We have flown over 1.6 million flight miles, over 30 countries, and four continents. Over our many years of travel, we have tried and tested a lot of travel gear; clothing, shoes, luggage, backpacks, travel guides, packing gear, and gadgets. Some appeared to be amazing, only to turn out to be duds. Others became everyday items even when not traveling. The best of the bunch has become our favorite travel gear, and we would feel lost without them when traveling.
It is a blast to experiment with such varied travel gear, but the downside is the cost you pay for something that lands up never being used again or some cases, thrown away on the trip itself. Lots of money has been lost over the years, especially by Joelle, who has traveled the longest. We have done some of the research for you to save you both cost and hassle.
Why you may ask, is the list below almost all Amazon links? It is, for all practical purposes, the only site we buy from unless buying in person. We used to price compare, but over time Amazon always won out. Now it is for the delivery speed, reward points, return policy, and convenience. You will find many of these items on other consumer sites, and if you have a favorite, you should stick with it.
Please note we do state a price point but that can change over time.
All reviews are honest and come from our own experience with these items. Nonetheless, we encourage you to read the recent reviews of our favorite travel gear as the quality of a product can change over time. If your experience was different than ours or a product is no longer available, please let us know. Click HERE or leave a comment at the bottom of the page. If you have a product you swear by, let us know, we would love to try it out!
This page contains some Amazon affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!
Leather Bound Travel Journal
Price point under $10.00
For those of us who still use pen and paper, this is an elegant way to keep notes during your travels. How often have you wished you wrote down that great restaurant, that wine or beer you loved, or the off-the-beaten-path town you discovered? Or wished you had a place to write your personal thoughts during your trip? This cute travel journal is the perfect solution to record your cherished memories.
The journal is 5″ x 7″ and has 176 quality paper pages. It will easily fit into a purse or backpack. It is lite weight, durable, well detailed, has an elastic band closure, and even has a ribbon to keep your place. Add in a handy pocket to save those tickets you will later use in a scrapbook or business cards from your favorite eateries. Each page provides a place for date, location, and weather details.
This artisan travel journal will hold those special memories long after your trip is over. Highly rated on Amazon too!
Travelon Set of 4 Mesh pouches, Gray
Price point @ $13.00
This set of Mesh pouches are fantastic. Joelle bought a set a week before leaving for Croatia. They were such a hit another set was ordered and arrived the day before the trip. They are so versatile and have many uses. We used them for prescription bottles, over-the-counter meds, electronic cords, foreign adapters, our masks, documents, undergarments, socks, and on and on. These pouches are one of our favorite travel gear items.
- MULTIFUNCTIONAL ORGANIZER Use pouches as a cosmetic bag, tech accessory organizer, currency pouch, travel document organizer bag, etc.
- BREATHABLE MESH KEEPS CONTENTS VISIBLE, easy to find, and saves time
- CONVENIENT ZIPPER POUCHES Zippered closures keep contents secure.
- MULTIPLE SIZES FOR SIZE APPROPRIATE ITEMS X-Small: 6″ x 5.75″ Small: 7.75″ x 6.55″ Medium: 10″ x 8.5″ Large: 12″ x 8.75″
CGBE Clear Toiletry Bag with Handle, Zipper, for Traveling 3PCS Black Quart Size
Price point @ $10.00
TSA Approved Toiletry Bag is fully compliant with TSA 3-1-1 rules and regulations of airlines. Easy and quick to pass through airport security, save time, and no more hold-ups or hassles at the airport. The clear travel makeup quart size bag for toiletries measures 7.7″ x 5.5″ x 2.4″. Perfectly sized for carrying in-flight essentials, convenient to carry on when you are traveling or go out. No more mess!
This was a new purchase for our Croatia trip. Joelle had previously used clear makeup bags. It was always about digging around looking for smaller items. With these, you see everything and no time is lost retrieving what you need. Any liquid time and power can go in here. The last thing you need is liquid makeup all over your clothes. It has happened to Joelle, and it wasn’t very good. Ziplock baggies work too, but they have a wider base which is preferred.
Travelon Folding Packable Tote
Price point @ $18.00
For those who want to stick to using Amazon for shopping, this is a good alternative to the Rick Steve’s regularly. Travelon makes great products, and this one is no exception. It is lightweight and folds into a compact pouch. Zipper closure. Water-resistant. The ideal solution for daily shopping, excursions, beach trips, and car supplies.
It is durable and wears easily on your shoulder. It holds a lot of weight, is sturdy as all Travelon products are, and Joelle has used it once for checked baggage. Wipes clean easily and is resistant to stains.
Rick Steve’s Hide-Away Tote Bag
Price point @ $20.00
This is by far the best lightweight pack-away tote bag you will ever use. It weighs close to nothing and is very strong. It serves many purposes on trips; laundry bag, beach bag, shopping bag, supply bag for the car, extra carry-on for those post-security duty-free shops, and even check luggage. It can be stuffed anywhere, and we always have one in our day pack in case we are at an open-air market and make purchases. It is machine washable.
Joelle has been using the same one for over ten years. It looks as good as the day she got it. It recently went sale, and she bought 4 more for gifts for family traveling overseas. When she initially bought it on Amazon, it is only available through Rick Steve’s store. Comes in two colors.
Travelon Anti TheftBackpack
Price point @ $58.00
Joelle bought this backpack in 2016 for an overseas trip. She fell so in love with it she uses it year-round to this day (2021). In 2020 it was beginning to look a little worn though absolutely nothing failed on it. She bought another one. It is durable, reasonable in size, lightweight, and comfortable.
With having had multiple shoulder surgeries, it needs to be! If you look at our photos, Ryan is wearing it quite often as it is our only daypack. The best feature for traveling overseas is its antitheft system. (see below)
It holds a lot in what seems not much space. It is water-resistant, but we don’t suggest standing in the rain with it. Easy to wipe down and keep looking like new.
5-Point Anti-Theft Security System Advantage
Travelon Anti-Theft technology begins with a complex, interlocking mesh barrier engineered right below the surface material to prevent a blade attack aimed at opening up your bag.
The second is a hidden steel cable that runs the length of the strap to prevent it from being cut, and your bag pulled off your shoulder.
Third, the main compartments of our bags lock to prevent a skilled pickpocket’s hands from access.
RFID blocking card slots and passport pockets protect against hand-held identity scanner theft.
And lock-down hardware allows you to lock your bag to a chair or stationary object when you are sitting down in a public area.
Travelpro Maxlite 5-Softside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage, Black, Carry-On 21-Inch
Price point @ $127.00
Travelpro is a long-standing line of luggage favored by frequent travelers. This ultra-lightweight, ultra-durable 21 inches expandable Rollaboard suitcase maximizes your packing power and meets carry-on size restrictions for most domestic and international airlines. 4 wheel spinners rotate 360 degrees for a smooth roll. Lightweight, sturdy PowerScope handle stops at 38 inches, and 42.5 inches features a patented contour grip with rubberized touchpoints for easy maneuvering. Unique bottom tray design increases durability. It expands 2 inches and has a water guard to protect the interior.
Luggage is something Joelle is on the hunt for. Over the years, the one brand that withstands her abuse and overpacking is Travelpro. This specific suitcase was recently purchased to upgrade from her non-spinner 22-inch version. As well many airlines, especially international, have reduced carry-on side. As some airlines also limit the weight of carry-on, it must be ultra-lightweight to start with. This has been used on several trips, and it lives to its reputation. Joelle high recommends this suitcase.
Travelpro Bold-Softside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels, Grey/Black, Checked-Medium 26-Inch
Price point @ $ 159.00 but can vary with color
I strayed away from Travelpro luggage for a few years, though I never found anyone else that came close. Went on a hard shell suitcase kick but never found to perfect piece or size. With a long history of overpacking, I need a sturdy lightweight piece of luggage. I have found 25 inches is too small and 27 inches too big. 26 inches is hard to find until I discovered this gem. It is absolutely my favorite ever!! Durable, reinforced straps, lightweight, and wheels that glide easily on any surface. I may buy one in case they ever stop making this one.
The high-quality 8 wheel spinners rotate 360 degrees for superior maneuverability. Strong, telescoping Aircraft-grade aluminum handle stops at 38 inches and 42 inches for users of different heights.
Tough built, lightweight, 26 inches spinner is made of rugged, high-density polyester fabric with water repellent coating for greater stain resistance.
Backed by Travelpro and built for a lifetime limited warranty. Dimensions: case 26x18x11.5 inches overall 29×18. 5×12.5 inches weight: 8.9 pounds
Eagle Creek Travel Gear Pack-It Sac Set, Black
Price point @ $46.00
Eagle creek makes quality products and stands by them. Many travelers swear by packing cubes. We have a mixed reaction after many years of trying. We use them for undergarments, socks, nightwear, accessories, swimwear, dresses, and skirts. For larger items like pants, shirts, sweaters, shoes, and boots, we find them bulky and impede our packing space. Rolling the items to go in the cubes helps but still makes the cube bulky if using larger clothes. These bigger items are easily visible and can be extended to fit easier. We used them in the past for prescription or over-the-counter meds, but we prefer the mess zipper pouches better.
In the end, they are worth a try. This is a good brand to go with, and they are quite lightweight and washable. Come in different colors.
- PACK-IT ORIGINAL CUBE SET – Set of 3 small bags for organizing packing, making it easy to locate your travel items and clothes you’ve packed. Rolling your items in your luggage to maximize storage and minimize wrinkles is recommended.
- MAXIMIZE PACKING SPACE – Travel compression packs come with a two-way zippered opening for maximum compression freeing up space in your luggage.
Compression Packing Cubes for Travel, Set of 6, Color Black, Double Zipper, LeanTravel
Price point @ $42.00
We have two packing cube sets here on this list because we like both of these, and they have different features that may be more valuable to some. These we began recently using, and they are the preferred brand now. They aren’t as lightweight, but they are very sturdy. We like most about them because they compress very well; they offer multiple sizes in this set.
We will repeat what we wrote above. Many travelers swear by packing cubes. We have a mixed reaction after many years of trying. We use them for undergarments, socks, nightwear, accessories, swimwear, dresses, and skirts. For larger items like pants, shirts, sweaters, shoes, and boots, we find them bulky and impede our packing space. Rolling the items to go in the cubes helps but still makes the cube bulky if using larger clothes. These bigger items are easily visible and can be extended to fit easier. We used them in the past for prescription or over-the-counter meds, but we prefer the mess zipper pouches better.
- STYLISH, WRINKLE-FREE PACKING thanks to our premium quality polyester fabric and sturdy construction with durable mesh; Clothes can be seen through an inspection, and odors are minimized thanks to increased breathability
- PACK MORE CLOTHING INTO LESS SPACE with the extra zipper feature for added compression; Reduce the packing bag’s thickness from 4 inches to 1 inch. Best quality rated SBS brand zippers with anti-catch technology.
- DIMENSIONS – 15.5 x 11.5 x 4 inches (2 large cubes) 11 x 11 x 4 inches (2 medium cubes) 11 x 7.5 x 4 inches (2 small cubes)
OOFOS Unisex OOCLOOG CLOG
Price point @ $70.00
The workhorses are amazing. This versatile clog brings unmatched
comfort into your everyday work or
leisure routine. OOfoam Recovery Technology absorbs 37% more impact than traditional footwear foam, giving your feet a break they need. The patented footbed will cradle your arches to reduce stress on sore feet, ankles, knees, and lower back. They are designed to allow natural motion and relief. They are very lightweight and durable. Easily wiped down and even machine washable. They are not slippery on wet floors, per Joelle’s experience and her feet stay cool. Unisex sizing. They are true to size.
If Joelle could give this ten stars, she would. With a history of significant foot issues, surgeries on both feet, serious injuries, and active Achilles tendonitis, these shoes have been lifesavers. Her physical therapist recommended them, and she would never travel without them. They have been on every trip in 4 years, and the first pair lasted the first 3 years. They are also her daily shoes. These have walked up to 17 miles in one day on cobblestone streets. They have been requested Christmas gifts from her kids. Problem feet or not, these will be your favorites travel shoes! It is also had been by far one of our favorite travel gear items to date.
Teva Men’s Mush II Flip-Flop
Price point @ $25.00
These versatile all-day wear flip flops are rugged and sturdy. Quick-dry webbing made from recycled plastic using traceable, verifiable REPREVE® polyester yarn by Unifi® supports your foot and stands up to abuse. A Mush® top sole cushions and forms to your foot for amazing comfort. A lightweight EVA-foam outsole keeps you light on your feet. Grip traction outside.
These are our favorite flip-flops for travel. Joelle has been using them for over 10 years, and Ryan now swears by them too. They have stood the test of long walking days in hot weather, even on cobblestone streets. They are even good for trail hiking which has been tested often in Hawaii. Lightweight and true to size. This goes in our carry-on luggage as an easy change of footwear during the flight. You know, when your footsies start swelling on a long flight. We can’t recommend these enough and they will always be at the top of the list of our favorite travel gear.
Rick Steve’s Travel Guides
Price point varies between $15-25
We are huge Rick Steve’s fans; it will be rare to recommend one of his wonderful guides. His guidance and insight are spot-on. We love his travel style and perspective. His off-the-beaten-path approach, together with his independent travel philosophy, matches well with how we travel. The guides never disappoint. His books make for a fantastic resource in planning and on the trip itself. The books tend to be lightweight. He, though, suggests you tear out only the sections you need from his books to take with you. As we approach a destination, we read aloud the great synopsis of the history and details of what we are about to see. His dining and hotel selections are usually excellent. We are most drawn to how he brings the culture of where we are into the experience.
His guides are updated regularly. We always found between his books and videos; he builds such an excitement for the trip that no one else does.
We have developed travel guides for most of the countries we have visited. Each guide has a resource section in which we provide links to our favorite Travel Books and Maps. Click here to view a list of our country travel guides.
Cabeau Evolutions S3 Travel Pillow
Price point @ $40
The award-winning neck pillow is the best of the bunch. The pressure-relieving memory foam conforms to your unique contour and evenly distributes weight to provide hours-long comfort. The best part of this neck pillow is how it keeps you from doing that awful head falling forward that wakes you up when flying. It keeps the neck and spine in alignment and pain-free after hours of sleep. It can be used in hotels if your pillow is not ideal. The compact travels make it easy to clip it to your roller board. It attaches to your seat with velcro straps. The cover is removable, is moisture-wicking, so your neck stays dry, and is machine washable.
It has become Joelle’s favorite as she absolutely needs a neck pillow. She is not a good plane sleeper, then add the head falling forward that occurs with most pillows; she was always on the look-up for something better. Though this is in the higher price range, it is well made and high quality. It can be used for gaming too.
Compression Socks for Men and Women 3 Pairs
Price point @ $12.00
Medical compression socks for men and women with 20-30 mmHg. They are knee-high, made with breathable, high-performance fabric which keeps an optimal temperature and stays odor-free. Copper-infused is in the fabric claims to rejuvenate blood circulation. Wicks moisture away from your skin to ensure you feel fresh and comfortable. These are high quality and hold up to long use. They are easier than most pressure stocking to put on. They come in many colors, and the bright ones make them stand out in your sock drawer.
It is always a good idea to discuss using this kind of product with your doctor if you have any contraindications. Joelle uses these as lower leg swelling is a persistent problem for her on long flights. It literally stops it in its tracks. After a long day of walking and standing, she uses them at night to decrease swelling and reduce leg cramps.
International Power Adapter for Travel (SandBlack) – 4 USB European Plug Adapter for 150+ Countries – for Europe UK America China Ireland Italy
Price point @ $18.00
This universal power adaptor can be used in 150+ countries, fits with US, UK, EU, and China outlets. This all-in-one travel adaptor comes in one piece. Dual USB is not enough these days; you need a power travel adapter that will charge two phones, a tablet, and a camera. There is a multi USB port hub with 4 smart USB ports 2×2. 4a/2×2. 1a, at 3500mA. Charge up to four devices simultaneously, with the ports automatically adapting the output for each one accordingly. It comes in various colors, and ours came with a case, but it does not mention that on Amazon.
This is an item Ryan bought to try out. We were both very pleased with how durable it was and how it functions. We would charge two phones, a laptop, and a camera battery all at the same time. Ryan is way better at not losing adapters, so having only one works well for him.
Small Travel First Aid Kit
Price point @ $8.00
This is the perfect lightweight complete first aid kit you will ever find. We take two with us, more in our daypack and one in our carry-on roller. Ryan is known to take hikes up to steep castles; this way, we can each have one with us at all times. The bonus is Joelle always wants to add more gloves, Neosporin, a mini hand sanitizer, few extra gauze pads, and extra bandaids. This is easily done with this pack. This is a must-have!
Joelle keeps one in her carry-on in her purse and her car as well. It is always about being prepared.
X-Edition Wall Charger, 4 pack 2.1A Dual Port USB Wall Charger
Price point @ $13
Solid PC shell with strong performance and durability. Compact, lightweight, and easy to carry. Comfortable grip. Suitable use for home and travel. Smart dual port IC automatically recognizes and assigns the most effective current to your cell phone and tablets, and the USB Plug interface adopts an integrated injection molding technology.
These are the perfect fit for a purse and an electronics pouch. We chose the colors as they are easier to notice when packing up to leave the hotel. Cost is low, so when you lose, which we all inevitably do, it isn’t a big deal.
Europe Travel Adapter
Price point @ $10.00
This adapter is perfect as it is lightweight and offers two USB ports. It is a little bulky so not something to carry in a purse as easily but great in your roller boards. Bulky enough you aren’t likely it miss in when you are checking out of the room.
We always carry two with us.
Unidapt European Plug Adapter Power Converter, Travel from USA Us to EU Europe Italy Plug Adapters, European Travel Plug Adapters from America to Europe Outlet Adaptor (4 Piece)
Price point @ $8.00
These electric adapter plugs can be used to charge smartphones, Bluetooth speakers, shavers, power banks, laptops, tablets, and so on. They are good quality but inexpensive as well.
Joelle carries a pouch with about 6 of them on each trip. We are lucky if we come back with 2. They are perfect for purses and pockets. We often leave them on the device, such as the camera battery chargers, at all times. They are quite small, so they disappear into the European outlets and get left behind pretty often.
Universal Waterproof Case, Waterproof Phone Pouch Compatible for iPhone 12 Pro 11 Pro Max XS Max XR X 8 7 Samsung Galaxy s10/s9 Google Pixel 2 HTC Up to 7.0″, IPX8 Cellphone Dry Bag -2 Pack
Price point @ $9.00
This more than just for cell phones. This extra-large size universal waterproof phone case dry bag fits all smartphones up to 7 inches tall and 4 inches wide, including iPhone, Samsung, Google pixel, etc. Credit card wallet money waterproof dry bag for beach, fishing, swimming, boating, kayaking, snorkeling, and water park activities. The cover will not block the camera. It lightweight and takes up no room.
How many people have you known who have jumped in the water with their phone or wallet in their pocket? Be ready for those trips to the beach or snorkeling. Best to be prepared vs. worst-case scenario. Joelle used it on trips to Hawaii, and it works great!
Sink Suds Laundry detergent liquid soap + odor eliminator for all fabrics and delicates TSA compliant
Price point @ $8.50
This one is pretty self-explanatory. It is for handwashing your clothes in the sink while traveling. It is rare to find a washing machine while traveling in Europe unless we have a machine at our Airbnb. This is not too sudsy, easy to rinse, and definitely left the clothes fresh smelling,
If we are ever in a hotel for more than two days in a row, we wash clothes we wish to re-wear the first night, so they have two days to dry. This is the perfect little size to do quite a few clothes. We brought one box for a two-week trip and did some laundry every 3 or so days. So much better than using the small soap they give you in most hotels.
Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Large Backpack
Price point @ $71.00
This the full-size version of the back we have up top on the page. This easily holds a full-size laptop, camera, change of clothes, and lots more. On one, we brought this one versus the smaller one up top. However, it was durable, protective of its contents, anti-theft, and had tons of space it much too big for our purposes. It would serve well as a carry-on but not a day pack. If you look for a strong backpack as your only carry-on, this one is the exception. It has lots of features, as listed below.
Anti-Theft Security System Advantage
Full Anti-Theft features including locking compartments, slash-resistant construction, slash-resistant, and adjustable straps
The main compartment has a wall pocket to hold large items; the rear compartment is fleece lined to hold a laptop to 15.6 inches and has an iPad or tablet pocket.
The front compartment has an organizer with an RFID blocking card and passport slots, an open and a zip-top pocket, 2 pen loops, and a tethered key clip with LED light.
Air mesh back panel and backpack straps for comfort, mesh expansion pocket holds a water bottle, top grab handle, and add-a-bag
Homedics White Noise Machine Portable Sleep Therapy
Price point @ $21.00
This is only here for those used to white noise in their daily lives and may have issues sleeping during travel. If you are also someone who lives in the country and city noises will keep you up, this will help. Joelle uses it for her grandkids, and Ryan uses one for his son. We have a lot of experience with them. They are reliable, offer a variety of sounds, and a nice range of volume. They work.
It is lightweight, sturdy, and can work with a battery or plug. It is a little bulky if your space is tight. Batteries seem to last a long time. They work great when visiting a home with lots of activity, and you may have different bedtimes; nice to bring on any trip!
Bagsmart Electronic Organizer Travel Universal Cable Organizer Electronic Cases for Cable
Price point @ $10.00
This 6.3 x 9.5 case packs lots in! It has 6 elastic loops for cords, earbuds to prevent entanglement. Has slots for 3SD and Sim cards. 2 mesh zippered pockets, and 6 open mesh pockets for various chargers and cables. It is durable, well-padded, and water repellent. It easily fits into your backpack or carry-on.
We used it on a couple of trips now and loved it. So much easier to find items and keep them quick to access. When checking, it helps to remind you something might be missing. We can’t imagine a trip without it moving forward.
Tarriss Jetsetter Digital Scale with 110 lb capacity
Price point @ $15.00
There are some items we will never travel without, and this is one of those. Maybe it because of the wine we bring back from our trips. Ever sit at the airport check-in and see people trying to figure out how to reduce the weight of their suitcase? There is not much more stressful than that when traveling. With the exorbitant fees, excess weight requires, it could be a huge hit on your wallet. Many airlines now also weigh carry-on. Be prepared. This digital scale has never failed us, and it is spot on with the airport scale.
Very inexpensive, durable stainless steel, lightweight, and versatile. It is in both kilos and pounds. Easy to read LCD, auto shutoff, and long battery life. Fits in your carry-on easily. This is an absolute must-have!!!
LAPCOS Rejuvenating Variety Pack Face Mask Set, Korean Sheet Masks to Moisturize and Restore Skin, Skin Care for Women, Men and Teens, 5-Pack
Price point @ $17.00
The essential skin reboot kit. An assortment of treatments that provide an answer to everyday skincare and feel pretty luxurious. Included in this pack a Cleansing & Exfoliating Pad to eliminate dead, dry skin and best absorb nutrients. Includes our Charcoal, Aloe, Aqua, and Collagen Masks & Milk Feel Cleansing & Exfoliating Pad.
Let be honest here; traveling is hard on the skin, especially long flights. With the humidity on the plane comparable to the Sahara desert and add to that the likely the prestress of getting ready for the trip, our skin needs some TLC from day one. Joelle’s routine is on the first day of travels and once a week during the trip. It is 20 minutes of your time in the evening while catching up on email in your room. This is good for men, too, especially if prone to dry skin. If your skin looks good, you will feel better.
These are sold at Costco at times so keep an eye out there.
Travel Containers Sets, AMMAX Silicone Cream Jars for toiletries, TSA Approved Travel Size Containers with Hard Sealed Lids for Face Hand Body Cream 20ml (4 Pieces)
Price point @ $9.00
These travel containers are convenient to store lotions, cream, shampoo, powder, condiments, etc. Multiple uses for these silicone cosmetic containers. These cream jars are designed with an anti-drip flip cap to prevent leaks and spills. The appropriate mini size and lightweight are great for travel, good seal character without worrying about staining your baggage, leakproof travel jars. You can easily clean these silicone makeup containers with warm soapy water. 5 pieces come in different colors; you can easily identify what each one contains by reading the color.
We have all our various facial care products in big jars or tubes. Joelle has been trying various items over the years. These finally cut. They are small, lightweight, and durable. They held plenty, though, for two weeks trip. Highly recommend.
Lewis and Clark AM/PM Folding Pill Organizer
Price point @ $9.00
This pill organizer is color-coded and numbered to keep track of the pills you’ve taken easily. Never miss a dose or take too many. Perfect pill organizer for travel. This pill organizer includes 16 clear slide-locking pill pockets that can be added and removed as needed. A clear pill pouch makes it easy to see your pills and stay organized. Made with durable polyester, the pill holder folds open and closed to keep your pills secure, while the adjustable velcro fastener keeps pills safe in place. It easily fits in your purse, backpack, luggage, carry-on, laptop bag, or suitcase. Medical reference card to list your important medical information in case of emergency, with space for your name, emergency contact, physician, medical conditions, allergies, and more. It easily stores in the exterior zippered pocket.
Joelle used these for vitamins only. Keep in mind with international travel; prescription meds must be kept in prescription bottles with a name on them that matched the travelers’ passport. This was a hit and will be used again and again.
TravelBuddy Trekking Poles 2 Pack
Price point @ $37.00
Adjustable Hiking or Walking Sticks – Strong, Lightweight Aluminum 7075 – Quick Adjust Flip-Lock – Cork Grip, Padded Strap. TrailBuddy Trekking Poles’ tough aluminum can withstand pressure and impact better than carbon fiber – crucial if hiking on rocky terrain or supporting heavier weight. Aluminum 7075 hiking sticks weigh up to 4 ounces less than typical 6061 Aluminum common in hiking sticks – making it the perfect gift for an outdoor enthusiast!
Changing the height of these telescoping poles from 24.5 to 54 inches is a breeze even when you’re wearing gloves or trekking in wet conditions thanks to its lever-locks. Cork handles are comfy to use in both hot and cold temperatures, are moisture-wicking, and mold to the shape of your hand while the strap is padded to avoid chafing.
Joelle took these to Norway during a winter trip to see Northern Lights. These poles are lightweight study and easy to pack in checked luggage. Comfortable grips and easy to use.
RFID Blocking Wallet Women’s Small Compact Bifold Leather Purse Front Pocket Mini Wallet
Price point @ $9.00
Features include a bifold closure. It is made of high-quality cowhide leather. Equipped with advanced unique military-grade proprietary blocking material, engineered specifically to block 13.56 MHz or higher RFID signals and protect the valuable information stored on RFID chips from unauthorized scans. This leather wallet has 6 card slots, 1 photo slot, 1 coin pocket, and 1 bill section.
When traveling abroad, it is important to thin your wallet too as little as possible. Joelle finds this wallet the perfect size for what she carries. Along with her Travelon day pack, which has an internal security clip, she can clip this wallet into her backpack, and then outer clips offer even more security. The RFID blocking provides one more level of security.
Amazon Basics RFID Travel Passport Wallet Organizer – 10 x 5 Inches, Black
Price point @ $15.00
Travel organizer with internal pockets for storing passports, tickets, money, credit cards, etc. Made of 100% nylon with durable zipper closure; RFID blocking material to protect against unwanted scan. Full-length zippered pocket and large stash pocket; micromesh zippered pocket for coins. Dedicated slots for credit, business, or membership cards; exterior rear stash pocket for quick-access items. Measures 10×5 inches.
Joelle has used one just like this for years, but that one is no longer made. She would never travel internationally without it. This is a good replacement and seems durable. We need a bit more time for a 5-star rating but looks very promising.
EnerPlex 3-ply Reusable Black Face Mask
Price point @ $22.00
This has been our go-to mask when traveling and for day-to-day use. They are comfortable, do not overheat, or are rough on the skin. We wash them every night, and they are dry by morning.
They have a three-Layer Design – Outer layer DWR 100% Polyester, Middle Layer Cotton Blend, Inner Layer NanoFine Cotton Blend – soft against the skin. Designed with high-quality lightweight fabric for maximum comfort. Our stretch ear loops allow for a snug and secure fit. Ideal for everyday use – indoor/outdoor.
Rainleaf Microfiber TowelsFAST DRYING – SUPER ABSORBENT
Price point @ $8.00
SKIN FRIENDLY – remarkable soft suede-like feel on your skin and face.SUPER ABSORBENT-will absorbs water 5 times more than its’ weight but dry fast. ULTRA COMPACT & LIGHTWEIGHT – easy to carry and space-saving. HANG SNAP LOOP – practical & easy to hang anywhere and dry. CARRY BAG – reusable.
This towel dries very quickly and can be used many times a day. They are perfect for travel and are lightweight. We have one in each of our carry-on with every trip.
Natural Silk Pillowcase, with Hidden Zipper, 22 Momme,600 Thread Count 100% Mulberry Silk, Soft Breathable Smooth Both Sided Silk Pillow Cover
Price point @ $24.00
This is one of those luxurious items that also serve a good purpose. Hotel pillowcases can be rough on the skin and even hair. Skin wakes up feeling more refreshed and hair shinier. Pick brighter colored ones so you don’t forget them before you leave or the staff takes them out to the laundry. Joelle swears to helps her sleep better and is a good temperature regulator. She has started bringing a silk pillowcase on her travels to use in the hotels.
This pillowcase is well made and durable. It is as light as a feather. Well reviewed. Comes in multiple colors. The zipper is important as it keeps the pillow from slipping out. The price is very reasonable, around $21.00. It is naturally hypoallergenic.
Amazon Basics Double Braided Nylon Lightning to USB Cable, Advanced Collection, MFi Certified Apple iPhone Charger, Dark Gray, 3 Foot
Price point @ $6.00
Apple MFi certified charging and syncing cable for your Apple devices. Copper wire added Kevlar to improve durability and strength; durable nylon fiber cloth provides protection, strength, and flexibility. Connects to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod with Lightning Connector and charges/syncs by connecting the USB connector into your wall charger or computer; a small connector head fits most cases.
We believe you can’t have enough charging cables on a trip. Therefore, we bring at least six in different sizes between us. We test them all before we leave in every device we will use them in and the adapter we will plug them into. This link is for 6 feet, but you will see other sizes on the page.
BYB Pack of 4, Super Bright 9 LED Mini Aluminum Flashlight with Lanyard, Assorted Colors, Batteries Not Included
Price point @ $ 10.00
BYB Super Bright 9 LED mini aluminum flashlight is the perfect companion for everyday use. Compact, Durable, and Versatile. Use in a wide variety of situations and circumstances. Aluminum body, good illumination, no blinding, run times, can use for calamity search & rescue. Simple on/off push button operation and 3x AAA Battery required but not included.
Part of being prepared is for instances when there could be power outages, lost at night, car trouble, looking for items in dark spaces, and even signaling for help. We carry one in our roller-board and our backpack at all times. One of those must-haves for safety.
Conde Nast Travel Magazine
Price point Annual Subscription $5.00
Conde Nast Traveler requires its writers to travel anonymously and pay their own way. This assures that you get credible, truthful information. With Conde Nast Traveler as your guide, you’ll discover the best islands, cities, spas, castles, and cruises. Your subscription also includes our must-have Gold List, Hot List, and Reader’s Choice issues filled with the world’s best places to eat, drink, shop, and stay.
The subscription runs about $5.00 and is a breath of fresh air when it arrives. We both subscribe, and we suggest any travel-hungry person does.
Spartan Industrial – 3” X 4” (1000 Count) 2 Mil Clear Reclosable Zip Plastic Poly Bags with Resealable Lock Seal
Price point @ $14.00
These amazing little bags were quite the find and had so many uses. These 2.0 Mil Clear Sealable Zip Bags. 100% airtight and resealable poly bags protect contents from moisture. These 3 X 5 Inch small zip baggies are perfect for packing vitamins, small soaps, safety pins, jewelry, business cards, candy, treats, powered products like collagen, over-the-counter meds, etc., 100% Food Grade Safe – Durable, Odorless & Non-Toxic. The a quite sturdy as well.
Joelle fell in love with these on our Croatia trip. She takes many daily vitamins, and she made one bag for each day. They also were a good way to store vitamins such as zinc, Vit C in case we got sick. It was a protective place to store business cards and some special photos. If you take powdered supplements each day, your daily serving would fit nicely. Has so many uses beyond travel.
Ziploc Slider Storage Bags with New Power Shield Technology, For Food, Sandwich, Organization and More, Gallon, 26 Count, Pack of 4 (104 Total Bags)
Price point @ $16.00
You may ask, really Ziploc bags on here? Yes, they are essential to any trip, and the uses are endless. From holding cosmetics to lotions, sunscreens, meds, or any items, you want to be consolidated. Keep liquids safe from your clothes. Shoes can go in them. We keep our pens in baggies to avoid the risk of leaking ink.
For those who want to keep it simple and cheap, these are the way to go. They are sturdy, but it is important to choose the Ziploc brand. Press and seal could easily fail and be a nightmare. Though the link here takes you to Amazon, your best deal out there will be Wearhouse stores like Costco. We always have ten of these on us, both gallon, quart, and sandwich size.
Nikon D7200 DX-format DSLR Body (Black)
Price point @ $1290.00
Nikon SLR 24.2 MP DX-format CMOS image sensor. No Optical Low-Pass Filter (OLPF). 51 point autofocus system. 6 frames per second (fps) shooting capacity. EXPEED 4 image processing; ISO Sensitivity: ISO 100 – 25,600.Lens mount: Nikon F mount, (with AF coupling and AF contacts). Built in Wi-Fi and Near Field Communication (NFC) for instant sharing.
Photography is my passion. I love taking pictures, it is my happy place. It has been a little bit of a rough ride to find a camera I have loved. Trying one that doesn’t require a degree to use but still takes fantastic photos. Also, a price that almost tolerable. This body is not cheap but it is less painful on the wallet than what professionals use. It will set up back but it a great camera and very durable and tough.
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras
Price point @ $ 1060.00
World’s lightest 5x zoom with an f/2.8-4 maximum aperture. Inspiring image quality; ideal for daily life, travel, blogging, HD video and more. Versatile zoom range that covers wide angle to portrait views. Minimum Focus Distance : 1.15 feet.(0.35 meter). 4 stops of VR image stabilization for handheld and low light shooting. Nonstick protective fluorine coatings on the glass resists water, dirt and smudges.
This is my favorite lens ever. I used to carry several lenses but only use them much. It was bulky, heavy to haul around, and took too much room. This lens meets all my needs, and I have been very pleased with the results. No switching out lenses; I have not once regretted not having more lenses with me. I could not be more impressed.
Our Favorite Online and Brick and Morter Stores for Travel Gear
Disclosure: We do NOT have affiliations with any of the stores and companies listed below. We make no commissions if you buy via the link. They are here because we have been purchasing from them for years and trust their products.
Chicos Travel Clothes
This quality women’s clothing line has a dedicated Travelers Collection. This will include pants, capris, tops, sweaters, dresses, and skirts. The collection includes Black label, So Slimming, No Iron and is offered in Petite sizes. They are easy-care, lightweight, and coordinate well. The clothes are comfortable and classy.
Joelle has absolutely fallen in love with many of these items. She has a pair of capris from Chicos she has been wearing for over tens of years, and they are as good as news. They have storefronts, and best to see what sizes fit before buying online. Their sizing is unique with ranging from 000 to 4.
This hi-performance adventure clothing for men and women is all about travel. Whether hiking in the outback, visiting a South American rainforest, or just wandering Paris, this collection has something for everyone. They are known for their underwear as it is breathable, moisture-wicking, and quick-drying. Their clothing line is extensive with tops, bottoms, jackets, sweaters, bathing suits, and many travel accessories such as hats, gaiters, bandanas, and socks. Some items have a built-in Ultraviolet Protection Factor to shield skin from the sun. Many of their clothing items offer protection from bugs with Insect Shield technology. These items are all lightweight, with no iron, and fast-drying.
This is a favorite of Joelle’s over the years. The clothes are sturdy and last for years. It is high quality. It can be pricey, so watch for their sales!!
The mission of the company is to help you walk in comfort in all aspects of your life. Whether in dress shoes, sandals, clogs, or sneakers. They carry various brands that are technically advanced and are durable. Some of the well-respected brands they care about are ABEO, Dansko, ECCPO, Taos, Birkenstock, Mephisto, Rockport, Merrell, to name a few. Their collection is extensive.
These are Ryans’ absolute go-to travel shoes. He has been them to travel from day 1. They stood the test of time, too, as he wore one pair for 4 years before they clearly needed to be retired. Considering we are walkers and have done as many at 17 miles a day on our feet, these shoes are put through the wringer. Ryan doesn’t tend to wear sneakers travel; he chooses the casual yet dressy leather slip-on such at Rock Port and ECCO.
Rick Steve’s Travel bags and luggage from Rick Steve’s Travel Store
Rick Steve’s has an impressive line of travel bags and luggage that is both durable and lightweight. His message; pack light and you to have easily mobile luggage. At times you may need to take that roller board several blocks on cobblestone streets to get to your transportation. Though if you have gotten to know us, Joelle’s is not a light packer, but there are several items she has used from his line. The very lightweight Civita Day Pack, Packable Backpack, Packable Hip Pack, Crossbody Travel Bag, and finally, the packable tote, her favorite. (it is listed above)
These items used to be available on Amazon, but they are now only sold through Rick Steve’s online store or in his storefront ins Washington State near Seattle. You can’t go wrong with any of their products. They are tried and tested.
Rick Steve’s Travel Accesories from Rick Steve’s Travel Store
Rick Steve’s has a good line of travel accessories that is both durable and lightweight. Some of our favorite items are the Essential Silk Moneybelt, Civita Neck Wallet, Packing Cube Set, Classic Toiletries Kit, Quick Fresh Natural Odor Eliminator, and the Travel Dreams Sleep Mask. He also offers water bottles, company binoculars, compass/thermometer, ponchos, umbrellas, sewing kit, electrical adapters, security pouch…..you get the drift, lots of stuff.
Of course, the site also offers all their travel guides, an extensive collection of road maps, and streetwise maps.