Must Have Travel Gear for Those with Autism or Those Trying to Stay Sane

As a child, I was blessed to grow up in a household where we had the luxury of taking regular vacations to warm climates. Over the years I’ve created a must have arsenal of products and devices to help make the arduous travel process bearable. Now after a lifetime of flying anything under 12 hours is something I consider to be a hop skip and a jump. Below is my list of products that I cannot travel without. I’ll also call out why I think this product is a game changer for a traveler with Autism.


Must Have Travel Gear

Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

The QC2’s have an unreal ability to cancel out noise, now that doesn’t seem all the special, but I’ve tried all the other Bose products and I find they are as effective as these guys with a fraction of the footprint. I often loathe earbuds because they often irritate my ear, or are too lose to stick. The gel that comes in 3 sizes helps to ensure a perfect fit, sans the suffering, and continuing to purchase and trashing of other sets.

upajvbuOne time I was on plane from PEK to SEA with four screaming babies all in close proximity, I must confess I found perverse pleasure knowing that the folks in Business class were experiencing the same soundtrack as coach. I quickly had my fill of the infant tune and threw these guys in, turned on the noise canceling, found a good Fall Out Boy album and rocked out in solitude.

Aspergers: They are amazing when I want to shut out the sounds from all around me particularly in a big city, or the 24 news blaring at an airport gate. These in short are my first defense when I’m tired, rundown, and way over stimulated. They are my companion when I travel alone and I choose to dance through the streets of Seoul. With these guys I feel invincible.

Eye mask and earplugs set $12.50

This combo is absolute gold because it helps to keep the mask and plugs together.


Let me say that it is virtually impossible for me to sleep on a plane which really sucks when it comes to long hauls to China or Korea. However the mask and plugs are pure gold when you are unable to watch an 11th hour of mediocre movies, and just want to find some rest, or your neighbor can’t get enough of the bright screen in front of them this is a 12 dollar sensory deprivation tank.

Aspergers: These are amazing if you cannot fall asleep, or you need to nap in a foreign city while its still daylight.

Anker Astro E3 Ultra Compact Portable Charger (External Battery Power Bank) $25.99

The Anker battery backup allows me to charge my iPhone 4x , and is absolutely critical when you’re on the on the go for much of the day. My favorite feature is that you can charge two devices simultaneously, so I don’t have to battle my husband for a USB port.

Aspergers: It’s a lifesaver when your phone shuts down because its been searching for a signal and you can pull out a resource that not only empowers your phone, you can help a buddy out in pinch and effectively navigate back to your hotel, or continue to snap pictures of your favorite sights and sounds. Plus anything that can mitigate stress in any form makes it a must have.

Kindle Paperwhite with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi $139

Great for red-eye flights when you can’t sleep, the sky gestapo won’t let you open your windows to look outside, and you don’t want to wake the person next to you that is somehow able to sleep sitting upright.

Aspergers: As someone with an insatiable thirst for knowledge, I love that I can keep my various books on my person if I’m waiting for a delayed train or a friend is simply running late.

Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphones $99.95

These are the simply the most comfortable headphones for long flights. As you can see from the list I have 3 different things I can throw in my ears at a moment’s notice ensuring solitude, being able to watch movies, or listen to my favorite Spotify playlist. qw0jw1q

Aspergers: Again another sensory driven product that allows me to block out external noise. I have often taken naps with the headphones on because they are simply that comfortable.

Duluth Trading Company Leather Purse

This bag is simply bullet proof, and it fits my extra large MacBook Pro with all of the previously mentioned items. Its been a foot soldier trekking across Asia and the US. In my line of  work its dressy enough for the office, and casual enough to double as a daypack when touring a new country. My favorite detail of this bag is that as you beat the bag up it creates an amazing patina.I love that I can attribute different marks on this bag to the customs desk in Chengdu, or a kid rolling over the straps at O’Hare.



Aspergers: It’s great to have a designated space for all my gear. I love that it allows me to be organized while moderately stylish.

Fitbit Charge $99.95

Fitbit has made an awesome lightweight fitness tracker that can track my miles while traveling. It’s great to have statistical backing when you feel like you’ve walked 10miles through Beijing, I can know check to see if my guess was anywhere close to reality. I also often compete with my co-workers across the globe. I often lose the to team in London. 😦


Aspergers: What I appreciate about Fitbit is that they empower me with data about my sleep and exercise patterns. I am able to look at at how I’m doing and modify my behavior, and see if those things negatively or positively influence my sleep.

Feb and Mar were tough months

Grid it

The grid it system is a fairly straightforward system that works though a number of bungees that allow you to keep your cables, and smaller items organized.


Aspergers: Sometimes I internally rage out when I cannot find my chapstick in a pinch, or I’m unable to fill out my Arrival card because I cannot find my pen.



What are your favorite products that you love to travel with? I’d love to hear, please share in the comments section below. 





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