2015-07-23 at 8.40.50 PM
  4. The Stream via SolopianoMatthew Mayer, a very gifted composer, created years ago and hosts over 300 solo piano artists online today. What I love the most about this site (besides the “free” factor) is the radio station featuring those artists that you can listen to via a link to The Stream.  Every morning in the hotel room, as soon as I get up, I open The Stream and enjoy the music as I get ready for the day ahead.  My two favorite pianists featured are Matthew Mayer, himself, and Michelle McLaughlin (and, no, we aren’t related, and I don’t just like alliteration in names). Here are links to one of Matthew’s albums that I love, and one of Michelle’s. Screenshot 2015-07-23 at 8.51.09 PM
  5. FaceTime – I have two amazing kids that I miss terribly when I am away for work.  FaceTime makes it so much easier.  Yes, we could talk on the phone, but there is something about seeing their smiling faces while we talk that helps us all feel a bit closer together.  facetime icon

These are just a few products, apps, and websites that make me more efficient, and more pleasant to be around (not that I need that coffee each morning, or anything).  As always, I would love to hear feedback. What travel tips do you have?  And let me know what you think about Solopiano (I bet you’ll get hooked).