ESSENTIAL TRAVEL GEAR
What Are My Favorite Travel Items You Ask?
Well now that you mention it, I’ve put together an abbreviated list of the gear I use the most.
For a look at all the products I use and love, take a moment to peruse my Amazon store below. I’ve put together lists based on safaris, cruising, essentials, health and wellbeing, and more. There’s also a list of my favorite camera gear and accessories.
Aiwa Prodigy-1 Earphones
Months ago, I received an email from the PR people representing Aiwa’s Prodigy-1 earphones to ask me if I’d be interested in trying them out. Sure, I said. But I won’t write about them unless I genuinely like them. They agreed. After using the earphones on multiple trips (I have a podcast habit), I think they’re great. I used Bose in past but the sound with these is substantially better–richer, fuller, more sound surround-ish. It’s a bit of a struggle to get the earphones to stay in–I find inserting and twisting works– but I’m addicted to the audio quality and noise reduction so I deal with it. The case looks nice but it’s a disaster. It’s too rigid which means if you want to store the earphones inside you have to meticulously roll up the cord in a tiny coil as if they were brand new. I trashed the case and use my old Bose circular pouch (which I love) to carry my Aiwa around. That said, I still think they make a great gift.VIEW
My Charge HubPlus Portable Charger
This is another device a company sent to me to test drive. Packing a portable charger is a must today and I’m always on the lookout for models which make my life easier. I’ve used it for a while now and I really like it. It’s sleek, compact, and the integrated cords (I don’t have to worry about forgetting mine) is a great feature. I can charge my phone at least 3 times with MyCharge before having to recharge the device, and it’s super fast. Another nice touch: When you plug it into the wall you can simultaneously charge other devices too.
Con: A little heavyVIEW
Anker PowerCore 10000
In addition to my MyCharge, I also pack my Anker power bank. It’s smaller, which is great, but not as fast as the MyCharge nor can you connect a device when it’s in an outlet. That said, it’s super light, and I can charge my iPhone 8 + nearly three times.VIEW
UPWADE Outlet Travel Power Strip
I won’t be without a mini power strip. It’s probably the one thing other than my phone I always have with me when I travel. I like this model by Upwade because it has two widely spaced international outlets which provide ample room for those pesky wide plugs that come with cameras and other devices, as well as four USB ports. The cord is a little longer than I need at 5 ft but I’d rather have it longer than too short. At 6 inches in length, it fits in any purse or carry-on bag.VIEW
Ceptics International Worldwide Travel Plug Adapter 5 Piece Set
A lot of people like universal cubes that contain every adapter known to man deployed by a series of sliders, and while I appreciate the concept, I’ve never found one that doesn’t break almost immediately or size-wise didn’t annoy me. Too clunky. This 5-piece set is great because I can cherry-pick what I need and plop it into my Think Tank case (see below) which I pack into my carry-on. I use the case that comes with it to keep all the adapters together at home; I rarely take the whole shebang with me.VIEW
Tile Pro with Replaceable Battery – 2 pack
My sister called me one night from the airport in New Jersey. Her flight home to D.C. had been canceled and her luggage was missing. She got home but her luggage didn’t and the carrier couldn’t find it. My sister had a tile in her bag and she was able to locate it when no one else could. I received my own a few weeks later.
Better safe than sorry.VIEW
UltraFire Mini Cree Led Flashlight
I use this tiny flashlight all the time. The beam is powerful and can be adjusted and it’s maybe 3″ long. I keep it in my carry-on bag in case I need to find something in my bag on a dark plane and I use a lanyard to wear it around my neck when I’m on Safari.VIEW
Collapsible Hard Shell Glasses Case
For traveling, I only used polarized lenses for my sunglasses which provide better protection and vision. Unfortunately, they tend to be a lot more expensive so I do my best to keep them safe. This collapsible hard case rocks because it lies flat when not needed.VIEW
If you travel with your computer and suffer from neck and shoulder pain, it’s probably because you’re looking down and hunching. The Roost is collapsible, adjustable, and packable, that lifts your laptop to eye level. As soon as I started using it, my pain went away.VIEW
Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Cube Set 3Pk
Speak to almost any ardent traveler and I bet you they’re using packing cubes. They’re ideal for keeping your clothes sorted, organized, and streamlined. I use three cubes to separate my undies, tops, and bottoms. I especially love them when I’m faced with a multi-stop itinerary–packing and unpacking is infinitely easier.VIEW
Athalon 29″ Rolling Duffel
This is the bag I use the most, I don’t remember how I first found it but I’ve been using it for the past 5 years. It’s incredibly durable—it looks the same as when I first got it and I’m hard on my luggage. It has 15 pockets, which I love. (I like things to have their place.) The top flap has a mesh pocket for wet clothes and it collapses for easy storage.VIEW
The North Face Base Camp Duffel
For specific trips (e.g. safaris) there are restrictions you have to keep in mind, wheels and weight being a couple of them. Hence, This North Face Base Camp duffel is perfect. Not too big, no wheels and stylish too. Plus it comes with its own storage pouch.VIEW
L.L. Bean Adventure Duffle, Medium
If you’re looking for a simple and less expensive duffle, L.L. Bean’s Adventure duffle is one of my favorites. I’ve used it a lot of time. It also comes with a storage pouch.VIEW
Foldable Packable Travel Backpack – 35L
It’s always a good idea to have an extra bag in your luggage if you need it. Souvenirs anyone? I’ve used this foldable large backpack to carry towels and sunscreen in the summer and extra layers and gloves in the cold. It’s not for serious hiking but for a few miles carrying a little wine, bread, and cheese? Divine.VIEW
Beauty and Wellness
Wallaroo Hannah Cowboy Hat
If there is sun, I’m wearing a hat. I’m big on sun protection, always have been. I had a fedora-style hat I used to wear with a wide brim that was awesome but once I wore this Hannah cowboy hat the other is gathering dust. My first one was sent to me by the company but I left it at an airport security check running to a plane and when I arrived home it was the first thing I ordered. It’s perfect for blocking the sun with a wire in the brim so I can adjust the shape as needed.VIEW
Dream Essentials Sleep Mask
I’m pretty lucky, I can fall asleep almost anywhere but I have a more restful sleep when I can make my space nice and dark. (I especially love these on trains where you can’t shut the window shades.) Another great touch, the eyes are molded so the mask doesn’t rest on your eyelids. When delivered it comes with a small pouch and earplugs.VIEW
Tumi Dopp Kit
Full disclosure: I received a Hilton Hotel private label (Tumi made a branded version for the company) version of this Tumi Dopp kit at an event. But if anything happened to mine, I’d buy it in a flash.
I’ve tried the hanging kits but I find them unruly, bumpy, and hard to pack. I like this Tumi because it sleek and holds a ton of stuff but retains its shape making it super convenient to pack.VIEW
Travel Toilet Paper
If you’ve ever been in a foreign country in a questionable bathroom stall without any TP, you know why I love travel toilet paper. It’s compact, self-contained (no unrolling in your bag) ready when you are, and there are about 1200 sheets to a roll. Ok, that’s exaggerating but there’s a lot. It really comes in handy when you’re dealing with allergies or a never-ending runny nose.
Don’t be caught with your pants down and nothing but your smile….. you’ll thank me later.VIEW
Contigo Autospout Ashland Water Bottle
I love this water bottle, it’s lightweight, has a straw (I hurt my neck a while back so I try not to kink my neck to drink from bottles when I can), a handle I clip to my bag so it doesn’t fall out, and an autospout lid with a press to release button. BPA Free.
Tip: If you use this on a plane make sure to release the pressure caused by the pressurized cabin by turning the lid a bit. If you don’t when you flip the drinking spout water will come shooting out. I learned this, as did my seat companion, the hard way.VIEW
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch SPF 100+
You don’t need me to tell you how important it is that you wear sunscreen when you’re outside. I like this Neutrogena dry touch version because it doesn’t feel or look greasy when I apply it. I have oily skin as it is, I don’t need my SPF to add to the shiny mess.VIEW
BugX 30 Towelettes
I discovered the BugX 30 online while researching repellents for a trip to Costa Rica—mosquito central depending on where you’re staying. Since that adventure, I’ve since taken it to Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Botswana, Tanzania, and Kenya. I don’t use anything else.
They really work. Maybe I had a few bites here and there but overall it was nothing compared to what I’ve suffered using other products.
I LOVE the towelettes. One towelette covered my whole body. The wipe makes it easy to apply and because it isn’t a spray I don’t get the solution over everything else in the room.
When I apply BugX 30, I wipe my socks, the bottom of my pant legs and my coat cuffs. There’s no color fading or fabric degradation.
I put it on my hair. Yep. My hair. I cannot stand hearing mosquitos buzz around my ears. Lightly applying the Bug X 30 to my hair kept those little flying annoyances out of earshot and from biting my head.
It doesn’t smell. Ok.. it does a little, but comparatively the odor is relatively nonexistent.
Carrying the towelettes is infinitely easier than carrying a bottle or spray pump.VIEW
Klorane Eye Patches
We’ve all been there right?
You wake up after a long day of travel and your eyes look tiny pillows were glued to your face while you slept. You may feel wide awake but your eyes say, “I’m overworked and I am swelling in protest.”
Or heaven forbid you broke up with someone on vacation (that happened to me, it sucked), and you cried all night. If you’re like me, my eyes react so violently to tears that afterward, I look like I’ve been beaten up by Rocky Balboa.
In these circumstances, I pull out the big guns. My Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches. In short: They work.VIEW