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.
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.
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.
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 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?
Kathleen Curry and Geoff Griffin are hosts of The Travel Brigade Show - a weekly travel and destination podcast. Kathleen Curry is experienced in both the travel industry and broadcasting. She has worn the hats of travel writer, photographer, travel agent and hospitality evaluator. Her advice of, “No excuses, just travel!” reaches out to listeners who pick up on her enthusiasm for travel and benefit from her savvy advice. Her travel guilty pleasures are eating at a street-cart vendor so she can splurge later to order room service, finding deals to rack up sky miles so she can book her next flight and hoping her social security comes through some day because she has spent her future retirement savings trekking the globe.
Geoff Griffin is a reformed attorney turned travel junkie with over two decades of experience as a journalist and editor specializing in sports, outdoor recreation and travel. His current philosophy is that there are two stages in life - You’re either on a trip, or you’re planning your next trip. His travel guilty pleasure is trying recreation adventures that require the use of an expert guide to keep him from harming himself or hopping on a plane knowing nothing about his destination other than the airport code and wandering about a new town while relying on the locals to point him to the best places.
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