Over the last few years of traveling with my family I have learned a lot about what products work and which ones don’t. I have complied a list of recommended travel gear, resources and deals. Check back here to get the latest deals and new products.
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Packing Made Simple: Luggage, Bags
VingardeValise Wine Suitcase
Calling all winelovers! This is the suitcase for you. The VingardeValise Wine Suitcase was designed to be a suitcase AND a wine carrier. It features removable foam modules that hold a variety of different sized wine bottles. Since the foam can be removed you can also use the VinGardeValise as a suitcase for clothing, etc. There are two versions, a 12 bottle version and eight bottle, petite. The Petite is perfect if you want to carry the bag on your flight (before adding the bottles for your return flight). See my full review.
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GoToob Travel Bottle
Not all toiletry bottles are created equal. The GoToob Travel Bottle is the best out there. These award-winning, patented bottles are made from soft yet rugged silicone, so it’s easy to squeeze down to the last drop. A large opening makes it easy to fill and clean, and an ID-window on the collar helps your remember what’s inside. Airplane carry-on approved, food-safe (FDA) and 100% BPA and PC-free. Colors included: clear, green, blue.
Kelly Moore Fashion Camera Bags
As a photographer and a woman, I have never been able to find a stylish, functional bag that I could use to carry my equipment while I travel…or when I’m out and about at home. Enter Kelly Moore bags. There are a variety of bags Kelly Moore offers so pick your favorite/s. I adore the Woodstock and Trenton bags since they can both convert to a backpack, hold all my camera gear as well as my laptop. Ladies, you NEED this bag. (All Kelly Moore bags are on sale October 29-31 for $30 off!)
RuMe Reusable Bags
I’m never without a Rume bag in my purse and two in my suitcase. RuMe bags are excellent items to have if you go shopping and need an extra carry on – just toss your shoes and bulky items right in to make room in your suitcase. They’re also lifesavers when you’re hitting the beach and need to carry all your gear, or carry wet swimsuits to your next destination. These little reusable bags unfold to hold up to 50 pounds! They’re Machine washable, water resistant and come in a variety of designs, sizes and styles. They have become some of my most essential and useful travel items…
Pro Packing Cubes
These packing cubes make efficiently organizing and packing your travel luggage a breeze! They come in four sizes: Large (17.5 x 12.75 x 3.25 in) for pants, sweaters, towels and light jackets; Medium (13.75 x 9.75 x 3 in) for shirts, shorts, blouses; Slim (9 x 3.75 x 3 in) for shoe bags, underwear, gym gear, cables, adapters and toiletries. The cubes feature rip stop nylon construction, heavy-duty YKK zippers and double-stitched mesh tops.
Need to save space when you’re packing? Yes, you can try to pack less or you can try The Original Space Bag. Simply pack your clothing into the Space Bag, seal the zipper, use the hose of a vacuum cleaner to remove the air and what was a big bag, is now a flat, small item for your carry-on. (See my full review.)
Modern Travel Fashion
UGG Women’s Brigitte Sandal
When you think of UGG, you tend to think big, warm fuzzy boots. Now think sandals. Amazingly comfortable, supportive and fashionable sandals. These shoes changed how I wear and travel with shoes. I have nerve damage in her feet so I’m uber particular about shoes; I rarely can wear heals for longer than an hour before my feet go numb. So, when I was able to sport these cute UGG sandals ALL day and night during one of my trips I become a loyal customers and now always pack a cute pair of wedges, along with my trusty flip flops.
Think fashion, style, function and security all wrapped into one. The SHOLDIT is a smart accessory that makes travel a bit easier and more secure. While it appears to be just a stylish scarf or shoulder wrap, the SHOLDIT contains two hidden zipper pockets. One is perfectly sized to carry a woman’s travel essentials – boarding pass, ID, passport, credit cards, earbuds, eye-mask, and other small travel items.
Compression socks are soooo helpful in saving your feet when you’re traveling. Not all compression socks are fashionable, actually few are. Trust me. I have nerve damage in my feet and use these socks regularly. They have saved me on more than one flight. You can find some compression socks that are more on the fashionable side from Sockwell .
Travel Tech Gear
BUBM Electronics Organizer Case
Organizing your tech gear on the road can be a nightmare. Enter the BUBM Waterproof Portable Electronic Accessories Travel Organizer Case. This little zipper pouch can hold your camera charger, phone cords, external charger, adapters and everything else in a neat, easy to access bag that easily slips in and out of a purse or backpack.
The Olloclip is perfect for those travelers who tend to rely more on their iPhones for photos. This little device clips onto your iPhone to provide a higher quality zoom lens. The olloclip 4-IN-1 clips onto your phone to provide four, quick changing types of lenses – (Fisheye, Wide-Angle, Macro 10x & 15x). The best part, besides taking high quality images, it weighs less than an ounce and can still fit in your pocket.
The WD My Passport can save your files (aka your life) when on the road. The WD My Passport works right out of the box with your Mac computer, but it can be easily reformatted for Windows (according to sales materials – I haven’t tried it). It is also compatible with Apple Time Machine backup software. The Passport comes with 500GB, 1TB or 2TB storage options. That’s A LOT of data!
How often does your cell phone die when you’re traveling? The kids iPad? Have you had to seek out the changing stations at the airport just to recharge or had to sit on the floor at a conference to recharge your devices? I have. It’s beyond annoying! The MyCharge Razor Max will change this, forever. It’s about the same size as an iPhone 5 so it can easily fit in your pocket, purse or backpack. I found I could get three full charges on my phone and/or iPad before I had to recharge the MyCharge. It comes equipped with 2 USB ports so you can charge two devices at once.
Traveling internationally? To multiple countries? Then you need multiple adapters – how about four plugs, one adapter that work within 150 countries. The 4-in-1 Adapter is a set of color-coded plugs that allows you to easily adapt – it’s the first product utilizing the JA/C READY Adapter system, a color-coded world adapter system that makes finding the right plug for your trip as simple as matching the colors.
Kids Travel Gear
I swore by this backpack when my kids were younger. Not only is it a child carrier but it has a real backpack, a convenient bottle pocket and easy-stash hipbelt pockets so you can keep water and snacks within easy reach. This bag is fully-loaded and engineered for safety, comfort, and performance. It has an innovative easy-to-access adjustment system that enables the carrier to custom-fit both mom and dad.
The RideSafer Travel Vest
I hate traveling with carseats and booster seats. The RideSafer is the perfect – safe – portable, alternative. When I say portable, I mean portable. You can easily slip the RideSafer into the pocket of your carry on or purse (albeit a larger purse), making it ideal for traveling. Think taxis and Uber. The RideSafer travel vest is a legal alternative and meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. It’s important to note the vest was designed for children 3 years old and up who can sit forward facing. There are two sizes for the vest – a small fits children 34″ to 52″ tall, 30 to 60 lbs. and the large fits children 45″ to 57″ tall, 50 to 80 lbs. While there are two size for the vest, they will both grow with your child as the straps are all adjustable. See my full review (and video).
Booking Sites – Airfare & Accommodations
You can’t actually book airfare via Google Flights but it’s a great tool to use to determine airlines and routes to access your options. Once you pinpoint the flight/s that work Google Flights connects you with the airline or online booking service to secure the flight.
Airfarewatchdog assesses and collects the best airfare deals for all airlines, including airlines that sell their fares only on their websites. It’s one of my go to resources for checking flights.
This is a great place to start your search for international flights as it tends to find some of the best deals. One of the things I love, is its calendar view so you can you see which days are cheapest to fly. This feature alone save soooo much time and headache.
Kayak has made searching for flights within the US so easy. I do find it limited on international flights though.
Vayama is a great search engine for flights, especially for international flights outside the US. I really like using its interactive (and cool) mapping tool. It’s a great way to access a wider selection of airlines, routes and fares.
StayFaster is an online hotel booking service that aggregates deals DIRECTLY from hotels. In other words, when you book rooms through StayFaster’s platform it’s actually being done directly with the hotel. So you can use your loyalty points and earn more points for EVERY dollar you spend. With StayFaster you no longer have to choose savings over loyalty… You can also cancel your room per the hotels terms – not StayFaster’ – and if you need to make changes, you can do so directly with the hotel. If you’re worried about user reviews, StayFaster has them too. Check out the mobile app, StayAtHand, it’s the same service just on your phone. See my full review.
Booking.com is an easy and trusted site you can use to book inexpensive hotels and other accommodations.