Packing Essentials for International Travelers

Updated:

Packing Essentials for International Travelers – Traveling is all about fun and discovering new destinations.

However, this can be stressful for many of us to pack bags before a new journey.

Whether you leave for a short vacation or for a long-term journey, there’s always going to be an oversight.

You’ll inevitably leave toothbrush or your second pair of sneakers.

Of course, you can always pick up menial things that you left at home.

But it’s better to bring the essentials with you.

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Packing Essentials for International Travelers

Take a look at the following checklist of packing essentials.

We hope it will come in handy to you while planning for your next trip.
Packing Essentials for International Travelers

Crossbody Purse

When you leave for a trip, you need to keep your ID and money always close.

It’s uncomfortable to carry such essentials in a large bag.

Additionally, while searching for everything in your luggage you risk to lose something important.

In order to avoid this, you’d better put your personal ID, driver’s license, money, credit cards, and other essentials into a crossbody purse.

It’s very comfortable, lightweight, and keeps all your essentials always handy during your vacation.
Crossbody Purse for international travel

Global SIM Card

No matter what destination you are heading, it’s essential to never lose connection with your family, friends, colleagues, etc. Roaming charges are too expensive.

Your balance can run low all of a sudden and leave you helpless in a foreign country.

Using free WiFi hotspots in the airport or hotels can be insecure and set your device at the risk of being hacked.

In order to keep your data protected and never go offline on a trip, it’s recommended to take care of connectivity in advance and install a Global SIM card in your smartphone or tablet.

With its help, you’ll be provided with high-speed 4G connectivity in 120+ countries worldwide, delivered by 200+ local carriers.

ASWETRAVEL KEEPGO offer: Earn 300MB free for every AsWeTravel.com customer. Internet in 100+ countries. Multiple operators per country. Data SIM card, WiFi Hotspot, Smartwatch SIM. Keepgo

Global SIM Card from Keepgo
Global SIM Card from Keepgo

Pocket WiFi

If you do not travel alone and need to share Internet access with your family and friends, then you need to carry a portable WiFi hotspot with you.

With its help, you can easily create a secure WiFi network of your own and connect up to 16 devices to it.

A portable WiFi hotspot delivers fully protected connectivity without any unexpected roaming charges or hidden fees.

It provides you with global coverage in 110 most traveled countries, delivering flexible refill and auto-refill options.

ASWETRAVEL KEEPGO offer: Earn 300MB free for every AsWeTravel.com customer. Internet in 100+ countries. Multiple operators per country. Data SIM card, WiFi Hotspot, Smartwatch SIM. Keepgo

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Wifi hotspot keepgo
Wifi hotspot keepgo

Power Bank

While you are on a trip, you are likely to be using your smartphone more often than while staying at home.

When you are on vacation, you access the Internet from your handheld device to look up directions to popular destinations, pull up boarding passes, talk to your family and friends, etc.

All this taken together leads to more battery power consumption.

Plus, when you are abroad, the unlimited access to power outlets is not guaranteed.

In order to keep your smartphone battery full, make sure that you carry a charged power bank with you.

On a single charge, it can charge your phone several times while you are on the go.
Power Bank

Waterproof Phone Cases

We never go outside without a smartphone.

So, it often becomes susceptible to rain, splashes by the pool, water gun fights, and a range of other situations.

No matter what happens, you need to keep your smartphone dry and protected from water and dust.

This can be achieved by means of waterproof phone cases that travelers need to include in their checklists.
Waterproof Phone Cases for your smartphone

Universal Power Adapters for international travel

Save on space in your bag while using a universal adapter that can keep you covered in a number of popular destinations worldwide.

Instead of carrying different travel adapters for different countries, a universal travel adapter features extra USB ports that let you charge phones, cameras, and laptops from the same plug.
Universal Power Adapters for international travel

Phone Tripod

It’s a common thing for travelers to take a number of shots using their smartphones instead of digital cameras.

If you also enjoy taking photos with your smartphone, then a convenient phone tripod will help you get your ideal shots.

There is no need to keep it in your hands to make a perfect still shot.

Thanks to the Bluetooth connection, it allows you to take pictures remotely when you are in the middle of nowhere.
Tripod for phone

Rain Cover for Your Pack

A rain cover is an essential travel accessory that will help you keep all your belongings dry even when you are climbing a mountain path.

Sometimes bags are placed atop buses while traveling around the world.

Rain covers are made of waterproof materials that fit around your pack to keep it always dry and clean.
Rain Cover for Your Pack

Neck Pillow

It’s important to have enough sleep when you are on a long bus, train or plane journey.

Using a neck pillow can reduce back pain when you sleep in a bus chair.

A neck pillow provides extra comfort to your travels.

It keeps your neck in the right position, preventing you from suffering from neck, shoulder, and back injuries when you wake up.

In most airplanes and trains you cannot even recline your seat for sleep.

By means of a neck pillow, you can hold your head in the upright position, thus providing the necessary support for your head.

Plus, a neck pillow is a better alternative than simply sleeping on a wrapped sweater or your back.
Neck Pillow for travel

Luggage and Travel Locks

When you are on a trip, you want to make certain that all your belongings are safe.

One of the best ways to protect your luggage is to use travel locks.

However, your bags aren’t the only reason to carry a few locks with you when you are on a vacation.

There are plenty of occasions when you need to lock your bags when you are on a vacation.

There are special accommodations around the world that provide lockers to keep your luggage safe.

However, it’s better not to rely on your fortune and carry your own locks with you.

Not all hotel rooms feature safes for your documents and other valuables.

So, keeping them protected with a lock in one of your bags will lessen the risk of a robbery in your hotel room.
luggage and travel locks

Luggage Scale

It’s essential to carry a luggage scale with you on a trip.

With the help of this little item, you can adjust your luggage accordingly to comply with the airline weight limits.

There are plenty of other ways to us luggage scale when you are on your vacation.

It will help you estimate laundry cost for those places where you are charged for kilos.
Luggage Scale
Jetty Sun Hat from Tenth Street Hats

It’s rare to come across a hat that is as functional as it is stylish, but the Jetty Hat from Tenth Street Hats ticks off all of the boxes.

This hat is from their Sun Protection Hats collection and is made out of sturdy nylon and has a generous brim that will keep your head safe from the elements and also keep the sun out of your eyes.

Even though it provides excellent coverage, it still allows you to be able to see without any kind of hindrance.

It also comes with a CoolMax sweatband that keeps you cool and fresh throughout the entire day.

The functional aspects of this hat can’t be overstated.

It is light enough to travel with and packs well in just about any bag or suitcase.

That makes it the ideal companion for a day out on the water, or an afternoon spent picnicking with the family.

This hat comes in several different neutral colors so it pairs very well with anything in your closet.

Some hats come in garish colors that clash with all of your clothes, but this one can be worn every day.

This was a huge plus for me because it saved me from having to buy multiple hats and kept me looking totally stylish.

Tenth Street Hats have taken fashionable headwear to the next level.

They offer a plethora of hats for men, women, and children using stylish materials, innovative patterns and functional designs that help you look classic and classy with minimal effort.

Their hats are made in the United States and come with a thirty-day money back guarantee that gives you the flexibility of trying out your hat before committing to it.

The second that I put the Jetty Hat on my head, I was hooked and there was no way that I was returning it.

Travel Essentials Checklist

We all have some travel essentials that we always need to be packed in our luggage.

Cell Phone While Traveling To Asia

Instead of purchasing essentials abroad, it’s better to create a checklist of the must-carry items ahead of time.

Of course, there are plenty of other items that you need to carry with you on your vacation.

Use this list as a foundation for your own and travel the world safely!

Things Not to Forget on Your Next Trip ~ Do These Things Before Traveling

Updated:

Traveling can be a highly emotional time, Things Not to Forget.

And unless you keep a travel checklist, many times you may be trying to remember what to pack, oftentimes at the last minute.

Here are things not to forget on your next trip.

If you are a frequent business traveler, you may be exhausted from traveling, and perhaps aggravated or even bored.

It’s different when you travel for work and not for pleasure.

These emotions can be just as strong as the giddy excitement vacation travelers experience.

Whenever strong emotions are involved, you can make mistakes.

Little things are forgotten, left behind, or remain unattended.

Many a house has been lost because excited travelers forgot to turn off an open flame on the stove top or to unplug small appliances.

But it doesn’t have to be quite as dramatic to put a damper on your vacation, even if it is some place as exotic as Phuket.

Those once in a lifetime vacations are the ones you especially don’t want to ruin because of some little thing you never even thought of until it was too late.

Things Not to Forget on Your Next Trip
Things Not to Forget on Your Next Trip

To ensure that your travels go smoothly, be sure to make a checklist.

This will also help you to pack light.

Do this well in advance when emotions are not so high.

That way when emotions are at their most volatile, you will have a note from the steadier version of yourself to get you through the packing.

Things Not to Forget When Traveling Checklist

Mail Service

When you are going on a long trip, you always want to have someone you trust to pick up your mail and newspapers so that your mailbox does not overflow.

You also want to ensure thieves don’t have an easy and visible indicator that you are away.

Another reason you need to tend to the mail is that life does not stop just because you are away.

There might be important business to tend to and sensitive information that can fall into the wrong hands.

But not everyone has trustworthy neighbors or anyone to ask to help while they’re away.

Halting your mail is not a good solution when there are actionable items that can’t wait for you to get home.

What you need are digital mailbox services that can handle your mail for you while you are away.

These services include a real street address where you can forward your mail and packages.

They will scan your unopened mail and notify you of what you have received.

From there, you can have them open your mail and scan it so that you can read it when you have time.

They can securely shred it, and even deposit checks for you.

A digital mail service provider is like having a good friend take care of your mail for you while you are away, only more reliable and useful.

Local Sim Cards for your Cell Phone

Right now, you have a great smartphone plan for your family’s multiple iPhones from Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, or Sprint.

You might even have some add-ons like options for plenty of high-speed tethering.

All of that goes away the moment you leave the country.

If you don’t take care of that before you leave, you will return to a bill worth thousands.

The solution is to acquire a local SIM.

The downside is that you will have to use a different phone number.

But that can be solved by giving your contacts your Google Voice number which is free.

It is not always easy to find a SIM provider depending on where you are going.

Keep a sharp eye out for vending machines that sell something other than sugar water.

Rather than scurrying from place to place to find a provider, cover that detail in advance.

Have them mail you your SIM before you leave if at all possible.

This slight inconvenience can save you thousands.

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Things Not to Forget on Your Next Trip
Bring wipes or hand sanitizer on your trip

VPN for Privacy and Security

You will never forget your trip to China.

Just remember that you will be behind two great walls.

There is the one that can be seen from space, and the one that blocks you from your favorite content on the Internet.

You’ll want to do some research to learn the policies of the place where you are going.

The best way to ensure access to the Internet you are used to is to secure a VPN service before leaving home.

While some VPNs are free, the best ones cost a little money.

What you get in exchange is the ability to access the entire Internet rather than the subset permitted to the locals.

You will also have a private and secure connection to the Internet so that you will be free from snooping and worse.

What to remember before your trip

For a great vacation, don’t forget the little things.

Those little things include, but are not limited to, mailbox services, a local SIM, and a good VPN.

When you can plan ahead on some of things which take advantage of the technologies available today, you will be prepared, no matter where you go and how long you will be away.

Skyroam Wifi Anywhere

Round The World Packing List

Our Round The World Packing List – There comes a time when you need to take a look at your current travel gear, throw away the stuff you don’t need or use anymore, and swap it for something new and fresh.

Now that we are on our way to travel around South East Asia again (we will be in THAILAND) we feel it’s a good time to remix our gear list and upgrade everything.

We have spent the last year traveling around Europe – so now it’s time to ditch the warm jackets, jeans and thick shirts.

Also from now on we’re traveling a little differently:

We will be taking with us more high-tech gear like the Canon 550D DSLR Camera, a Tripod, Wireless Microphones and a Macbook Pro laptop.

All to be used for our up-coming online weekly Travel (TV) Show, as we travel around exploring Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia for the next 4 months.

We will still be using 40 Liter backpacks, although we threw out the old ones and got ourselves two matching new backpacks.

Checkout our Round The World Travel Guide and you can buy it here

Round The World Packing List
Round The World Packing List

Sofia’s Packing List

Clothes:

– 2 t-shirts
– 3 Sleeveless tops
– 2 Bikinis and 3 Bras
– 2 Pairs of socks
– 3 Pairs of panties
– 1 Button up shirt
– 1 Dress
– 1 Pair of leggings
– 1 Skirt
– 1 Pair of shorts
– 1 Pair of Loose Workout Pants
– 1 PolyPro top

Gear:

– Lundhags Dovre 40L
– Sea To Summit – Pocket-size Foldable Daypack
– 1 Silk sheet
– 1 Travel towel

Toiletries:

– Lush Solid Shampoo & Bodywash bars
– Deodorant
– Face Wash and Makeup
– Tangle tweezer hairbrush
Allergies While Traveling Abroad

Accessories:

– Earrings and Sunglasses

Shoes:

– Merrell Continuum Shoes
– Havaianas sandals

Round The World Packing List

Nathan’s Packing List

Clothes:

– 3 t-shirts
– 3 long-sleeve shirts
– 1 pair of shorts
– 1 pair of boardshorts
– 3 Pairs of underpants
– 1 Thin jacket
– 3 pairs of socks

Gear:

– 1 Silk sheet
– Lundhags Dovre 40L
– 1 Travel towel

Toiletries:

– Toothbrush
– First Aid Kit
– Deodorant

Accessories:

– Sunglasses
– Cap

Shoes:

– 1 pair of Columbia Cruzado shoes

Shared Tech:

– 13.3″ Macbook Pro with case
– Mono Tripod
– 11.6″ Asus Eee Pc laptop
– Zoom H2 Microphone
– 2 Audio-Technica Omnidirectional Lavalier Mics
– iPod Shuffle
– iPod Touch
– 2000GB External Memory
– Canon D-SLR 550D
– Kodak Zi8 Video Camera
– Travel Power Adaptor

Personally I think it seems like a lot of stuff once you add it all up, but believe it or not, it all fits into our 40 liter carry-on backpacks, and that’s all we ask for.

Hope this gear list is helpful for you guys as well, remember you don’t need all that extra stuff – keep it simple, keep it light and it will make life so much easier!

That Extra Stuff I Can’t Travel Without

For me, one of the toughest things when backpacking around the world is having to resist the temptation of buying every pretty and new thing I see.

There have been so many things I have wanted to buy, but since I don’t have much space for it in my 40L backpack and honestly the PAIN from having to carry it around outweighs the PLEASURE.

I simply promise that I will return one day and buy it.

When you settle down for a while, you really get used to having an abundance of choice to wear ANY clothes, and as much make up and jewelry as you want.

But when out traveling you are really forced to learn how to live with only a few important things.

I’ve done pretty well I think, but there are still a few things that I simply won’t travel without:

Hair Ties

I always, ALWAYS have a few of these on my wrist, because even if I don’t need one now, I know that at some point during the day it will come in handy.

The worst thing I know is having your hair sticking to your sweaty back…. yuck!

Hair ties are also useful for so many other things, it’s amazing how many things you can tie together to save space and when organizing stuff.

Earrings

I know I don’t need them, but wearing long dangling colorful earrings is my way of making myself feel extra pretty on those ‘bad’ days.

Also they seem to just make any boring old travel outfit that much nicer!

Concealer

Using concealer is pretty much the only make up I wear or take when traveling.

It is great to touch up a few random spots etc.

Gift From Home

For me this is about having that little bit of certainty.

I like having something from home, a letter from a close friend, a special photo, or something I bring with me which I can look at and feel that warmth and safety, remember that there is always a place I can go back to where people miss me, and feels like home.

Good Face Wash Product

Yes, another face product.

But for me the skin is really important, and when traveling you often travel under pressure, stress and in so many different climates.

All of this can cause bad skin, so using a good face wash/soap is a must for me.

It’s better to prevent than treat.

Tester Sized Perfume

I don’t use perfume very often when traveling, but I like to have it there in case.

Have you ever sniffed that ugly smell only to realize it’s your own shirt that smells?

That’s what this is for – a quick spray and the shirt is like new again…! 😉

This round the world gear list will see you through for months.

Depending on the climate, you can find in-season clothing and gear at secondhand shops once at your destination.

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Preparing for a Cruise – The Technophile’s Checklist

When Preparing for a Cruise, there are several elements that go into successfully planning a vacation, and it can seem like there are countless considerations along the way.

You must decide on the perfect destination, time and length of the trip, as well as each individual activity on you vacation.

Additionally, you you must plan for transportation to get there and secure the necessary accommodations upon arrival.

On the other hand, you could choose a cruise and knock and all of these aspects in one go.

Preparing for a Cruise - The Technophile’s Checklist
Preparing for a Cruise – The Technophile’s Checklist

If you do choose to go the cruise route, the majority of your preparation may come down to packing.

Especially for technophiles who are not particularly used to leaving the comfort of civilization and high-speed internet connections, this can be a challenging prospect.

Not to worry; this guide has collected all of the major gadgetry that any tech fan should not be without on a cruise.

Preparing for a Cruise – Technophile’s Checklist

The basic necessities should go without saying.

You will need to pack the bathing suit, flip-flops, sunglasses and any items that would be brought on any beach vacation.

The following checklist consists of the gadgets, devices and accessories that would make any tech geek feel at home while on the ship.

Waterproof Smartphone Case

For the majority of modern individuals, our lives are in our smartphones.

Not only are they necessary for most of the basic elements of everyday life and work, they hold personal and vital data, some of which cannot easily be replaced.

Especially if you are on a cruise, the phone itself cannot be replaced; there are not that many Best Buys located in the middle of the ocean, but there is a lot of non-gadget friendly water there.

Unless you plan to pack a bowl of rice and a lot of patience, you would be safer with a waterproof smartphone case.

Many modern devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note8 and the iPhone X have some level of water resistance, but it is better not to take your chances.

Aside from the basic protection they provide, a waterproof case would allow you to take photos underwater without spending more on a waterproof camera.

Wireless Accessories

Depending on your needs and what you plan to do, you may need to pack several wireless accessories.

Wireless earbuds and/or small speakers can be a necessity for lounging around on the ship.

Additionally, a wireless keyboard would be necessary if you hope to write anything but do not want to bring your computer.

A Bluetooth headset may be helpful if you plan on being on the phone a lot.

The one thing to remember with all of these: buy water resistant if possible.

Power Strip

We can get so caught up in purchasing and packing all of the cool, new gadgets that may come in handy that we forget about some basic, simple necessities.

If you are planning to bring multiple items which need to be plugged in– which you probably are– a power strip can be absolutely critical for a successful cruise.

Technophile’s Checklist to Preparing for a Cruise
Technophile’s Checklist to Preparing for a Cruise

Even though the cabins rarely provide enough outlets, some cruise lines do not allow power strips; in this case, a small two- or three- outlet strip with USB outlets should do the trick.

Waterproof Pouches

Going back to the idea of protection, at least one or two waterproof pouches will be definite necessities aboard a cruise ship.

In addition to protection for any digital gear you may bring along, these can also be useful for your cash, passport, wallet and other important items.

Some come with lanyards, giving them the additional benefit of being easy carrying cases.

Selfie Stick

Although they can be annoying in the real world, a selfie stick can be an invaluable tool on a cruise.

You certainly want to take plenty of photos of yourself with your significant other and/or children enjoying the fun and the sun, so bring one of these to avoid repeatedly asking strangers for help.

Essential Gear For Your Adventure Ski Holiday

As many of you probably know we are currently in the Bavarian Alps in southern Germany enjoying a ski season.

Now that spring is approaching, we’ve had some amazing days of sunny warm weather lately, but this also affects the snow and makes it more dangerous if you go skiing off-piste.

Essential Gear For Your Adventure Ski Holiday
Essential Gear For Your Adventure Ski Holiday

Many people who go for ski holidays think it sounds cool to ski off-piste, not realizing the precautions they have to take, and end up getting trapped in avalanches.

If you’ve planned to do some off-piste skiing this spring, take a look at this gear guide to make sure you have everything you need for your trip to the mountains.

We’re going to assume that you’ve already figured out that you need a ski jacket and pants, gloves and base layers, and consider some of the less obvious items that can come in handy while you’re away.

And don’t forget, as the season draws on a lot of the gear you need will be available at a discount, so look out for a good ski sale before you buy.

Powermonkey
Powermonkey

Powermonkey

This is an awesome tool which lets you charge your phone, ipod or other 5V device without having to find a plug socket.

Which can be tricky on a mountain.

The latest version is solar charged, so you can top it up when you stop for a rest.

Thermal insoles

This will make your fellow skiers or boarders really jealous.

A battery heated insole for your boots – not recommended for late season sun, but if you’re on the mountain in early January they’re worth their weight in gold.

Toko Hot Wax

Ideally, your board or skis need to be serviced after every trip away.

So rather than paying for someone else to do it, buy some Toko hot wax and a file and do it yourself.

It’s easy (as long as you haven’t been hitting too many stones) and has the added advantage of letting you give your kit a quick once over half way through the trip.

Pocket Screwdriver

This is one for the snowboarders; a pocket tool lets you adjust your bindings, or more importantly tighten them up if they get loose.

This can happen with surprising ease if your set up is new.

And if you’re set up for freestyle and hit a huge downhill, then you can change the angle of dangle in a couple of minutes.

Avalanche transceiver
Avalanche transceiver

Two Way Radios

A phone signal can be hard to find in more remote parts of the mountain, so a couple of radios are the ideal solution.

There are a lot on the market, so take your time and read some reviews before you decide which set to buy.

Avalanche transceiver

A lot of good ski and board jackets have an avalanche transmitter built in these days, but if your friends haven’t got a transceiver they won’t find you.

Essential for deep off piste conditions high up the mountain.

Avalanche Probe
Avalanche Probe

Avalanche Probe

Avalanche Probe is essentially a lightweight stick that collapses to fit in your pack.

It has one invaluable purpose – finding someone when they’re buried, and can literally make the difference if one of your party gets caught under the snow.

Avalanche shovel

Does what it says on the tin, and once you’ve used the transceiver and probe to locate the buried person, it will help you get them out a lot faster.

The fact that it can also be used to build small kickers is an added bonus.

If you’ve got the transceiver, probe and shovel in your pack, then statistics say it should take no more than 16 minutes to find the avalanche victim.

Without them, it will take over an hour – so choose your mountain equipment carefully.

What gear would you recommend bringing on a ski trip?

How to Pack

Humans used to be a nomadic race, going from one place to another in search of better food and water.

There are still some communities in the world, which retain their nomadic beginnings.

We can just imagine the very first humans, who inexplicably bring up an image of the Flintstones, deciding to take their first journey.

That is when they would have come face to face with the most difficult of things:

How to pack correctly?

Like everything with traveling, it is best to prepare for your holidays in advance.

Frankly, how do you pack for a trip?

We can understand the urge to take along everything, but unless you live in a big RV Bus, it is quite impossible.

If you do live in a huge RV, even then taking everything along on your trip to overseas would be impossible.

So, now having established the need for packing, let us finally move towards the methods the can be employed.

PACK SMART NOT HEAVY

Just as you should work smart and not work harder, so is the case with packing. P

acking smart is only possible if you have a proper system in place.

You can take the following steps to ensure that you pack smart for your next trip.

SELECTING THE RIGHT BAG

You start your packing by selecting the right bag.

If you are packing for a hiking trip then a bag form North Face would be more appropriate than your regular duffel bag.

On the other hand, an overseas trip would warrant an upright trolley suitcase, which is easier to carry around.

BE ORGANIZED

Being organized is the key to packing everything you need for the trip.

We suggest that you should start by making a checklist of all the things that you will need.

If you are traveling overseas, then it would be better to have all the things in separate sections.

The documents need to be present in a very accessible place, so that they can be taken out at a moment’s notice.

On the other hand, if you are packing for a stay at a hotel, there is no need to pack every little accessory.

PERSONAL COMFORT IS IMPORTANT

Your handbag should ideally contain things which you need to keep yourself comfortable during the actual travel.

If you’re traveling by air then this could include your neck pillow, a sleeping mask, your favorite pair of headphones, etc.

It should also have your travel documents, just in case you need to show them.

THE CHECKLIST

Perhaps, it would be better to make the checklist before you start anything else.

Start with making a list of all the things that you may need on the trip.

This should include your clothing, shoes, laptop, toiletries, etc.

After you have made this first draft, it is highly advisable to revise it removing anything which has been included purely because you are attached to it.

The main thing to understand here is that when packing, space is at a premium.

For example, you don’t really need those three pair of shoes for just a weekend.

THE ACTUAL PACKING

Packing a suitcase properly is an art.

However it can only be done after you decided what you’re going to carry with you.

So, traditionally this step would come after you have made the checklist and revised it to leave out any unnecessary things.

To pack efficiently, please use the following tips.

Tips for packing

When packing a suitcase, especially a vertical one, it is better to put the heavier things at the bottom.

This will prevent it from twisting and falling at every turn that you make with it.

Pack all your toiletries in a small plastic bag and make sure that even if something untoward happens, the bag won’t leak and ruin all your beautiful clothes.

If you’re going to carry jackets then it would pay off to buy reusable compressor bags.

They can save up to 75% of the space originally taken by outerwear apparel.

For your regular clothes, the best way to pack them is to use the time-tested roll method.

To do this, simply fold the items using the regular method and then roll them into a tight bundle.

Contrary to popular perception, it will actually help in reducing the number of wrinkles on your clothes.

Also, using this, items can be stacked one over the other without taking much space.

It is highly un-advisable to pack any sharp objects for an airplane ride.

Just go over the list of common items which are not allowed, to be sure that you do not have to deal with the hassle of parting with your favorite knife.

More packing tips

It would be better to carry any valuables on your person rather than in the luggage.

You never know what is going to happen to it and the insurance will not cover the cost in case your items are misplaced.

Using wheeled upright bags can save you a lot of trouble, especially if you are traveling alone.

Sometimes, it is better to skip common accessories like shampoos and other toiletries which can be easily bought for nominal amounts from the place you are traveling to.

This is it. These are our tips for packing smart instead of having to lug around all the heavy stuff.

How to Travel with a Laptop and Keep It Working

Having a laptop while traveling can be such a great asset – you can connect with your friends, upload pictures, save money by booking flights and hostels online etc.

Travel With A Laptop
Travel With A Laptop

But when traveling around the world, by nature you are forced to put your laptop through so many challenges that it can be really hard to keep it in a good working condition, especially if you don’t know the best ways to look after it.

On my first big trip, I took a small laptop which broke down halfway through and I was forced to purchase a new one – I had no idea how much pressure I put on my little 8 inch laptop, and that cost me a big portion of my travel budget.

Here are some lessons I learned:

Use a good protective laptop case:

This is probably the most important issue when traveling.

You move around a lot, and it will get bumped into things no matter how hard you try to avoid it.

If you have it in a big backpack/suitcase it can get hit when someone throws your luggage in the bag storage on the bus, or handles it badly.

Never leave your laptop in a cold environment:

If you do, and then bring it into a warm environment, condensation on the circuitry will build up and cause the laptop to short itself out.

Never keep your paperwork between the screen and keypad:

Paper is pretty sharp and will eventually cut into the screen or scratch it.

Use good virus software:

When traveling you never know how safe the internet connection you’re using is, so always make sure to keep your laptop safe with a good firewall.

And make sure you update it and clean your data every few weeks.

Avoid placing your laptop on soft surfaces:

This will block the air vents and overheat your system.

Doing this too often isn’t good for the laptop.

Don’t pick the laptop up by the screen:

I did this way too many times, and eventually the screen cracked…

I followed none of this advice, and as you can imagine every single consequence mentioned – happened…

One Last Tip:

How to Travel with a Laptop and Keep It Working
How to Travel with a Laptop and Keep It Working

Even if you follow these rules there is still a risk that your computer will break.

If this happens, you can lose everything on it.

Make sure that you have saved your photos (and other important documents) somewhere else too, like on a USB memory or an external hard drive.

If you have an iPod with a lot of memory which you don’t use, you can even save them there.

Since both laptops and hard drives run high risks of breaking, I recommend you to store your photos online as well.

This way you have at least three places for your photos.

I’ve learned this from past experiences.

Our hard drive was full, and we hadn’t uploaded our photos from parts of our trip online.

Of course the laptop broke and the photos were gone.

Learn about studying a language while traveling and tips for e-learning success.

How to plan a round-the-world trip?

Tips for Smart Travelers

Whether you’re traveling for work or play, or whether you’re a newbie traveler or a seasoned pro, everyone could use a few travel tips.

Sometimes we pack too much.

Other times we don’t pack correctly for the weather.

Maybe you forgot your phone charger or didn’t pack enough reading material for times off-line.

Sometimes it is fun to just take things as they come on a trip.

But sometimes, just even taking a few minutes to research a brief itinerary, makes things go more smoothly.

Take a few moments to plan ahead.

It can make all the difference when you can enjoy some of your comforts and conveniences from home as you travel. Tips for Traveling Internationally

Tips for Smart Travelers to Travel Better
Tips for Smart Travelers to Travel Better

Stream content from your phone and watch it on the TV in the hotel room.

You can watch your favorite shows or movies without paying the high rate that most hotels would charge.

Just make sure to pack an HDMI cord that attaches to both your phone and a regular HDMI port, which most TVs have.

If you have an unlocked phone, pick up a SIM card at your international destination.

It’ll be much more cost effective than paying for roaming charges on your regular account.

You can use the data to call home, upload photos to Instagram, check Google Maps, and whatever else you would normally use your phone for.

For a few weeks before your trip, chat with travel vendors on social media.

When you connect with hotels, tour operators and restaurant owners, you may be able to snag some perks before you even leave home.

You’ll also learn more about traveling to Rome or whatever destination you have your heart set on.

A lot of vendors are happy to offer a freebie because it means you may help spread the word on social media.

Some diet experts suggest fasting for 16 hours before getting to your destination.

Then, you should eat as soon as you arrive, or as soon as possible after arrival.

This will help reset your circadian rhythms so you can get on track with the local time at your destination.

Since you won’t be expending any energy during the flight, you may be just fine without eating.

You should, however, drink plenty of water.

Since the air in an airplane can dry out your skin, consider applying a hydrating overnight mask and wear it during your flight.

You can find masks that are clear so you don’t have to be self-conscious about the mask.

Never pack the following items in your suitcase: jewelry, ID cards, credit cards, cash, travel documents or keys.

These items can be stolen or lost, which will leave you practically stranded when your flight lands.

Always keep these items in your carry-on bag.

As soon as you get to your hotel, unpack your bags.

Ten minutes now will save you loads of time later, when you’d otherwise be digging through your belongings to find your mascara, earrings or socks.

After a long flight, your eyes may look extra puffy.

Roll on an eye gel, which will work quicker than a cream gel, and put in eye drops to reduce redness.

If you wear contacts, take them out during the flight and wear your glasses instead.

If you fall asleep, you won’t wake up to dry, uncomfortable eyes.

Don’t let your trip be a drag on your diet, budget or mood.

By planning in advance, you can have a seriously memorable trip, whether you are traveling for pleasure or for work.

Use these tips for smart travelers, and you’ll find traveling easier and more relaxing.

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Easily Forgotten Travel Preparations

Easily Forgotten Travel Preparations – With any trip, there comes a number of things that need to be sorted and organized before you go away.

But if you’re travelling abroad for an extended period of time, there are some really important things that you must not forget to sort before jetting off on your travels – and yet it’s these obvious little details we so often forget to do!

Here, to help any of you venturing off to new and exotic locations, is a checklist of things not to forget when you’re preparing to leave.

Easily Forgotten Travel Preparations
Easily Forgotten Travel Preparations

Confirm your passport expiration Date

I actually made this mistake myself when I was 15 and was going to travel abroad without my parents for the first time.

Two days before the bus left to Bosnia I realized my passport had expired – not a fun situation to be in!

There are last-minute solutions like an Expedited Passport but they are expensive and are only valid for a short period of time.

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your planned return date.

Some airlines and immigration controls require this and it will also give you room to extend your stay should you wish.

Get your visas sorted well in advance

Forgetting to sort out a visa is another can’t-do mistake that many of us make.

Visa application processes can take up to several months to be approved and granted so make sure you research well in advance whether you need a visa and if so, which visa you should apply for.

Then apply accordingly as soon as possible.

For more information on visa requirements, check with the country’s embassy or have a look on visa application service websites link this one here.

Refill your prescriptions

This is yet another mistake I’ve made, realizing that a prescription I had was running out in the middle of my trip.

Many prescriptions can be found world-wide but it’s such a hassle and time-consuming to find the right place to go and book an appointment when you should be out enjoying yourself.

Clean the fridge and empty the garbage

The last thing you want is to return to a stinky home with angry neighbors.

It’s always best to turn the fridge off completely when you’re away, so clean it out!

travel insurance
travel insurance

Get insurance

Taking a big trip abroad without getting travel insurance really isn’t worth the risk.

You never know what’s going to happen when you’re away in an unfamiliar country.

You certainly don’t want to find yourself paying for medical bills abroad should you fall ill, replacing valuables if they are lost or stolen, or paying for legal fees incurred by someone suing your for injuring them or damaging their property.

Taking out insurance will save from having to pay such unanticipated and excessive expenses.

Check here for more information on travel insurance cover.

Budget carefully and realistically

If you’re planning a big trip is important that you budget properly.

Make sure you do your research checking how much you’ll need to spend before you go on flights, visa applications, travel insurance, luggage, clothing, etc.

Then look into how much money you’ll need for when you’re on the road, making sure you’re realistic with how much you will actually spend.

Rule of thumb is that you will likely spend more than you think so make sure to have a buffer in your budget, including a certain amount set aside for emergencies.

Be prepared

If you are traveling to medium-to-high-risk destinations, it might be wise to plan for two things: a water emergency and preventative illness.

A Lifestraw will enable you to have safe water to drink anywhere you go.

It weighs just ounces and makes water safe to drink.

Another preventative that is good to have is something for travelers’ diarrhea (also known as Bali Belly or Montezuma’s Revenge).

Travelan contains naturally occurring antibodies, the proteins that prevent and fight infection.

If you consume food or water that contains diarrhea-causing bacteria, these antibodies will target and neutralize the bacteria before they can make you sick.

Take one Travelan tablet before each meal with water.

No prescription is required.

planning a big trip
planning a big trip

Let your bank know you’re traveling

This is important for a couple of reasons.

First, they might find it suspicious that your cards are being used in random places abroad and will block it, leaving you stranded.

Secondly, they might have some great offers for clients who are traveling, such as a special card that has zero transaction fees from ATM’s abroad.

In my opinion, this is a MUST – and yes I’ve made this mistake myself too, wasting a ton of cash on expensive transaction fees.

Get immunized for vaccine preventable diseases

When going on a big trip, the last thing you want is to come down with disease, only to find out it could’ve been prevented.

Depending on your destination, you may need to get immunized to protect you from contracting certain illnesses.

Check well in advance which (if any) vaccines you need and contact your doctor.

Your doctor should be able to help you here should you have any questions.

Often treatments need to be made several weeks, even months, in advance to be completely effective so make sure you check and sort this well in advance.

What are some easy but important travel preparations that you have forgotten before?

Travel Packing List For Your European Adventure

Having a travel packing list is with no doubt the most effective way to make sure that you’ve got everything you need for your trip and that it is all packed in your bag. Packing List and Travel Guide

Travel Packing List

If you don’t have a travel packing list the chance of missing something is a lot higher, so before you pack, make a travel packing list.

Small Suitcase?

Space Saving Packing Methods

But knowing exactly what to bring when traveling can be difficult, especially if you haven’t done it much before.

So when deciding what to bring with you on your trip, here is a list of questions that can be useful to look through when writing down what you will be bringing to Europe.

What is the climate and weather like where you are going?

Is it warm, sunny and steady, does it change a lot back and forth or is it rainy and cold?

What will you be doing while there?

Your travel packing list will look very different if you plan to go hiking and camping a lot rather than spending your holiday in a city staying in hotels.

Have you planned to go out clubbing?

Have you planned to do a lot of shopping?

For how long will you be away?

Is it a few days or several weeks?

Once you have these questions answered and have figured out what you plan to do on your holiday, you can start putting together a travel packing list for your trip.

There is no right or wrong since we are all different, but here is an example of a travel packing list that I wrote on my previous trip to Scotland this year.

Now Scotland is a place which has very moody weather, it can be warm, cold, rainy and sunny all in one day.

And we had planned to spend time both in the cities as well as in the highlands. So what do you pack?

Travel packing list for trip to Scotland:

– 2 Long sleeved cotton tops

– 1 pair of jeans

– 1 pair of leggings/tights

– 1 thermal top

– 1 rain and windproof jacket

– 1 hoodie

– 1 scarf

– 1 dress

– 1 pair of high heels

– 1 pair of sneakers (good for walking but doesn’t stand out in the city)

– 5 pairs of socks

– 7 pairs of underwear

– 3 bras

The dress and the tops all worked together with both the jeans and the leggings, and the dress could be worn alone.

The leggings were also used in the highlands when going mountain biking, along with a thermal top.

Also, I brought all of that in a carry-on bag.

If you are planning to go to Greece on a summer vacation, here is what I would suggest bringing instead:

Summer Clothing:

– 1 Bikini/ swimsuit

– 1 dress

– 1 pair of shorts

– 1 skirt

– 2 t-shirts

– 1 loose linen/cotton shirt

– 1 sleeveless top

– 1 long sleeved top

– 7 pairs of underwear

– 2 pairs of socks

– 1 thin summer jacket

– 1 pair of high heels

– 1 pair of walking open toe sandals

– 1 sunhat

As you can see, the clothes vary highly depending on the climate.

When you pack your clothes, try to make all the clothes match each other so you can wear and combine them with each other.

It’s not effective to bring a top that can only be worn with one other thing.

However, there are some things on the travel packing list that I would recommend bringing no matter the destination.

These are more universal items.

Tech Gadgets:

– Universal power adapter

– Lap top + charger

– Camera + charger + memory stick

– iPod /mp3 player + charger + headphones

– flashlight/torch

– tripod

– Prepaid cell phone and airtime from Recharge.com

Necessities:

– Passport

– Tickets + Itinerary

– Visa (if needed)

– Money, Credit cards, ATM cards

– Insurance papers and other important documents

Toiletries:

– Deodorant

– Nailclippers/nailfile

– Face wash

– Showergel

– Tampons + pads

– pills/medicine

– Hair products

– Money, credit cards, ATM cards

– Makeup + makeup remover

– Toothbrush + toothpaste

– hairbrush + hairties

– Condoms and/or contraceptive pills

– Tweezers

– Razors (if you bring carry-on luggage, buy them at the destination)

Other Gadgets:

– Ear plugs

– Books or e-books on kindle or similar

– Sleep sheet/sleeping bag

– Travel Towels (lightweight)

– watch

– Money belt

– Address of the hotel and directions of how to get there from the airport/station.

– sunglasses

– Daypack/handbag

– Insect repellent

(photo credit: 112 – ; 3 – ; 4 – stuartpilbrow – ed yourdon – Rebateszone & Aswetravel123 – 4)

Best Apps For Travelers To Europe

Updated:

Best Apps For Travellers To Europe – In a world practically ruled by technology, it’s only right that we utilize it as much as possible.

Gone are the days of battling with oversize tourist maps or jumping on a train and hoping we get off at the right stop while traveling to Europe.

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Best Apps For Travelers To Europe

There’s not even a need to fill in a paper e111 card renewal anymore, with the internet making it easier than ever to apply.

There are countless apps available on Android and iPhone that can make our travels easier than ever, and we’re here to introduce you to some of the biggest and best to make your holiday just that little more stress-free.

Best Apps For Travellers To Europe
Best Apps For Travellers To Europe

FlyEurope

While most of the apps on our list can be used while you are travelling, FlyEurope is ideal for before you even book your holiday.

In fact, this app will search airlines and compare the prices to find you the best and most reasonably priced flights for you!

You can save time, money and patience by using this app, and trust us – all three of those are valuable to keep!

Fly to any of the major European destinations with the cheapest flights and if you have a little more flexibility to go with it?

You never know just how little you could spend on your air fare!

GoEuro

For those of us who are seasoned travelers or have been abroad at least once and experienced the horror of not having a hire car, you’ll already know how difficult it can be to understand public transport when you’re travelling.

Luckily, GoEuro is here to make catching a bus, train or flight so much easier!

Save HUGE on Airport Parking. 70% Off at AirportParkingReservations.com this Month Only!
Save HUGE on Airport Parking. 70% Off

With easy booking on over 450 travel companies and the best prices, traveling your destination doesn’t have to be a stressful experience.

You have all the times, fares and booking you need, right from one little app on your phone!

TheFork

The foodies among you – or, you know, anyone that needs to eat! – will love TheFork.

This app helps you find, book and gather special offers for a whole array of different restaurants in Europe.

This app is completely free and simple to use, and you could even get up to 50% off of your meal!

Look for the right deals on the food that you love using this app and not only will you satisfy your stomach, but your bank account too – after all, saving a little extra cash on food gives you more spending money for those cheesy souvenirs!

OneFineStay

OneFineStay is an app for those of you who like the finer things in life.

If you’re looking for a unique way of staying in the countries you love, this app will help you find the ideal luxury accommodation (usually an apartment or home!) and will even help you settle in.

You can browse their selection of homes, check the booked dates, set the address to make it easier to get back there while you’re exploring, and you’ll even have access to plenty of other information like location restaurants and sights to see!

TripLingo

TripLingo is everything you could want in a travel app.

As the name suggests, it can help you out with the ‘lingo’ of the country you’re visiting with the voice translator feature, and there’s a phrasebook too for those need-to-know features – but the uses don’t stop there!

There’s a WiFi dial to let you make international calls when connected to WiFi, a tip calculator so you don’t have the awkward ‘too much or too little’ fiasco, and there’s plenty of culture notes, learning tools, safety advice and so much more to make getting around your destination easier than ever!

TripLingo really does have a bit of everything!

Oh, and did we mention it was free?

Alternative Digital Substitutes To Heavy Travel Guide Books

For us, as for many other travelers, taking a travel guide book with us on trips is a thing of the past.

We haven’t traveled with a proper guide book for years, the first reason is that they’re often really heavy, bulky and take up a lot of space in your bag.

Secondly, guide books give you so much information about each place, but for us MOST of that really isn’t needed.

I don’t want to know EVERYTHING about a place I’m visiting before I’ve even arrived – doesn’t that take away from the excitement?

Where is the fun in knowing everything before even arriving?!

Guidebooks are great tools to keep yourself updated about the places you’re visiting, and of course you want to know a little bit about the places and what attractions and sites you’ll find.

To get all that, you still don’t really need a proper paperback guide book.

There are so many alternatives to these that will both save you money and back pain.

Here are a few ways to be able to travel without the guide book but still keep yourself updated with the right info:

Downloadable eBook Guides

These days traveling with a laptop is pretty much common place, and although it might seem like it adds on a lot more weight than a guide book does, you know you can store 500 of them and still keep the same weight (among all those other things you would use a laptop for).

When traveling, you won’t always have access to the internet to browse online, so guides you can download to your desktop and read whenever you want, are great.

You can get a whole guide for only a few bucks, and even the bigger guide book companies are starting to sell their guides in PDF format.

The Hostel and Local Tourist Center

Alternative Digital Substitutes To Heavy Travel Guide BooksAlternative Digital Substitutes To Heavy Travel Guide Books

Normally the owners at a hostel know everything there is to know about the city for a tourist, and can tell you what there is to see around the place, all from good eats to temples to clubs.

You can also take a visit to the information office, where they’ll be able to help you with all planning and information you need to know about the city – usually you’ll also get a free map which is very useful 😉

Smartphone Apps

I don’t actually have a smartphone myself, but I have an iPod Touch and that works great.

What’s great about these apps is that you can bring them with you onto the street, and many of them don’t even need an internet connection to work.

Just search for guides or the places you’ll be going and see what you can find.

Many country tourism authorities have created great free apps for cities and places, this is becoming more and more common place.

The Internet

Just a click away, the internet is probably the easiest way to find out what you need about the city you’re visiting.

Websites like Travel fish are great for finding things to do, restaurants and places to stay – and finding out the truth about them by people who have actually been there.

There are also tons of travel blogs that have heaps of great guides and information about places.

Random Walks – Find Out Yourself.

Some days, it’s better to just take a look yourself on what there is to do and see around you.

Take a walk down the street and you’ll most likely end up somewhere you haven’t been before, and see something new that you haven’t seen before, whether it’s a market, some shops, a river or a temple.

Sometimes the best attractions aren’t those mentioned in the guide books, but those experienced by a random moment on a random street in a random city – somewhere around the world.

How do you get around new cities?

If you have any tips on places to get some good guides and information, we’d love to hear about it!

What Lonely Planet Guide Books And The Bible Have In Common

I’m not a religious person, in fact, I quit the automatic-at-birth church membership they sign you up for in Sweden last year.

What Lonely Planet Guide Books And The Bible Have In Common
What Lonely Planet Guide Books And The Bible Have In Common

However, I’ve always enjoyed visiting churches, I feel that there is something special about them, something very comforting.

I feel safe and calm when I’m sitting in a church.

For me it is the same as with guide books – they’re comforting and it makes me feel slightly safer with one in my hand, but I never really read them.

It’s not the guidebooks themselves that are the problem for me, but the way some people read them – as if they were the bible.

Now I kind of like the bible as well, it shares some really amazing stuff for living a happy life, but just as with the Lonely Planet guides (and other guides), many people misread and/or read too far into it.

The Bible and Lonely Planet
The Bible and Lonely Planet

So, what they both have in common, The Bible and Lonely Planet – is that they’re both guide books.

They’re there to share with you some guidelines to help you on your way, not for you to follow strictly from point A to point B.

We see people all around the world, sitting in cafes, walking down the street with their heads stuck so deep inside a Lonely Planet guide book, that they seem to forget to simply just look around at where they are and enjoy.

Guide books are there to give you hints, but it’s your task to make up your own way of doing it – there are no ‘must do’s’, or ‘must-see’s’.

I especially remember this one man who counted with his fingers all the things he had managed to tick off the ‘must do in New-Zealand-list’ in less than 3 weeks:

“I did the dolphins, I’ve done the bungy jumping, I did the skydiving, I saw the glow worms, I saw the wales, I went to the Glacier etc etc…”

He never once mentioned HIS personal experience, and when I asked him he didn’t really have anything to say about it – for him it was all about the list.

The Bible and Lonely Planet guide book
The Bible and Lonely Planet guide book

Now just to make things clear, I don’t think that there is anything wrong with having bucket lists, in fact I love them!

If it’s a list of things you really want to do, rather than a list of things you feel that you must do because everyone says so, then go and enjoy yourself while ticking off your personal bucket list.

But if you’re running around stressing to see everything, I don’t think you’ll get the most out of your stay, even if you saw more things than me.

What’s the point of living a life if it’s already decided by somebody else how you should live it?

Same goes with guide books and travel:

What’s the point of exploring if someone else halve already told you all about it and what to expect?

What adventure is worth doing when you already know what’s going to happen?

It’s like opening a Christmas present you knew you would get.

It’s still fun and nice, but not very exciting…

What I love about online travel guides and guides written by fellow bloggers is that they’re brief, straight to the point and only write about the most necessary information.

They give some examples of things to do, places to eat and stay, but only enough for you to go and explore a little yourself…

So, let yourself go, trust and have a little faith in YOURSELF, not in the book – who knows maybe you will have fun!

I love the way Paulo Coelho talks about this in his book ‘Warrior of the Light’:

”One can often ruin a good pilgrimage by reading all the leaflets, books, guidelines on the internet, friends’ comments, and arrive at the place knowing everything one ought to be discovering for oneself, not allowing room for the most important element of any journey – the unexpected.”

Things I Learned From Happiest People In The World

You learn a lot when you go traveling, especially from the people you meet along the way.

Out of all the places I’ve been, there is no place where I’ve learned so much about human beings as when we were in Vanuatu.

Despite being one of the poorest countries in the world, these people have been rated the happiest in the world.

You shouldn’t believe everything people say about rankings, so we went there to check the out and have to admit that these people really do have something that most of Western society seems to have lost.

The way they lived reminded me of many things I already knew but so rarely actually saw, or did in real life, so for that I am so very grateful.

Travel Photo – Vanuatu Wall Of Graffiti

We came across this wall in the middle of nowhere, while explore an island in Vanuatu – I think it really sums up the mindset of the Vanuatu People.

Vanuatu Wall Of Graffiti
Vanuatu Wall Of Graffiti Happiest People In The World Vanuatu

Happiest People In The World Vanuatu

Things I Learned Trust:

These people will trust anyone and everyone for no apparent reason.

For example when we were going to buy some bananas from a market lady, she was lying under the table on a mattress fast asleep.

We had to wake her up, show her that we wanted to buy the bananas, but even then she just waved her hands towards the table and told us to put the money somewhere on her table, and fell back to sleep.

That kind of thing would never happen in a Western country, where the focus seems to be more on let’s make more money and trust nobody until they prove it.

Smiling And Saying Hi To Everyone All The Time:

My mouth was literally aching after spending a few days in Vanuatu.

When you walked down the street at night, everyone would walk past saying ‘Goodnight, Sweet Dreams!’

This wasn’t just because we were tourist either, they also acted the same to each other.

They were polite and friendly without wanting something back.

Here in Europe, people often are only polite if they get something out of it, and they get very confused and at first a little suspicious  if you’re friendly and talkative to them for no ‘reason’.

There it was more strange if you DIDN’T talk to the person sitting next to you in the bus van.

Take The Time To Enjoy Moments:

In the Western society I often feel like people judge you if you’re not always doing something, or always busy.

The first thing people always ask me is what I’ve done lately and what my plans are for the future.

The vibe in Vanuatu was so chill.

It really felt like time stood still, and you could find people just sitting under palm trees, laughing or sleeping by their food stalls in the middle of the day – enjoying life.

Take Your Time To Help A Stranger:

Taking the time to help a stranger is something that is so valued there, and I’ve never seen people putting in such a big effort to help you without asking for something back in return (like some tip).

In many other places you will find people are simply way too busy with their own lives to stop and care for someone else’s.

Happiest Family In The World Vanuatu
Happiest Family In The World Vanuatu

Being Curious Of You As A Person:

Coming from Sweden, we ‘need’ a very large ‘personal space bubble’.

Often we feel uncomfortable even when someone sits in the seat next to us on a bus.

Unless the bus is full, you will rarely see two strangers sitting next to each other when there are other free seats.

I did it once to test, and the person next to me was very uncomfortable, and moved away.

Here in Vanuatu people sit right down in the seat right next to you in an empty bus, look at you with a big smile of their faces and starts a conversation right away.

They are honestly curious about you, and really care to get to know you as a human being.

Melanesia – Amazing Things To See and Do

(photo credits: sunshinecitysaviosebvanbest – grandvelasrivieramaya)

JooJoobs Handmade Leather Travel Front Pocket Wallet

Updated:

JooJoobs Leather Travel Front Pocket Wallet – Whether you’re fashion conscious or not, you’re bound to like the looks of JooJoobs front pocket wallet.

That’s because this ultra-slim wallet keeps all of your necessary cards accessible.

When you spend a lot of time on the road or in airports, you know how critical it is to be able to get to your ID, debit card and credit card without any fumbling.

That’s exactly what this offering from JooJoobs gives you.

JooJoobs Leather Travel Front Pocket Wallet
JooJoobs Travel Front Pocket Wallet

Advantages of a Leather Travel Front Pocket Wallet

There are many advantages to using a wallet that fits in your front pocket.

It’s smaller and slimmer than a traditional billfold, but it holds more than a money clip can.

This product from JooJoobs has the added benefit of looking simple and stylish without sacrificing ruggedness.

Smaller Size, Better Style

Each of these wallets is constructed from the company’s signature distressed leather.

They are available in dark or brown with a choice of natural tan or brown thread.

The wallet has two compartments, one for cards and one for cash.

The card compartment can hold as many as four cards, as demonstrated on this video, and the cash compartment can hold additional cards.

With dimensions of just three inches by four inches, it’s easy to see how this wallet can fit into the front pocket of any pair of jeans or shorts.

This is a huge advantage, because experts suggest that it is more secure to carry a wallet in a front pocket.

This cuts down on the risks of pick pocketing.

Simplify Your Life

What’s more, a wallet that’s carried in your front pocket has to have a slimmer profile than one that is typically carried in a back pocket.

This means that you’re forced to pare down what you’re carrying to just the essentials and maybe one travel credit cards.

Why are still carrying around that student ID from college anyway?

It’s time to go with something that offers more of a hip, minimalist vibe.

Protect Your Cards

Actually, your cards will thank you for making the switch.

This may come as a shock, but it isn’t good for you to be sitting on your cards all the time.

When they are bent repeatedly, they begin to weaken, eventually leading to cracking.

Additionally, the encoded stripe on the back of each card will start to wear away from the constant bending and friction.

No one likes to have to replace a credit card before its expiration date just because it got worn out in your wallet.

You can avoid it with a new wallet from JooJoobs.

About our only complaint with this wallet from JooJoobs is that it is not equipped with RFID-blocking technology.

Maybe this will be a later addition from this relatively new venture.

Excellent Craftsmanship

Another reason to choose this wallet is that each and every one is handmade.

That’s the kind of craftsmanship that you just don’t normally see in any kind of wallet.

Getting a fully hand-crafted product like this for such an affordable price really is an amazing deal.

10 Cute Carry On Luggage You’ll Want for Your Next Trip

Updated:

Cute carry on luggage – With the price of airfare dropping in recent years, it’s a great time to take a trip!

There are a lot of things to consider, of course.

You’ve got to pick the perfect destination.

And you’ve got to plan the day-to-day itinerary.

Setting up hotel stays, renting a car, and choosing amazing restaurants can take up a good chunk of your travel budget.

There’s one thing that you can’t neglect but is often overlooked: your luggage! The right luggage makes it easy to go from cab to airport to hotel with ease.

We’ve got a list of cute carry on luggage that feels like a splurge but is so worth it!

Cute Carry On Luggage
Young female passenger at the airport, using her phone while waiting for her flight, using travel app

Things to Keep in Mind When Buying Cute Carry On Luggage

Of course, you want to keep it cute but it’s important to buy something functional and sturdy.

When buying luggage, keep these things in mind:

  • 360-degree wheels are the best invention for travelers. Don’t leave home without them!
  • The right measurements – Check with your airline to see what they consider a carry on size.
  • Compartments are key – Stay organized and keep everything in the right place

Samsonite Omni PC 20″ Spinner

From a brand that is synonymous with travel, Samsonite’s Omni Spinner is a must-have. Here’s why:

It’s a hard case which offers superior protection on the road.

The spinning wheels make it incredibly convenient for all the twists and turns of your journey, too.

There’s a reason Samsonite makes it to the top of travelers’ lists of favorite luggage.

They’re great investment pieces that last a long time.

Cargo Cool Traveler Suitcases

Into the vintage-look?

Cargo Cool Traveler Suitcases are the cute carry on luggage of your dreams!

These soft blue beauties combine a retro aesthetic with modern sturdiness.

They’re the perfect marriage of the classic shape with an updated sensibility.

Plus, they’ve got a waterproof finish.

A little drizzle won’t ruin your getaway plans!

LeSportsac Classic Medium Weekender

Looking for a “wow” factor? You can’t ignore cute carry on luggage like a LeSportsac Classic Medium Weekender.

LeSportsac is known for being extra-durable but it’s the fun and quirky prints that really take their bags to the next level.

The best part about this bag?

It’s great for air travel, road trips, or just a quick weekend getaway!

Kate Spade New York Women’s Ridge Street International Carry On

Who else but Kate Spade makes such adorable and cute carry on luggage?

When you walk through the terminal, you’re sure to turn heads with the Ridge Street International Carry On.

At 21 inches, it meets most carry on requirements for overhead bins.

Plus the floral print on a black background is very on-trend.

The case itself is more soft and forgiving.

This is perfect for chronic shoppers who need a bit more give to make room for all the extra stuff you need to cram in!

Steve Madden Large Hard Case Luggage

The Steve Madden hard case carry on is definitely sturdy- but eye-catching with lots of fun colors and prints.

The price is nice and once you try those eight spinning wheels, you’ll wonder how you ever traveled without them.

This carry on is a little bit on the larger side, so it might not meet all airlines carry on requirements.

Check with your individual airline’s rules and make sure you can take it with you.

CO-Z Waterproof PU Vintage Luggage

Do you consider yourself sweet and girlish?

Do you tend to decorate with pink?

Do you think nothing looks right unless it’s tied up with a bow?

The CO-Z vintage luggage is perfect for you!

This cute carry on luggage has a vintage shape but with modern upgrades.

It’s lightweight, waterproof, durable, and has a secure lock.

Rockland Luggage 17″ Rolling Backpack

Bring out your inner wild side, even on trips!

The Rockland Luggage rolling backpack has a cool leopard print design that you’ll be proud to prowl the airport with.

The best part about it?

Just like it’s description, it converts into a backpack.

That’s extremely useful for those that go from a flight to public transportation with their luggage.

You can have the best of both worlds with a rolling backpack!

It’s super flexible and ready to go with you no matter the destination.

Nicole Miller Rainbow 24″ Hard-Sided Luggage Spinner

Can’t make up your mind as to which color your luggage should be?

Why not pick all of them?

The Nicole Miller hard-sided luggage in rainbow is a must-have for anyone who loves lots of bright colors.

The hard shell is durable and sturdy with a high-gloss finish.

The 360-degree wheels are a Godsend for rushing between gates to catch connecting flights.

Bellagio Carry On Spinner Trunk

This cute carry on luggage has a big price tag, but it’s perfect for the dedicated traveler.

If you’re going to drop serious cash on quality luggage that still looks good, the Bellagio Carry On Spinner Trunk is ideal.

It looks like a classic leather carry on but that gorgeous exterior is made out of ultra durable polycarbonate.

In addition to an ultra-quiet Japanese-designed 360 wheels, the handle adjusts to three convenient positions.

Plus it’s very light and has double deck compartments.

No need to feel guilty about stuffing it to the brim!

Ted Baker Backpack

Backpacks aren’t just for kids anymore!

Have you ever brought a bag with you where the straps were too thin and it cut into your shoulder?

Backpacks are the perfect solution to this problem.

And with a colorful one like the Ted Baker backpack, you’ll look incredibly stylish running from gate to gate.

After switching to backpacks as your cute carry on luggage of choice, you’ll wonder why you ever bothered with those awful single strap bags.

Roller Bag vs Backpack
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Luggage Sets You’ll Want

Be Travel-Ready for All Situations

Whether you’re traveling solo or going in a group, it’s important to be prepared.

As We Travel stays on top of the travel trends and brings you the most up-to-the-minute information.

There’s no reason for travel to be a hassle.

Get the best traveling info at As We Travel and have the best vacation of your life!

7 Essential Packing Hacks for Small Suitcases

There’s a reason most people leave packing for a big trip to the last minute.

It’s the one part of traveling nobody enjoys.

You want to pack for every contingency but you don’t want to lug around a giant suitcase.

Multiple bags are even worse.

It increases the chance that one of them will be lost and the cost of every additional checked bag when flying can really put a damper on your travel budget.

Best to keep everything to one small suitcase.

And with this ingenious packing methods (Carry on Luggage Packing Hacks), you’ll know how best to maximize your space.

Woman trying to close suitcase – Small Suitcase?

Space Saving Packing Methods

Roll, Don’t Fold

Forget what your mom always said about folding your clothes.

Folded clothes take up a large amount of valuable surface area in your suitcase.

That space may be good for stacking folded clothes on top of each other, but very little else.

You’ve essentially assigned 50 to 75 percent of your suitcases’ space to clothes.

By rolling your clothes, you’re more flexible.

Rolled clothes can fit in those odd nooks and crannies created by the other nick nacks you have packed.

For shirts and other tops, fold the clothes in half vertically first, then fold in the sleeves, and then roll.

For pants and jeans, simply fold them in half and then roll them up.

Be sure to roll the clothes as tightly as you can.

If you don’t care about the lines they will leave in your clothes, rubber bands are a usual way to accomplish this.

If you do, the next method we will talk about is a perfect alternative.

Invest In Compression

Reusable compression sacks are one of the most useful tools for all packing methods.

Essentially, compression sacks are bags for your clothing that will compress all the air out of the bag in order to truly maximize the space.

You’d be surprised how much room empty air takes up when you’re trying to squeeze as many articles of clothing as possible into one bag.

If you’re going to pack bulky outerwear clothes like jackets or sweatshirts, compression sacks are a must.

They can save you up to 75 percent of the room in your bags that would have otherwise gone to those bulky clothes.

If you want to be especially thrifty, a large enough zip lock bag can function as a compression sack easily enough.

Pack Ahead Of Time

While we know it’s always a pain to pack ahead of schedule, you might not know some of the secret benefits.

By letting your clothes sit in the bag overnight, you can harness the power of gravity and physics to force that extra 5 to 10 percent of air out of them.

If you’re using your compression bag on your heavier outerwear clothes, keep them on the bottom of the suitcase and place your tightly rolled clothes on top.

After a night’s sleep, you’ll be surprised at how much more room there seems to be in the suitcase when you wake up in the morning.

It might not be enough room to add anything else incredibly large.

But it could be enough to finally squeeze in that extra pair of socks or your favorite pair of gloves.

Every bit of space counts when you’re packing.

Multipurpose Items

Get rid of anything that can only be used for a singular purpose.

Unless that function is incredibly vital or can’t be replicated with something that can do other things, it’s not necessary.

Here are a few items that will help you cut down on what to bring:

Shampoo can be used for much more than just your hair.

The right bottle can function as a conditioner, body wash, dish detergent, and face wash.

Don’t overload your toiletries bag with five bottles. Invest in a multi purpose shampoo.

Vaseline is another toiletries space saver.

You’d be amazed how much you can do with a tub of vaseline, from lip balm to cuticle cream to alternative WD-40.

The right scarf can serve as a towel, cap, sheet, strap for a bag, or hair tie.

Scarves are one of the most multi-functional pieces of clothing and they won’t take up much space to begin with.

Be sure to also pack clothes and shoes that you can wear many times in many different circumstances.

Nothing is as fashionable as practicality when you’re packing.

Use Your Shoes

Good packing methods are all about maximizing the whatever space you have.

The holes in shoes are one such space.

Shove whatever you can fit in them, from socks to belts to whatever extra small toiletry bottles you want to bring.

Shoes are one the most annoying items to make space for in your suitcase.

Make sure you get everything you can out of their presence.

Pack By Outfit

You don’t want to have packed anything that you didn’t use at least once, or even twice depending on the length of your trip.

When you’re packing your clothes, make sure you’re thinking about how you will wear them and with what.

That way, you won’t pack an extra blouse or pair of jeans that might take up valuable room.

You don’t have to exactly stick to these specific outfits.

It’s more about visualizing exactly what you will need.

Maximize Your Carry-On

If you are using your carry-on in addition to a checked bag, make use of that space.

You might think of a carry-on as something to carry the things that will help you get through the flight.

But you need to be thinking long-term.

Anything oddly shaped or overly large that would disrupt the packing methods you used on for your suitcase should go on the carry-on.

If you are using your carry-on as your main suitcase, maximize yourself.

Wear that bulky jacket that was taking up so much room on the flight.

Fill the jacket pockets with whatever will fit in them and can make it through airport security.

Remember that each trip is a learning experience.

Every time you travel and realize you didn’t use something you packed, remember that for next time.

Squeeze in a universal travel adapter as well.

With these packing methods, you will be able to truly maximize your small suitcase and get all your travel gear for Europe safely packed away.

Don’t forget some luggage locks and luggage tags.

Now that you’re all packed, all you need is a destination.

Pack Carry on Luggage Hacks

Traveling the world is a goal for many of us.

As we dream about cities and sites unknown, we have to make plenty of preparations to get there.

Once the flight’s booked and your hotel’s secured, it’s time to start thinking about what you’ll bring.

There is a way to travel with everything you need, all while staying relatively comfortable.

With that, we’ve prepared a list for you that covers every last detail.

If you use this list while you pack, your carry on luggage will be the most well-equipped item on that flight. Let’s get right to it.

Freshening-up

Any flight above four hours can start to make you feel less than refreshed.

In reality, cabin air is actually quite clean. It just doesn’t feel that way when you’ve been sitting in it for multiple hours.

Let’s talk freshening up:

  • Wipes: face wipes, refreshing wipes, and electronic wipes
  • Refreshing spray: green tea or rose water spray
  • Toner
  • Moisturizer: face and hands
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Deodorant: stick or roll on
  • Hair ties, bobby pins, and hairbrush

Makeup

  • Concealer
  • Powder foundation
  • Bronzer or blush
  • Mascara
  • Eyeliner
  • Eyebrow pencil
  • Chapstick
  • Lipstick

Okay. So, all that will keep your body feeling fresh and ready to tackle those European streets.

The next thing we can’t live without is our smartphone.

Let’s talk about that and anything else that requires plugging in.

You will also need a travel adapter.

Electronics

  • Cell phone
  • Laptop
  • Tablet or e-reader
  • Noise canceling headphones
  • Chargers: this includes your regular chargers, portable chargers, backup batteries, and portable power banks

So much of our life is contained in our cell phone!

This will ensure you’re never caught without your life line.

Take a look at our high-tech favorites.

Something to munch on while you enjoy your movie or TV marathon is also important.

Snacks

  • Trailmix
  • Small sandwich
  • Almonds or other nuts

Some added nourishment include:

  • Emergen-C packets for your water
  • Vitamins: fish oil and turmeric for inflammation; vitamin B12 for an energy boost

After you’ve watched a good film and enjoyed a few snacks, you might want to refuel with a little nap time.

Nap Time

  • Eye mask
  • Earplugs
  • Neck pillow: preferably one that folds up nicely
  • Melatonin: if you’re looking at a flight over eight hours
  • Oversized infinity scarf: preferably one with a hidden pocket for valuables
  • Light blanket
  • Compression socks: so you don’t wake up with swollen ankles.

Now that we’ve got your in-flight needs met, let’s talk worst case scenario.

We hate to even utter these words…

But the safest way to plan your travels is to consider what would happen if your checked bag got lost.

You’ll want to be able to get around town, no matter what.

Here’s what to pack to keep you looking effortlessly chic.

Clothing and Attire

  • Outerwear: long cardigan or sweater; light jacket; sweatshirt
  • Pants: one pair of jeans; one pair of cotton pants (stay away from linen)
  • Tops: a cotton tank; a cotton t-shirt; a cotton long-sleeve shirt
  • Unmentionables: three pairs of bras and undies
  • Socks: three pairs

Here’s the key.

Pack items that can be layered, mixed, and matched into different outfits.

This will allow you to get the most mileage out of the mini capsule wardrobe you’ve prepared.

With a couple essential pieces that can be rotated, you set yourself up with the ability to go from a walking tour to a nice meal at an upper crust restaurant.

Stay within the same color scheme.

You might think this is boring.

But, it’s providing you with longevity and outfit options.

What’s the best way to take a black-on-black outfit up a couple notches?

Throw on a nice statement piece necklace, a couple of small bangles, and you’re instantly Parisian chic!

At this point, we’ll just go ahead and state some of the obvious points.

Essentials

  • Passport
  • Boarding pass: bring a paper copy, in addition to your digital boarding pass
  • ID
  • Credit cards: make sure you’ve gone online and indicated you’ll be traveling
  • Cash

Okay.

We’re pretty well set at this point.

You’ve got your freshening up items covered, your electronics, your snacks, your nap time preparations, and clothing options secured.

If there are any small cracks and spaces to fill, consider any of these options.

  • Good ol’ fashioned paperback novel
  • Magazines (2)
  • Travel journal
  • Pens (2)
  • DSLR camera: including additional memory cards and batteries
  • Jewelry

Final Note: Personal Items Bag vs. Carry On Luggage

As you’re laying all this out on your bed, keep one thing in mind: bags.

You’re going to have your personal items bag (i.e. purse or messenger bag) as well as your carry on luggage.

Within those bags, plan to have lots of little bags to stay organized and some luggage tags.

All your freshening up items and makeup will go in one little bag and rest easy in your personal items bag.

All your chargers will go in another little bag, also in your personal items bag.

All your electronics will also stay centrally-located in your personal items bag.

A couple makeup bags or even a couple trusty ol’ ziploc baggies will do the trick.

Your mini capsule wardrobe can, of course, go in your carry on luggage, as well as any additional makeup items you won’t need in your initial “freshening up” routine.

Here’s the final bag note: don’t forget about the return flight home.

You’re going to want to have room for that scarf you bought in Paris or that beer stein you picked up in Munich!

Et voilà!

And there you have it, friends!

If you take this little checklist with you, you’ll have the smartest piece of carry on luggage any airline has ever seen.

More than that, you’ll be prepared for absolutely anything: a comfortable flight, meeting Prince Charming, arriving safely in your new city, and being fully outfitted.

Staying one step ahead of the game is such a rewarding feeling.

Have some fun reading our travel blog while you’re waiting at the airport for your new adventure to begin.

And, most of all, be safe out there!

Personalized Luggage Tags

Thanks to American millennials, there’s been a 30% increase in tourism and travel since 2007.

With an $180 billion annual tourism revenue, people are not only traveling, they are spending!

And your essential travel gear for your Europe trip is important.

As travel becomes more pleasant with better hospitality and customer service, taking a trip these days can be a true joy.

However, there is nothing worse than waiting at the baggage claim and not being able to spot your bag among the hundreds.

We have good news: Waiting to make sure your bag made it with you on your trip doesn’t have to be a long process.

With personalized luggage tags, you’ll be able to spot your precious cargo the minute it hits the conveyor belt.

You’ll retrieve your bag quickly with customization that is easy to spot, and you’ll be able to get on with your vacation!

With so many travel secrets for you to know, we’ve compiled a list of 10 fantastic ideas for luggage tags that will help you get on your way:

This Is Not Your Bag

This awesome leather tag literally states “This is not your bag.”

Not only will this deter anyone from accidentally picking up your bag, it will definitely help you spot it.

After all, when’s the last time you saw a tag that states it isn’t yours?

This tag is stamped by hand in the U.S. and is cut and dyed in a chic, fashionable way.

It’s 3-1/2 inches long and 2 inches high, which will be the perfect size for your bag.

The tags are made of vegetable leather and even have a stainless cable that allows a secure attachment to your travel bag.

Want something that screams that the bag is yours?

Then get personalized luggage tags with some color.

Custom Engraved Colored Tags

After all, personalized luggage tags should be personalized.

These bright, custom leather tags come in a plethora of colors.

You can have your name, address or phone number engraved on the tags.

Having your information on your tags is essential in case your luggage doesn’t make it to your destination with you.

The “Get Lost” Tag

These tags are another warrant out for anyone purposefully or accidentally trying to grab your bag.

These tags are sleek and minimal and have “Get Lost’ written on them.

The great thing about these tags is that they are durable but affordable.

If you travel a lot and worry about messing up expensive tags, then consider these.

With a price point of around $14, you’ll be able to replace them as often as you’d like.

If having your ID in your luggage is more important to you than a loud message, then we’ve got the personalized luggage tag for you:

Colorful, Plastic ID Tags

Made with a durable plastic strap, these bold and colorful beauties help you spot your bag from all the way down the conveyor belt.

Available in a 20-piece set, you’ll never have to worry about needing a luggage tag ever again.

Choose from a variety of colors, then fill with a short contact form so you can ensure that even if your luggage gets lost, it will find its way back to you.

If you aren’t a plastic person, go luxe with leather.

Leather Snap Tags

These leather & Brass luggage tags are made of high-quality dyed leather.

They are sleek, thin straps that go around your luggage handle and simply snap together.

They have a hand-stamped solid brass ID tag that will include your name on it.

You can include more info on these tags if you wish.

These tags are at a little bit higher with a price point of around $13.00.

For a modern and helpful tag, these are for you.

The Bon Voyage

These deluxe tags made of grain leather and nickel hardware will be a sure way to spot your bag quickly.

These personalized luggage tags have a privacy flap that will allow you to conceal your information.

They also have a vinyl window for you to quickly check that the bag is yours and hit the road.

The bags come with customized Emoji faces on them, imprinted in gold.

If you’re looking for a smiling face to greet you as your bag arrives, these Bon Voyage tags are for you.

The tags range from $15-$30 based on customization.

For an even higher level of personalized luggage tags, go with monograms!

The Monogram

These privacy leather luggage tags are made to last.

They are stylish and come in in a beautiful dark leather.

They have a place for your ID card and can be monogrammed.

This line features classic, simple yet functional designs created from American oil tanned leather.

They feature brass hardware in an antique finish.

These tags are the classiest of the bunch, so choose where to put your initials and they will hand stamp them for you with foil stamping.

Grab your bag with your leather tag, then head straight for the leather market in Florence, Italy.

If these seem a little fussy for you, then throw it back to your childhood years with the Lego brick tag.

The Lego Brick Tag

These tags are a sure stand out from the crowd in terms of personalized luggage.

The Lego tags are shaped like, you guessed it, large Legos!

Lego tags come in all of your favorite Lego shapes and colors.

These aren’t just great for luggage, but for sports bags and backpacks too.

They are made of rubber and will be a durable option for any kid or tough-love traveler.

At the affordable price of around $8.00, these can be gifted or purchased for any budget.

Moleskin Tags

Moleskin is a proven and trusted brand.

Our favorite is the Moleskine tag in black.

It’s small and well-crafted and comes with an elastic attachment that will allow for some freedom as your tag and bag get thrown around.

The tag is close-able with an additional elastic strap, and it comes in a variety of colors.

At $9.00, you can’t beat this deal.

Wood Engraved Tags

Newer on the market are wood luggage tags “Do Epic Shit”.

They are unique and very customization.

Often sold in a set of two, these beautiful tags will have your name and info etched on them.

You can even add an additional message on them!

You’ll have the chance to etch both sides of the tag, and are attached with a quality leather rope.

These tags also make great gifts.

Go, Do, See Personalized Luggage Tags

Traveling is one of the most beautiful parts of the human experience.

However, losing your baggage is not.

Knowing exactly how to find your bag with great tags will make your experience that much better.

When seeing beautiful countries all across Europe, make things easy on yourself as you switch from high-speed trains to fast planes.

Grab your luggage and go and become a true travel expert.

For more tips and tricks on how to travel Europe in a fashionable, efficient way, click here!

Carry-On Checklist: What You Need For Your Flight

Updated:

Are you going places? The Carry-On Checklist: Make sure you don’t end up paying more for your baggage than you paid for your airline ticket.

We’re all guilty of over stuffing our checked-in luggage and then shoving all the extras into our free carry-on baggage.

Nobody needs a hefty excess baggage charge after months of preparing for our travels.

Some airlines are considering scrapping free carry-on baggage altogether, so figure out how to pack wisely now before you learn the hard way.

You can start by reading our ultimate carry on checklist of everything you really need by your side while in flight. 10 Cute Carry On Luggage You’ll Want for Your Next Trip

Carry-On Checklist:

Carry-On Checklist
Adventure time – plane, map, passport, money, watch, camera, notepad with text “Travel checklist”, sunglasses, wallet on white wooden table

Light Travels

Before you start working on your carry on checklist, find out exactly what your airline allows you to board with.

Most of them are pretty generous when it comes to carry-ons.

The average restriction is one bag of 15 lbs measuring 22 inches x 16 inches x 8 inches.

Experienced frequent flyers have mastered the art of packing a year’s worth of gear into their carry-on baggage.

We have restricted our carry on checklist to include just the essentials (and a few extras) for a long flight.

It’s in the bag

Effective packing begins with a good bag.

Choose something lightweight and durable with enough pockets to keep key items separate. Best Travel Handbags and Anti Theft Handbags For Travel

A 40 liters pack weighing in at under 3 lbs is a good choice.

You may want to choose one with a separate section for a laptop or lose the extra compartments and go for the lightest weight.

You can fit more into a square bag than one with rounded corners.

Compression straps will reduce the amount of cabin space you take up.

In-Flight Entertainment

It’s going to be a long, possibly bumpy ride.

If you battle to sleep on an airplane, we recommend slipping a mild sleeping pill into your pocket in case you need it.

There are times when sleep is out of the question and books are the answer here.

If you don’t have a Kindle or can’t take one on the flight, a small stash of magazines is just the trick.

You can always donate them to someone else afterward.

Several airlines are starting to offer in-flight Wi-Fi nowadays.

If yours does, a tablet or iPad could save you hours of boredom.

You could also stock up on movies before you leave and watch them during the flight.

Don’t forget a pair of lightweight headphones to avoid alienating your traveling companions.

Electronics Carry On Checklist

The amount of electronic firepower you should pack is a matter of preference and need.

All electronics should be transported in your carry on bag for safety’s sake.

A Smartphone is Essential

If you want to update your social media profiles and stay in touch with family and friends at home, a smart phone should be sufficient.

Make sure you have it all set up for international roaming and sim cards in advance to avoid stress on arrival.

Cameras

Unless you really want high-end photographs, your smart phone will do a great job of recording all your memories.

Other options are a GoPro, compact waterproof camera or Mirrorless.

Pack a tiny tripod into your camera bag and don’t forget the selfie stick.

A Laptop, Tablet or Notebook

Those who need to work online while abroad or perform more complex technological tasks will need a lightweight laptop or notebook.

A laptop sleeve is an added bonus if you are traveling with one of these devices.

You don’t want to lug your carry-on bag with you wherever your laptop goes.

Slip a compact USB with high storage capacity into a side pocket for storing photos and backing up your work.

Chargers

Do not forget a compatible charger, there is no guarantee that you will find one at your destination.

You can purchase a suitable adapter on arrival to save space now.

A USB battery pack is an optional nice-to-have device.

If you are traveling with a friend, discuss which items you could share to save space.

A laptop is a likely contender for this.

Airport regulations

TSA is changing the screening process for electronics.

These will have to be screened separately in future, so make sure they are easily accessible when you check in.

Comfort Comes First

You don’t want to be miserable during a 12-hour flight.

Small items like lotion, earplugs, an inflatable neck pillow and a few of your favorite hard candies can do much to alleviate the discomfort of air travel.

Any essential medications should already be on your carry on checklist so that they are nearby when needed.

Make sure you have enough medication for your entire trip and get permission in advance for any liquid medications.

A change of clothing can be a great source of comfort in the event of a long layover or delay.

Roll the items instead of folding them to save on space.

Wear a warm lightweight jacket onto the plane to avoid packing it anywhere and so that it is close at hand.

If they are allowed in your carry-on luggage, a couple of snack bars are a must, especially if you don’t like airline food.

Valuables

Keep your credit card with you, some airlines don’t accept cash for in-flight purchases. 

Your passport and other important travel documents are also essential carry on checklist items. Staying Safe When Traveling

Anything irreplaceable should be kept with you at all times.

Lost luggage happens.

I always use a front pocket travel wallet.

Zip It Up

Good quality Ziploc bags are great for keeping your toiletries from spilling all over your bag and keeping small items separately.

Always carry only the most essential toiletry items in your carry on.

The airlines have strict policies when it comes to liquids and you will be able to buy most of your requirements on arrival.

A small tube of toothpaste (under 100 ml), some face wash (50 ml) and a disposable toothbrush also come in handy.

Pack a comb instead of a hairbrush.

Other essentials include sanitizing hand wipes, a small medical kit containing painkillers, plasters and burn medication, and a compact sewing kit.

Get Packing

You’ll be surprised how much space you save by following our carry on checklist.

Now all you have to worry about is how to beat the jet lag.

Bon Voyage!

Your Travel Checklist: What to do Before You Leave

When preparing yourself for a forthcoming holiday, there are a number of things to think about in the weeks leading up to you leaving.

In order to assist you with your preparations whilst also ensuring you don’t miss anything important ahead of your departure, read on for a checklist that you can follow which starts three weeks before you go.

Small Suitcase?

Space Saving Packing Methods

Your Travel Checklist

3 Weeks Ahead of Traveling

Do some research to discover whether or not you or anyone you are travelling with requires a visa to enter the country you are going to as you will encounter problems if the relevant visa is not in place when you arrive.

Arrange how you are getting to and from the airport from your house; calling a local taxi firm with your flight details or discussing the time you need to be picked up with a friend or family member if they have offered to take and pick you up, or checking the time table for local transport.

If you are travelling within Europe, make sure everyone on the holiday has a valid EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) and that the details on each are correct.

Ensure you have the necessary travel insurance in place to ensure you are fully protected whilst on your holiday.

2 Weeks Ahead of Traveling

If you don’t have a credit card that offers free transactions from ATM machines abroad (which we highly recommend you arrange for next time you travel), it’s best to exchange some money before you leave.

Head to the shops and stock up on the holiday clothing appropriate to your holiday location; for instance, shorts and t-shirts for somewhere hot or thick jumpers and coats for a skiing break!

Whilst you are shopping around, find a bookshop and pick up a guide for your holiday destination so you can read up on the area before you travel and have a good idea of some of the things you’d like to do before you arrive.

1 Week Ahead of Traveling

With just seven days to go before you depart, this is the time at which you should ensure you have received all of the necessary travel documentation from your travel agent or airline, checking that the details are correct for each member of the travelling party.

Check how much luggage you are allowed to take with the airline you are flying.

If your bags are too heavy when you check-in, you could find that you face an extra charge for your bag to be loaded onto the plane, so check beforehand to avoid any unwanted surprises.

Once you know the weight allowance, create a list of the items you wish to pack as this will make the packing process far less time consuming and will help to keep track of exactly what you are taking with you.

3 Days Ahead of Traveling

With just three days before you head off on your holiday, now is the time to use your packing checklist and add everything you want to take with you to your suitcase.

It is always advisable to check the weight of your suitcase once packed too, ensuring the weight doesn’t exceed your allowance.

Arrange with a friend or family member to regularly check on your property whilst you are away; giving them a spare key and the details of where you are staying whilst on holiday so they can get in touch in the event of an emergency.

1 Day Ahead of Traveling

The day before you travel is often the best time to pack your hand luggage, ensuring anything you want with you on the plane is in there along with your passports, tickets, insurance details and hotel information so you have the important documents with you at all times.

Go online and check on the airline or airport website that your flight times haven’t been changed.

If you are travelling to the airport by taxi, call the company to confirm the time they will be picking you up the following day and how much it will cost.

On the Day you Travel

Check online again that there haven’t been any alterations to your flight

Make sure all the important documents have been packed in your hand luggage

Ensure all windows and doors are locked before you leave and that any electrical appliances have been turned off and unplugged.

After following this checklist, starting three weeks before you leave, you should have everything in order so all that will be left is to have a fantastic holiday wherever you are travelling to!

Summer Holiday Checklist the world is your oyster

With spring in full bloom, it’s time to look ahead to the warmest months of the year.

Ironically enough, these are the months where most of us choose to escape the United Kingdom for even warmer climes.

From the French Riviera to the Red Sea the world is your oyster.

But, be sure that you don’t forget your preparation!

Use this list as your checklist.

Summer Holiday Checklist

Passport

The most obvious of them all but they have to be kept up-to-date.

Overlooked more than you think, an out of date passport can be a nightmare – even if you notice it before departure day!

A one week or one day rush can set you back £130!

Visas

Being British we are fortunate to be able to get to a lot of places without a visa.

But, if you are going to Africa, Australia or America (even on connecting flights!) you will need to register for a visa.

Tickets & online check-in

When going on holiday, keeping documents close by is a great idea.

You can usually check-in online and this will give you the option of printing boarding cards so that you avoid the airport queues.

Travel insurance

Arguably, the most important part of any holiday, Summer Holiday Checklist.

Everything from luggage to extreme sports can be added to your policy and it gives you the piece of mind that you won’t be stung if an accident does happen.

Probably the last thing on your mind when you think of your much-needed holiday but it could literally save you thousands of pounds.

Airport Transfer

Transfers and/or parking should be arranged well in advance while at the other end you should know where you’re going from the airport – be that in a car or a taxi to your hotel.

Money – Always take a bit of cash in your pocket to start with to help with small purchases like foo and drink.

Never change currency at the airport and see whether you can get debit cards that aren’t charged overseas to stop additional fees from hitting your account.

Medical

Sunscreen is hugely important.

Readily available across the globe, you should be able to find good deals before jetting off. Get a good factor and be cautious in the sun.

Paracetamol, diarrhea tablets and painkillers are also commonly found in luggage.

Exotic foods can sometimes upset the stomach while too much celebrating on holiday may well bring on morning hangovers!

Toiletries

Always try to take hair products, soaps, gels, toothbrushes, toothpaste and razors.

While you can find them wherever you go if you can be prepared then you won’t have to waste time finding them!

Clothing

Swimwear and you’re ready right?

Well, not quite.

Remember your staples of a t-shirt a day, consider if you need socks or will be wearing flip-flops.

Don’t take too many clothes but try to have sensible footwear, a hat and sunglasses.

Even if you’re going somewhere warm, a pair of jeans and a jumper are always good additions.

Now you are all set for a great Summer Holiday Checklist!

If you’re spending a lot of time poolside, don’t forget to take some good books.

One last thing, make sure you’re camera’s in full working order!

(photo credit: 1 – 2 – 3)

Luggage Sets You’ll Want for Your Next Vacation

Updated:

Luggage sets – Have you ever gotten to the airport and paid tons of extra money in luggage fees because of weight and size?

Or do you always turn heads because your suitcase is the noisiest one in the airport?

In 2017, traveling has become more easy and accessible than ever before.

But there is one thing that still makes trips more of a hassle for most travelers: Luggage.

You could end up with surprise fees and tacky luggage sets if you’re not careful when choosing your travel gear.

We’re here to make your travel easier and sleeker.

Here are 8 luggage sets that will have you traveling in style.

Luggage Sets, bags on beach, travel concept
bags on beach, travel concept

What To Look For In Your Luggage Sets

Before you start shopping for the perfect luggage set, be sure to get a checklist of some of the key qualities that are essential to making your travels smoother.

Lightweight for avoiding too many extra airport fees

Appropriate carry-on sizes

Spinning wheels with great mobility and noise reduction

Airport tested and approved materials

Quality construction for durability and endurance

And here are some great luggage extras to look for

Built-in locks

Water and damage durability

Divided interior for easy organizing

Lots of space for plenty of packing room

Merax 3-Piece Lightweight Luggage Set

This stylish Merax luggage set was made for fashion and functionality.

It includes three different size suitcases within the set.

The smallest one is usable for carry on travel, while the other two may be checked in.

The set is made with an ABS hard shell material for durability.

And it’s lightweight with silent spinner wheels on each separate suitcase for smoother transitions during your trip.

These spacious suitcases come in 5 beautiful colors, including a lovely pink and minty green, and built in combination locks.

U.S. Traveler New Yorker 4-Piece Luggage Set

We know some travels are for business so you have to pack heavier and more strategic.

This luggage set is perfect for business travelling.

The U.S. Traveler New Yorker 4-piece set comes with variously sized suitcases.

This set gives you more space for your buck by including fully lined interiors that have built-in pockets and organizer and are expandable for up to 25% more packing capacity.

The retractable push-button handle system and inline skate wheels make for easy travel when you’re on the go.

You can get this set sturdy, tear-resistant set in four classy, standard colors to keep a professional look.

Samaz 2-Piece Trolley Luggage Set

This adorably stylish luggage set from Samaz is the perfect carry-on suitcase set.

It includes a handbag sized cosmetic bad and a trolley suitcase on wheels.

Samaz 2-Piece Trolley Luggage Set nylon lined suitcase is light, sturdy and noiseless.

The luggage set has a waterproof hard shell that is durable enough to outlast wear-and-tear overtime and a combination lock for extra travel security.

This lovely little set features six eye-catching colors, including a royal purple and sunflower yellow.

CO-Z 2-Piece Vintage Trolley Luggage Set

Here’s another great 2-piece trolley luggage set. But this one will make any vintage lover happy!

This trendy trolley set sports an old-fashioned look with some modern features for functionality, security, and mobility.

The CO-Z premium vintage set is equipped with spinning wheels with noise reduction and multi-directional capabilities.

There are also two TSA locks and a complimentary strap that allows you to attach the bag to the suitcase.

This elegant set is hand stitched using a heavy duty material to keep you traveling in style for a long time to come.

itLuggage World’s Lightest Hats and Mustaches 4-Piece Travel Set

I’m sure you could have guessed why this luggage set is so amazing by the name.

ItLuggage brings to you the world’s lightest suitcase set for quicker, easier traveling.

The bags are made of 100% polyester and are incredibly lightweight due to their innovative design.

The luggage is said to make a great companion for frequent travelers, especially for international travels where they are more strict on weight limits than in the US.

This luggage contains a user-friendly carry-on and stands the test of time for a reasonable price.

The set comes in three colors and classic Chaplin hats and mustaches print for an extra boost in trend.

Steve Madden Tribal Print 4-Piece Luggage Set

Steve Madden is not only good for making shoes stylish.

They also make fantastic luggage sets too!

Madden has selected a fashionable tribal print to take traveling in style to the next level.

The luggage handle is made with aircraft approved aluminum specialized for durability.

And to save their users time and money, Steve Madden has tested their carry-on suitcases to ensure that they fit most airlines overhead compartment requirements.

Heys America 2-Piece Marvel Set

This set is for the superhero loving traveler.

Heys America has designed an amazing luggage set for the Marvel fan in all of us.

Travel like a hero with this affordable, quality luggage set.

The set includes a carry-on bag and a more spacious one for check-in.

The features the ability to increase packing space up to 20% through a zipper release expansion system.

It also has 360 spinner wheels and a divider organized interior.

The endurance and durability are just as reliable as super as the heroes printed on this set.

Kensie 3-Piece Luggage Set

This luggage set provides you with a luxurious look for traveling while not breaking your pockets.

The Kensie set is made with a polycarbonate and ABS shell.

Kensie 3-piece luggage set designed this elegant line with a chic collection for the modern traveling woman.

Each suitcase can expand packing capacity of up to 25% and are equipped with TSA 3-digit lock systems.

Kensie’s brand brings a contemporary style to successfully combine the worlds of travel and fashion.

These trendy bags come in feminine colors, including a glamorous rose gold.

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Start Traveling in Style

Take some tips from the luggage sets above to find the perfect set for your traveling needs.

Whether you’re traveling alone or taking a family vacation, be sure to find suitcases that will last you for many trips while showcasing your own personal fashion styles.

The world is too big not to travel in style!

Affordable Luggage Sets You Should Travel With

Affordable Luggage Sets – From hotel stays to flights, vacationers may have to juggle myriad costs when planning a trip.

It comes as no surprise, then, that an average 64% of women and 41% of men cite spending money as their top guilt when it comes to planning some time off.

The good news is that you don’t have to feel bad when you invest in high-quality luggage that’s functional, fashionable, and best of all — affordable.

Today, there are many options on the market that allow you to travel in style on a budget.

Now, you don’t have to sacrifice incredible memories to keep your finances in check. 10 Cute Carry On Luggage You’ll Want for Your Next Trip

Today, we’re taking a closer look at some of the affordable luggage selections that make it easy.

Ready to learn more?

Let’s get started!

affordable Luggage You Should Travel With
affordable Luggage You Should Travel With – Man planning his vacation trip with map

5 Affordable Luggage Sets You Should Travel With

American Tourister Fieldbrook II Set

American Tourister is a brand synonymous with high-class, low-cost luggage, and this four-piece set doesn’t disappoint.

American Tourister Fieldbrook II Set is Featuring a 25-inch upright, 21-inch upright, duffel bag (with wheels!), and boarding bag, this package starts at around $50 on Amazon, adjustable according to your color preference.

Whether you’re packing for a short road trip or are planning a long-distance flight, there’s a piece for every occasion.

Now, you don’t have to invest in a bank-breaking set, even if you’re planning to travel internationally.

One of the best parts?

Made with 100% polyester and featuring reinforced corners, they wipe down with ease and stand up to even the most frequent traveler’s wear and tear.

Each piece also comes equipped with exterior and interior pockets to keep your items neat and organized.

Other features, such as inline skate wheels and retractable, mono-tube handles, enhance mobility and durability.

Whether you’re looking for affordable luggage for your whole family, or simply want a few, differently sized options to pick from as you travel solo, purchasing a set is a wise investment — and at this price, it’s one you can feel good about.

Travelpro Maxlite 4 Expandable Rollaboard

Looking for a lightweight, no-fuss carry-on?

The Travelpro Maxlite 4 Expandable Rollaboard expandable 22-inch beauty will quickly become your favorite piece of affordable luggage for a short business trip or family vacation.

Designed with the brand’s signature “Rollaboard” functionality, this luggage features recessed, ball-bearing inline wheels and four-point stability.

This allows travelers to navigate even the most uneven terrain (think cobblestone sidewalks) with ease.

Coming in at just over eight pounds with a telescoping handle, it’s a truly lightweight and user-friendly option.

It even features crash guard housings on the wheels and a skid guard, ensuring that even if you do put it through harsh conditions, it’ll stand up to the test.

Thinking about picking up a few souvenirs while you’re away?

The Maxlite 4 offers two inches of expansion, allowing for flexible packing, so shop away!

Starting at around $83 on Amazon, you’ll be able to afford a few more mementos to stow.

Samsonite Winfield 2 Fashion Spinner

Prefer the aesthetic and durability of a hard-shelled exterior?

If so, the Samsonite Winfield 2 Fashion Spinner lightweight fashion spinner is a budget-friendly favorite.

Constructed of polycarbonate, this suitcase is designed to flex if impacted.

Then, it will bounce right back to its original shape, making it ideal for years of use.

Yet, this affordable luggage isn’t just sturdy — it’s also sleek.

Its brushed charcoal design works perfectly to hide any scratches or scuff marks you may pick up on your travels.

A side-mounted TSA lock and conveniently compartmentalized interior keep your items secure, while four, multi-directional “spinner” wheels keep you moving through the airport with ease.

Even its over-sized zippers are designed for usability, helping you access your pockets quickly.

Starting at around $106 on Amazon, this luggage is an easy investment that will last for years into the future.

Rockland Rio 2-Piece Set

Traveling with kids who would love to stroll their own luggage alongside the grown-ups?

Weighing just under eight pounds and standing 20-inches tall, this roller suitcase and matching tote are a perfect starter set.

Starting at around $35 on Amazon, this is one piece of affordable luggage that scores in both the price point and convenience categories.

Featuring some of the same design touches as other similar sets, including inline wheels, a retractable handle, and stability bars to prevent tipping, you can’t go wrong with this option.

Another bonus?

The upright features two exterior pockets for your essential travel documents, making it easy to access them while on the go.

They’re also perfect spots for stashing those kid-friendly travel games, coloring pages, and books!

You’ll also have your pick from more than a dozen patterns and colors, so pick one that matches your family’s style!

Merax Travelhouse 3-Piece Set

Get the whole family ready with this hard-shelled set, featuring 20-inch, 24-inch, and 28-inch uprights.

This affordable luggage is made from acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS).

While this material is a little more lightweight than its poly carbonate cousin, it can also be slightly less durable, so keep that in mind when traveling in rougher environments.

With silent, multi-directional spinner wheels, each piece is designed to move seamlessly across most ground conditions.

They also come equipped with three-step telescoping handles for added comfort and stability.

A three-digit combination lock keeps the interior protected while the luggage’s expandability features allow you to fit up to 25% more inside if required.

The manufacturer also took the time to test its new metal hand clamps 20,000 times via machine.

So now, you can rest assured that your items are as secure as possible throughout your journey.

Featuring PC Color Masterbatch, the luggage comes in an array of bold, bright colors, with options starting at around $120 on Amazon.

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Want to Travel? Pack Your Affordable Luggage and Go!

Are you interested in learning more about how to travel effectively, which spots to visit, and how to save money as you see the world?

If so, you’ve come to the right spot. CabinZero Luggage review here

We’re travel experts dedicated to sharing our knowledge on how to smartly navigate your journey on a dime.

We’ve even organized some of our best tips into a handy pre-travel guide that helps you set off on the right foot, no matter where you’re starting from — or going to.

Contact us to learn more, and start planning your next adventure today!

Travel Gear for a Europe

Travel Gear for a European Vacation – When you travel to Europe, you want to maximize every second of your time in this incredible continent, soaking up all of the culture and history.

You certainly don’t want to spend valuable hours searching shops for that one irreplaceable item that you left sitting on your kitchen table back home!

Make the best of your vacation by carefully planning the packing all of your essential travel gear, so you won’t be left stranded.

Here is a list of ten critical items of travel gear you need to bring to have the best possible holiday in Europe.

Great Suitcase

European travelers often visit several countries in one trip, and take advantage of the continent’s excellent public transportation system.

You may be hopping trains and even ferries in your adventures.

You certainly do not want to be laden down with a bunch of heavy bags.

If you have to invest in one essential piece of travel gear, buy a suitcase that is lightweight, rolls easily over cobbled streets, and can be lifted into overhead compartments with no problem.

For extra convenience, you can find hi-tech luggage options which allow you to track your bags once they are checked, charge your phone, or even convert into a scooter!

International Power Adapter

You will not be able to charge your American electronic devices like your phone, Kindle or tablet in a European outlet.

You are going to need an adapter.

Countries in Europe do not all use the same kind of electrical outlet (England and Ireland use different plugs than the rest of Europe), so purchasing a universal power adapter is your best bet.

Remember that voltage capacities are different as well.

In America, the standard is 110 volts, while in Europe it is 220.

High-end electronics like phones are built to operate on either voltage, but lower end items like hair dryers or razors may fry if you plug an American version into a European outlet!

Pouch for Your Valuables

Europeans may giggle at Americans with their “fanny packs,” but the prevalence of pickpockets in highly traveled tourist spots makes this travel gear important.

You need to find a bag that keeps your passport and cash close to your body.

If you don’t want to strap something around your waist, consider a flat passport pouch which can be hung around your neck and placed under your clothes.

When you are struggling with jet lag or a map, thieves can take advantage of your disorientation and snatch your bag in a second.

Make sure your valuables are secured to your person at all times in order to prevent your holiday from becoming a nightmare.

Noise Cancelling Headphones

Another key piece of travel gear you should bring with you to Europe is a set of noise canceling headphones.

You will use them to listen to music as you are exploring the sights.

You will also rely on them when you can’t sleep because of the thin walls in your hotel, or when the companions in your train compartment want to chatter the night away.

Day Pack

Because you want to make the most of every day of your European travels, you will probably be out of the hotel for hours at a time.

Bring a day pack!

You will want to carry a snack and a water bottle, plus a map.

You may want to stash your sweater if the weather changes over the course of the day.

You may pick up a few souvenirs.

Choose a lightweight backpack that can double as your carry on for your flights.

 Personalized Medical Kit

Make sure you pack enough medication to last your entire trip, with extra in case you lose something or extend your stay.

It may be difficult to fill your American prescriptions in a foreign country…travelers medical kit.

If you are prone to headaches or allergies, make sure you pack some of the over-the-counter medications that you prefer.

You may not be able to find your favorite brands in other countries, and it may be difficult to convey your needs to a non-English speaking pharmacist.

Band-aids, aspirin and muscle ointment may also be important if you plan on doing a lot of walking or other vigorous activities.

An Umbrella

Although it depends on the time of year you travel, it is likely that at some point during your European vacation you will have need of an umbrella.

Pack a small collapsible umbrella so you are prepared.

You will be able to buy one anywhere if necessary, but umbrellas sold at tourist attractions during a rain storm are likely to be significantly marked up in price.

Save yourself a few dollars/euros by packing one of your own.

Kindle or Nook

There’s nothing like sitting at a Parisian cafe with a book, or diving into your favorite Dickens novel as you travel the British countryside.

However, lugging large bound volumes of literature around on your holiday may prove burdensome.

The invention of these convenient electronic devices to store books has revolutionized the idea of reading while traveling, where before Americans would have to search out English language bookstores in foreign cities.

But with a Kindle or a Nook you can access and find the information you need when you need it.

Upload as many books as you can before you take off.

Not only is it easier on your body, it will save you the money of trying to purchase reading material on the road.

Travel Toilet Paper

Americans are sometimes surprised that the amenities they take for granted at home are not always the same abroad.

Toilet paper varies from country to country in softness and pliability.

If comfort in the bathroom is high on your list of priorities, you should include toilet paper as an essential bit of travel gear to include your packing.

Flask

Alcohol in many European countries is highly taxed; you may be taken aback at the cost for a bottle of beer in Scandinavia, for example.

You also may not always be able to get a drink when you need it: in your hotel room at 2 in the morning when you are suffering from jet lag, for example.

A small hip flask can give you easy access to a shot of schnapps or whatever local liquor you prefer.

You can transform a soda into an adult beverage at half the price!

Smart Travel Gear Makes for Smart Travels

These ten tips for essential travel gear will help take the stress out of your journey and allow you to enjoy every moment.

For more tips on how to make the most of your European adventure, check out these travel secrets.

How To Travel The World With No Check-In Luggage

Updated:

No Check-In Luggage – How To Travel The World Stress Free, Saving Time And Without Checking In Your Backpack At The Airport.

After having experienced the pain and hassle of traveling with a 65L backpack, I’ve become really into light weight traveling.

At first I laughed out loud at the idea of traveling with a pack the same size as a schoolbag, but now I don’t want anything other than that. Affordable Luggage You Should Travel With

In 2008 Nathan gave away his 90L backpack and bought a 20L pack instead, and my backpack hasn’t been filled up completely for a long time now.

I also love turning up at an airport, and having the ability to walk straight through customs with our calling cards and onto the plane with all my stuff still on my back.

I know where it is and once we arrive at our next destination there is no waiting at baggage claim to make sure our stuff made it to the same place as us – traveling made easy!

Our Travel Guide Step-By-Step Travel Round The World Travel Guide

How To Travel The World With No Check-in Luggage

No Check-In Luggage
No Check-In Luggage

To me the advantages of light weight travel and using free phone cards out-weigh the ‘normal’ way of traveling, but there are some problems that come with it, and here is how I solved them:

How To Fit It All In?

You will need to bring less to fit it all in, obviously, and your packing itinerary needs to be more thought through.

When you have a big backpack you tend to pack it until it’s full, and then ending up with a lot of things you’re not sure why you even brought (the answer for me was: because I could).

When you have a smaller backpack there is less space for ‘mistakes’, and you can’t bring a bunch of things just because you think they look nice.

Try to make as many items have a multi-purpose.

Bring light weight clothing and clothes that take up less space.

By rolling your clothes you will also be able to fit more in, they take up less space that way.

What To Do With Liquid Stuff?

Shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, make up, perfumes – the list goes on.

All this liquid stuff you want and need to bring with you.

I never understood how you could possibly bring a carry- on with all that when you’re only allowed 100ml (3.4 ounces)?

I recently realized that you actually can find all of these things in solid forms – a solid shampoo bar the size of a yo-yo and weighs close to nothing lasts you 3 months, as long as 3 normal sized shampoo bottles!

Many girls might get suspicious when I mention using solid soap for face and body, but forget about that cheap dehydrating stuff – there are some great choices out there now, so natural you can almost eat them!

Lush is a company which has great soaps, perfumes, conditioners and shampoos in solid form, and I love them.

By avoiding liquid stuff you won’t only be able to bring it in your carry-on pack but also won’t have to worry about breaking the bottles or having them leaking in your bag – believe me with liquid stuff it’s doomed to happen…

How To Get The Good Support?

There are more and more smaller backpacks that offer really good support – so this isn’t really a problem but many cheaper models don’t.

They count on you not making it very heavy since you can’t stuff much in it, but wearing a backpack for a long time will still make your back hurt even if it’s not too heavy.

Pack your backpack the same way you would with a large backpack.

Keep the heavy items close to your back in the hip area, putting the weight on your hips and easing the weight on the shoulders.

Organization?

A problem I’ve found with smaller backpacks is that there weren’t many compartments, but you sort of had to stuff it all into one main compartment.

This made it difficult to have some organization in your bag.

I solved it by putting it all into smaller ‘bags’.

It could be everything from bags I sew myself to professional pack bags, but something to separate the camera cords from dirty socks.

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Do you like traveling light and have any tips, or is this simply nothing for you and you don’t mind checking in your backpack at the airport every time?

CabinZero Luggage: The Carry-On You Need to Have

CabinZero Luggage – Are you planning a trip?

Are you debating between carry-on or checked luggage?

And have you (like us) lost track of the airlines’ ever-changing baggage requirements and fees?

If your goal is to travel light and save money, CabinZero luggage could be the answer for you.

Here’s our review of CabinZero and how their products can make your upcoming journey easier. Carry-On Checklist

CabinZero’s motto is “Cabin Sized – Zero Hassles.”

That tagline alone is a powerful sales pitch.

We’ve all experienced the frustration of checking in for our flight, only to realize our luggage exceeds the airline’s policy.

Worse still, some companies purposely misrepresent the size of their luggage.

One recent study found that a shocking nine in eleven “carry-on size” bags were larger than the advertised (and allowable) dimensions.

With CabinZero products, you don’t have to worry about last-minute surprises.

Designed for travelers, by travelers, all their bags qualify as carry-on size for all major airlines.

This includes many of the budget airlines that have very strict baggage policies.

The idea for the backpacks came from the company’s owner and seasoned traveler, Neil Varden.

Tired of the hassle and expense of checking in his luggage, he wanted to create a lightweight product travelers could use with zero hassles.

Another reason to love this company is that it’s eco-friendly.

Created in an ethical manner, each of their backpacks must pass all European regulatory tests.

The company also encourages sustainable tourism and donates to charities in developing nations.

CabinZero Luggage
CabinZero Luggage

Why Carry-On Luggage Is Best

Have you always struggled to “pack light”?

Not sure if carry-on only is the best way to travel?

Here are a few reasons why carry-on is best.

Save money on checked baggage fees

Save time at check-in by avoiding the bag drop line

No waiting around for your luggage when you arrive

Zero chance of your bags getting lost

Easier to get around with in your new destination

Still want to haul that clunky old suitcase on your next trip?

We didn’t think so.

Read on to learn why we fell in love with CabinZero – and why you will, too.

What We Love About CabinZero Luggage

Here are six reasons to try CabinZero’s hassle-free luggage.

It’s the Perfect Size

Packing for any trip – especially an extended trip – is a daunting task.

While it’s tempting to pack everything you may possibly need, the best packing advice involves packing smarter, not heavier.

CabinZero’s perfectly sized luggage helps take the anxiety out of packing.

The backpacks are large enough to fit all your belongings but small enough to conform to most airlines’ carry-on policies.

Because travel costs are a concern for the majority of us, budget airlines are becoming more popular.

These airlines’ restrictions on the baggage size and weight can be major sources of stress and irritation.

With CabinZero’s products, you’ll never have to worry about size.

At 55 x 40 x 20cm, their popular 44L backpack will fit nearly all carry-on size restrictions.

Another bonus? Since it’s styled like a rucksack, the bag is incredibly lightweight.

Traditional suitcases can take up a precious portion of your weight allowance.

In contrast, CabinZero’s bags weigh in at a feather-light 0.76 kilograms.

Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a long backpacking trip, this product will make your travel days much smoother.

It’s Stylish Luggage

CabinZero’s bags may be the right size, but how do they look?

Whether you like muted colors or funky camouflage, there’s a CabinZero bag to suit your style.

Choices range from hot pink and galactic green to jungle camo and traditional black.

Are you traveling somewhere wet?

No worries.

CabinZero’s bags are all made from waterproof polyester, ensuring the contents stay dry.

It’s Trackable Luggage

Each of CabinZero’s bags come equipped with an Okoban tracking device.

If your bag gets lost or stolen, this gives you a better chance of getting it back.

When you first receive your backpack, simply log onto Okoban’s website and add your bag’s unique identification code.

You’ll also provide your name and contact details for their records.

Okoban’s system integrates with WorldTracer, the lost and found system used by all major airlines.

If someone finds your bag, they can easily report it online.

Okoban will notify you immediately so you and your bag can reunite.

It Has Great Design Features

Another reason we love CabinZero’s backpacks is all the clever design features.

If your shoulders tend to hurt after carrying around a backpack all day, you’ll love CabinZero’s thick padded shoulder straps.

They provide the ultimate comfort no matter how many hours you’re traveling.

The bags also feature an easy-access front pocket for items you commonly use.

An interior mesh pocket is perfect for small, loose items, and your laptop will remain secure in the interior laptop sleeve.

Tired of hauling your bag around on your back?

No problem.

Simply use the top and side handles and carry it as a duffel bag instead of a backpack.

Photographers will appreciate the side compression straps to easily carry their tripods.

For the security-conscious, the zippers are also designed for use with a small padlock.

It Comes with a 25-Year Warranty

Forget the standard one-year warranty.

CabinZero’s products come with an amazing 25-year warranty.

How do you access this warranty?

Simply “like” their page on Facebook.

That’s it – the warranty is yours!

Optional Packing Cubes

To help you pack like a pro, you can also order a set of CabinZero’s high-quality packing cubes.

Custom designed to fit into their backpacks, these sturdy nylon packing cubes come with their own carrying handles.

Each one is also equipped with its own Okoban tracker, making it easy to track if you misplace it.

Cute Carry On Luggage
Roller Bag vs Backpack
Portable Travel Digital Luggage Scale
Travel Handbags and Anti Theft Handbags
Affordable Luggage Sets
Travel The World With No Check-In Luggage
Luggage Sets You’ll Want

Final Thoughts CabinZero Luggage

There are a lot of reasons to love CabinZero’s luggage.

Their bags are durable, stylish, and affordable.

They come with a lot of extra features that frequent travelers will appreciate.

How To Travel The World With No Check-In Luggage

And because they’re the perfect carry-on size, they’re guaranteed to help you travel light and save money.

Looking for more expert travel tips?

Be sure to check out our latest travel gear and technology posts for more recommendations.

Best Travel Gear for Wherever You Are Going

Updated:

Here we have reviewed the latest and best travel gear for your next adventure.

These are some of our staff’s favorite pieces, depending on where you are going and what you will be doing.

You should also checkout our Gift Ideas for the Traveler and Adventurer in Your Life

Best travel gear tote for weekends

Travel bags, totes, backpacks and suitcases.

We love traveling and are always looking for practical, lightweight and multi-functional pieces. 

Best all-around duffel bag

The Dodger Duffel from Kelty has been my family’s go-to bag. It’s a practical duffel bag to take on road trips, camping, to the beach, on weekend adventures, and on even longer vacations.

Kelty Dodger Duffel

Before trying this bag, I assumed duffel bags were all the same. They aren’t!

What I like most about this Kelty bag is the zippered top.

Most duffel bags have a horizontal zipper. The Dodger Duffel has two connecting zippers in sort of a U shape which enables you to lift the top of the bag to see more of what’s inside. 

This design makes the bag all-around easier to use than traditional duffel bags. My clothes and everything I pack in the duffel stays more organized as I don’t need to unearth everything to find what I need.

The entire bag has a light padding. This feature makes the bag stay somewhat upright while you pack it.

So while typical duffel bags collapse, the Kelty remains somewhat “lifted” even though you can pack it down easily if you want to.

Easy ways to carry it

We love that there are many easy and convenient ways to carry it.

You can carry it from the long adjustable, padded strap. Simply put it over your shoulder like with other duffel bags you may be familiar with.

There are also handles on both ends which are easy to use.

duffel bag
Kelty Duffel bag

Another option, which makes this even more practical, is there is a handle on the side in the middle. Because of this, you also have the option to carry it like you would a suitcase. 

What’s great about all of these handles is you can carry it any which way without having to flip the bag around looking for a strap to carry it. We like this a lot!

Compact and lightweight

The bag is lightweight and quite comfortable to carry.

It fits easily in the overhead compartment on an airplane. Depending on how much you fill it, it can also fit under the seat. You can fit a lot in this bag. It holds 40 liters. It measures 11.5″ x 21.5″ x 11.5″.

Kelty Duffel Bag
Kelty Duffel opens nicely from the top.

There is light padding all around the bag. It’s made of sturdy material.

Practical pockets

Another feature is the hidden pockets. We found three of them.

There are two interior pockets which you can easily access but they are hidden inside. One would easily hold a smartphone and the other is a tad larger and could hold your passport, wallet, keys and money, etc. 

The third pocket we just found after using the Kelty Duffel bag three times. It’s hidden on the side and is ideal for cash.

Separate zippered compartment

The bonus for us is the side zippered compartment. It’s the perfect spot to separate out clothes you’ve worn or things you want easy access to, like an iPad, book, water bottle, etc.

It’s quite roomy, and we were surprised to find we use this part of the bag a lot.

(We put my kids’ flip flops, snacks, and swim gear — suits, googles, sunscreen, microfiber towels, and rash guards — in this section because we were going to the ocean before being able to check into our hotel. They were able to find and grab everything they needed.)

Attractive bag

The Dodger Duffel comes two- and three-toned attractive colors. There’s a camo pattern with their canyon color (brown) as well as nice gray tones with black, canyon or turquoise. The combinations are neutral yet stunning and unique.

best travel gear
on its side

It’s an all-around smart-looking bag that has proven to a better grab-and-go option instead of the suitcase we’ve favored over the years.

So far we’ve used it three times. My two kids shared it on a three-night trip (to the beach) in which they packed clothing, toiletries, two books, and beach gear.

I used it for a six-night trip and was able to put it easily in the overhead compartment on the airplane. 

The third time, I used it locally to carry brochures and miscellaneous items to help set up an event in my area. Using the Kelty Duffel plus a box, I was able to bring what I needed in just one carry from my car to the event.

With the airlines charging so much for baggage, I know we will have my kids share this bag on future trips. It’s easy for them to fit their belongings inside and eliminates the need to carry a much heavier suitcase. 

This duffel is sturdy and fits a lot. I also like that it’s not a standard solid color and that it doesn’t have the brand name largely splashed across the side like many sports-type duffel bags do.

While this hasn’t been a concern for us, some might not like there isn’t a way to remove the shoulder strap. The good news is you can shorten the strap considerably to use this duffel as more of a messenger-type bag.

This makes the bag very versatile and practical to use.

The Kelty Duffel is our favorite duffel bag.

Best travel bag for work

We love the Classic Weekender Bag from Moleskine for work trips. It’s professional-looking and light. It holds a lot.

best travel gear Moleskine Classic Weekender Bag
best travel gear Moleskine Classic Weekender Bag

Moleskine’s Classic Weekender Bag

Going on a short trip for 1 – 4 overnights?

The weekender bag is a lightweight, versatile tote that will fit your belongings and easily transition with you from your business meetings to the airport.

In timeless black, it is neutral in styling and color.

Moleskine’s Classic Weekender Bag is one of the newest additions in the Classic Bag Collection and designed to match this line.

I carried this bag several times for 2-3 nights away and each time was able to fit everything I wanted to bring.

It was the only bag I carried when I was gone 5 days/4 nights when I traveled from Boston to Phoenix for a 2-day conference.

I was able to bring several changes of clothes and packed two additional pairs of shoes with accessories with a bit of room to spare, even after packing toiletries and reading materials.

What’s good about this bag

I love that the bag extended vertically for when I needed more space, like for my 5-day trip.

While I didn’t use it for my laptop, it easily fit my tablet. (It fits laptops with screens to 15 inches.)

It’s great that you can use this bag for an overnight or two or expand it to pack for a few more days.

The bag doesn’t look like a suitcase yet fits easily in the overhead compartment as a carry-on when flying.

Before being packed, its cabin size is 15.75″ x 16.5″ x 6.25.” The base itself is 6.25″ but it expands to much wider.

Some of the other standouts include the large pocket on the exterior of the bag that opens to a space that can hold stuff you need easy access to.

It has a place for a smart phone, IDs and credit cards and pens.

I really like that I was able to have that zippered side facing me so that it was protected.

What is helpful also is that Moleskin’s large compartment bag opens wide and has a secure spot for your laptop or tablet on one side.

On the other side, there are two zippered mesh-type/easy-to-see-through pockets for other important items. The rest is open space to fill as needed.

There is a sturdy base at the bottom that surprisingly enables me to place the bag on the ground, and it remains upright.

Versatile travel bag

What I love MOST about the Classic Weekender Bag is the versatility I had while carrying it around.

The handles are long enough so that I was able to loop the handles over my shoulder.

I was also able to carry it lower (like I might carry a bag of groceries to give you an idea).

There are straps on the back of it that enabled me to carry it as a backpack as well.

Surprisingly, and even better, I could un-clip that “backpack strap” and clip it to the anchors on the side of the bag for a longer strap (to sling it over my shoulder or back).

Having so many options for carrying this bag, especially when walking and traveling long distances, is one of the best things about this bag.

And because the bag is lightweight, depending on the weight of your items inside, it is easy to tote around. The straps are comfortable.

I used it as a backpack when the bag was fully extended and also when it was smaller, and it worked well each time.

From a distance, this bag appears to be leather but is actually made from water-resistant polyurethane.

I can carry this no matter the weather and not worry about it getting ruined.

When traveling, it is so important to not be bogged down with multiple bags, totes, and luggage.

Not only does it keep you on high alert trying to keep track of everything, it also physically wears you down by having to carry it all, and it takes a greater toll on the environment.

Best travel gear for camping and hiking

There are many must-haves to bring while camping and hiking.

Water is one of the most important things.

Sometimes you just can’t physically carry or tote enough water with you.

Many portable water filtration systems are impractical.

This one is easy to use.

Here’s what we love about the Potable Aqua Pure Electrolytic Water Purifier and how it revolutionizes and simplifies the water filtration process.

best travel gear Pure Electrolytic Water Purifier
Potable Aqua Pure Electrolytic Water Purifier

Potable Aqua Pure Electrolytic Water Purifier

Wow! They really got this right.

A direct quote from my husband after he tried this:

“What a great idea! Why didn’t I think of this? Making my own virtually unlimited water treatment solution on the go!”

My husband loves hiking and camping.

Now that we have children, our hikes are shorter, but living in the southwest US, it is hot many months of the year.

We can only carry so much water, especially for those all-day day hikes we want to do but are restricted by the amount of water we can carry.

What would we do if there was an emergency?

No matter where we hike now — a long or short hike, for minutes, hours, all day, or overnight — we bring this Potable Aqua Pure Electrolytic Water Purifier with us.

It is so small that it easily fits in our day pack. Weighing 4 ounces, it fits easily in your palm.

It is affordable. It is revolutionary.

And it can really help you or even save you when you really need it.

Best travel water purifier

This little water purifier exceeds the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Guide Standard and Protocol for Testing Microbiological Purifiers.

It is very easy to use and only requires a small amount of water and salt (self-made brine solution) that the device will then purify for you into a mixed oxidant disinfectant that you add to your water to purify your water.

It’s scalable, so you can treat from one – 20 liters of water per disinfected brine cycle, but you can purify larger amounts of water by simply using multiple disinfected brine solution cycles.

It kills bacteria, viruses, Protozao, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia so that you can safely drink the water.

This disinfection process will help protect water that you store for later use.

It’s scalable to any reasonable amount of water

No batteries to replace – USB charging or built-in solar charger. It wull treat 150+ liters when fully charged.

Weighs 4 ounces; this is lighter than most.

No pre-filter or pre-treated water necessary

Sustainable – No replacement parts or filters. It is solar rechargeable (also includes a plug-in charger). We love the convenience and its “earth-friendliness.”

Cost effective – Buy the device and you only need regular table salt. It simply requires salt to operate, nothing else to buy or replace.

Also, it comes with pH strips so you can use to confirm the disinfected brine solution before you add it to the water you are purifying.

My husband has used other water purification systems before.

They all had tubes, were cumbersome and not compact, and required pumping; this one does not.

My husband would rather carry 15-20 pounds of water, than a traditional water filter.

Best water purifier

This is a great product for those traveling to other parts of the world where clean drinking water isn’t a given.

It is also ideal for those who enjoy hiking and/or camping for extended periods of time as you can only bring in and carry a limited amount of safe water.

This is also great to include with your survival packs and disaster preparedness kits.

It barely takes up any space and comes with a small tote to keep everything together.

It even has a built-in flashlight.

The Potable Aqua Pure Electrolytic Water Purifier can purify and treat up to 60,000 liters of water without having to clean, change or buy a new filter or other replacement parts.

We think it is just remarkable.

Best travel gear for gifts or yourself

Travel smarter with the best travel gear for your particular journey or adventure whether you are going for a day hike, a road trip for the weekend, or camping for a week or more.

You know how important it is be smart about what you pack when you travel.

Many of you have seen our previous recommendations, including Ultimate Video Camera For Travelers, Travel Pillows and Portable Travel Digital Luggage Scale.

What to bring and what to leave at home?

We’ve been testing some new travel products and have put together a list of some of our favorites.

Here are some unique gift ideas for travelers. Top Reasons to Travel Alone

HubPlus 6000 mAh Portable Charger by myCharge

We really love this portable charger by myCharge.

It offers up to 45 hours of power for your iPhone and iPad.

It even came pre-charged!

HubPlus myCharge
HubPlus myCharge

We’ve seen a few different portable chargers on the market and what makes the HubPlus Portable Charger unique is that it has its own self-contained wall prong to charge the battery.

It even has a built-in micro-USB cable so you don’t need your own.

That’s great because so many cords become misplaced when they are used for several devices.

I absolutely love that this unit has everything included to do what I need it to do, when I need it.

Unfortunately, so does my husband, who collects and owns many portable chargers.

It seems that this is also becoming his favorite as well, it mysteriously disappears from my bag on occasion and finds it way in to his.

Even more: It can charge two devices at the same time, and it’s a rapid charger too.

HubPlus 6000 mAh Portable Charger by myCharge
HubPlus 6000 mAh Portable Charger by myCharge

It is gender-neutral in style, color and design, and it easily fits in a backpack, briefcase or tote.

Also, it’s nicely packaged – perfect for a gift – and it’s sleek in anodized aluminum.

Approximate measurements: 4″ x 2.25″ x .8″.

HubPlus myCharge Portable Charger
HubPlus myCharge Portable Charger

I brought this to a convention where I wasn’t going to have access to my charger until the evening. After using it twice, I was happy I brought it. 

I’m looking forward to bringing it and showing it off at my kids’ all-day sports’ tournaments and math competitions where we sit around all day.

I’m sure I’ll be helping several grateful parents who have smart phones that run out of battery!

This is a fantastic portable charger!

Chic Buds Clutchette Power and Chic Buds Slim Power Phone Charger

We do love portable chargers.

I couldn’t decide which of the Chic Buds products to choose, as there were so many colors and style choices.

I didn’t realize these portable chargers were now becoming fashion accessories too. Who knew phone chargers could be so fun?

Chic Buds Clutchette Power
Chic Buds Clutchette Power

The Chic Buds Clutchette Power is a carry-all for your smart phone, credit cards, and keys. I love it.

It comes in 16 colors; I chose it in plum.

I like that it’s a wristlet so that I can use it as an easy way to carry my phone when I don’t want to tote around a purse.

Since receiving it, I’ve used it every time I pick up my kids from school.

I usually have to walk at least a block away, and I always bring my phone and car keys with me. Now I’ve been putting both of them inside this clutch.

I never owned a clutch before, so this has been a great way for me to protect my smart phone from dropping.

While I wanted it for the technical features, I am surprised by how much I am enjoying using it for everyday living.

The Chic Buds Clutchette Power zippers all along the top and down one side.

Mine opens to reveal a fun black polka dot lining on a white background.

Inside is a zippered pocket which holds the battery. It is easy to charge.

There is a USB cable included to plug into your computer or wall adapter. You keep the battery inside and just plug in the cable right from this mini-purse.

After the battery is charged, you can use it wherever you are and can charge your smart phone.

You do need to use/bring the charging cable that would have come with your smart phone.

It’s unbelievably convenient as so many times I’m running out the door with a low charge to my phone. I often forget to plug it into my car adapter, or I’m just going on a short jaunt so it’s not worth it.

Now I can charge for however long I need right from this clutch.

I imagine it would charge tablets too – I haven’t done that as I don’t tote my iPad around.

Chic Buds Slim Power Phone Charger
Chic Buds Slim Power Phone Charger

Chic Buds Slim Power Phone Charger

I also wanted to try the Chic Buds Slim Power Phone Charger. This one is portable also.

It is a stand-alone battery, not in a clutch or any type of purse.

It’s small and mighty!

I love the chevron pattern. It comes in 14 colors/patterns so you can pick one that will be easy to spot in your purse, backpack, etc.

I keep mine in my purse to always have an extra charge when I need it.

It is basically the same idea as the clutch in that it enables you to charge your smart phone wherever you are, as long as you have pre-charged the battery.

It comes with the power cable to charge into the wall adapter or computer.

You just need the charging cable for your particular device.

What I didn’t realize about this Slim Power Phone Charger before I ordered it is that it has a way for you to see how much charge the battery has.

There is a button on the side of it that you press and there are three small lights that will indicate if you have a 0 – 33% charge remaining; 34 – 67% remaining; or 68% – 100% remaining.

This is a very practical feature. With most portable chargers, you don’t know how much power you have used and how much remains.

I also love that this is small — the size of a credit card — and about a quarter of an inch thick.

This has been easy to just keep in one of my go-to purses and charge up my phone as well as my husband’s and kid’s devices as well.

We don’t generally rely on it as a power source, but it is sure convenient to have and can be so helpful in an emergency situation if I was ever low on battery.

When the Slim Power battery is fully charged, it provides up to 10 hours of talk time.

I will definitely be bringing it when I go hiking. While I haven’t taken either the Clutch or the Slim Power on a vacation yet, I will bring both of them from now on.

Blu bags – reusable shopping bags by Rockflowerpaper

According to the Ocean Conservancy, the average American uses 300 plastic bags per year , and a single plastic bag can take 1,000 years to disintegrate.

Wow… here’s a company who is doing something to make a difference.

Blu Bags by RockFlowerPaper
Blu Bags by RockFlowerPaper

I love my blu bags. They are reusable, strong, stylish and fun.

During my years living in Bellingham, WA, they instituted a ban on plastic bags. Stores would not give them out, and if you didn’t bring your own, you could buy a paper bag for 10 cents or buy a reusable cloth or nylon bag in some stores.

I became really good at remembering my bags, and felt good about doing it.

The only downside was that the ones I had were all mismatched in color and in type (some cloth, some nylon, all different sizes) and after washing them weekly, they looked even worse.

I love that these blu bags come in chic patterns and all go well together.

Blu bags from rockflowerpaper come in colorful patterns which make using them fun.

They are sold individually or in sets of three. They measure 24” by 19” when opened.

I love that they each can hold up to 50 pounds and come with a little pouch to put them away easily.

There is a small elastic loop so that you can fold and secure them.

I like that I can hold them in my hands, looped on my arms, or even on my shoulder like a purse.

What’s also great? Rockflowerpaper donates from each blu bag sold to Ocean Conservancy.

Gift Ideas for the Traveler FlipBelt
Gift Ideas for the Traveler FlipBelt

Flipbelt

We’ve heard of and used money belts before, and we love them, but this takes the “hands free” concept to a new level.

The Flipbelt is great for when you exercise or travel. It is form-fitting, comfortable and not bulky.

It is made from a single piece of fabric – no zippers, etc. – and is able to hold your smart phone, keys, money, ID, or other small items you want to bring with you but don’t want to carry.

The micropoly/Lycra fabric stretches to put on, and then once on your waist, it stretches so you can easily insert or access your items from multiple access points.

We like that you have somewhere to put your essential items so you can be hands-free and worry-free.

There are lots of colors to choose from.

Maybe you want a bright color if you will use it more for exercise activities and a more neutral black color if you will use it primarily for travel security.

Available in sizes XS to XL, their sizing chart is helpful for you to get the perfect fit. We love that it’s easy to machine wash and dry.

It’s a great travel accessory and ideal for hiking, cycling and walking.

We look forward to using it on our next trip for more of a security measure, like we would use a money belt.

We LOVE that the FlipBelt is made in USA.

Pick-Pocket Proof Clothing from Clever Travel Companion
Pick-Pocket Proof Clothing from Clever Travel Companion

Pick-Pocket Proof Clothing from Clever Travel Companion

We thought this was one of the more clever gift ideas we’ve seen so we ordered the women’s tank top in gray.

It was a true-to-size, flattering fit, made with 100% cotton.

What’s different and unique about this shirt is that it has a sizable zippered pocket right on the front which can hold a smart phone, passport, and/or money.

We tested the shirt out while cycling, walking, and hiking while toting our phone and keys in the pocket.

It’s comfortable to wear.

We didn’t have occasion to test it out for actual travel or in a crowded venue but can see how safe and convenient it would be to guard one’s belongings.

This would be great for safely carrying your passport around while abroad.

Locally, it would work for amusements parks (think, upside down roller coasters!) crowded concerts and fests, and for times when you want to be hands-free.

They also offer men’s and women’s tee shirts (in neutral colors) as well as underwear and long johns, all with zippers to hold your essential items.

This shirt is machine washable. You should air dry it.

Moleskine Classic Tote Bag

Moleskine Classic Tote Bag
Moleskine Classic Tote Bag

We love the Moleskine line of travel bags and totes.

The Moleskine Classic Tote Bag, is as stylish and purposeful as their other products. This smart bag comes in neutral black with an ivory interior.

We like it because it is large enough for digital products up to 13” with lots of room to spare without being bulky.

The top of the bag zippers completely so I felt good about carrying it while on public transportation and walking the busy downtown areas in Boston.

Commuting to and from work with this bag has been great with the water resistant, polyurethane exterior.

Living in a diverse climate with rain and snow, I don’t have to worry about ruining one of the leather bags I previously used.

I am actually excited to carry this tote in the rain!

The handles are long enough to carry comfortably as well as loop on a chair, and I was pleasantly surprised when I realized it even stands upright on its own.

I used the Moleskine Classic Tote Bag to carry my belongings to and from work and meetings.

And when I went out to a restaurant directly from work, I was able to use this as my purse. It held my tablet, wallet, my makeup bag, a sweater, and a few other random things.

I could easily use this for an overnight as well, as it measures just over 14” in height and is just over 16” in width.

There are three easy-to-access interior side pockets, one with a zipper, and then there is the main compartment.

There are two exterior pockets on each side as well but I haven’t used them yet.

They would fit a water bottle, keys, or a smart phone if you needed easy access.

You can secure the entire bag with the top zipper.

What do I love best about this bag?
  • It can be casual or business-like.
  • It is versatile enough for me to use most everywhere I go.
  • I don’t have to “change purses” when I’m running from a work meeting to social occasion to an event at my boys’ school.
  • It holds everything I need and matches everything.
  • The Moleskine Classic Tote Bag features a timeless style, is functional and is overall just a classic piece.

The Ultimate Charge – Sync Cable from Lifedge

Life Edge iPad Cable
Lifedge iPad Cable

What makes this a great gift when everyone probably has charging cables already?

The Ultimate Charge/Sync Cable from Lifedge are 100% waterproof and are guaranteed for life.

With past cords/charging cables, I’ve had to discard and recycle them because I twisted them as I tried to connect them to either my phone, the port or the outlet.

These from Lifedge are thicker and tougher.

The connectors won’t fray because they offer extra-strength strain relief.

And again, should something unexpected happen, they can be returned for a replacement with the company’s lifetime guarantee.

I also like that the Lifedge cables charge my devices faster than the chargers that came with my smart phone and iPad and the other chargers I own.

You can purchase them for an iPad, iPhone, and iPod.

Lifedge Waterproof iPhone Cable
Lifedge Waterproof iPhone Cable

They are also tangle-free. The cables are extra long, measuring 6.5 feet.

They also come with a cable organizer which is fast and easy to use and keeps it together nicely in a backpack or drawer.

Travel Essentials Pack by The Jojoba Company

Just grab and go with this five-piece travel set from The Jojoba Company.

Their Travel Essentials Pack already comes in a sleek travel pouch for easy packing. The products are perfectly sized and ready to pass TSA screening.

These enriched skin care formulas will keep your skin hydrated and rejuvenated even after a long flight.

The Travel Essentials Pack includes:  hydrating day cream; jojoba bead facial cleanser; lemon & coconut hand cream; intense overnight renewal cream (includes marine collagen and CoQ10 to encourage overnight skin renewal); and 100% natural Australian jojoba.

Travel Essentials Pack by The Jojoba Company
Travel Essentials Pack by The Jojoba Company

These are awesome for travel and trekking when you are sure to be expecting the unexpected.

So far, I only used them for home, car, and work use, not traveling but they are completely sealed, enabling them to be 100% waterproof.

Update: My son’s fingers were peeling oddly, and we put this lotion on him at night. By the morning, it was healed/cured. If I can find this product anywhere again online, I will buy it again. 

A little goes a long way with these products as they feature 100% Australian jojoba.

Jojoba is a naturally hydrating antioxidant rich in vitamins A, D, and E.

Violet Love Headbands
Violet Love Headbands

Violet Love Headbands

Here is an easy way to change up your look and have a little fun while traveling.

Violet Love Headbands take up hardly any space so they are a perfect way to add some flair and to change your look when you are trying to pack light.

These premium headbands come in unique, specialty patterns in bright colors.

They can be worn lots of different ways, and they receive rave reviews for their slip-free fitting.

We love the company’s many green practices.

Their printing process takes advantage of the opportunity to be environmentally conscious from reusing the printing cylinders to recycling the inks.

The best part? They use only environmentally friendly inks, free from allergens and from hazardous chemicals.

New gift ideas that are unique

We strive to pack light and need the items we pack to serve multiple purposes and to be versatile.

We are always on the lookout for new travel products and gift ideas and are interested in how companies continue to innovate with practical travel items to help travelers pack light and be safer.

Be sure to checkout our Best Travel Gear for Wherever You Are Going

Latest Lewis N Clark Product Reviews

We are always looking for the latest in travel products.

We heard of this company, Lewis N Clark, and found they have a wide variety of travel items that we liked.

We had our staff review their website for items they wanted to try, sounded interesting, and would be something they would use on a trip.

Below are Lewis N Clark product reviews from our staff of seasoned travelers.

How did we choose the Lewis N Clark products?

Our team enjoys camping, hiking, taking cruises, road trips, RV-ing, flying, tours, river rafting, and all out adventuring anywhere.

We love travel products that serve dual purposes, are light, compact, easy-to-carry, and are practical.

We like to travel light wherever we go, so we are prudent about what we recommend.

Lewis N Clark product reviews Roll-Top Duffel Bag
Lewis N Clark product reviews Roll-Top Duffel Bag

Roll-Top Duffel Bag – 60 Liters

This is what I’ve been waiting for! I have wanted a lightweight, WATERPROOF bag to take on our river rafting trips.

It is awesome for other outdoor adventures as well, even in the dry season.

I’ve used this Roll-Top Duffel bag several times, mostly for camping.

My fourth grader took it for his three-night Cub Scout camping trip.

The only piece of “luggage” he owned was his school backpack, and I realized that he probably shouldn’t bring one of my suitcases on his camping trip.

This Duffle Bag from Lewis N Clark fit all his belongings well.

The only downside is that there isn’t a separate compartment to keep smaller things organized and easy to find, especially things like money and a flashlight.

It POURED for one entire day, and while this bag was in his tent, it stayed completely dry, even with the winds and rain coming inside.

This rugged waterproof bag measures approximately 24” wide and 21.5” in height when fully extended.

It folds down to about 12” in height. The easy roll-top closure ensures the contents stay dry.

There is a removable shoulder strap.

It’s made from durable 600D mesh PVC that is dual-coated.

I will continue to take this for my outside overnight adventures (my husband has already tried to take it for his own use), and even on day trips on my friend’s boat.

It’s lightweight (their website says it weighs just 38 ounces) and folds easily for storage.

This duffel comes with a 1 yr warranty, but I love that their other duffel bags come with a lifetime guarantee.

Comfort Neck Pillow
Comfort Neck Pillow

Comfort Neck Pillow

I have wanted one of these travel neck pillows for years. Even though they aren’t terribly expensive, I never bought one.

I’ve considered them many times, and I’ve walked past them at stores in airports.

Once on my flight, I always regretted not buying them.

I saw this item on the Lewis N Clark website, and thought, “It’s now or never.”

I soon realized that I have been missing out. Not only could have I been using this on the many flights I’ve taken, I could have been using this while as a passenger for long car rides.

My kids always want a turn using it as well.

This Comfort Neck Pillow is comfortable and props my head in a good position so that I can sleep while upright.

While there are many brands available, I like the pillow from from Lewis N Clark because it offers ergonomic support for my head and neck.

It has loop if you want to hang it when not using it. There’s also a Velcro strap so that you can attach it to your bag or luggage when in transit.

The only downside is that it doesn’t have a removable cover. I really wish it did.

However, the fleece (offered in four different colors) is hand washable.

Best of all and surprisingly, it actually enables me to get some sleep while in transit… something I haven’t been able to do in years.

Update: My teenager brought this neck pillow on an overnight bus ride on a trip for school. Teachers told the students to bring a pillow. He brought a pillow for the first trip but for the second one, months later, he wanted to bring the neck pillow. He was happy he did.

It was a lot easier to deal with. He said he was able to easily position it how he wanted to. 

RFID Clip Stash
RFID Clip Stash

RFID Clip Stash

It is bad enough we have to worry about actually having our wallet stolen, and now we have to worry about electronic pick-pocking too?

High on our list when traveling is feeling safe and secure; we want that in our daily outings too, whether traveling or not.

This little case is meant to block the RFID (radio frequency identification) signals that enable thieves to steal your credit card information.

It is large enough to hold a driver’s license and several credit, debit and insurance cards.

There is room to spare for money, but that would be the most it could carry as it is just 3.5” x 4.5”.

It clips to clothing and comes in black or a tan-ish gray.

RFID Luxe Neck Stash

RFID Luxe Neck Stash
RFID Luxe Neck Stash

I love products that help me protect and keep track of my valuables and essentials, like my IDs, credit cards and money.

I have tried money belts and clothes with hidden zippers and like them.

When I saw this Neck Stash advertised, I wanted to try it for my trip to Mexico.

Another great Lewis N Clark product, I like that this Neck Stash is lightweight, weighing only 5.5 ounces.

It is in a neutral, unobtrusive color, olive, with black on the backside. (It is also available in tan.)

I wore this often, sandwiching it between by tee shirt and sweater. It was hidden yet easily accessible when I needed it.

I love that it wasn’t as visible as a purse or backpack.

My husband wasn’t worried about his wallet getting pick-pocketed because everything he and I needed fit in the RFID Luxe Neck Stash.

There are two zippered pockets and two pockets that open.

There is a clear area (without a closure) to put an ID in though I didn’t use this feature.

The strap adjusts which is great because it is comfortable for whatever your height.

The Neck Stash was larger than I expected it to be, almost 8 inches in height and 5.5 inches in width. At first I thought it would be too big but it worked out that it fit everything we needed.

I even put my smart phone in it for most of the time.

What makes this neck protective case different from many is that it blocks up to 13.56 Mhz frequencies making it difficult for someone to scan your credit cards or passport.

Orange Flat Cloth Tape
Orange Flat Cloth Tape

Flat Cloth Tape

Here is something that is so handy but you never really think about buying it until you need it.

This Flat Cloth Tape is something to tuck inside your backpack or first aid kit.

It will be waiting for you when you need it to repair a leaking canteen or a rip in your tent.

I first used it when my daughter went to overnight camp, and I needed to label her belongings, including her clothing.

I used a Sharpie on the tape as well as a regular pen and was happy with both.

I’ve since used this Flat Cloth Tape from Lewis N Clark several times for various things.

It comes in different colors – including camo — which is fun and also helpful if you are trying to label different people’s belongings.

We asked our staff to pick a few items they would be interested in trying and that they would want to use while traveling.

These Lewis N Clark product reviews include some products that are more unique than others.

Some are items we always wanted to own, just never bought them.

Others are travel products we might already have but Lewis N Clark has found a way to improve upon them.

We always love reviewing the latest in travel products.

Gobi Gear HOBOROLL

As you know, we travel a lot.

If we are not away trekking or experiencing new cities on long trips we are spending weekends away or visiting friends and family.

We are always on the lookout for new and exciting products to see what works best for the kinds of activities we enjoy.

We received the Gobi Gear HOBOROLL and were excited to try it on our trip to Tucson, Arizona.

In the past, if we were going on a plane, coach or train and not planning to hike from place to place, we would take a suitcase.

If we went hiking or camping, a backpack would be the answer. Today, regardless of where we are going, we normally opt for a travel roll.

It is the new generation of luggage, that is slowly but surely replacing the rest.

Our current favorite is the Gobi Gear HOBOROLL.

Gobi Gear HOBOROLL with Strap
Gobi Gear HOBOROLL with Strap
Hoboroll Sleeves
Hoboroll Sleeves

The HOBOROLL is made from lightweight and seemingly durable nylon-type material.

It measures 10″ in diameter and 15″ in length.

These packs expand as you need them to and can be opened and secured from both ends.

There are five separate compartments which separate your items. Also, there is a hidden zippered pocket which can hold your wallet, phone, etc.

As of now, the HOBOROLL comes in three colors: Mineral Blue, Midnight Lava, and Pinyon Pine.

There is a separate adjustable strap that is sold separately.

This is a unique piece in that — unlike other roll luggage — you do not lie it flat.

You sort of stuff the compartments then secure the drawstring end closures.

What we like about the Gobi Gear HOBOROLL

This compression sack is really a multi-purpose bag. It works well for going to the beach or pool and even would make a fantastic diaper bag.

It seems like it would be easy to attach it to a backpack as well.

Hoboroll
Hoboroll

Empty, it seems small, so I was surprised by everything I was able to fit in it.

It folds up to a tiny square and weighs only 3.5 ounces.

Therefore, it is not going to take up much wardrobe space should you pack it to use once on your trip.

The Gobi Gear HOBOROLL will easily fit your belongings.

The first day I used it, I was able to fit my water bottle, a pair of flip flops, sunscreen, bug repellent, a first aid kit, a hat, and a tee shirt.

There was room to spare.

I liked that I was able to keep like items together like the sunscreen, repellent and the first aid kit.

Gobi Hoboroll
Gobi Hoboroll

During my trip, I used the Gobi Gear HOBOROLL mainly for easy day hikes but found it useful even for short walks with my family.

I put three water bottles — one in each compartment — along with a sweatshirt in the HOBOROLL when walking at night with my kids.

My kids were happy to not have to carry their water bottles for once!

It was nice the water bottles weren’t clanging against each other. They fit well with room to spare.

There is a versatile and adjustable shoulder strap available.

This is an extra but a useful one. It easily clips to the bag.

The padded shoulder piece was very helpful when I carried heavier items, like the water bottles, in the HoboRoll.

I like that you can chose whether or not to buy this item separately.

For my purposes and habits, it was essential, so I’m glad I have it.

Gobi Gear HOBOROLL
Gobi Gear HOBOROLL

I also liked that I could open the sack from either side.

While I didn’t have it stuffed with clothing like I would for a trip or bigger excursion, if I did, it would be very handy to be able to open the sack from one end or the other without having to empty the contents of the bag for something I had packed at the bottom.

The clips are made from anodized aluminum which we learned makes them very strong but lightweight… no plastic here!

The Gobi Gear HOBOROLL is exceptionally well made.

It is a stylish and functional stuff sack.

What we don’t like about the Gobi Gear HOBOROLL

We like pretty much everything about this innovative bag.

The only thing was that it would be nice if there was a way of turning this into a pack that you can carry like a backpack.

This would make it more versatile, and then you really wouldn’t need the strap.

Packing tips for your Gobi Gear HOBOROLL

There is definitely a knack to packing the Gobi Gear HOBOROLL if you want to get the most out of it.

Start by stuffing the secret pocket with sensitive items like your keys, wallet, and other important items you may need access to.

Hoboroll Zip Pocket
HOBOROLL hidden pocket

Depending on where we were and what we were doing, we most often would tend not to put our phone or passport in there.

We normally carry those items on us somewhere we can quickly find them and regularly check that they are still there.

Now you just need to fill each compartment.

Shoes will take up an entire compartment or even two, depending on the size and type of shoe.

It is best to fill the compartments with socks, underwear or small toiletry items to maximize the space you have available. Slot them into a compartment and fill in any gaps with more socks or other small items.

Tee shirts, shorts, swimsuit, fast-drying travel towels, and lightweight pants will fit well too.

We enjoy using our Gobi Gear HOBOROLL and look forward to using it on a longer trip.

In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy it, especially as I continue my trip through in Arizona in the summer, where I am always either carrying or using my water bottle, sunglasses, hat, and sunscreen.

You will be happy with how much you can fit into the innovative Gobi Gear HOBOROLL.

What Items Are a Must for Traveling

Last week we received a great travel question asking: What items are a ‘must’ for packing into a backpack, & what really doesn’t need to come with you?

Well, I can start out by saying that the first time I left for a big trip I thought I needed to bring my whole house with me to be able to survive.

Among a lot of other stuff, I brought not only one but two pairs of high heels (romantic!). Obviously, you don’t need that.

Among other things only a few weeks into our trip, and I carried on with my backpack a little lighter than before.

However, the longer we traveled the more we realized how little we actually needed.

The Never Bring Stuff

Something you really don’t need to bring that I know many people do is 7-days worth of underwear.

Unless you will be out of water for a week (which you won’t be), you only need to bring 2 or 3 at the most.

Everyday you wash one in the shower and let it dry over night or day, wear one pair and have a spare one in case.

You can also buy light-weight tramping quick-dry underwear, and also underwear you don’t need to wash for a few weeks… not personal experience, but saw them in the shop!

Here is a quick list of a few more things which you don’t really need:

– more than one pair of walking shoes, a massive makeup bag, hair dyer, hair straighter, etc… more than 1 pair of jeans (if any; wear them so you don’t have to pack them), a 15 inch+ laptop (instead get a cheap 10-11 inch one – for size, weight and cheap in-case it breaks),  a camera tripod, more than one real book at a time – use ebooks instead, because books add so much extra weight to your pack.

Also a common thing you will see around the world is when you stay at hostels you will see a bunch of second-hand books sitting around. They normally let you trade your book for one of those which are left. So at every place you stay, you can just pick up a *new* book, and leave your old one for someone else to enjoy.

The #1 Must Bring Item

This is something that before I left, I had no idea I would need so badly, or use so much – a good pair of walking shoes!

The only reason I bought them was because they were on 70% off in a camping store.

I fell in love with my Teva Dozer Sandals, who walked me through everything, and never let me down. Without a good pair of walking shoes there are so many things I wouldn’t have done.

I wasn’t used to do much walking, so I never knew how important it was to have a good pair of shoes.

If I would have had to worry about having sore feet or blisters I would never have walked where I did, so I’m glad I had my Tevas.

If anyone has read the book “Yoga For People Who Can’t Be Bothered To Do It” by Geoff Dyer you know that I’m not the only one who is obsessed and praise their Teva’s like a god.

Nathan loved them too, but so did some crazy big animal with sharp teeth.

One morning we woke up and discovered that Nathan’s shoes were gone. We found them later totally ripped apart and full of teeth marks right through the sandal.

Someone had eaten half the shoe…

No matter where you are or where you’re heading, all shoes you bring have to be comfortable, because you never know how long you’ll have to walk in them.

Even the flip flops should be nice to walk in, I strongly recommend the Havaianas Sandals.

They’re made of a special material that is really good for your feet and doesn’t rub down the inside of the heel like many others.

I like the ones with a strap going across your ankle, you’ll never risk dropping them!

Now let’s ask our readers – what are some of your travel items which are a MUST BRING and what are some things which you would never take again on your travels?

Packing Essentials For Your Summer Road Trip

Packing Essentials – Thelma and Louise is one of my all-time favorite road trip movies, and every time I watch a clip from the movie I want to take to the road on a new adventure.

There is something about the freedom of being able to turn off on a new unknown road or stop over for a break whenever you feel like it that makes road trips so appealing – all the opportunities for spur of the moment trips.

But if you’re going for a long trip that will last at least a couple of days, you will need a little more planning.

Other than the usual packing list with clothes and toiletries, here is a list of the essentials when packing for a road trip…our Pro Travel Tips

Packing Essentials For Your Summer Road Trip

Rags, Wipes and Tissues

You would be surprised to find just how grateful you will be that you brought that rag along in the last moment, or that you remembered to bring the wet wipes and a toilet paper roll.

The only thing you can be sure will happen is that at some point of your road trip you will spill something, you will need to wash your hands and you will need to find a toilet – and the last one will not be the most hygienic..!

Crucial Contact Numbers

Be sure to have contact numbers for your insurance agency for auto and homeowners, in case something happens and you need to reach them.

Also have other numbers handy such as a family member, police and emergency numbers.

Don’t rely on your phone but jot the numbers down in a notebook – if you need insurance, look at WorldNomads, and if you’re road tripping with a caravan take a look at the Caravan Club website as items in your caravan may not be covered by regular insurance.

Packing Essentials For Summer Road Trip

The Travel Outfit

I always marvel at how classy the women in old 50’s movies look when they step out of their convertible cars in high heels and wrinkle free skirts.

It’s yet a mystery how they manage to pull that off, and I don’t suggest anyone taking on the challenge.

Instead, dress comfortably, and wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off.

If you are lucky to have a convertible, however, there is one thing you could learn from the classy 50’s women: the head scarf.

Without it your hair will be a mess and surprisingly greasy already after a few hours. Trust me I made that mistake once myself.

Many Small Snack Packs

Bringing snacks on a road trip is as obvious as bringing car keys for the trip to actually work.

But there is a risk that you will run out of snacks before you even hit the highway.

To avoid this, repack all your snacks into smaller bags so that you can store some away for later during the day.

Picnic Bag Essentials

The best part about road trips is that as lunch time approaches, you can stop over by a lake or other resting area along the way and have a picnic.

Don’t bother bringing real plates and cutlery, but stick with paper plates and plastic cups and cutlery instead.

Do bring a proper knife and cutting board though, and a bottle opener. 

Packing Essentials for summer road trip

GPS and a Map

Whether it’s an app on your iphone/blackberry, or an actual GPS device in your car, knowing exactly where you are and which roads you should be on is one of the best ways to make sure that you stay on track.

Even if you do decide to take a different road than the one your GPS has chosen for you, it will be easy to get back on the right track later on.

However, DO NOT use Apple’s own map, we’ve all heard of how dangerously wrong it can be (read: Apple Map Fails).

We use an app called “Pocket Earth” which has been incredibly useful!

Bring along a normal map of the areas you will be driving through as a backup, since you can never trust technology to 100%.

Road Trip Music

The number one essential is of course to have some good road trip songs, preferably tracks you can sing along with.

One of my favorite ways of finding good road trip music is via ipod, where others put together and share their playlists.

Simply search for “road trip” playlists and you will find some great music for the road!

App it Up

After enough sing-along road trip songs you will want to entertain yourself with something different, and for that there is no better and more travel-friendly thing than apps.

But aside from games, also download some other useful apps like the weather so you know what to prepare for down the road.

Electricity Power Inverter

To prevent running out of battery with your phone, laptop and everything else you bring along, invest in an electricity power inverter.

These devices turn the charge from your car’s battery into electricity to power most small electronic devices like laptops and phones.

Just plug it into your cigarette lighter and it converts in the direct current (DC) from the battery to the alternating current (AC).

An alternative is to bring a portable charger that you have charged up before hand, and recharge it again when you stop for the night at a caravan camping station.

Finally, unless you haven’t already thought of it, make sure you have an emergency toolkit in your car with an orange flag and flares in case you need help, a spare tire and a flashlight.

Take some time to do some road trip planning to have the trip of your life.

Travel Pillow Reviews of the Best Pillows for Comfort

Luggage Locks – Why You Need Them and Where to Find Them

Your bag is your entire life when you travel.

Everything familiar and essential for your trip has been packed into what you can carry (or afford to have the airline carry).

One of the simplest ways you can protect your belongings is with luggage locks.

While luggage locks aren’t a fail safe, they are invaluable to the vigilant traveler.

Today, we’re breaking down a few reasons why you can’t afford to travel without these handy accessories.

Ready to learn more? Let’s go!

Before we begin our discussion on the advantages of traveling with luggage locks, it’s important to note that while you’re in the airport and flying to your destination, you’ll be required to comply with local authorities on their usage.

In the United States, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has broad power to examine your luggage to ensure maximum security.

“TSA is careful to not damage any personal belongings, however, we are not liable for damage caused to locked bags that must be opened for security purposes,” reads a TSA blog post addressing baggage locks.

Many luggage locks have TSA-compliant key holes to allow TSA agents to open the lock without destroying it.

To save your wallet and your luggage, it pays to have a lock the TSA can get into without breaking your lock or your bag.

Luggage locks have also been known to snag on conveyor belts.

Combined with TSA search inquiries, these issues have caused most major airlines to adopt policies discouraging travelers from locking their bags when they go through the airports. Delta Airlines and American Airlines are pretty explicit about not having luggage locks on your bags.

At the very least, some airlines require a TSA-approved lock.

The good news is there are new types of locks that are both sleek enough to avoid getting caught in conveyors and look impressive, which is half the battle.

Your Luggage Lock Offers Powerful Protection

Even with limitations on locks in airports, luggage locks are a must-buy for travelers.

First, remember that it only feels like you are in the airport forever.

Most of your time (hopefully) will be spent admiring the wonders of Europe.

Second, remember that most petty criminals are cowards.

This is what makes a good lock a good buy.

The reason why your baggage lock is so powerful is simple: mind games.

Criminals often operate opportunistically and are looking for an easy score.

Simply the appearance of difficulty is enough to deter most would-be criminals.

The guise of security is important because it sends a clear message that criminalizing your property would be difficult.

It’s a lot harder to bypass a lock on a bag than to simply unzip it when someone is not paying attention.

Further, a good lock is going to take a fair bit of time or effort to cause to fail.

This is obvious and it gives you, bystanders or the authorities to act appropriately.

Which Luggage Locks Are for Me?

There are a lot of luggage locks out there. While a bit overwhelming, this does give you the ability to chose the lock that is perfect for you.

Basic shopping rules apply. Only buy from known and trusted vendors.

Here are a few other things to consider.

Combination Locks

These are possibly the most simple, but effective, types of locks.

The combo lock limits the number of openings that can be compromised by crooks.

Without a keyhole, the only other opening would be the TSA-approved access port.

There is a range of number combo options. Most combo locks are three numbers.

Some go up to five, significantly increasing the number combinations that would need to be tried to open your lock by chance.

Some locks are now able to use the 26-character Latin alphabet rather than the 10-character numeral system.

This also increases the number of possible combos for added security.

Just remember to really mix up the keys.

There is no point to having the lock if anyone can simply open the lock because you didn’t reset the combo keys.

Key Locks

These locks are often the most robust.

With only one true moving piece (the key hole and tumblers) there isn’t a lot to try to compromise.

Their simplicity allows for really solid design, with some opting for brass and steel.

This craftsmanship also prevents criminals who simply try to cause the lock to fail from brute force.

Cable Locks

Cable locks use a flexible steel cable rather than a solid piece of metal to close the lock.

This allows you added convenience and creativity.

If you are able to loop the cable through the zipper heads and a handle, you give another anchor and, thus, strength for your lock.

Sometimes these locks have two cables.

They also come with either key or combo locks.

Smart Locks

Some more high-tech locks are able to communicate with your cell phone or a company server (thanks, internet of things!).

If you know that your bag has been open and when it was opened, you can rest assured knowing that you have a starting point for officials if your bag’s contents are violated by a criminal.

Now You Know, It’s Time to Go

Traveling is an incredible experience and one that shouldn’t be wrought with fear.

You can add a great deal of security and peace of mind to your trip by simply adding luggage locks and luggage tags to your travel repertoire.

Now that you know the power of these little tools, you can go confidently in the direction of your wildest dreams — a fabulous vacation to Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia … anywhere!

Travel Gifts For Christmas to consider

Christmas is getting closer and people are preparing for doing some Christmas shopping – hoping not to get as stressed out and in-the-last-minute as the year before.

Travel Gifts for Christmas

To save yourself much of the hassle of running in and out of crowded shops in the city having to deal with long lines and irritated people, you can get so many presents in the comfort of your own home via the internet.

If you’re still not sure what to buy, consider the gift of travel

In this materialized world, giving an experience is very appreciated – and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

Hotel Gift Card 

Travel Gifts For Christmas Hotel Gift Card

Why not give two nights accommodation at a nice hotel for two?

If they haven’t booked a trip anywhere, you can give them a gift card to a hotel chain which can be found all over the world, so that they can use it whenever they will be traveling.

Marriott, Four Seasons Hotel and Best Western are two international famous hotel chains which offer travel gift cards.

If you want to make the options even broader, you can buy gift vouchers and instant e-vouchers from specialized hotel gift websites, offering choices all over the world on city hotels, spa and country hotels.

Cruise Vouchers

If they like taking cruises you can give them a cruise gift card to use when they buy their cruise tickets.

If you know they have already planned a trip with a specific cruise, you can buy them gift card on the actual cruise trip like a massage treatment, a dinner.

An Experience on Their Trip

If you know they have a already planed a trip and bought the tickets and bought their accommodation, give them a fun experience that they wouldn’t have thought of themselves.

A city pass is an excellent idea, which gives them free entrance to a long list of attractions in the city they visit, and most large cities have one.

If you know they like playing golf, give them golf vouchers to a great golf resort nearby.

There are many great golf gift ideas out there, from shoes to gear to clothes, but a golf trip is definitely something more fun for golf lovers who like traveling.

Plane Ticket for a Future Flight

Plane ticket Travel Gift For Christmas

Buying an actual plane ticket can be a great idea and a huge success, but it can also go terribly wrong.

Save yourself the awkwardness of giving a flight to a place the person doesn’t want to go or at a time when they can’t, and make things more flexible.

Buy a gift card at an airline instead, most of the major airlines provide gift cards where you can put everything from ten to a thousand dollars on the card, and then you can let them choose the destination instead.

Avoiding the Obvious Price

The bad thing about giving gift vouchers and cards is that the receiver knows exactly how much you spent on the gift.

If you feel a bit uncomfortable about that, another option would be to give away your spare airline miles.

Airline miles can be transferred to someone else, and it’s harder to say exactly how much 10,000 airline miles are worth.

If you don’t have any airline miles, try to find vouchers and gift cards that are more specific and don’t offer any of their services for X amount of money.

For instance, the voucher will say that you have a free 60 minute back massage at the spa on the cruise or hotel.

(photo credit: 1 – 2 – 3 – 41 – 2 – 3 – 4)

Picking the best travel gear

No matter where you travel and how you plan to get there, you will have a better experience with the right travel gear. 

What’s the best travel gear for you depends on what you have already and what you want to upgrade.

With so many bags, devices and items available, be sure to pick the ones you will imagine yourself using often — for more than travel. In this way, you will have less to store and know you are investing in quality items to serve you for years.

 

Sleeping Bag Liner – A Must-Have Travel Luxury Item

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If you are shopping for a sleeping bag liner, you will get some tips and advice in this article.

If you’re getting ready for a trip to the great outdoors, you must know that preparation is half the battle.

And just because you’ll be far from the warmth and comfort of your own bed, this doesn’t mean you can’t be as comfortable as you possibly can, especially when you have the right kind of sleeping bag liners with you.

Whether it’s a mountaineering trip or a few days of camping, having the right sleeping bag liner can save you money and bring you the comfort that you need.

If you get it right, you don’t have to buy an entirely new sleeping bag, or worry about not being warm enough.

You don’t have to bring an extra blanket or added padding.

A good sleeping bag liner is all that you need.

Silk Sleeping Bag Liner
Silk Sleeping Bag Liner

Sleeping Bag Liner A Must Have Travel luxury Item

When it comes to travel, you can never allow yourself to be too unprepared.

There is beauty in spontaneity and just going with the flow, but when you’re heading to unfamiliar territory or climbing some mountains, you wouldn’t want to find yourself empty-handed.

Any seasoned traveler can tell you that when you decide to travel, you never know what to expect.

You don’t know where to buy certain items and how much each item will cost.

This is why it’s best to come prepared, with tried and tested items you have chosen beforehand and purchased at a bargain.

A sleeping bag liner is one of those must have travel luxury items that most people should really come with.

Granted, depending on what’s important to them, people prioritize different aspects of travel.

For instance, some don’t care where they sleep as long as they’re near all the tourist attractions and the best places to eat.

Some people on the other hand can go on days without eating proper meals as long as they have a comfortable bed to sleep on.

When it’s a backpacking or camping type of travel, some would rather invest in good sleeping items (like a bigger tent or more comfortable sleeping bag) even if it means having to forego something else, like a cooler.

No matter what kind of travel you’re doing, sleep is usually a luxury.

When you’re in a new place, the surroundings are always begging to be explored and so many activities are waiting to be done.

You don’t just go to a place to stare at the scenery, because you have to experience everything.

At the end of each day, you will need a good place to rest your tired muscles, and this is why a sleeping bag liner is a must have.

It’s a ‘luxury’ item because it’s something you add to your sleeping bag, which you already have.

Sleeping bags however come in all varieties, and not all of them can guarantee you comfort.

Adding a sleeping bag liner can guarantee you a good night’s sleep even if you’re in a tent.

So it truly is a must have if sleeping through the night is something that you value, no matter where you’re headed.

What’s A Sleeping Bag Liner Good For?

How does a sleeping bag liner work, exactly?

Most travelers are more than familiar with sleeping bags and how they are used, but hearing ‘sleeping bag liner’ might raise some questions.

Sleeping Bag Liner Provides Added warmth

A basic sleeping bag is okay when you’re traveling in the heat of summer, but when you’re heading to the outdoors without being entirely sure about how cold the nights are going to be, then you shouldn’t leave without a sleeping bag liner.

Sleeping Bag Liner
Sleeping Bag Liner

Some sleeping bag liners are created with extra thermal protection, such as this fleece sleeping bag liner from Coleman.

I chose these for my two sons.

They mostly use them without their sleeping bags when we are summer camping and for sleepovers with their buddies.

I also sew on the Cub/Boy Scout patches on them as well.

The sleeping bag liner adds about 12 degrees of warmth, and this means that even in unforgivingly cold temperatures you can sleep comfortably through the night.

Sleeping Bag Liner Provides Added protection

When you’re outdoors, you’re basically exposed to nature and all the elements that come with it.

A perennial problem that campers have is that there’s no stopping the dirt or sand from getting into their sleeping bags, and it’s always a challenge to clean it up when it does.

Having to clean or wash the inside of your sleeping bag is always a pain because there are some that you can’t just toss into the washing machine.

A sleeping bag liner gives you (and your sleeping bag) added protection from the dirt, and it’s way easier to clean.

Some sleeping bags are also made to have added protection from insects and bugs, like this Sea to Summit Coolmax Adaptor Liner with Insect Shield.

This special sleeping bag liner is treated with an insect shield that’s effective in repelling all the mosquitoes, flies, fleas, ticks, and all kinds of bugs that you will definitely encounter as you explore the outdoors.

These bugs are part of the great outdoor adventure, but you can definitely find ways and means to protect yourself from them.

When you find the right kind of sleeping bag liner that gives you enough protection, this also means you don’t have to bring added items like a mosquito net.

Sleeping Bag Liner Provides Added comfort

While some people can sleep comfortably on top of a thin sleeping bag, there are those who after doing so will get plagued by aches and pains everywhere in their body, because it was simply not comfortable enough.

You wouldn’t want to lug a thick mattress with you while camping, so a sleeping bag liner is actually the perfect way to give yourself added comfort without having to bring so much added weight.

Most sleeping bag liners are designed to be very lightweight, so it’s almost like you’re not bringing anything extra.

You’ll hardly notice the extra weight, but your back will definitely thank you for the extra comfort.

Sleeping Bag Liner Provides Adaptability

Another thing a sleeping bag liner gives you is adaptability.

While you can generally predict the weather when you go out for a trip, there are days when the forecast just doesn’t match with reality.

Having a sleeping bag liner handy can give you added warmth for those extra cold days, but when it gets too hot all you have to do is simply use it like a top sheet.

How a sleeping bag liner will save you money

Budget is a very important aspect of planning trips, because you’d want to stretch your resources as much as possible, to get the most out of traveling.

The good news is that whether you’re traveling in cold weather or hot weather, having a sleeping bag liner handy can save you a lot of money.

First, instead of purchasing a new expensive sleeping bag, this means you can work with whatever sleeping bag you currently have and just buy a liner that can give you added warmth and comfort when needed.

Making sure that you have the adequate warmth, protection, and comfort that you need when traveling is also extra insurance against wear and tear, aches and pains, getting sick, and having to go through the hassle of looking for something similar to a sleeping bag liner (and maybe even paying double for it) in the middle of nowhere.

The added protection to the sleeping bag itself will also keep it from wearing out too much and too fast, extending the life of your sleeping essentials for even more camping trips in the future.

Don’t be mistaken that sleeping bags are only good for camping trips, either.

When you’re in an unfamiliar country and don’t want to blow your budget with a hotel, you can book a night at a cheap hostel or inn, even one that doesn’t come with bedding.

Your sleeping bag liner will save you because it can double as a bed sheet, so even if your room doesn’t come with free linen, you’ll be fine.

It could also protect you from pesky bed bugs.

Lastly, your sleeping bag liner doesn’t have to be hidden at the very back of your closet, only to be retrieved during trips.

This Bundle Monster sleeping bag liner for instance can double as a blanket at home, so even if you’re not out camping, you’re getting your money’s worth.

It’s always important to ask yourself whether or not you can use a travel essential not just during travels but also during your normal day-to-day routines.

By having your liner double as a blanket, you’re saving money because that means you don’t even have to buy an extra blanket to use at home.

Sleeping bag liners come in all sizes and varieties, and some can cost you close to nothing while some will have added features that will make you pay a bit more.

No matter what kind of sleeping bag liner you end up getting however, it’s clear that at the end of the day, it will really help you save money while giving you the warmth, comfort and protection that you need for any kind of trip you’re planning.

Sleeping Bag Liner – A Must Have Travel luxury Item

Something I bought as a little extra luxury item on my travels turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever bought.

I cannot recommend a sleeping bag liner enough.

Both me and Nathan bought one each a few years ago, and since then they have saved our nights more than once.

So, What’s A Sleeping Bag Liner Good For?

Well, first off, if you travel with a sleeping bag you know how bad they start to smell, and it doesn’t take very long until you have to choose between either throwing it out and buy a new one, or even worse – washing it.

There is nothing more difficult to wash than a sleeping bag, and you’ll to have to sleep without it for the next few nights since they never dry!

If you sleep with a sleeping bag liner inside the sleeping bag, all you have to do is to wash the sleeping bag liner, which dries within an hour.

Even if you’re traveling without a sleeping bag, this will be your best friend.

I’ve used my sleeping bag liner everywhere – from the snowy alps in Europe to the tropical rain forests in the Pacific.

What the sleeping bag liner does is warm you up when it’s cold, and cool you down when it’s hot – and it really does a good job.

Saving Money

There are so many hostels in Europe trying to squeeze as much cash out of poor backpackers as possible, and after having payed for an overpriced dorm they want to charge you another 5 Euro for sheets.

Only sheets and pillows are allowed (no sleeping bags), which of course no backpackers carry around.

But a sleeping bag liner perfectly fits in between these two.

A sleeping bag liner is very much like bed sheets, but designed like a sleeping bag.

So for me, I count my sleeping bag liner as my sheets 😉 I’ve also had great use for my sleeping bag liner at dirty hostels.

Sometimes I’ve ended up at some really nasty rooms, and to avoid bed bugs and whatever could be in those sheets, the sleeping bag liner was a blessing.

My sleeping bag liner is truly the one travel item that I’ll never be without.

I love everything that can wrap up to tiny little balls, and this is my favorite.

A sleeping bag liner takes up no space at all in your bag, and you use it every day.

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