Heading off to your next destination soon? Never fear! I’ve created this list for you so you won’t be scratching your head once you get where you’re going. There are tons of travel/outdoor products, companies, and gear out there that you can choose from, but I’ll share with you the things that truly worked for me. I love all of these resources and have successfully tried each of them, so I want to share them with you! Make your trip the best it can be, and don’t forget anything you might really need!
Finding a Place to Stay
Airbnb: Looking for accommodation has never been easier. I’ve had great experiences with Airbnb— I’ve met the nicest hosts, stayed in clean and comfy rooms, and had really flexible house rules. Some hosts went above and beyond to make sure we got the help we needed. In my search, I’ve found that Airbnb has a ton of really cheap prices compared to staying in a hotel, without having a cheap environment. You can choose to live in any type of place, from a super modern condo to a really rustic, cute cottage. Or if you want to make some money, you can choose to host at your own place. Click here to get $40 off when you book your next Airbnb! My treat. 🙂
Booking.com: If you do decide to go the hotel route, Booking.com let’s you search all the hotels in that area based on your price range. It also tells you when a hotel is fully booked and stores all your hotel reservations and information in one place. Get the app for even easier booking.
*World Nomads: I’ve never had a hugely unfortunate incident while traveling (yet), but I’ve read enough horror stories to know that travel insurance is an absolute must. I chose World Nomads for several reasons: because you can easily get a free quote based on how long you will be traveling, they cover over 150 different adventure activities, they cover you for sudden trip cancellation, and they even help you out in a medical emergency. Plus, they are trusted by some of my favorite bloggers and travel agencies. You can find the form to fill out for your price quote in my sidebar!
Travel Items I Love
*Blue Lizard SPF 30 Australian Sunscreen: I had to actually research the best sunscreen out there instead of just going to the store because no matter what, my fair skin always ends up burning. This was at the top of many lists I found, and it’s awesome. I know, because on the parts of me where I did use it, I didn’t get burned. On places I did NOT use it (who gets sunburn on the back of their legs anyways?), I definitely got burned… So I’ve finally found something that works for me. It’s very waterproof and the bottle turns blue when exposed to harmful UV rays.
*ChlorOxygen: In my research of high altitude countries and how to prevent altitude sickness, using chlorophyll drops in your water was an option I decided to try. I never got altitude sickness, and I don’t know if it was because I used this, but it could be. You just put a few drops in your drinking water and it works it’s magic. Chlorophyll increases your red blood cell count which produces more oxygen in your body for when you need it. Admittedly, it does faintly taste a bit like plants, but I didn’t really mind it.
*Ear Plugs: For noisy planes and even noisier hostels, ear plugs are necessary.
*Eye Mask: I need all the help I can get when trying to fall asleep in public places, so this eye mask was a great decision. I also use it at home because I work nights and sleep during the day. It’s really silky, so it’s both comfortable and blocks out light really well.
*ExOfficio BugsAway Pants: Okay, these pants are like if joggers and sweatpants had a baby. Not only are they extremely comfy, they keep bugs off you. I wear them even when I’m not traveling— they are that great.
*North Face Arcata Hoodie: This fitted fleece hoodie is great for keeping you warm on those chilly mornings or nights spent outside in the spring/summer.
*Black Diamond Carabiner Pack: We didn’t use these for climbing or anything like that, but instead used them to clip additional gear to our backpacks. I clipped my sleeping bag so I didn’t have to carry it.
*Bungee Cords: I used these with the carabiners to wrap around gear to secure it to the outside of my backpack. Really useful!
*Coolmax Hiking Socks: These socks are lifesavers. They are quick-drying and have a padded heel, so you don’t get blisters. No more double-layering normal socks for hiking. I am so happy they exist.
*Kelty Tru Comfort Sleeping Bag: Love camping but always feel like you’ll die in your sleep of hypothermia? This sleeping bag is seriously great for keeping warm at night. It’s a mummy bag, so it traps warmth well and you can tighten it around your face. But unlike a traditional mummy bag, you can actually move around and change sleeping positions in it! It has a blanket inside it and even has a flap you can zip open for your feet to stick out. I totally recommend this sleeping bag for camping but NOT for backpacking. Mine is about five pounds, and you don’t want to be carrying that much extra weight if you can help it while hiking. I learned that the hard way. But I’ve seriously never been warmer at night when camping and using this sleeping bag!
*Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots: I decided to really invest in some good hiking boots and got these beauties. Fun fact: I walked the whole Inca Trail without even having to break these in that much. NO blisters, combined with those hiking socks, of course. I lucked out. They are seriously the comfiest boots I’ve owned, plus they are waterproof. Another fun fact: I vowed to never order shoes online again because you never know how they’ll really fit once they arrive at your doorstep. However, I decided to order online for these boots and they fit perfectly for me. *heart eyes*
*Platypus Water Reservoir: I’ve used Platypus on every backpacking trip so far. It’s my go-to brand for water bladders.
*Sea to Summit Wilderness Wipes: Also lifesavers! A lot of times you don’t get a proper shower or a nice cool stream to bathe in while hiking or backpacking. I bought these and we used them every single day to wash our whole body on days when we couldn’t bathe. They left us feeling really refreshed and comfortable right before bedtime, otherwise we’d be dirty AF by the end of the trail.
*Nikon D3100 Digital SLR w/ 18-55mm lens: My first DSLR! I had used my iPhone 6 for all my travel photos up until I bought this baby for my trip to Peru. It seriously made ALL the difference. It is a camera model that has been discontinued since the D3200 came out, but I got mine used and in excellent condition. So if you want this camera, you’ll have to do a bit of searching. Mine is also a gorgeous red! Months after my purchase, I am still trying to learn about all the settings and functions, but it takes quality photos and videos and upped my Instagram game entirely.
*SanDisk 16 GB Memory Cards: Make sure you buy extra memory cards in case you run out of space. It happens!
*STK Nikon Batteries: I also bought extra camera batteries and needed to switch them out every day, mostly because I forgot to charge my camera the night before… They’re a must-have.
VSCO: This is the only app I use to edit my photos as of right now. I am planning on getting to know Photoshop and Lightroom better but this app is quick and hassle-free. There are a ton of nice filters and settings to play around with. They improve my photos every time.
Lonely Planet: This place is magical. Lonely Planet is one of the world’s top travel writing companies and have a ton to offer. I always use their books and PDF guides because they are so complete and give you everything there is to see and do in one place. They even include the best options for accommodation, restaurants, and more. You can never go wrong with Lonely Planet.
Duolingo: This app lets you choose what language you want to start learning and gives you fun activities to help you progress. It keeps track of your efforts and reminds you when it’s time to practice! I love this app because it gives you so much for being a free app.
TripAdvisor: If you are looking for a place’s ratings and reviews, look no further! This app/website has a ton of cities, tours, hotels, restaurants and more that all have reviews you can browse through.
Sygic Travel: This is my new favorite travel app. I LOVE IT! You can plan all your trips with it by choosing a location, and it will bring up all the activities, accommodation, restaurants, etc. in that area. You can then plan your day by dragging the activities to the calendar and voila! You have a list of days each with their own schedule, route drawn on the map, and an estimated time you’ll spend at each place. You can plan multiple trips and save them all. It’s really fun to use too.
*AWOL on the Appalachian Trail by David Miller: Hiking the Appalachian Trail is definitely a dream of mine. David Miller left everything behind to pursue the same dream. He tells his story so well and includes safety and general tips on completing the incredibly long and beautiful thru-hike.
*Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing by Don George: This book is so packed with information on how to become a great travel writer and how to become published. I will probably read it several more times just to soak up all the knowledge it has to offer!
*The Best American Travel Writing by Bill Bryson: Why do people travel? This book looks into questions like these and helps travel writers dig deep to find out what it all means. Perfect for the mission of my blog! 🙂
*Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams: I read part of this before heading off on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and finished reading it afterwards. This travel writer sat at a desk writing about adventures until he decided to actually have one of his own. He took on the famous Inca Trail and gives us an awesome mix of history and his own experience on the trek. The author is pretty witty too, so I loved it.
*Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed: Another dream of mine is to complete the Pacific Crest Trail as well… Am I crazy? Yep. I love how real the author is about her life. She had a really rough time and lost everything, which drove her to decide to take on the PCT. Her best-selling story is super inspiring in every way. This book was made into a movie as well.
Movies & TV
Departures: This is by far my favorite travel series yet. Two very different Canadians plan a few seasons of nonstop journeys and document all the ups and downs along the way. It’s packed with adventures! They make a really good pair and always keep you laughing. Their show seriously gives you a serious case of the travel bug, and gives you a cool perspective on culture around the world.
*The Physician: This movie is based on a trilogy written in the ’80s by Noah Gordon. I haven’t read it yet, but the movie is incredible. It takes place in 11th century Persia where a young boy loses his family and decides to travel across the unknown world to study with the world’s best doctor. When he gets there, he pretends to be a Jewish student because the school does not allow Christians. He travels for so long, finally reaches his goal, lives his dream, and overcomes tons of obstacles in his way once he arrives. That is seriously inspiring!
*Tracks: Robyn Davidson wrote this book about her 1,700-mile solo trek through the harsh Australian desert that she accomplished in the late ’70s. The movie depicts the struggles she experienced while trekking alongside her dog and four camels. It’s an amazing story that caught the attention of National Geographic, so Robyn agreed to document her crazy adventure. It’s definitely a good one.
*Bluehost: I had heard so many good things about Bluehost that I decided to use it to host my first blog. It’s been really great! For just $3.95 a month you can get a free website domain, install WordPress easily, and they even have 24/7 support. I had an issue one time and decided to use their chat support, and they helped solve my issue in minutes!
*ConvertKit: I use this for all things emailing. ConvertKit makes it really easy to create opt-in forms for your blog and freebies/email courses to go with them whenever someone signs up. It’s really useful when it comes to blogging.
WordPress: You can start a blog in less than 5 minutes with WordPress. It has everything you need to make your blog look and feel exactly the way you envision it in your head!
Pin this to prepare for your next adventure!
*Disclosure: Some of the links I’ve shared here are affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of my affiliate links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, my awesome reader. You are helping to fund my blog and my travels so I can keep bringing you all this handy-dandy content, which is much appreciated!
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