I’ve been asked by several people about my favorite travel gear – comfortable clothes, bags, electronics, etc. I tend to get caught up in wanting to show pretty pictures and don’t stop to think about all the gear I use to get those shots. So, here it is – my list of essential travel gear. This is not a comprehensive list by any means – just a list of things that make traveling more comfortable and enjoyable.
1. Eye-Fi SD Card
Everyone always wants to know how I get my photos from my DSLR to my phone and up to Instagram so quickly. Many new cameras have a wifi feature built in that allows you to transfer photos directly from camera to phone, but all of the camera systems I have used have been so clunky that I prefer to use an Eye-Fi SD card. With this card, I can either have all photos I take transfer to my phone automatically, or if I have limited space on my phone, I set it to transfer only selected images. To start the transfer, you just connect to the Eye-fi card like you would connect to any Wifi under your phone settings, then open up the Eye-Fi app on your phone and the photos transfer automatically. This way, I can upload photos to Instagram and facebook that were taken on my nice camera while sitting at a cafe enjoying a flat white.
2. Comfortable shoes
When I travel, I like to walk everywhere so I can see everything between here and there. Since a typical day can involved 10+ miles of walking (with at minimum a purse and giant camera strapped around my neck), combined with my sensitive back, I need shoes that support my love for walking. I’d probably wear these even if they hadn’t made a big comeback, but I notice I’m in good company wearing Birkenstocks again! These are the only shoes that I can walk in for 10-15 miles without having any foot or back pain.
I chose the vegan version, but you can find many options for the Gizeb Birkenstock Thong here:
3. Mobile Wifi
After booking a flight and hotel, the next thing on my mind is how I’m going to stay connected while on the road. When traveling internationally, I’ve found that the best solution for me is to rent (or buy) a mobile wifi hotspot device. Most countries I’ve visited have these available for rent (or purchase) and you can usually pick them up and drop them off at the airport, which makes it very convenient. With my mobile wifi, I can map my way around town (google maps even shows you public transportation options with train info even down to which platform you need to catch the train from), yelp a good restaurant, and of course post photos on Instagram!
Many people choose to get a local SIM card, but the disadvantages of this route are that that not all countries let you do this, the SIM card is tied to just one phone, your phone has to be unlocked, and there is no guarantee that it will work once you are there. The mobile wifi device works with any phone and allows you to connect multiple devices to it, but you will only have wifi (not voice) so you would need a Skype type option to make phone calls. So, when planning your next international trip, just google search “mobile wifi” in that country to find the best rental or purchase options.
4. My favorite travel bag/purse
I have taken this Kipling Machida crossbody bag (that I’m wearing in the photo above) on every trip for the past year, and it still surprises me how useful it is with the many pockets and compartments without being overwhelmingly large. I like to pack light for a day of walking around since, as you now know, I like to walk for miles on end and am usually also carting a heavy DSLR. This bag fits my wallet, phone, mobile wifi, water bottle, snacks, hand sanitizer, a couple cosmetics products, note pad, pen, and still has compartments for random things I may collect throughout the day.
5. A good backpack
I’m still searching for the perfect travel backpack (if you know of one, please let me know!), but this High Sierra backpack has many features I love. I always buy 2 liters of water before getting on the plane, and this is one of the only backpacks that can fit the large liter bottles in the side pockets. In the main compartment, I can fit my 15″ Macbook Pro, a DSLR with 2 lenses, an inflatable airplane pillow, and snacks, leaving 2 other compartments for everything else. It has a small zippered compartment where I keep small headphones and ear plugs, and another pocket for my phone charger. My ancient Jansport backpack was more comfortable and durable, which is why I am still looking for that ideal backpack, but for now this one is pretty good. Plus, it comes in so many fun colors and I get many compliments on my gray floral print backpack.
6. DSLR Insert for a Backpack
There are loads of great camera bags and backpacks out there, but I wanted just one backpack that works without carrying a camera, so I decided to get an insert to turn my regular backpack into a camera bag. These inserts come in many sizes, so you can find one that fits best into your bag. This sits in the bottom of the main compartment of my backpack and can hold my DSLR with lens plus one extra lens (and a few smaller accessories). It has a padded top so you can pack other things on top of it.
What travel gear makes traveling more convenient for you?