The more and more we travel the less and less stuff we seem to need. Or even want. This has been a pretty constant evolution since living out of our backpacks since August of 2015.
If we buy an item, something in our backpack needs to go. It's just that simple.
So know that if it's on this travel product roundup it's gotten great use by both of us and would be seriously missed if it were not present.
When Jill first proposed that we buy this portable Bose speaker and bring it along I thought she was crazy. While it's not big, I couldn't imagine lugging it through what turned into a 16+ country trip around the world. But I'm glad I was wrong. It packs a punch, is easy to use, and since you can play anything on it via bluetooth, you can get the temporary dose of home comfort only music can bring you.
This little portable phone charger has saved our asses on many occasions. As you know, navigation apps really can drain your battery, and when you are traveling or hiking, you are doing a lot of navigating. Multi day hikes on the Kumano Kudo in Japan, long days exploring a city are no problem with the Mophie. You just have to remember to a) charge the beast and b) bring a usb cord with you. Two mistakes I've made first hand.
We used this little filter throughout our travels in Sri Lanka and SE Asia, but I really bought it for a short hike at Isle Royale National Park. I don't have a good picture of the water filter because while it is "indispensable" I managed to leave it in our storage unit before we left for this round of travel (like an idiot). Which means I have to buy another one and have it shipped to France. So instead, I'll just give you a picture from Isle Royale. It's beautiful if you can make it.
I fell in love with this bag on my trip to Isle Royale. I spent a lot of time looking at it as it rode my friends back. He was always ahead of me and was feeling no pain. This bag is only about 2lbs, is durable as hell and it's waterproof. No frills, but it's white tubelike body draws more comments than any bag I've ever owned.
As you can see, I love Hyperlite Mountain Gear. So much so that I basically made up a hundred reasons why my other daypack didn't suit my needs, and none of them were very valid. Sure the "old" one was dirty and the waist zippers kept opening up dropping things on the trail. All excuses. Because I had my heart set on this lightweight daypack from Hyperlite Mountain Gear.
It's kinda expensive, but I'm sure to never need another bag again. It's cuben fiber, waterproof and fits nicely. I used it for my 5 day trip to Florida recently and it fit everything I needed, including the 400 lb novel my dad insisted I bring back.
Oh, and it's light AF the inside is bright orange, which makes me happy.
I've had to come to terms with my feet over the years. We tend to have this obsession with dryness, which means that everything you hike in needs to be waterproof. I've learned the hard way that quick drying is way better than waterproof anyday. Mainly because waterproof is a myth. Unless you are a fish, of course.
That's why my socks and my shoes for that matter, are lightweight and quick drying. If you get soaked (and chances are you will) it's easy to hang these guys out and they are like new in a few hours. Granted, they won't keep you very warm, but sometimes that's okay too.
When I was in college I worked as a barista at Starbucks. This is before it was cool to be a barista. There were no beards then. Well, maybe one. There were no heart shaped designs in the foam of your latte. It was the season the frappucino was invented, and it was pure hell.
I left with a strong distaste for overly sugary drinks, and was well on my path to becoming the coffee snob I am today. So it's much to my surprise that I would recommend any kind of instant coffee.
But the kids at Starbucks really killed it here. They are dead simple to use and it tastes good. Great for car camping, hiking, or in any kind of pinch. I've even been known to toss one in the bottom of my water bottle, tap it up and chug it down. They really do the trick.
Everybody and their mom will sell you on this romantic idea of bringing only one or two pairs of quick drying undergarments. That you can pack so light that this is all you need. You can wash them at night and they are dry by morning! Amazing!
Don't believe the hype.
You should indeed buy these for that exact reason. But if you only bring one or two pairs you will be washing them every couple days, at night, when the last thing you feel like doing is washing your underwear in the sink and trying to find a place for them to dry.
So buy 4 or five pair so you aren't stuck doing laundry every damn night.
This is a dead simple way to help yourself naturally fall asleep. I say naturally because melatonin is created by the body to regulate your circadian rhythm.
I take this to prime my body against jet lag (to sleep on the plane when it's night in my destination) and again for a few days upon arriving to ward off the effects of jet lag. And it works like a dream.
After looking at this list, there are many travel products and travel apps that are missing - we may have to do a roundup of favorite travel apps in the near future. In the meantime, feel free to leave a comment about your favorite travel product - we are always looking for more things that work harder!