We’re always on the look-out for amazing travel must-haves!
This includes luggage, travel clothes, packing essentials and electronics that make travel (and life) easier.
You can browse some of our favorite travel products below.
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Contents: Our travel shop
Our reviews | Beach sandals, men’s flip-flops, travel sandals and earplugs
We currently travel with a soft-sided rolling carry-on bag each.
For bigger or longer trips, we also take a larger soft-shell wheeled suitcase, which we check on the plane.
We’re a fan of soft-sided suitcases. They tend to be lighter and they also expand, so you can add purchases you buy on your trip.
The Travelpro Maxlite 5 ticks the boxes for what we want in a reliable suitcase – durable, lightweight and affordable.
You can get the checked bag in Medium or Large, and it comes in a host of colors.
This 20-inch TravelPro Maxlite 5 carry-on rollaboard is sturdy, super light at 5.4 lbs and holds a ton (and expands).
It rolls easily through airports to trains and city streets. And the tapered shape also prevents it from falling over when upright. Perfect!
No more rummaging through your whole suitcase to find what you’re looking for! Packing cubes help keep you organized. These have mesh panels for ventilation. And you can easily see what’s inside – underwear? T-shirts?
Travel clothes + accessories
When you travel, you need comfy clothes that wear well.
And depending on the adventures you get up to, you also need specific things. A comfy wrap. A snorkel skin to protect you from stingy things. A swimsuit (for ladies) that tucks in your tummy.
Check out some of our essential travel clothes below.
This baby-soft oversize shawl from Fishers Finery is made from 100% cashmere. And it doesn’t pill! It’s perfect for keeping you warm on the plane, as well at your destination. Get it in light grey, stone, navy and other classic neutral colors.
Ladies, do you know the Miraclesuit brand? These are super-quality swimsuits that tuck you in where you want some tucking. You’ll look 10 lbs slimmer. Really! And they come in a host of cute styles.
Beach sun hat
Isn’t this Furtalk big-brimmed straw hat adorable? It’s foldable, so it won’t get crushed in your suitcase. And it comes in different colors (like pink, black and beige).
Full-length snorkel skin
Going swimming or snorkeling where little things in the water could bite? Want all-over protection from the sun? This full-body sports skin can help. We used full-length skins in Bocas del Toro, Panama, to protect against stinging sea lice.
Adventure sun hat
We like this stylish and practical UV-protection sun hat for hiking, kayaking and other outdoor adventures.
These Ray-Bans offer 100% UV protection. They’re lightweight, so they’re comfortable to wear. And they sport a cool classic look.
Snorkeling + beach stuff
For sun-and-sand fun, you’ll want to take the following with you.
Mask and snorkel
There’s nothing more frustrating than going snorkeling and having the mask that you’ve rented leak or fog up. To ensure your snorkel mask fits well (and works!), you may want to bring your own – especially if you’ll be doing a lot of snorkeling on your beach vacay.
This wide-view mask by Cressi (a top Italian maker) gets great reviews.
Full-face snorkel mask
Do you gasp or feel uncomfortable wearing a regular snorkeling mask? Then try the new full-face design. You breathe naturally, and can inhale and exhale either through your nose or mouth.
The ZIPOUTE is one of the highest-rated full-face snorkel masks out there.
When swimming, protect your eyes from chlorine or saltwater with these swim goggles that fit your face. They’re also pretty good at not fogging up! (Speedo has an excellent reputation.)
You’ll need your sunscreen, water bottle, books and perhaps even a towel or two for the beach and pool. Here’s a roomy and good-looking beach bag to carry all your stuff in.
Electronics + gadgets
Charge your devices. Read on the go. Take your phone for a swim. These nifty gadgets are essential for today’s savvy travelers.
Floating waterproof phone pouch
A waterproof phone pouch is a must-have when kayaking, out on a sailing excursion or going to the lake or beach. You need a pouch that not only keeps your phone dry but also afloat.
This JOTO brand fits larger phones up to 7 inches (diagonal) in size.
Don’t forget to take a universal travel adapter so you can plug in and recharge your electronics, no matter whether you’re visiting the U.K., Germany or Thailand. The Newvanga Travel Adapter accepts plugs from 150+ countries. And it’s so compact, it can easily be tucked away in your luggage.
Prepaid lifetime world SIM card
Stay connected with prepaid data in the U.S., Canada and top cell carriers in 100+ countries around the world. No contract. No fees. It fits any unlocked SIM-enabled cell phone.
Sometimes a portable charger is essential! Like when you’re constantly using your phone to navigate while driving, and you don’t know when the next place will be to charge up. Or when you’re out in the bush camping or glamping.
The Anker PowerCore Slim 10000 PD (18W) product is a simple slimline portable charger that does the trick – and at the right price too.
Apple AirPods Pro
We don’t need to say much about these wireless buds – they fit and sound great! They offer up to 4.5 hours of time listening to music, three ear-tip options and active noise cancellation. And they come with their own portable charging case too.
Cool! You can get a waterproof Kindle! Now you can read by the pool or beach without worrying about getting it wet.
The thinnest and lightest Kindle Paperwhite yet, the new 11th Generation Kindle Paperwhite 5 has a bigger 6.8 inch display and tons of storage (8 GB). Charge it up and it will last for weeks.
Now you need a case to fit your new Kindle Paperwhite perfectly.
This one opens up like a book and it’s comfortable to hold. Closing the cover puts your Kindle to sleep. And the magnetic attachment will keep the cover securely closed when tossing your Kindle in your backpack or purse.
Beauty + sun products
Of course, you want to look your best and protect your skin when traveling!
But you don’t need to lug a whole arsenal of products to do so. It’s all about packing smart.
Here are some of the beauty and sun-protection essentials we use when traveling.
Travel-size flat iron
A mini hair-straightening iron is essential to control the frizzies. It won’t take up much space in your luggage.
The BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium flat iron has received almost 7,000 top reviews on Amazon (4.3 out 5). The titanium plates heat up quickly, and the dual voltage is built in, meaning you can use it in Europe, the U.S. and most other destinations, without carrying a converter.
It comes with a thermal travel pouch too.
Root cover-up spray
Uh oh, don’t you hate it when you’re traveling and it’s time to get your hair done again? L’Oreal Magic Root Cover-Up spray hides those grey roots, tiding you over until you get back.
Just spray it on your roots (about 6 inches away). It lasts until you next wash your hair.
You can get the root spray in Blonde, Light Brown and other colors. We’ve used a few of them, and they all do the job.
Make-up remover wipes
Sometimes you just can’t cleanse your face thoroughly. Enter these Burt’s Bees facial wipes with aloe vera.
Dermatologist- and ophthalmologist-tested, the gentle 3-in-1 cleansing towelettes wipe away pore-clogging makeup, dirt and oil. Specially formulated for sensitive skin, they’re made from 99.1% natural ingredients.
The 3-pack of 30 wipes (10 per pack) is budget-friendly, and each pack can be resealed easily.
Tinted face sunscreen
Even if you’re not trying to get a tan, it’s important to protect your skin from sun damage, especially your face. We like the award-winning La Roche-Posay sunscreen because it’s lightweight and hypoallergenic, and it doesn’t clog pores. Of course, it provides SPF 50 protection (UVA/UVB).
This tinted mineral face sunscreen is our choice for ladies, as it’s like wearing a touch of sheer make-up. (You don’t have to add make-up
Light bug spray
After showering and getting ready to go out in the evening, we really don’t like putting on strong bug spray. We learned years ago that AVON Skin So Soft body oil works well as a light insect repellent. And it smells nice too :-).
We bought a large size of Skin So Soft and pour some into a smaller travel bottle to pack when traveling to tropical places. Or you can get a smaller 5 oz. bath oil spray with a pump.
Nail polish remover wipes
When the nail polish starts to chip, say hello to these convenient TSA-friendly nail polish remover wipes. The Karma wipes are organic too, free of alcohol which can dry out your nails.
Some sunscreens are heavy and sticky. The non-greasy ultra-light La Roche-Posay body lotion spray isn’t.
With an SPF of 60, it provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection. It’s water resistant so it protects you even when working up a sweat kayaking or hiking. It even works upside-down.
Organic dry shampoo
For those times when you can’t wash your hair, dry shampoo can save the day.
This organic dry shampoo from Beauty by Earth uses only natural organic ingredients. It preserves your hair’s natural oils, adds volume at the roots, makes your hair feel soft (not sticky) and smells lovely too.
Get it in either “light” or “dark,” depending on the color of your hair.
This is the camera equipment we use for our photography.
Sony a6400 mirrorless camera
We love our trusty Sony mirrorless camera (we have the Sony a6000). We switched from a Canon SLR, as we were tired of lugging the bigger camera. The Sony camera is much smaller and lighter – and takes awesome pictures.
GoPro HERO 10
For amazing action video and photos, you’ll want the waterproof GoPro HERO 10! (We have the older GoPro 8.)
We use this small and handy camera for taking pictures when generally mucking about (kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, etc.). And with an added silicone sleeve protective case, we’re not worried about it getting banged about.
MicroSD for GoPro HERO 10
Only microSD cards can be used with the GoPro HERO 10. This Sandisk Extreme card is officially recommended by GoPro for their latest models. It meets the HERO 10 minimum requirements of a “microSD card with v30 or UHS-3 rating.” It’s specifically designed for action cameras, delivers full 4K ultra HD video recording and has ultra-fast read and write speeds.
Protect your GoPro HERO 10 with this premium silicone sleeve case, tempered glass screen protectors and rubber lens cover cap. The case comes with a lanyard too.
GoPro selfie stick tripod
The SANDMARC pole has a great range as a selfie stick, extending from 17 to 40 inches. It’s waterproof and durable – designed for adventuring! It has a rubber grip and comes with a tripod mount too.
See our reviews of travel stuff!
Summer footwear for women:
Oooh! These are the best beach sandals!
Find cute flip-flops, comfy water shoes and other great beach footwear. All for ladies.
We’ve also reviewed the best water sandals for women.
So when you’re going kayaking, waterfall hiking or anywhere you know your feet will get wet, these are the sandals for you.
Summer footwear for men:
Check out the most comfortable and best flip-flops for men! Choose from lots of great brands, from Nike to Under Armour to Reef.
When traveling, you want the best travel sandals that are both stylish and comfortable. We’ve sussed out a whole collection of stylish and comfy travel sandals for both women and men.
Best earplugs for sleeping when traveling:
A light sleeper?
Does the slightest unfamiliar hotel noise wake you up or prevent you from falling asleep? Check out these great earplugs for sleeping when traveling (and at home).
Packing list for a tropical holiday
Heading to Maui or Kauai or another Hawaiian island?
See our ultimate Maui packing list, complete with 35 essential things you should take on your tropical holiday.
What you need for the plane
You’ll want to take these carry-on travel essentials on the plane with you!
From a collapsible water bottle to the best travel neck pillow to disposable toothbrushes (that don’t need water), we’ve got you covered.
Our top travel tips and resources
Here are our favorite travel resources:
Hotels: Booking.com is great for scoring a “wow” hotel – or at least a decent one. (We especially like their flexible cancellation policy!)
Vacation homes, condos and rentals: We prefer and use Vrbo (Vacation Rentals by Owner).
Tours: For the best local food, walking and other guided tours plus skip-the-line tickets to attractions, check out GetYourGuide and Viator.
Car rental: Renting a car is often one of the best ways to explore off the beaten path. Discover Cars searches car rental companies so you get the best rates.
Travel insurance: SafetyWing is designed for frequent travelers, long-term adventurers and digital nomads. It covers medical expenses, lost checked luggage, trip interruption and more.
Vaccines and meds: We follow CDC travel guidelines to see what medications and vaccines are needed for trips. You can get vaccines at your pharmacy, travel medical clinic or doctor’s office.
Travel gear: See our travel shop to find the best luggage, accessories and other travel gear. (We suggest these comfy travel sandals for city walking, the beach and kicking about.)
Need more help planning your trip? Check out our travel tips and resources guide for airline booking tips, ways to save money, how to find great hotels and other crazy useful trip planning info.
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