I used to be the world’s worst packer, basically trying to fit my whole life into my suitcase for a one week trip. Oh how the times have changed. I have learned to simplify to the max and now ONLY travel with a carry-on, even on 1-2 month trips. It’s not easy (and it’s not for everyone, I get it), but I seem to have worked out a method using some key travel gear to help me to travel light.
The last thing I want to do is struggle with huge bags dragging over cobblestone streets in Europe or dirt roads in Africa. Oh, and those hefty checked bag fees for budget airlines? #Fuggedaboutit #aintnobodygottimeforthat
Below are the only bags I take with me on my travels: a small backpack and a spinner carry-on. (Oh, and my pillow). That’s it! There’s a lot of shit in there, trust me…♥
Light Packer Essential Travel Gear
(P.S. Click on the product photos for more info)
Sony Alpha 6000 Mirrorless Camera: I made the switch from my huge DSLR and I wouldn’t go back. It’s light, compact, and takes amazing photos!
Sony 10-18mm Wide Angle Zoom Lens: this wide angle lens is the key to landscape shots. It basically takes a panoramic photo. I use this lens more than the original factory lens and am super happy with it. It’s not cheap, but super worth it if you want to get those special outdoor nature shots. Honestly, I would purchase the Sony alpha 6000 camera body only and save up for this lens to go with it.
Both shot with my wide-angle lens. Look how much of the landscape fits in the frame!
E Bags Packing Cubes: the biggest life changer to keep me packing light! This is my biggest travel gear obsession and I have NO idea how I traveled without them before.
Eagle Creek Compression Packing Cubes: These are my new editions to my packing gear and I’m obsessed. Once you pack them full, you can zip then down further to compress the cubes. You have no idea how much stuff you can fit in these cubes, it’s amazing!
Skyroam Mobile Hotspot Device: How did I travel without this before? This mini hotspot is portable and gives you access to wifi wherever you are, and works in 100+ countries. Skyroam saved my life during my recent road trip through New Zealand, allowing me access to my Google maps for navigation. The way it works: you can either rent or buy the hotspot device, and then you buy 24 hour day passes. This gives you unlimited wifi for 24 hours, no need to worry about using all your data. ♥
♥You can get 10% OFF by using the code: CRAZYTRAVELISTA♥
DJI Mavic Pro Drone: I mean, who doesn’t want a drone? It’s the hottest new tech gadget for 2017! It’s not cheap, but it’s totally worth it. If you’re going to get a drone, this one is the best for transporting as its SUPER compact (the size of a water bottle basically) and pretty light. This fits in my backpack which I have outline below, along with ALL my other gadgets including the drone remote, camera, extra lenses, GoPro’s, tripod, and more!
Anker Portable Charger: this helps me recharge my iPhone several times a day when I travel. It also has dual ports so you can also charge your camera or other electronics simultaneously. I couldn’t travel with it.
GoPro Hero 11 Black: I am a proud GoPro ambassador and obsessed with GoPro selfie pics if you didn’t notice! The Gopro cameras are the best for action and underwater shots, and of course for taking those selfies when you’re traveling solo. It’s super small, compact, and easy to travel with. Plus it’s so much fun to use! 🙂
These were both shot with my GoPro. Notice how GoPro’s signature fish-eye lens gets everything in?
The first shot is a completely unedited underwater shot I took recently in the Galapagos. Look how clear it is!
Joby GorillaPod Tripod: This little bendable tripod is awesome. You can bend and mold it to fit around small things/objects wherever you may be. I mostly use it with my GoPro to wrap around the branch of a tree or a railing (as I did in the pic below). This allows me to go hands-free and get photos of myself when I’m traveling alone. It’s super lightweight and small so it easily fits in my little travel backpack with all my other gear.
Laptop/Accessory Backpack: This is the best travel backpack ever! I literally fit ALL my tech & camera gear in here, including my MacBook Air, camera, extra wide angle lens, GoPro, all GoPro accessories, selfie stick, travel tripod, all my cords, chargers, converters, extra SD cards, and even my new Mavic Pro drone with remote and charger! Not only does it fit all my cool gadgets, it’s super thin and when it’s on my back, even budget airlines skip weighing it because it looks so small. Little do they know that it weighs more than my actual suitcase. Oh, and the best part? It has a pouch on the back that slides onto your suitcase handle so you don’t even have to carry it. #score
External Hard Drive: This super lightweight external hard drive is perfect for backing up all my thousands of photos I take each trip. I’ve had mine for about 6 years now and it’s nowhere near full. The 2TB of memory will last you quite a long time!
Hanging Toiletry Bag: I can’t tell you how helpful this little toiletry bag is, especially when staying at an Airbnb and I have to share a bathroom. I throw all my face creams, face wash, soap, etc in here and hang it up on a hook and have everything easily accessible.
Moldable silicon earplugs: I am the world’s lightest sleeper so ear plugs are a MUST, especially with those thin walls in Europe and Africa. These are the best ones I’ve found and they block out a lot of noise. The key is to only use them for 2-3 days and then get some fresh ones so they suction to your ears.
GoToob Non-leak Silicone 3oz. Travel Tubes: these are by far the BEST travel size bottles out there, period. I’ve tried so many, believe me. I used to buy the 3-pack of travel size tubes at Target on every trip, but they would leak every damn time. Not to mention the bottles would warp and I would have to buy a new set for each trip. I’ve had these GoToob bottles for 3 years and they have never once leaked or broken. They are SO worth it!
X-Shot Selfie Stick (I use w/ my GoPro): I’ve used this selfie stick for the past 2 years and I love it! It’s not bulky like most other selfie sticks and it’s super lightweight and folds up small. And it’s NOT flimsy. I use it daily on my travels.
Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a super small commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I have used before on my own and that I truly love 🙂
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These pictures are crazy good! I am seriously considering getting a drone for better pictures. Also its cool you highlighted the Skyroam I had no idea it existed before
Drones are amazing!! The only thing is you gotta check the drone laws in each country. I love my Skyroam!!! It really comes in handy when I’m hopping from country to country! 🙂
Great Stuff! It’s really awesome info about important travel gear. In the early of July, I have decided to go for a long tour. your article helps me a lot. Thanks for sharing with us. I’m going to share your article with my social media friends and family.
So glad to hear that it helped!!! Good luck on your trip! 🙂
I’ve wanted to pack lighter and lighter! The packing cubes tip has definitely helped me out!
Packing cubes literally changed my travel life. That’s the only way i can pack so light for so long!
Love packing light! It’s feels so free to not wait for your things at the carousel…and to know your things aren’t getting tossed about! I’m liking that backpack, I think I need to look into upgrading to a safer camera/laptop bag soon. Love my personal/day bag but I’m liking the extra padding and structure in that one.
Ya the bag is awesome!! It also sits upright when you put it down. Depending on how much camera gear you have, it should fit everything! I have a Sony a6000, 2 lenses, 2 GoPros, all my battery packs and my Mavic Pro drone in there!
Your Go Pro pictures are making me seriously consider getting one! Great tips.
Oh a GoPro is a MUST for traveling!!! There is so much you can do with them. And they are super light you can literally carry them in your pocket!
Great post and I totally agree on the ear plugs. A must!
Haha, right? I dont know what i did before earplugs.
I’M LEGIT OBSESSED with these tips and tricks! That backpack looks like something that needs to find its way to my possession ASAP, as well lol. I love how you put in the photos to give examples of the abilities the cameras have. Is there a difference between compression bags and packing cubes? I just got into packing cubes but now I think I need compression bags also.
Thanks Jackie! Ya the backpack is KEY!!! As far as the compression cubes, they just have the ability to compress down further so they really help! They are a bit more expensive than the regular packing cubes, but worth it. I use both. They also have those compression bags that are like vacuum sealed but i havent used those yet. We shall see 🙂