4. GPS: It doesn't take you long to appreciate the convenience of a GPS. Google Maps works well, but it doesn't compare to a real car-based GPS. By telling you exactly where to go, without giving you any doubt, they have definitely replaced maps. The only drawback is how much power they use, needing a charge up every day after only a couple of hours of use.5. Earphones/Headphones: I have a couple of different earphones and headphones at home these days, ranging from the low end to mid range. This time, I left my bulky Beats Studio with active noise-cancellation at home and opted for two lightweight headphones from RHA. The RHA MA450i earbuds worked as well as my girlfriend's Beats Tour, and were a third of the price. It's amazing how well they are insulated, cutting me completely off from most external sounds. At night, I popped on the RHA SA950i, which were lightweight, but offered better sound than the earbuds.
6. DSLR: This year, I've taken quite a few pics with my iPhone (~6,000), but I've quickly hit the limit of usability, due to the optics and sensor, so the DSLR was back in my hand to grab all of the shots that my phone couldn't handle. I'm thinking of adding a high-quality smaller camera as well, since the DSLR does get pretty heavy and big to carry around everywhere.
7. Bluetooth Speaker: I took my Braven 625s along for the holidays. It allowed us to listen to music when we had no other ways of sharing music. Bluetooth allowed anyone with a smartphone or tablet to pop in their tunes. I like the fact that it also doubled as an external battery.
LEFT AT HOME
8. Laptop: Since I wasn't planning on working, I left my laptop at home. The MacBook Pro 17 is a good machine, but it's big and heavy, and best left at home.
9. External Keyboard/Folio Case: I just got my Logitech Solar Folio back from repair, and it's working again, but after having it break so easily, without much abuse, I'm somewhat worried about taking it along on a trip. Also, a silicon case makes the iPad nicer to handle in bed or when you're watching something.
10. Work: When I was away from home, I honestly didn't do much or any work. OK, so I might have gone through my reading list in Google Reader through Flipboard, but that's it! I didn't write or check my email more than once a day when I was on the road.