To me that means buying the highest quality of each thing I buy. This saves me money in the long term and reduces the risk of my stuff breaking down while on the road.
I do lots of research before buying anything. Because of this, I tend to be very happy with the things I carry around the world with me. Let’s get in to my travel resources and what I take with me around the globe!
I need a sturdy and durable backpack to carry my life around on my back. I am currently carrying the CabinZero 28 liter backpack in Naga Red. If this seems a bit small, that’s because it is, and I love it! This backpack is also the perfect size for a daypack, a hiking backpack, whatever you do in a day. It has a pocket for my laptop, a front pocket for easy access to my liquids (when going through security at the airport) or snacks (if I’m hiking), and a durable design.
This bag is super lightweight – which is good and bad. I like that it doesn’t add a lot of weight, because I live a carry on lifestyle. Adding weight to your carry on through luggage isn’t exactly ideal. The con that comes along with this is that the padding on the bag isn’t as strong as the padding on heavier bags, like the first one I traveled with (see below). This means that it’s lighter, but not as padded for comfort.
P.S. wondering how I fit all my stuff in this tiny bag? Check out my minimalist packing tips 😉
As many of you know, I wasn’t always quite THIS minimalist. In my earlier days of travel, I was using the Tortuga 44L Around the World backpack.
I would highly recommend this one for the first time traveler. It’s very durable, well made, and sturdy. It has lockable zippers, it’s high quality, and it has a lot of little nooks and crannies to store odds and ends (I’m looking at you, hairbands). I really enjoyed using this bag, as it fit everything I wanted to bring and then some!
This bag is the maximum size for carry-ons, which means that you can stuff it and still bring it as a carry on for most planes. If you’re new to carry-on only, this is the perfect bag for you. I especially appreciate the hip belt (which transfers some of the weight off your shoulders) and the laptop pouch. It’s designed by travelers, for travelers – it’s not a hiking backpack, like most of the bags on the market. It loads like a suitcase; it opens up completely instead of loading from the top.
The only downside to a sturdy and durable bag like this is… it’s heavy. This bag weighs just under 4 lbs. That’s weight that you could be using for shoes, clothes, or camera gear.
To help make packing soooo much easier, I use the CabinZero packing cubes. Packing cubes are a serious life saver – they make packing easier, more organized, and I swear you can fit more clothes in when you use packing cubes instead of just throwing them in the suitcase. Of all my travel resources, this is one of my favorite hacks.
In my backpack, I’m always carrying the following:
I am never without my 13 inch Macbook Pro. It’s light, reliable, and super high quality. I use my laptop daily for blogging, editing photos, and making Youtube videos. It wasn’t cheap, but it consistently outshines less expensive laptops. My macbook keeps me focused on the work I want to do, instead of dealing with annoying computer problems and viruses.
If you’re looking into getting into blogging, I’ve made a page on the exact software I use to keep this sweet baby up and running! I’ve been blogging for over two years on this site, and many more years on other sites. I’ve been through a lot of trial and error, and learned a lot of valuable lessons. Everything I know about blogging, I’ve learned through my own research.
To take all of my travel photos (and Youtube videos), I use a Canon 70D. I am in love with this camera and it’s versatility. It definitely has it’s pros and cons: it’s expensive, heavy, and requires separate lenses for different types of photos. But the pros include very high quality photos – it’s a DSLR, good video, excellent auto focus.
If the Canon 70D is out of your price range (or just too intimidating), I started with an Olympus Pen. It’s a much easier camera to use, super beginner and a lot more compact. This camera takes excellent photos and also has great resolution. I use Adobe Lightroom to edit all of my photos.
I also carry a GoPro in my backpack for all of my underwater adventures. If you’re an adventure type and love videos and photos, I’d highly recommend investing in a GoPro. The newer versions have a much higher quality than the older ones, so if you can swing it, I’d recommend getting the most updated version possible.
To see my exact packing checklist and learn how to travel on a budget, my exact budgets from over 5 countries, and how I keep myself (and my stuff) safe on the road, check out my ebook.
As you know, I LOVE reading. I read two books every month (join my book club if you want to read along with me!). I don’t want to be carrying around all of that though, so I use Audible to listen to books whenever I’m on transportation, taking a walk, or driving to a secluded waterfall. Audible helps me read more, and I am obsessed! If you want to try Audible, sign up here to get two FREE audiobooks.
Good old technology – these are the things that help me do what I need to do, as efficiently as possible.
I use an external hard drive to back up my photos and videos. I currently have two My Passport 1TB external hard drives, but am now moving toward a more minimalist style of backing up my files: the cloud!
I pay a small monthly fee for storage on the cloud. This helps me avoid carrying around too much technology, though sometimes I get a bit crazy and back up photos on hard drives as well. (I’m not sure I’ll ever stop carrying my hard drives).
Another necessity for my lifestyle is an external battery charger for my phone. I was gifted the Belkin Rechargeable Battery Pack a few years ago, and it’s held strong. I must say, it’s come in handy much more often than I would have imagined. It charges multiple devices at once, which comes is helpful when I’m with a friend and we both have dead phones. It also holds up to 4 charges at a time, so if I’m traveling for days on end, I can charge my phone a few times before having to recharge the battery pack. Though it’s a bit heavy to carry every day, I can’t see myself ever traveling without one of these again!
Of course I couldn’t travel without a travel adapter. I now have technology from different countries, including USA and Australia. I needed an adapter that fits all plugs, and this is the best one I’ve found. It works like a dream and I love that both Michael (my Australian partner) and I can both use one.
Zero Waste & Sustainable Items
If you’ve been following along on my Youtube channel, you’ll know that I’ve recently started getting much more interested in living a more sustainable lifestyle. I’ve seen the effect of plastic on the oceans, global warming is becoming a major issue, and we cannot keep living in such an unsustainable manner. The good thing is, we can do something about it! By reducing our use of plastic and living a less consumer-driven lifestyle, we can do our part to save our planet. I’ve made a few switches in my life, including the following.
I use a bamboo toothbrush now. It looks cooler, and it’s compostable – unlike plastic toothbrushes. Plastic toothbrushes get thrown into landfills and NEVER BREAK DOWN. Considering that the average person goes through about 300 toothbrushes in their lifetime, switching to a bamboo toothbrush now could save at least 100 plastic toothbrushes from entering landfills. I’ve used a few different brands of bamboo toothbrushes and haven’t noticed a huge difference. I do try to find one with compostable bristles as well (and preferably one which doesn’t come in plastic packaging).
I carry my reusable coffee cup with me EVERYWHERE. I used to use a keepcup, which I love the look of, but then I dropped it and cried as it shattered. I’ve saved the linings to reuse when I get a new one, but for now I’m using an older reusable coffee cup that I had previously.
My reusable water bottle comes everywhere with me. It’s basically my third arm, and I even drink out of it at home. Not only does it help me avoid plastic bottled water, but drinking out of this bottle helps me track my water intake for the day. I’ve found Hydroflask to be the best water bottles on the market. They keep my water cold for over 24 hours, even if the bottle is in the sun that whole time.
Stainless steel safety razors have been my new favorite thing. Though it does take a while to get used to (it’s definitely not as smooth and simple as a conventional razor), the stainless steel safety razor is filled with simple razor blades, and can be used for ever! I got mine on Amazon and have really enjoyed using it. It’s easy to travel with, and I haven’t gotten called out for bringing it in my carry-on. I usually stick my extra blades in Michaels checked bag, but it would be easy enough to buy razor blades anywhere in the world.
When I need to update my wardrobe, I head to op shops and thrift stores first. After watching the documentary The True Cost (all about fast fashion and it’s effects on our planet and people), I made a pact to avoid buying clothing first-hand if I can avoid it. Since then, I haven’t been perfect, but I’ve drastically cut down on buying clothes first hand. This helps me save the planet and my wallet! You can watch The True Cost on Netflix, or rent it here.
I try to reduce my carbon footprint by taking public transportation, bringing my reusable grocery & produce bags, and spending my money on experiences rather than things. Flying creates a lot of emissions, but I can’t travel to faraway places without flying. Instead, I focus on going around the world slowly and staying in one place for longer. This helps me cut down on the amount of flights I take.
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! These are all of my travel resources, everything that keeps me on the road.
What are your best tips for long term travel? I’d love to hear in the comments!