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.
I 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
Ah 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.
The Phone Charger
My 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
Yes, 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 http://www.mosquitnoband.com/
Getting Ready for Travel
While 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.
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.