This is an ongoing list of the essential travel gear I use. As I discover new, must-have things, I’ll add them to it. You’ll notice the list is pretty short… I travel light.
My Bag: I actually have the Peat Brown version.
Marmot Trail Wind Hoody – Men’s Cobalt Blue
This is my go-to jacket. It was my best friend during the rain seasons in Thailand. The hood really covers you up nicely, super waterproof/windproof. The best part, it weighs almost nothing. When I wad it up in my bag it takes up about as much space as a tennis ball, and never wrinkles. It’s also nice for cool evenings on the beach.
I have two of these – one in dark green, one in blue. Neither of those is carried anymore, it looks like. But it’s available in other colors. Super lightweight, actually looks cool, big zipped chest pocket and dries quickly when it gets wet.
Welcome to the best underwear ever invented. Literally, I have 2 pairs and a perfect system. I alternate every day which ones I wear and wash the worn pair in the bathroom sink. Lightweight, super comfortable, fast drying. ExOfficio is pretty awesome.
These are my go-to T-shirts at home and while traveling. Soft, well-priced, and look good. I brought three white ones with me. I ended up ditching one of them just because I felt like two was enough and was lightening my load. I brought the white ones, they are both accumulating stains as I go which I actually kind of enjoy. Each stain is a little story on my journey.
I love this towel. I use it all the time: it’s small enough that I can just put it in my pocket when I am going through a city for the day and use it as a sweat rag. Great for the beach also. I think it’s the same technology as ShamWow, not really sure. But it dries within a few hours.
Sunglasses are a must have when traveling. Obviously you don’t want the same ones as me, so don’t get these. I love them, though.
I have been THRILLED with the MacBook Air. It is so tiny. I put it in the case below and it slides in the daypack section of my pack perfectly. I’ve already put a beating on it and it’s holding up perfectly. Super fast. When I am going to a new city I’ll keep the hotel page up and when I get a taxi driver who doesn’t know where to go, I’ll just pull it out and show him the address. It boots up in like 2 seconds. One negative “maybe” is that it doesn’t have an ethernet slot, which kept me offline one night when the hotel I was in only had LAN. Not a big deal. 99% of places that have internet have WiFi.
My Digital Camera:
This takes awesome pictures. I don’t take as many pictures as I’d like, of course. And maybe I could just use my iPhone. But I prefer to have a separate camera for when I am planning on taking pictures. I had one of these for about a year and then lost it, so I replaced it with the same model because I liked it so much. The case/card are necessary accessories.
I also brought an iPhone 4S with me. It’s awesome; I’ve turned off the cell phone plan and just use it with WiFi in hotels/restaurants/etc. – or if no WiFi, I have Spotify with a lot of available offline songs, and angry birds.
Mueller Athletic Tape -One Roll , White: I’m glad I brought it. Good for those tricky little cuts that always happen, especially when drinking.
All-in-One Travel Power Plug Adapter for US, UK, EU, A: This depends where you’re traveling from and to. Having all US stuff and being out of the US, it’s a requirement. I use it every single day, all day.
Kiva Key Chain Duffel: I haven’t used this yet, but I’m always glad I have it. Takes up no space and can turn into a nice extra bag if I start acquiring souvenirs.
MAGLITE K3A106 AAA Solitaire Flashlight, Silver: Power outages are common in less developed countries. This flashlight has been perfect. Tiny but puts out a pretty impressive light. I keep this neatly in the knife case (see below).
Revolutionary, Patented SLEEP MASTER Sleep MaskREQUIRED. I’ve slept in tons of different rooms, some are dark and quiet, a lot aren’t. Lock the doors, put the blinders on and the ear plugs in and sleep away! You’ll be pissed if you don’t bring them.
Wordlock CL-422-BK 4-Dial 6-Feet Cable Lock, Black I use this to secure my bag to just about anything. Depending on where I am staying, in guest houses and hostels and such I always lock my bag anytime I leave the room. The word lock is an awesome feature. Use in conjunction with below.
Lewis N. Clark Tsa Lockdown Triple Security Cable Lock This works great. The Osprey pack has lockable zippers on the main bag. So I run the long part through there and then lock the other end to the daypack zipper – keeps everything locked up. Then I use the word lock to secure it to something immovable like a bed or desk. I’ve had ZERO problems with theft/loss since leaving.
Kershaw Leek Knife with Sandvik 14C28N Stainless-Steel/CPM-D2 Composite two-tone Stainless-Steel Blade: Love this knife, but beware it’s sharp (so bring athletic tape). If you’re traveling, bring a knife. I randomly use it a lot in ways I never could’ve planned, most recently as a can opener. I don’t have any deluded notions of using it for self-defense or anything and don’t carry it in bars or anything; it stays in my pack most of the time.
After months of traveling, the items above are the things I’ve used, loved, needed, relied on, and continue to carry around every single day.It’s worth mentioning what I DIDNT put on this list. I bought several things that I ended up not needing or using or products that sucked and I’ve abandoned them. Those are a water filter system, two pairs of shoes, several pairs of “extra clothes”, and various other things.
And I would be remiss not to mention one of my favorite books of all time. This is the book that inspired me to get out and travel, and one of the few books I brought with me on my world travel tour. I’ve read it probably a dozen times now. If you’re thinking about traveling, or about to start, BUY IT!