Everything I use when I travel short trips, family vacations or around the world for months
I think one of the most paramount things people want when they plan for travel is to pack light. I do this when I plan to go for a weekend get-a-way or a 4 month long journey. Now a days I tend to pack for extended travel or at least the possibility of extended stays.
I always opt for light and efficient. I love things that have multiple uses since space and weight is limited. All the photos below are links to Amazon pages, not always the cheapest but usually.
Bags for it all
The Tortuga Backpack
Easily the best bag if you want to travel carry-on only, and why wouldn't you? I travel like this for two reasons, first because it happens to be much quicker and second because it saves a ton of money when you travel a lot. I personally have saved enough so far this year to have bought 2 plane tickets. Tortuga makes more than one bag but this 44l bag is the largest and most versatile I think. As of this writing it's currently on sale $75 off!!
Pacsafe 15L Daypack
This is my everyday bag I actually went into detail with both bags here. There is no denying the advantage of having a well made bag with built in anti-theft protection. It' doesn't hurt the bag is nice to look at and light-weight which makes it great for everyday commuting or quick day trips out of the hotel. Pacsafe sells plenty of bags including one 44l that is a hard contender to the Tortuga. All of their bags employee some level of security. Most have steel cabels in the straps and the straps can un-hook and be used to lock the bag down. Zippers that lock in hidden latches, ExoMesh steel mesh woven into the bag to prevent slashing. RFID blocking, punch proof zippers and more.
Camera Gear & Electronics
Canon Rebel T5 DSLR
A very versatile camera and well regarded. Certainly there are others that could do better or the same but this offers great value and versatility. The only downside is this guys a bit bulky, but then again all DSLRs are expected to be a bit on the hefty side. More than the camera the lenses can get to be cumbersome and heavy. I choose to take only one lens as it gives me decent zoom 18-250mm lens is my favorite. I got mine with the camera bundle but they can be found for $200-300.
Peak design clip
Although they are a little bit pricey you should consider this. The clip attaches to your bag or strap and lets you securely hang your camera, extra lenses, GoPro or binoculars. It's an amazing product it helps eliminate the need for a bouncy neck strap and is way cooler. It's one of a kind and really well made. They make some really nice bags as well. Check out their website for more details.
iPhone 6s Plus
I always bring my iPhone with me. Smartphones are the most useful tool you can bring with you when you travel. They can do just about anything. As a camera they do a decent job in a pinch or if you don't need the big zoom lens. Especially at night where the Canon will fall a bit short my iPhone handles it without a problem. Plus the video is great at 4k you don't need a GoPro unless you are doing some crazy action shots.
WiFi SD Memory card
Depending on what model camera you buy you won't need this. I opted to get a less expensive version of the Canon Rebel. The t5 I bought cost almost $200 less than the t6i and the only differences I could see on paper was a view screen that swivels (iPhones have an app) and built in WiFi. This little card is both a memory card and gives you WiFi capabilities for $30.
Anker Astro 27,000mAh portable battery
When you travel long distances or to remote regions you really should invest in a portable battery of some capacity. I like large ones like this guy, they do weigh 1lb but I feel like the weight is worth it. It is capable of charging an iPad 2x, an IPhone 10x, and even juicing up my laptop a little bit. Trust me you'll be glad you have this when you see people fighting over outlets or standing and sleeping cuz their phone is charging in an airport.
Here is another area where I may have spent more than necessary but given the website and all the photo editing and movie watching, etc it seemed worth while. I only splurged because I wanted to go with a super light and portable laptop. I could have gotten a Macbook Air or a cheaper Windows computer and save money. But this is the size of an iPad and almost as light but manages to be a full computer.
Phillips norelco 7200
My last bit of battery powered gadgets. I have a shaved head and love to do it myself, but traveling with a full barber's kit is not practical. I found this trimmer to be amazing. Not only does it have 20 different length settings but it vacuums up the hair as it's being trimmed. Perfect when you are in a hostel or small space or don't have a space you can get covered with hair.
Clothing & Extras
Columbia Water-proof jacket
Probably not entirely water-proof, okay definitely not but great none the less. I love this jacket, it is packable, it actually folds into itself. It's lightweight and for me it's warm enough that I only need a hoodie and I am fine throughout the year minus winter. The absolute best part is that it is inexpensive, most in this category are $200 and up. I try to choose neutral colors when it comes to travel clothing. You really want most things to go together or at least be interchangeable.
prAna stretch khakis
Great pants and super durable. They resist stains and hold up to a lot of wear and tear. prAna sells a variety of colors and styles but I like classic khaki and the darker brown version. I also really like the shorts that they have. I mean naturally they are just the same as the pants. They are quick drying and show minimal sweat which is nice when you are hiking.
A simple towel can really be helpful when you are in a hostel or traveling to very remote regions. Shandali towels were designed for yoga originally but they work great anywhere you may already use a towel. They are microfiber and dry super quick. I have taken mine to the beach and they dry in 30 min. You can get yours in a variety of sizes and colors. I got the largest and the smallest. One for quick reach in a side pouch and the other for showering or the beach.
Always a good idea to have some lightweight and breathable underwear. These help keep you cool and wick sweat, not sure where but it disappears. Plus they don't retain odors and last forever.
OKO Water Bottle
This comes in many variations both sizes and filtration capabilities so you certainly have options. You can get a coconut filter or a micron survivor straw. I chose to go with the stage 2 Original which was originally designed for NASA to use on the International Space Station. You know it is at least made to last if the bottle is supposed to travel into space. Find out more here. This filter is so good it can turn soda into clean water.