Image source: Flickr - JD Hancock
Once you've decided on the perfect destination for your next trip, made hotel plans, figured out the best restaurants to hit and researched the best activities, there's really only one thing left to sort out - what to bring. Having good gear can mean the difference between an enjoyable travel experience full of great memories and a frustrating journey that sends you back home stressed out.
Here are six items we've found we can't live without.
GoToob calls itself the civilized travel tube for shampoos, gels and liquids, and once you've tried it, you'll not only see why, you'll wonder why you ever used any other type of tube. Whereas most tubes are a hard plastic that make it difficult to get the product out, GoToob is made of a soft silicone your fingers will love.
These book, tote and messenger bags made in Zurich, Switzerland, are hip and stylish, yet also almost completely indestructible since they are made from covers that were used on delivery trucks. The theme of making use of previously existing products is present throughout the product as the straps are made from seat belts.
Eagle Creek 2-in-1 Backpack/Duffel
Is it a duffel bag or a backpack? The answer is: it depends on your needs at the moment. If you need a duffel bag that you can easily carry with one hand by your side or that fits nicely atop your suitcase while you roll it, this bag will work. If you want something you can sling on your back while you keep your hands free, this bag works again. Either way, the flexible fabric makes it easy to stuff and light to carry, and the multiple pocket system lets you keep track of everything.
Samsonite LIFT 2
With 21st century technological advances, computers keep getting smaller, cars keep getting more fuel-efficient and luggage keeps getting lighter. We don't claim to understand the technology behind the LIFT 2 (Lightweight Innovations For Travel), all we know is that they've come up with a carry-on that weighs just seven pounds. Combine that with multi-directional spinners on the bottom and you can wheel this baby anywhere with hardly any effort. We'll get our workouts at the gym rather than the airport, thank you very much.
Eagle Creek Pack-It Folders
The Pack-It Folders system gives you a way to fold everything nicely, keep it all in order, and divide up your suitcase in to neat, tidy compartments. More importantly, it lets you fit seven crisply folded shirts into the same space where you used to roll up two shirts and stuff them in your bag. The system also has a handle for quick access, and you'll know exactly where everything is. We became true believers when we were able to do three weeks in Europe with one carry-on bag each.
Canada Goose Coats and Jackets
Canada Goose makes parkas, vests, and coats with different levels of cold protection. They range from the "keep you warm while you're out running errands" HyBridge Lite Jacket to the heavy hitting "I'm going ice-climbing in Antarctica today" Expedition Parka.Their web site uses a Thermal Experience Index (TEI) to help find the best option for each temperature and type of weather. On every coat they've thought of every little detail from zippers to linings to coyote fur collars.Canada Goose also makes staying warm hip, with outerwear that will protect you from the elements while also protecting your reputation for being fashionable.
When it comes to making a memorable trip, the right destination, food and accommodations are all important, but having the right gear lets you reduce your stress level so you can relax and enjoy everything.
What is your favorite piece of travel gear you can't live without?