For the most part we all pack the same travel “essentials” when heading out on our next trip. Whether you are backpacking or indulging in luxury travel we can probably find some similar items in tow like your clothing, toiletries, cell phone, and wallet. This post is about my favorite travel gear that isn’t on your everyday packing list.
Quick note before we get started: Casey Neistat once said “good content will always outweigh poor equipment” or something along those lines. What he means is, you don’t need the best of the best equipment to share your story. It can help, yes, but don’t be discouraged if you are starting out with a used backpack and your only camera is on your iPhone.
Let’s start with the fun stuff! I bring my DSLR with me everywhere I go. It’s honestly in a backpack that I bring with me in the car everyday. That backpack doesn’t leave my side. I also equate that to the reason I have a stiff neck half the time, camera gear is heavy! I always keep my camera gear with me when traveling, I don’t want to lose all of it if my luggage gets lost or stolen. The other reason to keep your electronics in your carry on when you fly is because the weight of it all will break the bank for your checked bags. Hello $100 fee!
It’s no secret that I’m no professional photographer. I wanted a camera that I could grow into and learn the ropes on. The Canon 77D was that camera. I felt like it was a step above Canon’s Rebel series but it wasn’t a big boy full frame. I have been super happy with this camera so far. It shoots great video and takes sharp images. I bring my camera on every trip and keep it in my backpack or carry on bag. I also pack a second or third lens and all of the necessary accessories like dongles, chargers, and an external hard drive.
This is my newest toy. I bought the DJI Mavic Air 2 when it was released and I am in LOVE. As an aspiring travel blogger I was eager to get those crazy coastal shots from 200 feet up. Drone photography is in a whole world of its own but it’s nice to have a second piece of equipment to get a different perspective of your travels. I occasionally make videos of my trips (check those out here) and this was going to get me the cool footage I wanted. Of course there are some strict guidelines when it comes to drones, so this toy will not be joining me on every trip, but I look forward to growing my skills with it!
I made the mistake of buying the best tripod I could find when I first got my DSLR. I never took a minute to think that I will be carrying it with me everywhere I go. It was a quality tripod no doubt, but bulky and HEAVY. I switched over to this travel tripod and it is a whole new world. This tripod is small, lightweight and user friendly all without sacrificing quality. I love the twist clamps that release the legs easily and the fact that it is so compact that it fits in my backpack. Highly recommended!
Having a GoPro is all you need sometimes! I have the Hero 9 Black and love it. GoPro’s are great for many reasons, they are compact, durable, and get great footage. I bring my GoPro with me on days I don’t want to lug a camera around and basically anytime I am in or the near water. Like I mentioned previously, you don’t need all of the fanciest gear out there. If you can only shoot on a GoPro but have good content then you are good to go!
I bring my Macbook with me everywhere I go. Unfortunately my day job doesn’t end even while I’m traveling. I keep my laptop in the hotel to catch up on emails before bed but I also use it for editing photos and writing blogs while on the road. Some of my best blogs have been written in the notes app on my phone on my flight home, but transferring and editing photos is a much quicker process when I’m on my laptop.
Now let’s talk about luggage since we need a way to carry all of these items from point A to point B. My favorite luggage is the Away hard sided roller suitcase. I have it in two sizes, the “larger carry on” and “the large”. Depending how long my trip is I decide which one to use.
So, why did I choose this brand over any other suitcase you can buy? Quality. I have owned several other suitcases and time after time the handles or wheels start acting up. I also feel like this company just gets it, they KNOW travel. Away luggage comes with removable laundry bags, a compression system (this helps save space BIG time), and a built-in TSA approved lock. I even added on the removable battery that can charge your phone up to 4X on the go. This is a really cool feature because as I’m walking around the airport my phone is charging right there, when I get to the gate I pop it out and take it on the plane with me to recharge mid flight. For a hard sided suitcase it’s fairly light, super durable and sleek and stylish. Win win!
I use my Fjallraven Kanken as my carry on/personal item. These bags are made with a super durable material so I feel like I can have it under the plane seat and it won’t come up all dusty and dirty. Even if it does, I can just wipe it down and it’s good to go. The main reason I liked these bags is because of the zippers, they open up the entire main compartment so it’s easy to find your items instead of digging in your bag looking around for your charger. To top it off, there is a large handle on top of the bag that makes it easier to grab and go when rushing to get off the plane. This is my favorite personal item to date.
Reusable Water Bottle
Save the environment and save money at the same time! I love bringing a reusable water bottle with me when I travel, especially this one. The handle makes it easy to carry around and it keeps my drinks cold much longer than plastic bottles would.
Hangable Toiletries Bag
Seems like a pretty basic item, it’s a toiletry bag… BUT having one that can hang off the bathroom door or towel rack instead of crowding a smaller bathroom vanity has been super helpful.
Noise Cancelling Headphones
My Bose headphones are my all time favorite! I have yet to find another pair with the sound quality that the Quiet Comfort’s have to offer. I love my Apple airpods because of how compact they are but they still let in a good amount of background noise. The Quiet Comforts have been a lifesaver on long flights with noisy neighbors and have also been a huge help for falling asleep on planes. Not all noise cancelling headphones are created equally..
I was against the packing cube life for so long, and to be honest sometimes I am too lazy to use them especially if I am packing at the last minute. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how much more organized I was when arriving. I wasn’t digging for my socks or shorts. I also felt the cubes compressed my clothes a bit and saved me some precious real estate in my suitcase.
So there you have it! My go to travel gear that I bring with me no matter what. What’s in your travel bag? I’d love to know what gear you use to capture your adventures in the comments below!