Tried and Personally Tested Travel Gear

Chances are, if you’ve been around this site, you know we pinch pennies anywhere we can.  For our first several years of travel, we often made the mistake of getting the cheapest travel gear possible, for the sake of saving cash.  Well, after just a few short uses, those items often were broken, ripped and falling apart…leaving us to have to go buy the same gear all over again.

After traveling to 41  countries and 100+ cities, we quickly learned that it actually, truly was more ECONOMICAL to buy QUALITY gear once instead of crappy gear constantly!  Everything listed below has been tried, tested and loved by yours truly and you can trust that we did both our research into quality and cost analysis as well as weathered it in all sorts of travel experiences!

Check out our Family Travel Gear Recommendations as well if you plan on traveling with a little one in tow.

If you’d like to go beyond what we personally use, head on over to our full list of Amazon Best Sellers for Travel Gear.



Packing Gear


Osprey Porter Backpack

See what other’s are buying for travel backpacks

Osprey Daylite Pack
(Attaches to the front of the Porter and other Osprey packs)

Check out Amazon’s other Best Selling Casual Day Packs

Packing Cubes

Let’s tell the whole truth here folks.  At first, I thought this concept was stupid.  However, almost exclusively only taking a carry-on backpack, there were far too many trips that I’d get to the destination, dump out the whole pack just to find that one sock at the bottom…then shove it all back in and redo at our next stop. Being the cheap ass that I am, I actually tried doing the packing cube method but with gallon ziplock bags.  Needless to say, it did not bode well and I am now an avid believer in packing cubes!!

See Amazon’s Other Top Packing Organizers 

Packing Laundry Line

As almost exclusive carry-on only packers, on the go and hotel laundry is bound to happen.  We love this line as there is no need for clothes pins or extra needed items.


Refillable Travel Bottles





Nikon D3100 DSLR

See Amazon’s #1 Best Seller for DSLR cameras

Camera Tripod


I thought I could get by without a GoPro but if you do ANY type of adventure travel, it’s a must.  Whether you are SCUBA diving, skiing, paragliding off a mountain, bungee jumping off a bridge or cage diving with great whites (all things we’ve done!) You need the GoPro to document all your bad ass moments.

Find out what are Amazon’s other top selling action cameras

Go Pro Accessories Kit
(If you plan on doing ANY type of action sport, underwater filming, etc, you’ll need the accessories)

Google Fi Phones

Gone are the days of wondering how you are going to make calls while traveling internationally.  No longer do you have to worry about SIM cards that work in one part of the world but not another.   Google Fi is an affordable cheap phone plan with unlimited calls and texts for only $20/month (no contract) in the US and crazy cheap calling rates abroad.  Both international and at home data is also available for only $10 per GB!

Travel Electronics Bag

The following items I keep all together as my “Traveling Electronics Bag.”  I personally just use an old in-flight amenities bag.  It’s small, has little pockets and is perfect for the following gear.  If you don’t have an amenities kit bag lying around, something like this, that has plenty of pockets, nooks and crannies would work well.


Spare DSLR Camera Battery



Earphone Splitters



USB Flash Drive

Travel Power Strip

Portable Power Bank

Universal Power Adapter





Columbia Fleece Jackets
(Mens and Womens)



Merrill’s Moab Waterproof Shoes 

Merrill’s Moab Ventilator


Columbia Cargo and Hiking Pants
(Great for both Men and Women!)


Quick Dry Undergarments




Thermal Wear


Wool Socks

Other Traveling Favorites

Rick Steves

  What can I say? I am a sucker for Rick Steves!!! I love his “Dad humor,” inside tips, and FREE self-guided walking tours.  There was rarely a trip I’d take in Europe without bringing ol’ Rick along for the ride.

See Amazon’s Best Selling European Travel Books and Guides

Bone Neck Pillows

Check out Amazon’s other best rated travel pillows

Microfiber Quick Dry Towel




Favorite Booking Sites

Ok Ok, so this isn’t my favorite gear, but I am a pretty loyal person to brands and companies that work! has far exceeded my needs compared to any other search engine for me

AirB&B has consistently given me amazing value in places that I don’t want a hotel feel.  (Get up to $35 off your first booking with this referral)

TripAdvisor always helps me as another source in comparing reviews to know I am getting a good stay


Baby Travel Gear

Osprey Backpack (Used as a Diaper Bag)


Peruse Amazon’s other top Diaper Bags, Travel Backpacks and Diaper Backpacks

 Tula Baby Carrier


Lotus Travel Baby Crib

See Amazon’s Other Top Selling Travel Baby Beds

Baby Merlin Magic Sleepsuit

Another one of those items that I though was just more “stuff” but FELL IN LOVE WITH! You can read how we got Lil B to sleep anywhere (0-6 month edition) with the help of the Baby Merlin.

Medela Pump In Style Backpack




Table Top Hook High Chair

Pelican Bibs


We LOVE our Sophie the Giraffe and this little one is perfect for traveling
We are from Nebraska afterall! But there are all sorts of other vibrating teethers perfect to throw in the bag as a toy