Best Travel Gear: The Ultimate Guide


Travel Bags | Organization | Packing Lists | Travel Gadgets | Accessories | Hiking & Camping | Summer Gear | Winter Gear | Travel Insurance | Latest

Get The Right Travel Gear

When we first started traveling, we were super excited but kinda clueless about packing and how to choose the right travel gear. Now, after years of traveling and living as nomads, we’ve learned a whole lot more about travel gear, mostly through trial and error.

As long-term travelers, we look for good value, durability, and quality when we buy our travel gear.

While cost concerns dictated much of our purchases early on (we were on a tight budget, as I’m sure many travelers are!), we’ve learned that it can be worthwhile to invest in high quality gear that costs more but lasts much longer as well.

With the combined experience of the AIY team, we’ve put together a wealth of resources on travel gear to help you be best prepared for your own travel adventures.

Choosing a Travel Bag

A major question for many travelers (whether first-time or experienced!) is how to choose the right travel bag. Having the right bag for your adventures can certainly reduce stress, make bouncing around cities easier, and ensure that you’ll have enough space for the necessities.

Here are our top tips on picking a travel bag that will enhance your travel experience.

Rolling Luggage vs Backpack

Are you #TeamRollingLuggage or #TeamBackpack? This is a debate that will forever rage on, with each side stoutly defending their arguments.

The truth is that it will depend on the type of traveler you are and your personal preference, as well as the type of trip you’ll be going on.

At Adventure In You, we tend to prefer traveling adventure-style and that means being mobile and packing light — that’s why we favor traveling with a backpack.

If you’re looking for a backpack for your next adventure, check out our guide on the best travel backpacks or opt to get hybrid bags.

Carry-on or Check-in?

Another big trend among travelers is to only travel with a carry-on bag. This means saving on the costs of check-in luggage, saving time at the airport, and being more mobile overall. There’s also no risk of losing your luggage.

While there are certainly advantages to traveling light with only a carry-on, it really depends on your personal travel style and needs. Check out our guide to the best carry-on duffel bags and carry-on luggage to help you choose the right bag for the job.

How to Choose the Right Bag for You

Unsure how to pick the right travel bag? Here are 5 questions to ask yourself which will hopefully help you choose what type of bag you need to take with you on your travels.

  • What type of trip are you going on?
  • How long will you be traveling?
  • How much moving (from city to city, country to country) will you be doing?
  • Will you check the bag or just carry it on? What are the baggage restrictions of the airlines you’re taking?
  • What features do you need the bag to have?

The answers to these questions can help narrow down the type and size of travel you need, as well as any specific features it should have to meet your travel needs.

Top Editors Picks for Travel Bags:

Our team here in AIY have been in search of the best travel bags. As a quick overview, listed below are a few of our top picks but for those that are keen to read our longer, indepth reviews, check out our honest reviews on the Osprey Farpoint, Nomatic Travel Bag, and the Tropicfeel Backpacks. We recently spent time testing a Level8 Road Runner 20 and love the overall look and organization that the bags bring to the table.

Osprey Fairview 40 (Best Women’s Backpack)

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Osprey Farpoint 40 (Best Men’s Backpack)

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Nomatic Travel Pack (Best Day Backpack)

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Organizing Your Travel Gear

When you’re on the go, staying organized can help relieve stress and anxiety.

This means knowing where your stuff is when you need it, being confident that your money and valuables are safe, and (hopefully!) not losing stuff as you go.

Here are some recommendations on how to stay organized:

Packing Cubes: Packing cubes are a lifesaver when it comes to keeping your main bag organized. They allow you to sort your clothes by type of outfit, and you can group other similar items in your bag as well so that everything has its place. Some packing cubes are even compressible which helps you save space in your bag!

Travel Purse or Travel Wallet: A travel wallet can help you keep all your important documents together, together with your cash and cards. No more fumbling around in your bag at check-in! Just take out our travel wallet and you’ve got everything in hand.

Travel Money Belt: A money belt is great for keeping your money safe, especially when you’re on the move. If you’re travelling to countries with different currencies, it can also be useful for segregating your money.

Open luggage with contents

Travel Shoes

We’re always on a mission to find the best travel shoes out there. In our 9 years of travel, to say we’ve tried a few is an understatement. So far, here are our favorite top picks.

Packing Lists

Love to travel, but hate packing? We feel you! Deciding what to bring, trying not to overpack, and the actual process of putting things in our bags is one of our least favorite things about travel.

You know what has helped reduce the pain? A packing list.

Having a packing list means we stay organized, don’t forget anything important, and minimize the time spent packing. Just consult the list, take the necessary items, pack ‘em, and tick ‘em off the list.

Voilà, you’re done!

Get a handle on your packing with our specially-curated packing lists — we’ve got your back.

bali packing list

Travel Gadgets

Regardless of where you’re going and what you’re planning to do, there are some travel basics that you should definitely have with you.

From absolute necessities to items that increase your comfort, here are our recommendations for essential items for any trip. If you’re a digital nomad or aspiring remote worker, check out our complete roundup of best laptops for digital nomads, which is definitely one gadget you don’t want to leave behind.

If you need a portable laptop screen, check out our Xebec Tri-Screen Review.

GoPro HERO 7

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Sony Alpha a7II Mirrorless

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UE Wireless Speakers (Waterproof )

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All-New Fire HD 8 Tablet

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Travel Photography

For those that enjoy documenting your travels, choosing what camera to take with you during your trip is a big choice. To help make the decision easier for you, take a look at our article on the best travel cameras which has information on how to choose a camera, as well as different cameras within different budgets.

If you are an action seeker, our team has also done in-depth guides to the best GoPro alternatives as well as a full review on the best GoPro accessories to go with them.

Other camera articles include:

traveler using camera

Travel Essentials and Accessories

Regardless of where you’re going and what you’re planning to do, there are some travel basics that you should definitely have with you.From absolute necessities to items that increase your comfort, here are our recommendations for essential items for any trip.

Packing Cubes

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Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle

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Portable Roll-Up Travel Bag

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Portable Water Filtration Straw

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Some travel accessories may be small or seemingly inconsequential, but they could mean the difference between a comfortable, stress-free trip and being miserable while on the road.
Don’t forget these travel accessories when embarking on your adventures!

A quick-dry towel is excellent for travel, particularly if you’ll be spending some time outdoors or staying in hostels. As the name suggests, they dry quickly after use and are typically thinner than normal towels, making them easy to pack.

Stay hydrated on long days by bringing your own travel water bottle (check out our article on the best travel water bottles!). Buying bottled water not only eats into your budget, it’s also terrible for the environment. Having your own water bottle is a great idea on matter what type of traveling you’re doing. To save space, opt for a collapsible water bottle that folds up when empty.

Be ready for any minor injuries or illness by having your own travel first aid kit. Fill it with your choice of over-the-counter medication to treat common ailments such as an upset stomach, headache, or allergies.

Have a small padlock (or two!) on hand to help secure your bags and valuables. They can be used to lock your bags and can come in handy when you need a padlock for the locker in your hostel.

Get some shut-eye anywhere you are with your own set of ear plugs and eye mask. These are a lifesaver when you’re on a noisy flight with crying toddlers or taking a long bus ride during the day time. Get that quality sleep so that you can enjoy exploring during the day!

We’ve all had that terrible neck cramp after trying to sleep on a plane, bus, or train. You can stay comfy by bringing a travel pillow. With so many types of travel pillows out there (compressible, infinity, memory foam to name a few!), you’ll find one that gives you the most comfort.

And if you’re looking to minimize your environmental impact when you travel, check out our picks for must-have eco-friendly travel products that help you stay green on the go!

Looking for gear recommendations that will suit your travel style/destination? Check out our recommendations below!

Hiking and Camping

Planning an outdoor adventure? You’re gonna need some hiking and camping gear to make your trip a success.

When it comes to hiking and camping gear, we have two priorities: it should be lightweight and durable. There’s nothing worse than lugging around heavy gear, and the stress of having gear that breaks down while you’re using it is too much to deal with when you’re outdoors. As you’ll be at the mercy of the elements, we recommend investing in high-quality items that are within your budget.

Here’s a list of all some top recommendations for hiking and camping travel gear:

Ready to pack? Read our complete camping packing list to make sure you have everything you need!

sunrise while camping

Summer and Beach Gear

Sun, sand, sea — the perfect relaxing vacation! Keep that zen feeling by making sure you have all you need for your summer or beach getaway. We’ve got you covered with our beach packing list and cruise packing list!

If you’re headed somewhere warm, you’re probably planning to do some water-related activities. Be prepared for summer fun with our gear guides:

Paddle Boarding

There’s nothing like hopping on a SUP for some summer fun! Whether you’re at the beach, lakeside or floating along a river, a paddle board is an essential piece of warm weather gear in our books.

Check out some of our SUP guides to find an epic board or ideal accessories to enjoy paddling out on the open water!

Kayaking Gear

If you want to take your water-filled adventures to the next level, step things up a notch with a kayak. Ideal for fishing, exploring or just touring around, a kayak is a worthy investment when it comes to the best travel gear.

But if you don’t know where to start, check out our guides to picking out the perfect kayak, along with key ‘yak accessories you don’t want to miss out on.

Winter and Ski Gear

Is a winter wonderland awaiting you? Traveling during the winter is a special kind of beautiful, but it also presents its own set of challenges.

Having appropriate clothing for keeping warm should be your top concern, of course.

Here are some resources that can help:

man skiing

Travel Insurance

Don’t leave home without it! Travel insurance is one of the things that you’ll wish you have when you need it, so don’t take the risk and travel without it.

Good travel insurance will provide coverage for incidents such as trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and stolen or damaged bags.

It’ll give you the peace of mind that any large expenses related to emergencies or unforeseen circumstances won’t bust a huge hole in your wallet and leave you struggling.

Depending on where you are from, we recommend Safety Wing for comprehensive travel insurance. They both cover a wide range of adventure activities which makes them a great choice for adrenaline seekers and full-time travelers.

You can read our full reviews and comparison for both travel insurance companies to help you decide.

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