A Travel Gift Guide from an Award Winning World Traveler
I may have made that part up about award winning. However, I do consider myself a pro traveler by this point.
It’s that time of year, where everyone is scrambling to figure out what to give their friends, family, and loved ones. Being an avid gear aficionado and (unfortunately) a spender when it comes to those categories, I have had the pleasure of purchasing and using many different types of travel gear. Here are my favorite choices, and why I chose them!
Light hard sided suitcases with 4 wheels are all the rage, and for good reason. They are light, durable, expandable, and come in sizes that fit most carry on regulations. They are also very easy to move around. My all time favorite is the ones built by Delsey. Sure you could spend more on a Samsonite, or a Tumi, but having owned all three, my Delsey has done the job time and again and taken me on dozens of trips through all sorts of rough and tumble luggage handlers and excursions.
Click here to check it out on Amazon
THE CARRY ON BAG:
The Carry on bag also known as the overnighter, is usually a small bag that will carry your toiletries, your electronic gadgets, and maybe a single change of clothing. Although I carry on all my luggage there are those times when you need to check in your rollaway and can only carry one bag on board. As a result, everything that I MUST have on my trip, ie: toiletries, phones, cameras, passport, are all carried within this carry on bag. In my opinion, there is only ONE company worth buying soft sided bags from, and they are Filson. For those not familiar with Filson, they are a purveyer of heavy duty travel goods located in Seattle. Their stuff is nearly indestructible – it isn’t cheap but it’s not Louis Vuitton expensive by a long shot, and i’ve put my Filson bags through over 10 years of abuse and they keep on running like I purchased them yesterday. My favorite is the standard Filson Small Duffle here. It’s just the right size to fit a jacket, maybe a t shirt and underwear, a toiletry bag, laptop, and even some shoes along with my electronics bag (mentioned below). Even filled as so it will easily drop into an overhead compartment on a small regional jet, or fit under the seat in front of you.
It’s always a pain in the ass when small electronics items such as memory cards, chargers, accessories get lost in the inevitable black hole of larger bags. To avoid this, I carry two of these bags below. They fit all my gadgets and charging cords, and are a must have when organizing your life on the go. They are also padded, so you don’t get the odd crushed charger prong or broken iphone. They’re cheap and can be purchased here
Packing cubes are nothing new, but not all packing cubes are created equally. If you’re serious about using these, I highly recommend getting COMPRESSION packing cubes. They allow you to stuff more items into the cubes themselves and are a great way to get the most out of your luggage space. Regular packing cubes – move aside. Check them out here.
I could wax poetic for ages about what you should bring for a travel camera, but being a video and photography nut and having owned dozens of different cameras and lenses I would have to say the ultimate travel camera (other than your cell phone) is the Panasonic GH4. For many reasons, its weatherproof and tough, it creates incredible 4K video, you can just bring 1 wide angle lens (the 7-14mm) and you’ll be able to take incredible video and photo no matter where you go. Now I usually bring 2-3 cameras on each trip each for a different purpose, but heck, you can’t go wrong with the Panasonic GH4 – it would be my 1 go to camera if I had to pare down to the basics. Click here for the camera and here for the lens.
If you’re not ready to splurge on a full camera, I highly recommend buying lenses for your existing camera. These do wonders for any iPhone or Android, giving you the ability to take wide angle or telephoto shots with your camera phone. Just remember, take photos SIDEWAYS!! No one shoots vertical anymore. Especially in video. There’s quite a few models but I have always liked the Aukey.
I often bring my drone with me for some incredible sky-selfie shots, cool video of the surrounding areas, and pretty spectacular footage that you really just can’t get anywhere but with a drone. Unfortunately up until recently drones have been large and a pain to carry. This changed recently with the DJI Mavic Pro. It’s a tiny drone that folds up to the size of a water bottle, yet has the capability to take extremely high quality 4K footage that would look good in any feature. I can’t state enough how this tool will make your vacations way more fun as you create memorable footage and photographs from the sky and get a completely new vantage point of the world around you.
Whenever i’m waiting at the airport gate, sitting on the plane, riding to and from the airport, or basically am in transit, i’m wearing these. They’re not cheap, but they’re incredibly comfortable, block out almost all external noise, and have incredible sound quality. I’m not even a Bose fan, but I have to say that my Bose Noise Cancelling In-Ear headphones are my favorite accessory for travel. They’re a MUST HAVE. I also used to have the over-the-ear model but they took too much room in my luggage, and frankly weren’t as comfortable as the in-ear model. Click here to get them.