The Best Travel Gear (That I Really Use!)

Over the last 15 years I have traveled a lot, and lugged all kinds of cameras, bags and travel accessories all over the world. So, it might not surprise that one of the questions I am asked all the time, after where should I go on my next vacation, is what travel gear do you pack on your trips?

For the record, I bring lightweight clothes I can roll tightly, wash and dry quickly and layer if it gets cold. I also drag around my Canon 6d with a couple of lenses. I love my 17-35mm and then I bring a Tamron 24-70mm, both f/2.8.

Of course, not everyone wants to pretend being a photographer and lug a big DSLR camera around when cell phones photos have become so good. And everyone has their own fashion sense.

So with the people who want to know what essential travel accessories I really use, here is the list is the travel gear I absolutely love that I think anyone will love, too.

Carryon Luggage

INCASE EO Travel RollerI use the INCASE EO Travel Roller. It is light, built tough, fits perfectly in overhead compartments, and the neon lime-colored wheels are as smooth as it gets across city streets and airport concourses alike. I have been using this one for the last six or seven trips and I don’t think I could go back to anything else.

FYI, I do not own luggage bigger than a carryon – I have become a pro at packing economically and efficiently.

For more on Devin’s Travel Roller

The Backpack

ECBC Hercules BackpackAh yes, the “personal item” (in airline lingo). I use a backpack for my camera, computer, lenses, chords, cell, every expensive or hard-to-replace travel accessory and emergency food. My backpack carries my valuable and I tend to take it with me wherever I go, even if I have unpacked at the hotel. I use the ECBC Hercules Backpack. The name is dead on. This is a strong well-made backpack. However, the part that has sold me is its space aged-ness. I have never seen zippers on a backpack like these, every compartment, panel and material choice was designed flawlessly. It also has a second and separate TSA friendly laptop compartment, which means you don’t have to take out your computer from your backpack.

For more about Devin’s backpack AND… Simply visit and enter promo code REACH30 during checkout for a $30 discount at checkout!

The Phone Charger

NomadKey LightningMy wife and I actually fight over this one because we both love it. The Nomad Key is an iPhone charger (there is also a micro USB model) that fits on a key ring and has no cord. It is a short flexible plug the length of a “key” and is absolutely perfect for travel, takes up no space and never tangles.

Nomad also produces a variety of other chargers and travel accessories, which I really like. I also own the Carabiner, which is a …. And a NomadPlus, an Apple charger and battery.
More on Devin’s Phone Charger

The Bug Repellant

Misquitno BandsYes, I am that guy that bugs follow around and bite me with a vengeance. So, I usually prepared with some kind of DEET which needs to be constantly reapplied, but is poisonously effective.

Recently, however, I was turned on to Mosquitnos, a citronella-based wristband, which has also proved to be effective. They are fall less messy and I like the smell of citronella. I tend to use the band for my wrists and the “spotz”, stickers for clothing, on my ankles. So far these have done the trick.
Please be aware that while the package claims 150 hours, the citronella – in my experience — breaks down before then. Still, Mosquitno has been a great all natural, DEET alternative.

More about Devin’s Mosquito Repellant

Getting Ready for Travel

DK EyewitnessWhile I am happy to get lost while traveling, I always bring a guidebook and usually buy several during the planning stages of a trip. I would love to tell you about all the obscure travel books I use that no one has ever heard of but I can’t. At this stage most every guide book is fairly useful.

So which books do I actually use? For the photo and inspiration I always get DK Eyewitness guides. They are beautiful with full-color glossy pages and loads of good information. However, they weigh a ton. I tend to put Lonely Planet in my luggage, which has a good selection of hotels, train, and practical bits.

More about Devin’s Favorite Guides:
DK Eyewitness Travel Guides
Lonely Planet Guides

And When I get home…

I used Instantly Framed for a super fast way to get my beautiful travel photo framed quickly. Instantly Framed is an app that takes my cell phone photos – or you can upload photos to your cell – and converts them into framed photos.

I used them when I got an amazing photo of my wife and I getting a medieval wedding in San Marino. It is a $65 charge for a choice photo sizes, a gorgeous walnut frame and free 3-day shipping.

More about Photos on Devin’s Photos

Honorable mention goes to small carryon luggage, large backpacks and travel guides by Rick Steves. I have used his stuff for years. In general, his luggage is durable and practical and the books still have cute maps. All products lean a little bit on the budget side of travel friendly gear.

Honorable Mention Travel Gear

Author: Devin Galaudet

Before being Editor-in-Chief of In The Know Traveler and In The Know Traveler USA, Devin has had stints in antiques, construction, film and as a professional card player. Devin Galaudet has now found his niche combining his passion for travel and writing. Devin still freelances for a popular trade publication and honors this path as a labor of love. When he is not writing Devin enjoys his pixie-like thirteen-year-old daughter and reading confusing esoteric books. He holds a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

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