Travel Resources

Trip Planning Resources

✔️ Find the cheapest rates on ACCOMMODATION on Agoda

✔️ Save a TON of money on personalized FLIGHTS through Fare Drop

✔️ 12Go for booking trains, BUSES, FERRIES, FLIGHTS, and TRANSFERS

✔️ Find the cheapest RENTAL CAR rates at


✔️  Get Your Guide for local TOUR GUIDES and experiences worldwide

✔️ Airalo to activate eSIM cards before you arrive in a foreign country

✔️ Sign up for a free Trusted Housesitters account to browse FREE HOUSE/PETSITTING opportunities around the world.

Packing Essentials

Confession: I have a hard time spending money on quality things sometimes, even when I know the old adage “you get what you pay for”. However, I’m slowly trying to change my ways and invest in higher quality products that are healthier for my body and will last much longer in order to reduce waste and the need to replace items as frequently.

Therefore, a lot of these items are not inexpensive. But especially when you’re doing long-term travel, you really need sturdy products. I always try to buy on sale and hold off on big-ticket items for Black Friday or other promotional periods. We used all but one of these items on our 5-month trip around the world and wholeheartedly stand behind each of these recommendations.

I use the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Healthy Living app to check the health rating before purchasing any personal care items. Look for “EWG Verified” items to ensure you’re buying products free from EWG’s chemicals of concern and meet the highest standards for health and transparency.

Suitcase / Baggage Essentials

SuitcaseThe Bigger Carry-On Flex by Away

Why I purchased this: rave reviews, internal compression feature, expandable, 100-day money-back guarantee, and limited-lifetime warranty. My friend and her husband were both able to get components replaced on their Away bags at no cost!

Personal ItemCotopaxi Allpa 35 Liter Backpack

Why my husband purchased this: functionality, durability, anti-theft zippers, rain cover, separate laptop compartment that can be locked, and ability to open like a suitcase while still maintaining easy access to items inside. Other cool features include carabiner loops (useful for attacking locks as well) and four “grab” handles.

Packable Day PackNew Outlander 33 L


Why I purchased this: lightweight (0.5 pounds) yet roomy (33 L), compact (folds into zippered inner pocket), two mesh water bottle side pockets with elastic cord to help keep in place, lots of pockets to help with organization, and super affordable price point (<$20 at the time of purchase). I’ve used the same bag on long-haul multi-month trips over the last 5 years and it’s still holding up. Despite it supposedly being water-resistant, I would say it’s only minimal if at all, therefore I keep a rain cover on hand or opt for our dry bag.

Tripped Compression Cubes

The Bucket List Series Checked Bag Set:

The Carry-On Set:

Why I purchased this: designed by a YouTuber couple that my husband and I follow and wanted to support, the compression functionality, and I couldn’t pass up their adorable bucket list series design.

My husband and I share the bucket list series checked bag set and the white carry-on set. Despite the bucket list series indication of “checked bag”, I was able to fit the whole set in my Away Bigger Carry-On Flex! The white set is a bit translucent and therefore you get a glimpse of what’s inside, which is super helpful when trying to find something quickly and hassle-free. The different images of the bucket list set also make it easy to organize and find things. My husband and I also sometimes swap one bag from each set for further differentiation.

Pacsfe RFIDsafe V50 Anti-theft Blocking Compact Travel Wallet

Why I purchased this: RFID blocking material prevents electronic-scanning identity theft; compact size; and cut-resistant Dyneema webbing detachable wrist strap which makes it easy to find inside a bag and also allows it to be secured to an internal zipper in a bag using a carabiner.

KastKing Floating Dry Bag with transparent window design

Why I purchased this: it floats, it truly is waterproof, and it has a clear see-through window panel that increases the ease of finding things. If I’m concerned about valuables, I conceal them in an internal opaque case or bag. We have the 10L capacity and it works well for our needs.

Electronics – selected by my techie husband

MacBook Air

Why my husband purchased this: for software coding and video editing on the go. The M2 MacBook Air is lightweight, fast, and great value compared to the MacBook Pro options.

Laptop Docking Station

Why my husband purchased this: It has all of the ports that most laptops no longer have (9 ports in one device).

Apple iPad Air 5th Generation

Why I purchased this: for blogging on the go.

iPad Case Logitech Folio Touch iPad Keyboard Case with Trackpad and Smart Connector for iPad Air

Why my husband purchased this: reviews, trustworthy brand, built-in keyboard.

Power Bank

Why my husband purchased this: this power bank has 2 USB-C ports that support fast charging; a 30W output that can charge a MacBook Air laptop; a USB-A port for legacy devices; it can charge a cell phone to 100% about 5-8 times depending on your phone model; an LED display that tells you how much charge is left; a built-in LED flashlight; it can be taken on flights in carry-on luggage as the battery capacity is within what is permitted by TSA (~27mAh); and it has a 3-year warranty.

Wall Charger & Power Adapter

Why my husband purchased this: It has three USB-C ports and one USB-A port that all support fast charging. You can charge your laptop, tablet, and/or phone up to 80% in under 30 minutes or two computers simultaneously up to 55% in 30 minutes. It is also pretty lightweight for the number of ports because it uses GaN technology.

Fast Charging Cable with LED Display

Why my husband purchased this: It has an LED display on the cable where you can see the power wattage so you can tell if the device is charging or not or if there are any issues with the cable at a quick glance. Pro-tip: you can see the wattage drop when your device switches from quick-charge mode to regular-charge and then again when the device is fully charged – all without having to open your laptop or iPad.

Extension Cord

Why my husband purchased this: for when power sockets are inaccessible and when your charger is too heavy/bulky to sit on the wall socket.

SanDisk 4TB Extreme Portable SSD (Solid State Drive)

Why my husband purchased this: extra storage to offload all of your camera footage while on the go; up to two-meter drop protection and IP55 water and dust resistance; handy carabiner loop to keep it secure; and password protection featuring 256‐bit AES hardware encryption.

FlashdriveSanDisk 64GB Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C

Why my husband purchased this: In case you need to print documents from public computers and you don’t want to risk using your login details. The device has both USB-A and USB-C ports on the same drive.

AirTags for every bag + AirTag Cases

Why my husband purchased this: To track luggage in case of loss, theft, or missed connection. Especially easy to set up with an iPhone in a few simple steps. The 4-pack of AirTags is often discounted – even if you don’t need all 4 AirTags, they make great gifts for family and friends.

Luggage Scale

Why my husband purchased this: to be able to redistribute belongings on the go to meet different airlines’ weight requirements without having to repack or leave stuff behind; functionality; and high rating on Amazon.


WONDERfoam Eye Mask

Why I purchased this: this mask is super comfortable, maintains a good seal that prevents light from entering, has a recessed area over each eye which allows for comfortable eye opening and blinking, and it has an adjustable strap rather than Velcro (no more catching on my hair!).

Loop Earplugs

Why I purchased this: reusable/washable, less conspicuous design, compact, and carrying case. They come with four sizes of ear tips for optimal fit. They actually are great at blocking noise! Insertion takes some getting used to, and if you don’t get them in the right position, they can be uncomfortable when lying on your ear. However, when they’re in the proper position, you shouldn’t have any issues.

Tube Pillowfor when space is limited

I don’t personally own this yet, but I see it in my very near future. I think it’s a genius idea and an item that “carry-on” travelers especially can benefit from. Who doesn’t love reduced baggage fees?!

Cabeau Evolution S3 Travel Neck Pillowfor when space isn’t as much of a concern and I want to prioritize comfort, for example on red eyes or first/last flight of the day

Why I purchased this: reviews, comfort, secure strapping system to prevent head nodding and neck cricks.

Inflatable Wedge Pillows

Why I purchased this: I’m a side sleeper and I like to keep my spine aligned while sleeping, so I always want to have something between my knees and my arms. I’ve gotten so accustomed to this sleep position that I honestly struggle to sleep without the extra support. These inflatable pillows were lifesavers on our 5-month trip when accommodations only provided one set of pillows. The surprising find was that this pillow also became the PERFECT plane/bus/train/car pillow because of the wedge design which allows it to fill in gaps perfectly and create a really nice sleep position. I used to never be able to sleep on transportation but these pillows are miracle workers and now I can!


Hanging Toiletry Bag TSA Approved

Why I purchased this: clear and easy-to-identify items, removable TSA-approved 3-in-1 toiletry bag for liquids, hook for hanging when counter space is limited, and incredible price point, especially when on sale.

Quip Electric Toothbrush

Why I purchased this: slim, space-saving design; battery-powered (no charger/cables required); timed, sonic vibrating bristles. I wouldn’t recommend upgrading to the Bluetooth edition – it’s more expensive and barely has any functionality when compared with the Phillips Sonicare Bluetooth in-app visual brushing experience that shows in real-time which areas need more attention.

Cosmetics and Feminine Hygiene

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen

Why I purchased this: this was the first sunscreen I was willing to consistently apply to my face daily because it was so lightweight and oil-free. It also doubles as a makeup primer! Fairly clean and safe with an EWG rating of 3. I can’t imagine going back to anything else!

Makeup Eraser

Why I purchased this: environmentally friendly reusable face wipes that remove makeup completely with water alone – another miracle-working product! The 7-day sets with smaller cloths are perfect for travel – for my 5-month trip, I only took 2 of them and rotated them. You can clean them with soap and water or throw them into the washing machine.

Tweezerman Micro Mini Tweezer Set

Why I purchased this: the ultimate space-saving tweezers. I just take one of the three with me when traveling.

Cora Menstrual Period Cup + Summer’s Eve Fragrance-Free Cup Wash and Wipes

Why I purchased this: Cora Cup – reviews, especially as it’s noted to be easy for beginner cup users – the first couple of tries were challenging but it quickly became much easier than other cups I’ve tried! Summer’s Eve Fragrance-Free – the most affordable, clean menstrual wash and wipes I could find on the market.

Clothing, Shoes, and Accessories

Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-tex Hiking Shoes in Women’s and Men’s

Why we purchased these: good reviews, recommended by shoe experts, comfort, gore-tex, traction, weight, and easy pull cord lacing mechanism.

Mountain Hardwear Women’s Ghost Whisperer UL Jacket

Why I purchased this: good reviews, 1000 fill power (I am always cold and this was the highest fill power I could find in an ultra-light, packable down coat), hood, zipper pockets.

prAna Halle Joggers II

Why I purchased this: rave reviews from a friend, comfort, fit, lots of pockets including some with zipper closures.

Wrightsock Coolmesh II Crew Blister Free Socks

Why I purchased this: built-in sock liners to reduce the risk of blisters, comfort, and rave reviews from a footwear specialist. I wore these all over South America when summiting mountains 15,000+ feet above sea level and never got a single blister!

Hilinker Women’s Ruffle Shoulder One Piece Bathing Suit

Why I purchased this: never have I ever felt so good in a bathing suit! This suit is super comfortable, hits in all the right places for modest coverage, has a rouched mid-section for a slimming look, and has a chic and flattering ruffled shoulder. I have this suit in 3 colors because I love it so much! Note: I had a lot of issues with the dye from the light pink suit constantly running despite multiple washes (non-damaging) as well as overall color fading. However, I didn’t have that problem at all with the black suit interestingly.

FADTOP Barefoot Quick-Dry Water Sports Shoes

water shoes

Why we purchased these: to protect our feet from sharp rocks, coral, and other objects. They lie flat, are super compact to pack, have good traction, and they have a great price point. We used them countless times on our 5-month trip and were so glad we had them on many occasions.


Vapur Collapsible Water Bottle

Why I purchased this: BPA, odor, and taste free; foldable, reusable, durable, freezable, dishwasher safe; built-in carabiner; flip-top with a tough seal; and wide mouth opening.

Ranger Ready Picaridin Insect Repellent Spray

Why I purchased this: 20% picaridin; safer than deet but provides equivalent protection.

BUG BITE Thing Suction Tool, Poison Remover

Why I purchased this: for quick relief from itching, swelling, and stinging as a result of bug bites and stings. We used this often as we were constantly getting nibbled alive. This thing really does work miracles!

Permethrin Insect & Tick Repellent Spray

Why I purchased this: to treat clothing and gear prior to going on trips that include hiking, backpacking, camping, jungle, and/or rainforest adventures.

Additional Products For Specialized Travel

Cressi Snorkeling Kit

Why I purchased this: good reviews, reputable brand, and to save money over time on snorkel rentals. My husband and I share one set of snorkel + mask and trade off. The kit pays for itself after several uses.

Coming Soon… What’s In My Med Kit (guided by my mom who’s a nurse practitioner), Travel Credit Cards, and Memberships that will elevate your travel and save you tons of money