If you are a loyal reader, you know my husband and I have been traveling like crazy, but if you are new to the blog (welcome!)… you might want to check out my post about What’s Coming in 2017 to catch up! We just got back from Puerto Rico and Cabo San Lucas and are currently gearing up for a huge trip to New Zealand and Australia. With all this travel, I am quickly learning what is and isn’t essential for travel.
I learned the hard way on our Cabo trip (travel guide here) that I really suck at packing. My mom made me weigh my bag before we left for the airport and of course it was overweight. She advised me to take out a few things, so I took her advice. Fortunately, my mom saved me a lot of money in overweight baggage fees – thanks, mom! Unfortunately, I took out all the wrong things! Ugh. Seriously, half of my outfits were incomplete and I couldn’t wear them. Then, the Customs line to get into Cabo was purely insane and we had to stand there for an hour and a half (at least) slowly making our way through the line. Let me just tell you that my arm was about to break off from my carry-on bag. Thankfully, Chris gave me his backpack and he carried my tote bag. His backpack was SO much easier to carry. This leads me to my number 1 most essential item…
#1. A Great Backpack
After my experience with my husband’s backpack, the first thing I purchased when we got back from Cabo was (you guessed it) a backpack. I opted for this Tumi leather backpack that is very conducive for travel. There is even a sleeve on the back that secures the backpack to my luggage! I’m intending to use it to carry my laptop, camera and equipment, cords, chargers, and extra batteries. These are the heaviest items I carry-on and that weight will now be evenly distributed on my body. I haven’t used it yet, so I cannot give a thorough product review, but it is very beautiful in person. I’m obsessed with the gold zippers and details. The straps are also padded and feel nice. There is an interior pocket that protects credit cards and passports from identity theft as well. It seems to be very roomy for all my equipment. I’m super excited to use this bag.
#2. A Great Camera (or two or three!)
Documenting your travels can be just as fun as actually being on your travels! I get such a thrill out of capturing that perfect shot. A photography teacher once told me, “the best camera is the one you have on you.” Well, I always have my phone with me and often use it to take photos. I decided to upgrade my cell phone to the iPhone 7 Plus and it was the best decision ever. I selected this phone because of the amazing dual camera feature. The two cameras shoot as one. The picture quality truly rivals DSLR cameras.
The portrait feature is my favorite though. This is the feature that gives photos depth effect (subject in focus and blurred background). For my photography friends, it shoots at f/1.8. Pretty awesome for a phone. It’s the only camera I used while I was in Cabo!
The iPhone 7 Plus also has pretty great battery life, but I do use it a lot and start to run low at the end of the day. I decided to purchase the Mophie Case to put on for longer excursions and I purchased a waterproof case to have just in case! I haven’t used it underwater yet though.
Mophie Case in Rose Gold
Pelican Waterproof Case in Teal
For our New Zealand/Australian adventure, I am definitely bringing my DSLR camera. I have a Canon EOS 60D that I inherited from my dad when he passed. It’s a great camera. I haven’t decided what lenses I’ll be bringing just yet. I’ll likely bring two. I also just scooped up a new SD memory card (on MAJOR sale right now – originally $249.99 on sale for $59.99) to have loads of free space! Nothing worse than running out of memory card space.
GoPro’s are awesome for adventure packed trips. We purchased a GoPro Hero 4 for our honeymoon. I captured a ton of video footage and when we got home, I compiled our photos and videos into the coolest little movie for ourselves. We used the selfie stick, the head strap attachment, and the waterproof case. If I were in the market to buy one now, I’d get the newest GoPro that shoots in 4K.
Quick tip! If you take videos with your iPhone, you want to make sure you shoot them horizontally. The GoPro shoots wide-angle. When you combine iPhone and GoPro footage you’ll want them all shot in the same format. I learned the hard way.
#3. A Rechargeable Toothbrush
This probably seems silly to mention, but I’m obsessed with this Sonicare Electric Toothbrush. I’m specifically obsessed with the travel case this toothbrush comes with. I love that it keeps my toothbrush clean and separated from the rest of my belongings, but what I love even more is that the case comes with a USB charger! I’ve been on vacation when my toothbrush has died. If you’ve ever tried to brush your teeth manually with an electric toothbrush, you’ve felt my pain. I know this is totally a #firstworldproblem – I am completely aware, haha. But it IS super cool that I can just plug the case into my computer and charge it!
Sonicare Electric Toothbrush
What are your must have travel essentials?! I’d love to know. Drop me a comment below.