Gear We Love

We have lived out of our suitcases year-round since January 2013, so finding the BEST gear to travel with is important. It’s taken a bit of trial & error over the years, but we have found some gems! If you’re looking for some inspiration for short or longterm travels, take a gander below at some items we live with. While it’s certainly not a comprehensive inventory of our luggage, they’re some items we think you may want to consider. We’ll also include our favorite apps and even a few websites that may help you in your journeys.

Luggage & Accessories

Eagle Creek Tarmac 26 Luggage

The two large wheels on this bag make it sturdy enough for uneven pavement and even “off-roading” to your hotel!

Eagle Creek Packing Cubes

Organize your suitcase with these portable “drawers”–separate tops, bottoms, undergarments & more. Don’t make your luggage contents a guessing game!

eBags Professional Weekender Bag

Looks slick, has a compartment for everything + a big “main cabin” for clothing if you are truly using it as a carry-on for weekend trips.

Hikpro Lightweight Daypack

This is an incredibly lightweight, water-resistant extra bag for heading to the coffee shop with your laptop or an overnight trip on a longer vacation.

eBags Pack-It-Flat Toiletry Kit

Provides enough space but still keeps your lotions and potions safe & secure in their own compartments.

Cameras, Electronics & Accessories

Sony RX10 IV

This camera’s 600mm zoom has endeared it to both BJ and Lauren and they’re a two Sony RX10 IV family! 

All-in-One Universal Adaptor (with USB ports)

Once you have an all-in-one adaptor, you never have to worry about which adaptor to bring with you!

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000

With a 16x zoom, this is a lighter version of the FZ2500 and still a damn fine camera at a good price.

Smartish iPhone Wallet Case

This iPhone case can easily hold credit cards & business cards, lightening your wallet load.

Fuji XT2 Camera Body

BJ’s camera of choice to capture the world around him!

Fuji 56mm f1.2 Lens

35mm equivalent : 85mm  ||  Max aperture F1.2, Min aperture F16  ||  Focus Range : Normal 0.7m – ∞; Macro 0.7m-3m.  Great for portraits & super low light!

Fuji 10-24mm Lens

Equivalent to 15-36 mm (35mm format) ||   Angle of view: 110° – 61.2°  ||  Minimum working distance of 0.24 m  ||  Built-in Optical Image Stabilisation

Fuji 100-400mm Lens

35mm Format Equivalent : 152-609mm  ||   Weather Resistant

Sony RX100

We’ve both had many incarnations of this camera, and although it’s up to version 3, we think the 3rd incarnation is still pretty great. We both love this little camera.

Noise-Cancelling Earbuds

I’ve been using these from Audio-Technica since 2013, and they are a perfect lightweight, compact companion for air travel, long car rides, or noisy coffeeshops.

External Battery Pack

The best part of this powerful battery pack, perfect for recharging your phone on the go, is that you can recharge the pack itself using your iPhone Lightning cord!

MeFOTO Carbon Fiber Tripod

BJ’s preferred full-sized tripod is MeFOTO’s carbon fiber classic–lightweight & a great value.

13" MacBook Air

The 2019 MacBook Air is ultra-portable, but don’t forget an adaptor for USB devices! Our only complaint is the camera quality in low light. 


Reef-safe Water Resistant Sunscreen

This water-resistant sunscreen does not BUDGE, and more importantly, it’s mineral-based formula is safer for you AND the environment.

Radius Travel Toothbrush

Radius toothbrushes & their replaceable heads are already better for the environment; this travel version becomes its own case!

Banana Boat Mineral-based Sunscreen

This is a more budget-minded mineral sunscreen appropriate for places for day-to-day travels. Not reef safe.

Devita Mineral Sunscreen for Face

Devita’s smooth formula doesn’t leave a white mask on your face and is friendlier to your skin than chemical-based sunscreens.

Natrapel Picaridin Insect Repellant

For everyday use we’ll use a natural essential-oil based product, but for more hardcore environments (safari, jungles, etc), we personally prefer a Picaridin-based formula as opposed to DEET.

Kat Von D Ink Eyeliner

Lauren is actually embarrassed it took her so long to find such a great sweatproof all-day eyeliner. No touch-ups during long days of touring!

Clothing & Shoes

Downlight Jacket

These Eddie Bauer downlight jackets somehow always provide the perfect amount of insulation without being too warm.

Lightweight Merino Wool Shirts

Lightweight merino wool is not only cool to wear in hot climates, but more important, it stays smelling fresh forever! And they’ve gotten much more stylish over the years! Icebreaker, Smartwool & Arc’teryx are our favorite brands.

"Darn Tough" Wool Socks

Odor-resistant, made in the USA, and unconditionally guaranteed for life (!!!) What more could you hope for in socks?

Icebreaker Merino Women's Siren Bra

If wool clothing is moisture wicking and anti-odor, merino wool undergarments are even MORE so! A wool bra is crucial for sweaty days, counterintuitively enough. TMI, but y’all need to know this!!

Longsleeved Rash Guard

Longsleeved rashguards provide phenomenal sun protection that is safe for you and the environment. Lauren likes Carve Designs, but there’s a ton of great ones out there.

Vibram FiveFingers Women's Trek Ascent Shoes

Lauren broke these in hiking to see mountain gorillas in the Impenetrable Forest in Uganda & now she’s a convert!

KEEN Sandals

Lauren is partial to the KEEN Venice H2 model, but all KEENS are sent from heaven—they are a staple!

Havaianas Flip Flops

For years these were the ONLY shoes Lauren wore on the road. While she now opts for more support on longer walking days, these classics are still in heavy rotation.

Adidas Men's Terrex Swift R GTX

BJ’s go to shoes–extremely supportive (even better than Salomons!)

Spenco Kholo Slide Sandals

BJ’s sandals that are not only supportive but are almost literally indestructible!

Columbia Minx Slip iii

These boots are made for WARMIN’! At just 11 oz per boot, these are made for travel in cold, icy, wet climates! Honestly, they’re sometimes TOO warm for me!

Odds & Ends!

Manta Sleep Mask

BJ is in love with these–they block out the most light & are the most comfortable he’s ever tried (and he’s tried a LOT).

Cressi Mask & Snorkel Set

We both independently settled on this make & model for our time in the Galapagos & the Yucatan, unbeknownst to each other!

Howard Leight Ear Plugs

These Howard Leight 33db earplugs (also sold at Walgreen’s, CVS, and other drugstores) can make the difference between sleepless nights and restful slumber!

Deep Blue Gear Swim Fins

If you are determined to bring your own fins on a snorkel vacation, these are as lightweight as they are powerful!

Travel-sized Pillowcase

Want a travel pillow but can’t justify carrying another object? Just stuff your jacket (or extra clothing) into a travel-sized pillowcase & you have a readymade pillow.

Full Face Snorkel Mask

BJ loves & highly recommends the full face mask style of snorkel, especially for those new to snorkeling.

Exercise Bands

Although we don’t use them as often as we should *ahem*, it’s nice to know you have the option of working out on the fly.

Govino Wine Glasses

Yes, we travel with two of these flexible, shatterproof wineglasses—fancy up any cheap hotel room on the double! ;)

Electronic Resources

We’ve found that Agoda, part of the family, is the VERY best way to book hotels in Asia. Plus you can accumulate points you can redeem for big discounts!


This photo editing app has become a necessity for editing photos on the go. I only wish there were a desktop version! Visit your app store to download.

Outside of Asia, we still prefer for our hotel-finding needs. The cancellation policies can be quite generous!


Both users must have WhatsApp installed and be connected to the internet (wifi or SIM card), but then it’s all the free messages, calls, and even video chats you care to make—even internationally!


The first time we used Airbnb was in Ireland & we’ve never looked back. If you use this link to sign up to Airbnb (must be a new customer), you’ll get $40 in travel credit when you sign up!

Google Translate

Indispensable! Although you do need an internet connection for it to work, you can download certain languages for offline use. Or, take screenshots of certain phrases when you do have wifi.


Using Uber abroad closes the language gap & eliminates haggling. Use this link to sign up for Uber & get your first ride free or discounted (value amounts vary by location).

Units Plus Converter

For those of us who have yet to precisely master the metric system (thanks, Amerca!), this handy app is a lifesaver.


This currency conversion app is a must-have when traveling abroad. It doesn’t have to be online to work, it just pulls the conversion rate data from the last time you were online.


We use WhatsApp when we can, but sometimes you just need to call a landline or cell (your bank, a local hotel, a WhatsApp-less friend, etc) and in these situations, Skype fits the bill.
Disclosure: Most of the links above are affiliate links, and if you make a purchase through those links, we earn a small commission from at no extra cost to you. We take your trust very seriously and would never link to a product that we do not personally endorse! The small commission affords us the time to carefully create resource pages like this.

For clothing & shoes, we like to use and their easy return policy, so we can try on different sizes & styles. For camera gear, you can also consider