Because I love packing lists and seeing what others own and use (I’m just nosy), I thought I’d share my own favorite things. Here’s a long list of all of the various items that I use regularly or use for particular reasons- ease when traveling or best value. Take a look!
You can also see my packing lists or gear guides for different places or events to see more specifically what I take with me and get inspiration for yourself.
I love this camera. It’s my go-to when I grab a camera for travel or every day. It’s great quality and in the mid-range for price of similar cameras. I own a few lenses to go along with it and I don’t see myself upgrading any time soon.
When I want a camera to fit in my pocket, or to shoot a video without breaking my arm, this is my choice. Steve uses this a lot for filming in the gym and I use it for most of my videos. It’s great quality, especially for its size, and it’s light and easy to use.
This is essential for when I’m out and about and either need something hands-free or waterproof. I’ve taken this diving, hiking, zip-lining… there’s many possibilities. With all of the attachments it’s invaluable when you want to capture an adventure.
I love this little tripod for either of my cameras. It’s sturdy enough to hold up my DSLR and the tripod is small enough that it fits well in my backpack and doesn’t weigh me down. Great for capturing film or photos of myself on the go.
I find these memory cards of good value. I never have any issues with them as far as performance and I have many of them for various cameras.
This is an easy to use tripod that I mostly take with me locally or use at home. It does the job and is great when I want to detach my camera quickly- with the easy release head. I love using it for time-lapses or long exposures.
I love this lens because of the amazing quality (much better than the kit lens, and is perfect for almost any circumstance.
I love this lens for travel and outdoor photography. It has a great zoom range and takes sharp photos easily. Make sure you have a good tripod or a steady hand when fully zoomed in as there’s no image stabilization.
This is the kit lens that came with my camera. It’s a great lens to start with and usually what I use for inside photos. It has image stabilization and is easy to use.
This is a duffel I use on weekend trips. It’s a good size for a weekend or even shorter trips. It matches my backpack so it’s a no-brainer that I like it.
This is both my daily backpack and the one I use while traveling. I used to carry larger backpacks as a carry-on but I tended to fill it up with things I didn’t really need, making it crazy heavy. This small backpack fits everything I need without tempting me with too much space. Plus the quality of Herschel bags is great.
This duffel made it all over Europe, Australia, Africa, and up Kilimanjaro with me. It’s very sturdy even with being thrown around underneath many planes. It’s spacious and holds plenty. I would definitely recommend this to travelers and hikers.
This is great for organizing toiletries. I especially like this for staying in Hostels because you often have very little room and need to lug your things to and from the bathroom. This keeps me organized and with the inside hook, I can attach this to a wall or door and have access to everything.
These are helpful, especially when using backpacks, as they organize clothes and keep things separated. They don’t do much for helping to give you extra space but they’re helpful for long term travel and staying organized.
I love this pack for longer hikes or long-term travel. It fits plenty and is easy to carry. It fits my body really well and definitely lightens the load on my back.
Again, this went with me up Kili. I loved how lightweight it was and how I often felt nothing on my back. It held my water pouch, my camera, and a few other essentials for the day. I like to use this on short hikes for being so lightweight.
I loved these boots. They also pushed me to the summit of Kilimanjaro and while I didn’t break them in enough, I didn’t have any blisters luckily. I will be using them a lot more.
This backpack accompanied me up Kilimanjaro. It kept me warm, was able to squish down very small into my duffel bag, and was light to carry.
I use this hard drive for storing pictures and other files that don’t need to be on my laptop daily. It’s great for the large RAW photos I take and it keeps my computer less crowded. I travel with this and it’s been a lifesaver for file storage.
When I’m home, this is where I do my work. I love the bigger screen and the extra power it has. I especially like using this for video editing and production. Definitely a splurge but if you’re using the computer a lot it’s worth it.
This is where I do my day-to-day work. I travel with this and would definitely recommend this to anyone. It’s very light but has a good amount of storage. For me, this is the perfect laptop.
I use this hard drive as a clone of my laptop hard drive. I once lost everything on my computer, and I will not do that again. I keep this hard drive at home and regularly back it up, just as a precaution.
I often use this when working on my laptop but have a lot of typing to do. This lets me look at a screen at eye level but have a keyboard on my lap. Definitely a bit frivolous but saves me some pain.
This is a lifesaver for video editing, whether it’s on my laptop or desktop. This mouse makes it much easier and faster.
No bookish trip is complete without a book. And as much as I love a real book, I don’t love lugging around multiple heavy books. The Kindle Paperwhite is the perfect solution as its tiny, easier on the eyes than other types of screens, and can hold any book you may want.
To go with the Paperwhite, Kindle Unlimited allows you to get unlimited reading on over 4 million digital titles, unlimited listening to thousands of audiobooks, and unlimited magazines.
If you do like bringing a physical book, you might want to read on the plane, train, bus, or in a hostel or hotel room with your companions. To get in some much-needed reading time while not disturbing others, bringing along a small reading light is essential.
How do you show you’re a true book-lover? With a book-styled cover for your passport. You can choose from some actual books, or just a nice design to protect your passport and show off your bookish nature.
If you’re anything like me, you love to keep your books in pristine condition. To help keep your covers from tearing or your pages from bending, a book sleeve can help you keep your books away from other things in your bag or suitcase and can also be used day-to-day to protect your current read.
When traveling, it’s always a good idea to have an extra bag for grocery or souvenir shopping, or as extra luggage when moving from place to place. This library card tote is the perfect addition to fold up into your other bags while having the best bookish design.
Road Trip Essentials
Ah-Mazing. This little guy is a drink holder and snack holder in one. I love using one for road trips because I can put out a few snacks without the worry a plate is going to be flying through the air by a 2-year-old with a fast pitch.
Kids are messy. I swear, they have magic powers that help them create messes with the smallest amount of help. These seat covers help to keep our seats mess-free and make cleanup a whole lot easier.
Even if you’re trying to limit screen time, the time to set those boundaries is not on a long drive. Save yourself some frustration and let your little ones watch a few movies. This iPad mount is amazing because it is adjustable and can basically fit on any car or any device. It’s a must for us on long drives.
Okay… so screens aren’t always the answer. Here are some great options for toys that will keep your kids occupied while not being totally messy.
Your little ones need headphones to fit their little ears. These are some of our favorites. I mean, I can only listen to “Let it Go” so many times…
Remember what I said about screen time? Yeah, sometimes when you’re traveling it’s better to just give in to keep the peace.
On the Go
If you’re looking for an extremely lightweight option This. Is. it. It’s super small and fits almost anywhere. Only drawback (for us at least) is it only fits one kid so we’d have to corral the other somehow.
Here’s our choice for a double stroller for travel. This is so much more lightweight than our daily stroller. I can collapse it and set it up while holding one baby and wrangling a toddler. A must-have for travel.
This is our go-to stroller for day-to-day with two little ones. It’s comfortable for them, easy to use for us (baby can stay right in her car seat), and looks great.
I love this wrap for newborns as it’s customizable and can fit their little frames better. (And it’s great if your babies are still stay under the typical 8 pound weight minimum for other carriers).
We own the Kelty Journey 2.0 carrier but they don’t seem to make it anymore. The carrier pictured above seems to be the closest option to the one we have. We love Kelty as a company because their products are durable and reliable. I wish you guys could buy the one we have because it’s comfortable for adults to wear and for kids to ride in. It fits a ton of stuff which is great for longer hikes with multiple kids. But if you do buy the one above I’m sure it will be just as great as ours.
I love this carrier for everyday wear. I use this while out on walks, hiking, or just around the house when Amelia gets fussy.
Kid’s Food Needs
This is essential both for travel and just for day-to-day. We bring bottles or sippies in here and they stay cold for hours. They have a couple of different pattern options so you can find one that fits your tastes.
I always have snacks with me for Andrew. He’s a little bit of a picky eater so we never know if we can find something for him on the menu when we’re out. I bring along blueberries, crackers, cheese, bananas, whatever and store when in these dishes to keep them nice and organized.
This goes everywhere with us. I set it up in our hotel bathroom and it’s the perfect size for a few bottles or sippy cups. I love that it’s a specified place for our cups so we don’t have to just dry them on a bathroom towel. It fits well in our luggage and is a great addition for when you’re constantly doing bottle dishes.
If your kid is like ours then they make a mess everywhere they go. This placemat helps with some of the cleanup. It’s small, easy to carry around, and quick to clean up.
We love to bring our own silverware because depending on where we are we either don’t have access to silverware, or it isn’t really kid-friendly. To get around that we just use our own. It’s also great for camping or outdoor adventures we might find ourselves on.
We love this high chair. It’s great for using in hotel rooms when Andrew just won’t sit still to eat, or as a small chair for him to play or watch tv. We can just stick it in our car and we’re good to go.
These take a bit of getting used to but I think they’re a great alternative to toothpaste. They won’t explode or leak, they have no limit when taken on planes, and I think they work better than toothpaste as far as cleaning and whitening. They have some great flavors to choose from besides mint or cinnamon.
I love this for the same reason as the shampoo. I love how it smells and how soft it makes my hair. The only issue is that it doesn’t detangle as well as liquid conditioners. With my very long hair that was annoying, but not unmanageable.
This is my favorite shampoo to travel with. It’s great to move around with as it won’t leak, it can be taken on planes (without a limit) and lasts a long time. I’ve used one bar for over a month which is much longer than an equivalent size liquid shampoo.
As both a parent and frequent traveler, I find it hard to get to the gym. Some times I just don’t have time to lug everyone there (and watch them while I try to workout), or I don’t have access to a gym while traveling. That’s why I like the Sweat App. I can find workouts that I can do at home, in a hotel room, or in the gym when I can make it there.
This app is amazing. It has everything from guided meditation, to stories to help you fall asleep, to music, to breathing exercises. There is a free or paid option and while the premium version has a lot more to offer, you can get so much out of it for free if you need a little help with the stress of travel or your everyday life.
I am horrible at taking my vitamins especially when traveling. Who wants to lug around a bunch of vitamin bottles in their already cramped suitcase. These vitamin packs are a great alternative to help you get in your supplements. Just throw in enough packs for the days you’re gone and you’re good to go. **P.S. If you use my link you get $40 off your first month.
Here’s another great option if you need something easier to carry than a pack n’ play, but your little one still needs to be contained.
Dock a Tot’s are great for little ones. They’re perfect for a safe and comfortable place for your newborns to sleep without having to lug around a pack n’ play.
If you have kids (or not yet) you probably already guessed you’d need a pack n’play. It’ s everyone’s favorite away from home sleep option.