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
The two large wheels on this bag make it sturdy enough for uneven pavement and even “off-roading” to your hotel!
Organize your suitcase with these portable “drawers”–separate tops, bottoms, undergarments & more. Don’t make your luggage contents a guessing game!
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.
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.
Cameras, Electronics & Accessories
Once you have an all-in-one adaptor, you never have to worry about which adaptor to bring with you!
This revved up point-and-shoot has a powerful 20x zoom but is still light enough for Lauren to carry in her purse!
With a 16x zoom, this is a lighter version of the FZ2500 and still a damn fine camera at a good price.
Boost your iPhone’s photo range with this clip-on accessory that offers wide-angle, fisheye, and macro lenses. Makes getting wider angle group selfies possible!
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!
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
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.
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!
BJ’s preferred full-sized tripod is MeFOTO’s carbon fiber classic–lightweight & a great value.
BJ has upgraded to one of the lightest, most powerful laptop options on the market & hasn’t looked back!
This water-resistant sunscreen does not BUDGE, and more importantly, it’s mineral-based formula is safer for you AND the environment.
Devita’s smooth formula doesn’t leave a white mask on your face and is friendlier to your skin than chemical-based sunscreens.
This nourishing formula moisturizes and protects you from the sun, without leaving a white film behind!
This is a more budget-minded mineral sunscreen appropriate for places for day-to-day travels. Not reef safe.
Clothing & Shoes
These Eddie Bauer downlight jackets somehow always provide the perfect amount of insulation without being too warm.
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.
Odor-resistant, made in the USA, and unconditionally guaranteed for life (!!!) What more could you hope for in socks?
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!!
Lauren broke these in hiking to see mountain gorillas in the Impenetrable Forest in Uganda & now she’s a convert!
Lauren is partial to the KEEN Venice H2 model, but all KEENS are sent from heaven—they are a staple!
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.
Odds & Ends!
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).
These Howard Leight 33db earplugs (also sold at Walgreen’s, CVS, and other drugstores) can make the difference between sleepless nights and restful slumber!
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.
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.
We both independently settled on this make & model for our time in the Galapagos & the Yucatan, unbeknownst to each other!
BJ loves & highly recommends the full face mask style of snorkel, especially for those new to snorkeling.
We’ve found that Agoda, part of the Booking.com family, is the VERY best way to book hotels in Asia. Plus you can accumulate points you can redeem for big discounts!
Outside of Asia, we still prefer Booking.com for our hotel-finding needs. The cancellation policies can be quite generous!
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.
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!
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.
For those of us who have yet to precisely master the metric system (thanks, Amerca!), this handy app is a lifesaver.
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 Zappos.com and their easy return policy, so we can try on different sizes & styles. For camera gear, you can also consider BHPhotoVideo.com.