Best ways to experience San Francisco

Best ways to experience San Francisco, looking at the Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco is perhaps the most famous city in the world. There’s so much to see and do in the so-called City by the Bay that you might have no idea how to go about it. There are so many ways to experience San Francisco, after all, more than one can count.

And that kind of paralysis by analysis can – and will – ruin your time in this wonderful place. You’ll be stressed out without doing anything fun, and you’ll be going back home with sour memories. If you worry about this happening to you, fear not! This handy guide will show you all the best ways to enjoy San Francisco.

That said, you might not be a tourist sticking around for a short while. Maybe you’re moving to San Francisco from another city, and you’ll have all the time in the world to soak in the sights. If so, you’ll still want to read on. This city has so much going on that, eventually, it doesn’t become a matter of what you see, but how you see it.

So let’s get started.

Create a streamlined itinerary for sight-seeing in a hurry

Every trip has its complications, and these problems usually cost you time otherwise spent taking in your location. Whether it’s lost items or broken bags, it all eats up the hours. This is pretty much a constant truth, so you ought to prepare for it whenever you travel.

You can fix most of these problems – keep track of your things, have a quality traveling bag, and so on. However, you can’t take back lost time. In case you’re pressed for time, it’s a great idea to have a quick-and-dirty itinerary on hand for emergencies. The best way to make one is to write down everything you would love to see.

Poke around on the Internet to approximate how much time it would roughly take to visit each of those places. Put the ones that require a lot of time in a to-dump list. For extra effectiveness, see which sights are near one another and cluster them in a single day’s worth of sightseeing. Try separating some time for things like buying special gifts and souvenirs for your close ones, if possible.

Woman writing on notebook
Write down your top destinations that you have time for

This means you’ll, sadly, have to miss out on some experiences. For instance, visiting Alcatraz is basically a day-long process, from the ferry rides to the tour itself. And that’s if you call ahead to book a spot on this tour – doing it impromptu is even more complicated.  If you’re dead set on seeing Alcatraz, maybe consider taking an evening tour instead. You’ll still experience San Francisco, but you may need to make a few sacrifices.

Ride/rent out bikes to experience San Francisco healthily

There’s nothing quite like riding a bike in SF on a sunny spring day. Not only is it a healthy alternative to driving or taking the bus/trolly, but it also saves you loads of time otherwise spent walking. You have the speed of a vehicle tour combined with the autonomy to go and stop wherever you like. As long as you’ve brought your essentials for traveling, you’ll be enjoying the best of both worlds.

If you don’t have your own bike to ride, don’t worry. Being such a large city and tourist attraction, San Francisco has its fair share of bike renting agencies. They’re very professional for the most part: they provide well-functioning bikes, helmets, and escorts that know the city well. San Francisco sights are a delight to marvel at this way, believe me.

San Francsico cable car
Cable care are neat, but bikes are healthier

Categorize types of activities

It’s an understatement to say that this city is packed with things to do. You definitely won’t get too far trying to pack everything into your schedule. To properly experience San Francisco, you need to organize your sight-seeing by categories.

What does that mean? Well, if you’re a bit of a gourmand, you can research great places to eat in San Francisco. Or, if you’re more of a nightlife kind of person, look up the best clubs. You can classify these into neat categories that let you quickly organize your day to your liking.

Not sure what this is all about? Don’t worry, you’ll see below.

Awesome bars and restaurants in San Francisco

Here’s an example of a list of what to see in San Francisco. It’s about great places for eating and drinking (with an emphasis on cheesy goodies).

–           Hog Island Oyster Company: great oysters, grilled cheese;

–           Daily Driver: organic bagels, cream cheese;

–           Cowgirl Creamery: European-style cheese;

–           Gott’s Roadside: burgers and milkshake;

–           Vive La Tarte: “tacros” (taco-croissants);

–           Slanted Door: whiskey cocktails, Vietnamese fare;

–           Humphry Slocombe: fun, strange ice cream flavors

–           Fort Point Beer Company: local beer

Experience San Francisco at night
The nightlife in San Francisco is indescribable

This kind of organization is especially useful for tourists that visit San Francisco. It allows them to see the best of San Francisco by preparing ahead of time. See the best sights, get some quality wine and dine in there, and include other activities you wouldn’t normally have time for.

Meet the locals

Wherever you’re staying, one fact rings true: the locals know the place best. This applies whether you’re a tourist or you’ve recently moved to SF. People that have been living there their whole lives tend to know exactly where to go to get the authentic experience. That’s why you should try to make a few “native“ friends while there that can show you cool things to do in San Francisco.

Not only that, but the locals can teach you how to save money while in the city (though not every local is that way). San Francisco isn’t exactly the cheapest of cities, and your cash can quickly fizzle out if you aren’t careful.

Since SF is such a tourist hotspot, the locals there are quite used to new people from other places. That makes them very friendly in general, so don’t worry about annoying them with your attempts to make a connection. And even if they do get peeved, there are tons of people in SF, so you’ll find someone else to show you the best ways to see San Francisco.

Wrapup

San Francisco is a big slice of wonder – much more than anyone can handle at once. Luckily, this guide will let you take out one strategic bite at a time. And that’s one of the best ways to experience San Francisco. Savor it like the splendid treat that it is.

Best Birthday Gifts for Travelers

the ultimate gifts for travellers

Finding the right present for anyone is a difficult task. The person you are buying the present for might be your best friend, your boyfriend, girlfriend, even your brother, but that fact doesn’t make the gift-picking process any easier. So, the best way to find the right present for them is to see what things they like or think about their hobbies just a little bit. Do they like reading? Do they like listening to music or perhaps painting pictures, or photography? Are they into fashion? Or, in the case of our today’s topic, do they like to travel? If the answer to the latter question is yes, then these are just some of the things that you can use in order to give the most original and, most importantly, useful gift for all the travelers out there.

The scratch-off map

One of the most popular gifts for travelers lately has been the scratch-off map of the world. This map has been all over Instagram and other social media, and more and more people tend to buy one in order to scratch the country they have been to. This is an amazing way to motivate people who like to travel, to travel even more, and to travel to destinations that are quite exotic. Having a map in front of you with all the countries that you have seen and all the ones that still remain to be visited is, first of all, an amazing way to decorate your walls and secondly, a great motivation board for anyone who likes to travel. Apart from that, this type of gift might be a cliche right now, but it’s helluva lot of fun.

A nice watch

best gifts for travellers

Even though you might not think “trip” once this gift comes to your mind, getting the traveler in question a watch is indeed a great idea. First of all, watches are always important – they are not only amazing fashion accessories, but it is something that can prove itself quite useful. As far as travelers are concerned, this might even be more useful for them, as they are traveling to countries in different time zones, so it is always important for them to have a watch by their side. However, the case with buying a watch in these situations is a bit more complicated, as you cannot buy them any type of watch. For example, it wouldn’t be a good idea for them to travel with a very fancy and expensive watch, so instead focus on one that looks amazing, is very fashionable, and is of high quality, such as a good automatic watch that they will be able to use both in formal and nice events but also in sporty combinations. Apart from all of these reasons, a watch is also a great gift because this is one of the rare items that they will be able to use even after they come back.

Portables

This is definitely not the sexiest gift that you can come up with, but it is definitely one of the most useful ones for travelers. The first option is the portable charger, which is, if you really like to travel, your #1 thing you need to have by your side. However, there are different brands, different price ranges, and power banks of different power, so you can get the most powerful one. This type of gift is one that will make everyone extremely happy as charging your phone while on a trip is really an excruciating job. Apart from that, bear in mind that power adapters might differ from country to country, so getting them a universal USB travel power adapter is also an amazing option. This will most certainly prove rather helpful and is also quite original.

A great travel bag

a great travel bag for travellers

Traveling with a bag that is not meant for trips is quite a task, and if you have traveled somewhere taking your things in a regular backpack, then you know what it means to have something in it but having to reach it. So that this doesn’t happen to your fellow traveler, you can find a good travel backpack that are quite popular nowadays. These bags are extremely functional as they have different departments for laptop and tablet, a shoe compartment, a pocket for the water bottle, a compartment for documents, and even some hidden compartments and pockets where you can store your valuables. In case a traveler has this type of a travel bag, then they might not even need luggage.

You’re buying a gift for a person who likes to travel. Perhaps not the easiest task in the world, but there are so many different options that you can go with. The only thing you need to do is think outside of the box and try to put yourself in the shoes of a traveler. What would you like to get if you were traveling a lot?

Tips for exploring Miami with friends

Traveling to Miami is a dream come true – especially if you’re visiting as a group. However, many people are confused with all of the things Miami has to offer, so they don’t experience its full potential. When exploring Miami with friends, you need to be ready and find out everything you can do here before you arrive. This way your group won’t waste time; instead, you’ll have fun until the moment you have to leave. That’s why we created a simple guide on exploring Miami with friends and all the must-see things in this amazing city. Enjoy!

Main tips on exploring Miami with friends – how to make things more fun!

Here are some main tips on how to make your trip to Miami smooth and easy and use your time the best way possible:

  • plan your trip ahead –being a ‘nerd’ of your group can be very useful in this situation. Make sure you plan your trip in advance, so you don’t waste time searching for accommodation, things to do and see, etc. However, remember that sticking to a plan is not always possible, but let yourself have some fun and allow the city to surprise you!
  • be realistic – think about how many days you’re about to spend in Miami. Therefore, try to be realistic about how many things you can do and see. Doing everything in a hurry and trying to see more than it’s possible will not make this experience enjoyable and fun.
  • check the weather – depending on where you and your friends are coming from, Miami weather can come as a surprise – it’s mostly warm, all year long. Even in winter, you can expect dry and pleasant weather – around 17 – 20 degrees C. That’s why you should check the weather forecast and pack your clothes accordingly – see all the things you should never travel without, too.
  • get an Airbnb – there are many amazing hotels in Miami, and some of them include America’s most famous hotel rooms. However, staying at an Airbnb in Miami can be more affordable and fun. As you’re exploring Miami with friends, renting an apartment will definitely be cheaper, and you can experience Miami more like a local!
sunset in Miami, when exploring Miami with friends

Things to do when exploring Miami with friends

Exploring this city is more fun with friends. Whether you’re visiting from another country, or you just moved here and want to welcome your friends, we’ve got you covered. This guide will help you organize some fun activities after moving to FL, so your friends can see you moved to an amazing city that has a lot to offer for everybody. Let’s go through all the amazing experiences you can have with your friends in this great city!

Do some sightseeing

Sightseeing doesn’t have to be tiring and boring – Miami has amazing hop-on hop-off tour buses that will make this visit more fun. It’s great because it gives you a flexible sightseeing tour of the city, which you can organize the way you want it. Also, there is a Miami Duck Boat Tour, which is a fun way to see the city and its main landmarks.

Exploring Miami with friends – have another point of view

Another amazing way to see the city is by Jet Boat Miami –a unique experience that is both informative and fun. It’s a great way to have fun with your friends on the ocean, and also get some information about the city’s famous landmarks.

Have a beach day

Miami is famous for its sunny weather and amazing beaches – so why not spend a day on one of the world’s most famous beaches? South beach is the perfect place to see everything you’ve imagined about Miami – skillful surfers, celebrities sunbathing, shopping and swimming.

Miami Beach to visit when exploring Miami with friends

Want some amazing Instagram pics – head to the Art Deco District and Wynwood Walls

The Art Deco District is a great place if you enjoy colorful architectural historic places. It includes a lot of amazing buildings with many hotels, restaurants, and bars. A tour through this part of the city can be a great way to take some amazing photos with your friends, so be sure to check it out. Also, this area is amazing during the night, too, since most of the buildings have colorful lights which create a very interesting atmosphere.

Another place popular among photos on Instagram is, of course, Wynwood Walls. The place is full of colorful murals that really make the place unique. It’s free to visit, but you can also consider taking a tour of the place, which will give you more information about the location.

Spend a day in Little Havana

La Pequena Habana is a part of the city where you can find some authentic shops, cafes, and restaurants. it’s a perfect place to enjoy live music with amazing cocktails, and do some shopping, too!

a retro car in Miami

Go clubbing

Miami is famous for its nightlife, and there are many bars and clubs that can prove that. However, one of the most popular locations is definitely E11EVEN – the club that is open 24/7. This place provides different styles of nightlife, and the best part is that you can visit it whenever you want. That’s why you should definitely visit a club like this when exploring Miami with friends.

Enjoy!

No matter how many plans you make, when you go exploring Miami with friends, the most important thing is to enjoy. Bringing home some nice memories from travel means a lot, so be sure to have a good time. Group travels require patience and flexibility, so be open about each other’s wishes and take turns in deciding where to go. It’s okay to have different interests, and absolutely fine to also have some alone time. Have a great time in Miami!

How to Avoid Common Mistakes On The Mountain

A great day of skiing
Photo by Melvin Wahlin on Pexels.com

As a ski patroller and veteran skier, I’ve seen more than my share of mistakes on the mountain. And there is a theme with common mistakes – not being prepared and/or not skiing smart. Here are some ways to avoid those common mistakes on the mountain:

1. Be prepared for a Workout

Skiing and snowboarding are great workouts. A day on the slopes requires stamina, a strong core and leg muscles. If you plan on hitting a big mountain with long runs, skiing will be harder still. If you have a decent fitness level, you’ll have a good base for your day on the slopes and adjust easier to the demands of skiing and boarding. A regular fitness routine will help you to ski or snowboard better and longer.

2. Avoid heading straight to the Black Diamonds

Start out easy at the beginning of the day. Experienced skiers always take it easy for, at least, the first few runs before heading off to the diamond runs. Warm up and get your focus on movement, turns and technique before you crank it up on more challenging stuff. Gain confidence with easier runs before moving to diamond runs. Work your way up to the more serious, advanced, narrow, thrill rides.

skiing a black diamond run
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

3. Use common sense

There is something called the Alpine Responsibility Code which many skiers know, and many don’t. It’s typically posted on a yellow sign at the bottom of most lifts. It’s a combination of safety rules and common sense for skiers and snowboarders. For example, always stay in control; do not stop where you obstruct a trail, before starting downhill or merging onto a trail, look uphill and yield to others, etc. Follow these rules (ski smart) and you’ll stay safe and avoid the common mistakes of others.

4. Pay attention to lifts

Getting on and off lifts is prime for accidents. If you don’t pay attention, you’ll quickly find that the chairlift is unforgiving. High speed chairs pick you up slowly, but then move fast. Be ready, line up with skis pointed forward and poles in hand. Getting off a chairlift can be a challenge for novice skiers and boarders. At the offloading area, simply stand up and let the chair push you. T-bars or other vintage lifts are completely unknown to new or young skiers, so ask for help from the lift operator or ski patrol if you need it.

a great day of snowboarding
Photo by Visit Almaty on Pexels.com

5. Don’t think you can ski all day (with no break)

If you only ski while on a ski vacation, you’ll need to pace yourself for a full day on the slopes. As a Canadian Ski Patroller, I’m on shift all day and break the day into parts: a few hours of skiing and then take a break. Back out again for a few more hours then take a lunch break. After lunch, I’m back out again with a break in the afternoon. Don’t over do it and your last run will be as good as your first run.

taking a break from skiing
Photo by julie aagaard on Pexels.com

6. Avoid borrowing your Dad’s old equipment

Chances are your Dad’s equipment is old, worn out and/or doesn’t fit. Take a pass. If you don’t have your own equipment, rent from a ski shop where they will provide decent equipment based on your skill level. Boots need to be comfortable. Bindings should be set so that they will release your skis when needed. Tuned up skis make it easier to hold an edge and get down the hill. Helmets are very much in style and should be mandatory for their obvious protection. A helmet can’t prevent a concussion, but it could reduce the severity of one. Use quality equipment that fits you and your level of ability.

7. Not Layering Up

I’ve become a bit of an expert at dressing for winter. Wearing the wrong type of clothes can result in a not-so-happy ski day. For example, don’t wear cotton socks and a cotton shirt as your base layer. You will not be warm. The best way to layer up for skiing is to have three high-quality layers: a thin base layer (long johns); an insulating mid-layer (fleece or ski sweater) and then ski pants/ski jacket. Keep active, take rest breaks and keep nourished (your body stays warmer with fuel intake). If your clothes get wet, change them.

Get ready for a great day on the slopes! If you are going on a ski vacation, check out my TuGo post – What to Pack for a Ski or Snowboard Trip. And don’t forget your travel insurance if you travel outside your home province or Canada. Have fun, stay safe and enjoy the great outdoors!

Best time to visit New York City

Many people are not lucky enough to have a chance to visit one of the most exciting cities in the world regularly. So when you do get a chance, you want it to be perfect. One of the biggest factors when visiting a place is the time you visit it, which can really shape all the memories you have there. You need to consider the weather, tourists, holidays, etc. Consider all the factors that can affect your visit. So, what’s the best time to visit New York City? We’re here to help you out. Here’s a guide on visiting NYC which can help you decide when to come over.

The best time… It depends on you!

NYC is one of those cities that offers a lot for everybody. And that means there’s something to do all year round. So, the best time to visit New York City actually depends on what you’re expecting from your stay. There are several factors to consider – tourist season, best weather, cheapest time to visit, etc. That’s why you need to consider all of these factors and think about what’s most important for you.

the best time to visit New York City

Traveling on a budget – what’s the most affordable time to visit New York City?

Traveling long-distance can get very expensive. Especially if you’re traveling to NYC, since this is quite an expensive city. Even though there are ways to save money while visiting New York, you can also choose the most affordable time to go there. If you want to save some money, you want to avoid the holiday season in December, as well as the summertime. Therefore, the best time to visit New York City to spend less money is from January to March, as well as November to early December. These are the months of discounts and special offers, made to attract more people in a not-so-popular period to visit.  When it comes to the most expensive months, the NYC hotels are probably the most expensive during September, and of course December – the holiday season.

looking over the skyline in New York City

If you want to go sightseeing …

…be sure to avoid winter months. Going around the city when it’s raining is not that attractive, and you also want to avoid cold snowstorm days in winter. Therefore, to make sure you see everything in its best light, you can visit anytime in spring or summer, until late October. Sunny and warm days are the best when you want to go sightseeing on foot, and take some amazing pictures of the city. However, do avoid the hottest days in July, since it can be very humid and not so great for walking around.

the statue of liberty in NYC

Coming for the shows – what’s the best time to visit New York City to see a Broadway show?

If you are a musical-lover, you also want to pick the best time to visit New York City so you can enjoy the shows in peace. This also means picking the right time to buy the tickets, since some periods of the year, like December, make it impossible to find a show that is not sold out. So, you should pick the time of the year that is not so popular among the tourists. These are usually January and February, as well as the fall months.

Museums

NYC is home to one of the best museums in the world, and they are a valid reason to visit this city. However, if you want to buy a ticket easily and avoid crowds, be sure to come anytime except for the holiday season. Yes, museums are not open on holidays, so days around them are always packed with visitors.

The best time to visit New York City to do some shopping

Even though it’s generally an expensive city, bargains and deals are amazing in NYC. So, if you’re coming for a shopping spree, you want to hit the sale seasons. These happen twice a year, April-May and before the winter holidays, From November to December. Also, don’t forget the sales around the Fourth of July, where many stores give discounts on their items. Also, January is the end of the holiday season, where many shops give an additional discount on the ‘leftover’ items after the holidays.

The most popular time for travelers and families visiting NYC

Well, you need to pick the best time to visit New York City according to your wishes and needs. However, the most popular seasons for tourists, in general, are the summer months as well as the days around the holidays in December. Sunny days during summer make it easy to go around the city. And the festive atmosphere in NYC is one of the best in the world. Basically, every season you pick will have its own pros and cons.

winter is the best time to visit New York City

You liked NYC a lot so you want to move – we get it

NYC is one of the most popular cities to move to, as well. The reason is the diversity of cultures, so many entertainment options, and great job opportunities. However, fear of the whole relocation process is a common thing. That’s why you need to make sure your move is safe and simple. The best way to make the relocation easier is to hire a local moving company like Movers 101 NYC. Companies from NYC know the best way around the city, and the way to transport your items safely and on time. Moving on your own in this case can be very complicated and also very risky. So, to avoid the stress – talk to the professionals.

Is NYC the right city for you?

After picking the best time to visit New York City, you will see this place in its best light. But, if you want to move, you may want to think more about the lifestyle you want to have in the city that never sleeps. However, this city is a melting pot that accepts everybody, so don’t be afraid to try!

11 Things I Never Travel Without

This Post Was Originally Published on the TuGo Travel Blog on July 19, 2019 by Mark Crone

Whether travelling for work or on vacation, you want your trip to be smooth and easy. To do that, you need to pack a few things to make your trip as easy and comfortable as possible. Here’s my list of things I always travel with (and never travel without):

1. Money/Credit Cards

Credit cards offer the convenience and security of access to your funds and credit any time. Even with a credit card, you’ll still need travel money for tips, snacks, cabs, and other “cash only” items. It’s easy to get major exchangeable currencies like the U.S Dollar, Great British Pound or Euro before you go. Other currencies, for example Poland’s Zloty, are best purchased in small quantities for your stay while in that country.

2. Travel SIM

sim

While Wi-Fi is tempting, it’s not secure in public places and is very limiting when you travel. A SIM card saves on roaming and data charges while keeping you connected. TravelSIM is my choice because its pre-paid (providing cost control), works in over 170 countries and incoming calls and messages are free.

3. Tablet/iPad

Between flight delays and in-flight entertainment, this is an absolute must to keep informed and entertained. There’s nothing worse than getting on a 4-hour flight without the airline app required for viewing in-flight entertainment, or a 4-hour flight delay while sitting at an airline gate. Watch Netflix, look at social media, receive emails, or your Kindle. On the plane, you can watch movies that you’ve missed. Before you know it, you’ll be at your destination!

4. Hard Case Luggage

away-luggages

I usually travel with a small backpack (for my gadgets) but always take a smaller hard case luggage as well. They’re lightweight, sturdy and easily fit in the overhead bin. Your belongings are better protected with a hard shell, they’re easy to pack and unpack, and even easier to roll around the airport.

5. Portable Power Bank & Adapter

A pocket-sized portable charger is a great toy to have for travel or anywhere. Keep it in your pocket or bag to charge your phone when you can’t find an outlet. When you’re travelling abroad, it’s also a good idea to invest in a combination adapter/converter. You can plug it into different electrical outlets and convert power from 220/240V down to North America’s 110/120V to use your devices.

6. Noise-cancelling Headphones

bose-noise-cancelling

These are essential in today’s world of packed flights and delays. Travel is certainly easier when you can “noise cancel” the snoring neighbour beside you, the crying baby and/or the arguing couple. With these headphones, deep relaxation and sleep are within your reach. One of the best choices is the Bose QuietComfort 35. Although there are wireless ear bud options from Apple (AirPods), they aren’t really noise-canceling and aren’t nearly as effective as over-the-ear headphones.

7. Note Pad/Pen

I always carry a notebook and pen when I travel. Nothing fancy required here, just a small notebook and everyday pen (often a hotel branded giveaway). You can always jot down your thoughts, to-do list, next blog post, etc. at any time and won’t forget to hit “save”.

8. Toiletry Bag

bies


Amenities and toiletries vary greatly by accommodation and destination. An Air BnB may not have any; a resort may have soap on the wall in the shower; a better hotel may have product that leaves you with skin rashes. It’s easy enough to pack a toiletry bag with small travel-sized containers. If you’re not checking your bag, make sure you pack your <100 ml liquids in a small clear bag to show at security.

9. First Aid Kit

A small and basic first aid kit that includes medication is a must. Painkillers, band aids and other medical essentials come handy during travel, especially if you get a small cut or catch a cold. With a first aid kit, you’ll save time and money being able to take care of yourself!

10. Water Bottle

swell

A water bottle or travel mug is a real travel essential. If you’re off to explore, hike or even just relax on a beach, you need to stay hydrated throughout the day. And by bringing your own reusable bottle, you’ll be doing your part to save the planet from plastic water bottle waste.

11. Phone and/or Camera

You won’t forget your smartphone when you travel (or camera if you have one). You’ll need it for your boarding pass and other important travel apps. But you may well forget your phone charger, so here’s your reminder: don’t forget it! If you happen to forget one, go to the front desk of any large hotel and let them know that you forgot your charger in the room. Chances are, they’ll pull out a basket full of various chargers that were left behind. Choose the compatible one for your phone, and you are back in business.

And of course, don’t forget the essentials like travel documents and travel insurance. You can’t get around the world without your passport, and you shouldn’t travel without the protection or peace of mind that travel insurance provides.

Safe travels,

Mark

Travel Product Review – Sennheiser Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Travel Product Review - Sennheiser Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Photo by C. Cagnin on Pexels.com

It’s easy to spot the road warriors as they wait at the gate and board the plane. They are the ones listening intently with their noise-cancelling headphones. And I can finally say that after many years as a frequent traveller, I have become an official road warrior with my new wireless, noise-cancelling headphones. I really wish I had them on my long trip to Dubai! But rather than review 5 different headphone brands (buy 5 and return 4), the purpose of this post/review is to bestow the virtues of quality headphones for travel. And also to review my new Sennheiser headphones based on real life usage.

For many years, and like many of you, I carried earbuds (or purchased them on the plane when I forgot to bring them). I even purchased noise-cancelling earbuds a few years back. (They really aren’t noise-cancelling and aren’t the same as headphones). While travelling with earbuds in your pocket or handbag is beyond easy, listening with them on a plane is like being in the dark ages. If you travel with any regularity and/or commute by transit or walk distances, you simply must get yourself a pair of noise-cancelling headphones.

Travel Product Review - Sennheiser Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Photo by Jason Toevs on Pexels.com

Headphones are quite simply essential in today’s world of packed flights and delays. Travel is certainly easier when you can “noise cancel” the loud and unwanted sounds all around you. They will alter your in-flight or commuter experience, letting you disappear into a cone of relative silence and/or into your favourite song. Quiet time and even sleep are highly possible. I find it pretty easy to sleep on a plane but only if I can block out the airplane sounds, baby cries and the loud conversations.

There are plenty of great headphones in the market. Sony, Beats, Bose and Marshall all make great headphones. Whatever you choose, make sure they warrant the investment (generally $200-$1,000) and are worthy of being in your carry-on. They must be comfortable, portable (fold up), have great sound, cancel noise, and have enough battery life to last through a long day of travel. And will they fit with a decent travel pillow? Keep in mind that if you are a commuter, you’ll be using them on trains, subways, buses and/or long walks down busy sidewalks (in addition to travelling).

I’ve chosen the Sennheiser Model HD 4.50BTNC, based on their price point and reputation for fidelity. They are middle of the pack in terms of cost ($250-$300) and quality. You’ll pay more for many other models from Sony, Bose and Sennheiser too.

Travel Product Review - Sennheiser Noise-Cancelling Headphones

The lower price comes from a mostly plastic outer shell (fine with me), and a canvas sack carrying case (instead of a rigid case). The 4.50s fold up easily for carry-on and provide very good stereo sound (my opinion). Sennheiser’s NoiseGard™ active noise cancellation lets you enjoy silence or music in peace. If you spend more on a higher-end model, you will undoubtedly get more but I’m perfectly happy with my first pair of quality, noise-cancelling headphones. I’ve travelled with them and had an almost silent plane ride with music and sleep. The battery life is decent at close to 19 hours (2 hours to charge).

My verdict – they are a solid buy (and I did buy them). They provide great value; they fold easily; are comfortable and come with an auxiliary cord when you need to be wired. Perfect for travel!

Safe travels,

Mark