Recommended Travel Gear lists abound on the internet, but are they for real? Some are clickbait, some are top ten lists written without much expertise or thought. I have been traveling professionally around the globe for a long time and I’d like to think that I have it down to a science. If you’re looking for the best recommended travel gear, either for a travel gift or for yourself, here you’re going to find what is actually in my bag. For reals. No joke.
This is a list for quick reference, as a companion to my blog and YouTube packing videos, with links to take you directly to the things I use. Most of these items have been written about at some point on this blog, but always ask if you’d like more information. A reminder: I only suggest things that I truly like and use, none of my suggestions are paid, but I do work for Rick Steves, just so you know.
These are my actual bags that I use. For other options, including a great rolling bag, see ricksteves.com.
Main Backpack- Cotopaxi Allpa
Day Bag- Tom Bihn Medium Cafe Bag
Extra Bag- Lewis n Clark Hideaway Duffle
Packing Cubes- Eagle Creek Specter
Shoe Cube- Lewis N Clark Packing Tube
Stuff Sacks- Lewis N Clark Ditty Bag
I’ve done some exhaustive research on jackets and found some great solutions. More on that hunt HERE.
Winter- Arcteryx Nuri (Best Coat EVER)
Spring/Fall- Eddie Bauer Microtherm Storm Down Jacket
Clothes are very subjective! Below are some of my classic favorite items, basics that will work for almost anyone.
Cardigan- Eddie Bauer 7 Days 7 Ways Cardigan
Leggings- Felina Black Leggings
Skirt- Fold Over Knit Skirt
Scarf- Big Gray Silk Scarf
Tank Top- Banana Republic Essential Tank
A truly subjective item for recommended travel gear, but these are solid picks. Costco often carries great socks and undies.
Moneybelt- Rick Steves Moneybelt
Compression Socks- Sockwell Graduated Compression socks
Undies- Felina Bikini
Bathing suit- Freya Bikini
Pajamas- Fisher’s Finery Silk Chemise
My shoe choices change frequently, but these are the most reliable which I’ve used for several years. For more, see my recommended travel gear shoe spreadsheet.
Walking Shoe- Asics Metrolyte
Flip Flop- Teva Mandalyn Mush Wedges
Spring/Fall Slip-On- Tom’s Black Wool Shoes
Summer Slip On- Sketchers Sweet Pea
Sandal- Birkenstock Mayari
Specific thoughts on each of these items HERE.
3-1-1 Toiletries Bag and Bottles- Lewis n Clark Flat Bottle Set (Great Value!)
Lipstick- Revlon Colorstay Overtime
Mascara- Neutrogena Waterproof
Moisturizer- Neutrogena Healthy Skin
Face Powder- Bare Essentials Bare Minerals
Toothbrush- Violife SlimSonic
Shampoo- Biolage Shampoo
Conditioner- Biolage Conditioner
Razor- Venus Travel Razor
Deodorant- Milk and Honey Natural Cream Deodorant (Yes, it really really works!)
Phone- iPhone 7
Back-up battery- Anker Powercore 10000 (Seriously don’t forget this)
6 ft extra durable Charging Cable- Amazon Basics
Plug Adaptor- DuaFire Travel Plug Adaptor with USB
Tablet- Ipad Air
Reader when traveling without iPad- Kindle Paperwhite
Pens- Sharpie Stainless Pen
Guidebook- Rick Steves, obviously!
You really don’t NEED any of these things, but you want them, I know. It’s ok. Pick only one or two.
Watercolor Set- Windsor and Newton Travel Set
Brushes- Folding brushes for watercolor
Sketchbook- Artist field journal
Flat Iron- BaByliss Pro Nano Iron (This is AWESOME for curling hair in minutes)
Down Pillow- Soft Down Standard Pillow
Zippered Pillow Case- Linenspa Pillow Protector (Doubles as laundry bag!)
Travel Blanket- Pembrook Fleece Blanket
Coil Water Heater- Lewis N Clark Immersion Heater
Titanium Mug- Ninja Prepper Mizu Double Wall Mug
Spork/Bottle Opener- Ninja Prepper Yari
Wine Bottle Opener, Travel Friendly- Jetsetter TSA Compliant Corkscrew
That covers most of what I pack. I will add to this from time to time, so check back. Details on all of these things (mostly) can be found in my packing articles, which you can find HEREComment if you have anything to add to this list.