If you’re looking for tried and true, reliable travel gear, you’ve come to the right place. All of the below are things I have actually used and would absolutely recommend to you.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Luggage & Accessories
- Flying Necessities
- Kids Only
- Hiking Gear
- Winter Hiking Gear
- Camera Gear
- Health & Safety
- Home Care
LUGGAGE & ACCESSORIES
Packing cubes are the, hands down, best way to keep your clothing items contained and organized. Clothes can’t slide around in the suitcase or get wrinkled as the packing cubes keep everything in in place. I also use these to keep each person’s things separate. I like these larger size packing cubes, but they also come in variety packs with other sizes. Bonus – they can be used to keep dirty clothes away from clean clothes within your luggage.
If you’re in the market for durable bag tags, I’ve got the tags for you. I especially love that these tags come in a variety of colors, including bright colors to help you easily identify your luggage at baggage claim. We have one family color and every bag has that color tag on it. Even my 4-year-old can help spot our luggage because of them.
My husband is a rule follower and I’m an over-packer who pushes the limits of the allowed luggage weight. To avoid any stressful moments at the airport, we weigh our luggage before ever leaving the house. This little scale makes that super easy to do. TIP: pack the scale in your luggage and take it with you. When you get ready to fly home, you will want to weigh the luggage again as you may have moved things around between suitcases and/or may have picked up some souvenirs.
If you’re flying to a wine region or might have the urge to bring a bottle of something home with you, these wine sleeves are exactly what you need to protect the bottle and your clothing from any accidents. We’ve used and re-used these a few times and have never had any issues.
This backpack was exactly what I needed – big enough to hold my camera and accessories plus my necessities for the plane. I have filled this baby FULL and still found it to be comfortable to carry. It has a separate pocket for a laptop or iPad to keep the electronics protected from other items.
With all the airplane noise, I prefer the noise-cancelling headphones over other options for flying. Plus, these headphones are way more comfortable on your ears for long durations. These Noise-Cancelling Bose Headphones are a must for me.
We love these water bottles especially for traveling. They are light yet sturdy and can be rolled up to save space. We use these when flying and for the duration of our trip, in an attempt to save some plastic.
Lightweight, easily foldable, yet more sturdy than an umbrella stroller, this is our favorite travel stroller. Unlike many travel strollers, it has a built in sun shade and a storage spot below the seat. It’s so good, we ended up using this at home sometimes instead of our main stroller.
Most likely, if you’re traveling, you’re going to dine out more often than usual. If you’re still in a baby or toddler phase, these table toppers are great for keeping those little hands off the table and keeping your little one’s mess somewhat contained. They stick right to the table, so they don’t budge once you stick them down.
We LOVE hiking and have been bringing our daughter along since she was 2 months old. These are some of my personal top recommended items.
We used a carrier just like this for the first 3 years or so (until Dad said he just couldn’t do it anymore). Perks: cushion on the back for the parent, straps to hold baby in, a built-in sun shade, and it even stands on its own so you can set the baby down and take a break. Our daughter would, without fail, fall asleep in the carrier on every hike. We loved it and I highly recommend it.
I love this CamelBak pack for the CamelBak hydration tank, but still having room to pack other things in the pack, all while still being a fairly compact pack.
KID HIKING SHOES
Even little feet need good traction for a hike. My daughter has loved these KEENs and they have served us well on both summer and winter hikes. I tend to buy hiking shoes for my daughter one size bigger than she normally wears, in an effort to get a little more wear out of them before she grows.
Lightweight is important when hiking and these poles are just that. They come with a variety of different tip attachments so you can pick an appropriate one for the terrain. We don’t always bring hiking poles with us, but we like these for longer hikes.
These hats are the best for blocking the sun and for durability. They have a wide brim and even have neck protection. The brims do not sag or warp. They’re a must for protecting that fair skin.
This little cover for your hiking pack can be huge in keeping your gear dry. Especially when carrying a camera or other electronics, I like packing this cover just in case it decides to rain.
WINTER HIKING GEAR
After doing one winter hike without micro spikes, I swore I would never do that again. Micro spikes are the perfect way to add traction to your normal hiking shoes. We have now decked out the whole family with a pair and immediately went from slipping on packed snow and ice to being able to comfortably walk with no problem. I couldn’t recommend these more for a winter hike. I really struggled finding a pair of mini spikes small enough to fit a child’s foot, but I finally found these and they worked perfectly.
No winter hike prep is complete without stashing a couple pairs of hand warmers in the pack. These hand warmers are perfect – they activate quickly and keep their heat for hours.
About 2 years ago, I upgraded to a Canon 6D Mark II and have never regretted doing so. It is especially great for travel as it can transfer pictures from the camera to your phone using WIFI or Bluetooth, so you can share photos on the go.
For traveling, I prefer to have a zoom lens on my camera. I like having the ability to adjust the focal length depending on the subject and the goal of the photo. I’ve been shooting almost exclusively with this lens for the past year and really enjoy it.
Listen, selfies are great and all, but for awesome trips, you deserve some awesome photos. A tripod is the only way to get awesome pictures of the whole family without involving a stranger who may or may not have any photo taking skills. We’ve been using this tripod for a few years. It’s fairly compact and heavy duty. It’s handled some rough and unstable terrain and has helped us get some of our favorite travel shots of the whole family.
I’m still a newbie drone flyer, but I love the compact size of the DJI Mavic Mini. Even for a newbie, it’s fairly easy to fly. I love the pictures it can get from angles I just cannot personally reach.
CAMERA MEMORY CARD
Memory cards are so darn cheap these days. Don’t be afraid to get large capacity memory cards like these. You can be confident that you’ll have plenty of space to hold all your photos from the trip.
DRONE MEMORY CARD
If you go the drone route, don’t forget that the little aircraft needs a little memory card. This microSD card has perfectly fit my drone needs.
HEALTH & SAFETY
When flying, social distancing just is not possible. To limit some of our exposure, I put filters in our cloth masks when we fly. Filters were initially hard to come by, but now you can find lots of options. These filters have been great for us and fit perfectly into our cloth masks. I was especially happy to find these kid sized filters so I don’t have to cut the filter to make it fit.
Whether it’s an airplane seat, a hotel or an Airbnb, it just feels good to give the whole area a wipe-down for a fresh start, clean feeling. I love these wipes for the small, travel-friendly package size.
Anytime we travel with our daughter, I pack the thermometer. Kids just seem to get little bugs and spike fevers easier than we do and I like to have this little thermometer on hand just in case the need arises.
FACE CREAM CONTAINERS
This is one of my most favorite packing tricks. Are you ready for it?? Use clean contact cases to pack your face creams and lotions. Boom. You’re welcome. The cases close up tight and are leak-proof, plus they’re tiny yet big enough to bring plenty of product with you. Just don’t forget to use a Sharpie to label them.
We replaced our travel toothbrushes this past Christmas and I am so happy we did. These toothbrushes come in a pack of 2, work great and hold their charge for weeks. They also come with their own carrying case to keep your toothbrush clean.
2 Electric Toothbrush, Sonic Power Whitening 40,000 VPM Rechargeable Toothbrushes for Adults & Kids, 5 Modes Cleaning w 8 Brush Heads 2 Travel Cases, Smart Timer Waterproof – 4H USB Charge for 30 Days
I love this multi-pack of travel-size toothpaste. It’s the perfect amount to stock up and have a ready supply of travel toothpaste.
I like these 4-ounce bottles of contact solution, as I find the typical travel size bottles to just be too small. This size is great for not being too big, but also giving you just a little more solution for the trip.
For travel, this is my absolute favorite makeup remover. The packs are smaller so you can avoid carrying more weight than necessary. I’ve linked to a multi-pack so you can stock up.
We’re pretty big music fans and rarely take a trip without taking this little speaker. It packs a big punch for its tiny size. It really is lightweight, weighing in at less than a pound.
If it’s only a quick trip, you may choose to leave pet cats at home rather than being boarded. These automatic food and water dispensers are key for keeping your cat cared for while you’re gone. They work so well for us that we use them on a full-time basis, whether we’re traveling or not.
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