The travel products we have chosen to take with us stay with us 24/7 – so there is little room for error! Making the right choices plays a huge role in maintaining our sanity either by making life easier, more efficient or lightening our loads. Here’s a listing of the travel stuff we absolutely couldn’t live without.
Ever wonder what two women bring with them to travel the world non-stop?
For the complete GlobetrotterGirls packing list, click here!
Traveling and working from the road since 2010, we have gone through quite a few laptop changes! Because we work while on the road, our computers are most important. When we started, I went to Best Buy and bought us two little ASUS Eee PC netbooks for $250 each. These netbooks made terrific travel companions and we used them until they burnt out. We never expected to be running a website full time and putting such pressure on netbooks that aren’t designed for that. They lasted 14 months of massive overuse, though – respect!
Then I went Mac – and I’ll never go back! I bought myself a MacBook Air 11 inch, and it is so paper-thin I literally do not even notice its weight in my bag. The Mac set me back $700 more than Dani’s Acer Aspire TimelineX laptop, which weighs in under 4pounds (2kg) and at $600 was a steal in the ultra lightweight laptop category. Eventually her Acer slowed down and then completely froze, and now she is in love with her Acer Aspire S3, a very similar model but sleeker, faster and lighter by a pound!
Back in the day we started with an Apple iPhone 3GS but at some point we decided to ditch the phone entirely and use iPod Touches. We have all the same benefits as a smart phone, without a monthly phone bill. All calls take place on Skype or Facetime, we can text people with Apple products through iMessage, and we take pictures, make short films, listen to music and podcasts, download and use city-specific travel apps for each destination we visit, use the GPS and google maps to find out way around and essentially manage our business on the go.
One of our most recent purchases, we could never travel again without our Kindle Free 3G + Wi-Fi. We bought it just before the Kindle Fire et al came out, so it’s officially already the ‘old school’ Kindle but we’ve now got hundreds of books all in one slim device. Any form of Kindle is perfect for long-term travelers, short-term travelers or even for lazy Sundays in bed.
We picked up our Belkin Rockstar Multi Headphone Splitter in a hi-tech vending machine in L.A for $15., completely on a whim. It has turned out to be one of our best purchases to date! With this little guy we can listen to music, podcasts, play games and watch movies on long bus rides without sharing a pair of headphones. Genius!
When it came time to get a new portable hard drive, we chose the Transcend StoreJet 25 Mobile Anti-Shock 500 GB drive mainly because it can withstand drops of up to 3M or ten feet and since we don’t climb much, we figure it’ll hold up no matter what pain we put it through.
All the travel tech in the world won’t matter if you don’t have a good international adapter to charge your goodies. We use the Universal Travel Adapter Plug Kit and haven’t had any issues with it.
Smartphone charger: These days, we’d be absolutely lost without our iPod Touches… especially during long bus rides. Sadly, the battery life isn’t all that great anymore – but since portable chargers started popping up, our lives have been changed!!! A portable smartphone charger was the best piece of travel gear we’ve bought in the last couple of years and we wouldn’t want to travel without one anymore. The probably prettiest one you can get (starting 1 May 2014!) is the Travel Card, which fits perfectly in your wallet along with all your credit cards. The slim charger comes in a beautiful minimalistic design and several colors and is able to give your iPod or iPhone five hours of battery life!!
What Travel Gear to Bring on your Trip
I started this trip off using the same pack I bought back in 1998, and after 18 months of heavy travel – it was time for a new pack. I picked up this Osprey Waypoint 65L Pack and absolutely love it. The main compartment is small enough to make sure I don’t pack too much, and the pockets inside are practical. The zip off backpack is so well-designed it would be almost impossible for thieves/pickpockets to figure out how to get it (while it’s on me), and the pockets and compartments inside and outside the pack allow me to stay ultra organized. I am especially grateful for this little day pack at airports and on planes and buses – as I can easily grab tickets or my iPhone whenever I need it without having to ruffle through my whole bag.
Speaking of organization: Pick up a set of eBags Packing Cubes. They entirely revolutionized our lives! These little guys allow us to fit so much more into a smaller place, and more importantly keep us from having to fling out shirt after shirt looking for that pocket knife, or lotion. I could not imagine ever traveling without packing cubes again!!
Toiletries take up a lot of space, especially hair products. That’s why we like to travel with Lush Shampoo Bars. These tiny little organic shampoo bars ($9), and three bars will last six months and take up less space than one shampoo bottle.
For the ladies: After hearing many good things about the Diva Cup, we finally ordered a couple for ourselves (they are cheaper on Amazon than in the stores that have them!) and we are so glad we did! This menstrual cup takes a while to get used to but it saves us carrying around tampons or dealing with finding them in countries where they are hard to come by.
Sssshhhh… we’re pick pocket proof!
When we came across the pick pocket proof underwear by The Clever Travel Companion, we knew we had to try it! Every time we’re on night buses, we are freaked out about where to stash our valuables without having to be paranoid the whole time that somebody’s going to steal them, and this underwear is the perfect solution. It comes with secret pockets, barely visible, that can hold credit cards and bills (the panties) and even passports (the tank tops). Not only are the pockets invisible to thieves, but they are also in a place where pick pockets wouldn’t expect you to keep your valuables! The underwear starts at $19.90 and can be ordered on Amazon.com.
Our favorite travel clothes
Just in time for the summer we discovered FreestyleXtreme, a UK-based mail order service that specializes in outdoor, adventure and freestyle clothes and apparel. You can find over 100 brands on the website ranging from mountain bike to motocross gear, and outdoor clothes not just for adventure junkies but also urbanites like us – you can find anything from jackets, hoodies and pants to bikinis and hats. We found a cool hobo bag that we rocked in New York City last month and two bikinis that we can’t wait to try when we return to Tucson in August! We love the wide range of well-known brands such as Volcom, DC Shoe Co, One Industries or Fox Racing Clothes.
The coolest hip bag out there: The HappyCow belt bag
Last month Jess received her Happy Cow hip bag in the mail – and she love it! It’s fashionable, practical and hands-free, so it’s been perfect for wandering the streets of New York. I think it’s actually best for situations like the airport, because it holds my passport, phone, wallet and it’s also a belt, so I can throw it all in the basket at security and speed through. Since I love it, I wanted you guys to be able to have one too. I can’t buy everyone one, but Happy Cow has partnered up with us to giveaway AU$100 (that’s $96 US Dollars) credit toward one subscriber’s own hip bag (most are under that price).
When Dani decided that she was tired of carrying around two pairs of shoes (one heavy pair of hiking shoes, one pair of sneakers), we researched which kind of shoe would be able to serve as a running, walking and hiking shoe at the same time – and be a lightweight shoe. Our search brought us to the Vasque Velocity 2.0 Trail Running Shoes and Dani could not be happier with them. You can read her full review here.
Update: We actually bought another pair of Vasque Women’s Velocity 2.0 Trail Running Shoes for Jess because Dani was so happy with her pair!
We also got ourselves a new daypack – Overland Equipment’s small Donner bag looked like the right one for me, and it turned out to be the right decision! It is just the right size for a bag for a day of sightseeing and holds our camera equipment plus all the other little things women tend to carry around in their handbags. We reviewed it in detail here.
We have tried several travel insurance companies, but in the end we found the packages that Worldnomads.com offer are the best in the market, with several packages for solo travelers, couples or families, and varying lengths of trips, all available for people in 150 countries! You can also select the kind of travel you plan to do (including adventure travel and extreme sports for example) and the packages cover medical, baggage, cancellation costs, dental and liability. Find out more about World Nomads Travel Insurance here.
Travel Websites we couldn’t live without
Without the help of several useful websites, we could never find the great travel deals and insider details that help to save us thousands of dollars. Check out our listing of the top 5 travel websites we couldn’t live without post we put out in late 2011.
Books we like
Traveling as a couple? Pick up our book!
We wrote a book together with the folks from Indie Travel Podcast about traveling as a couple. It’s a super helpful guide to life on the road 24/7 with your partner (and we’re not just saying that because we’re in it) including our two chapters on specific advice for gay and lesbian couples.
Travel the world while earning good money? Work on a cruise ship!
Our friends Earl and Liz wrote a fantastic book on how to find a job on a cruise ship – including an overview of all the positions that are available on cruise ships, the relevant contact details of all major cruise lines and example application letters!
The only actual books we couldn’t travel without are guidebooks. Of all guidebooks, we prefer the Lonely Planet series – not because of its focus primarily on budget travel, but because it is one of the few popular guidebooks that informs us about the history, the culture and the local people in each place, plus great info on Dangers and Annoyances and safety for women and LGBT travelers. In our opinion the Lonely Planet covers as many bases as can fit into a book we can actually lug around with us.
If you have any questions or need any more information / guidance on what travel products might be right for you, feel free to get in touch with us at info [at] globetrottergirls [dot] com or through our contact form. We might have a few ideas for you… .
If you click on any of these links and decide to make a purchase, we do get a small percentage of that for referring you, at no extra cost to you.