When traveling, I try to minimize the amount of stuff I carry on a day-to-day basis.
Of course, in my opinion, number one is obviously a camera. I am so in love with travel photography that I could definitely go on a trip with no plans and just explore wherever I am and take tons and tons of photographs. Along with a camera, it’s very important to have memory cards to hold all your beautiful shots, batteries/chargers to keep your camera alive, and a nice wide-angle lens. Wide-angles are the greatest for capturing great landscape and architecture shots.
I am in the process of updating all my gear, but for now I am using a Canon T2i, I shoot on 18mm (on a Tamron 18-270) or with an 8mm Rokinon fisheye. If you don’t want to dish out the money for a DSLR, or just don’t feel like lugging it around, Canon point and shoots are slim, lightweight, and take awesome photos. For my underwater photos that I’ve been able to capture, I have a Canon Powershot D10 Waterproof camera that I find amazing – it’s a couple years old now, so I believe they’re onto the D30 and I imagine it’s even better than the D10.
BONUS: Go Pro’s are so tiny, so nifty, have all these attachments that you can use if you’re going on an outdoorsy/underwater adventure. I would love to have one the next time I go on a trip.
Walking around a city or hiking a mountain wearing uncomfortable shoes is AWFUL. Make sure you pack a pair of shoes that will allow you to stay on your feet for long periods of time. DON’T YOU DARE pack a new pair of shoes that you haven’t broken in yet unless you want to have blisters and cut up feet!
Depending on where I go, I have three go-to pairs of shoes. First, my Nikes. You have to take a pair of tennis shoes that will give you support for hours if you plan on doing a lot of walking, hiking, and standing. Second, my Chacos. These shoes are great for any type of outdoor activity you’ll be doing. They are ridiculously comfortable too. I’ve worn my chacos hiking, biking, kayaking, walking, elephant riding, soccer playing, and so much more. They’re great shoes to travel in. And third, my Toms. Toms feel like you’re walking on pillows. I wouldn’t suggest them for hours of hiking, but if you’re just walking around a city, visiting museums, trying out restaurants, etc. Toms are a great shoe to make sure you have in your luggage. Toms are also one of the easiest shoes to pack as they’re lightweight and you can smoosh them together.
BONUS: Waterproof shoes. Rainboots are heavy and really big to pack. I suggest a pair of bean boots or bean rubber moccasins. They’re heavy, but they’ll keep your feet dry and aren’t as space consuming as rainboots.
This may sound silly if where you’re going is cold, but take if from someone who got sun burnt in Switzerland while 90 percent of my body was bundled up in snow gear, sunscreen will save you a lot of pain and peeling. Always, always, always make sure you take sunscreen. Regardless of if you’re going to be wearing long sleeves, long pants, tennis shoes, gloves, jackets, hats, I highly recommend putting sunscreen on your face, ears and neck. An easy way to make sure you get sunscreen-ed is to buy a daily moisturizer that already has SPF in it. Double check to make sure the SPF is at least 15, as some will say they have SPF but it’s more in the 4-8 range.
My moisturizer is CeraVe AM, which has SPF 30 in it and is just what I use every morning. If I’m going some place warm or tropical, I take my face lotion, and a bottle of 30 SPF Sunscreen.If I’m particularly pale, for example when I traveled to the Dominican Republic in January after many months of my skin not seeing the sun, I brought a bottle of 50 SPF too. Last but not least, make sure you have a chap stick that has some sort of SPF in it, as lips are often a place we forget to put sunscreen, yet the skin of our lips burns much easier than the rest of our skin.
BONUS: Sunglasses. These are probably one of the easiest things to forget to pack, especially if you’re going somewhere that has a reputation for being rainy or gray. However, they should not be forgotten! They protect your eyeballs from harsh sunlight! They also provide coverage to your skin and if you’re doing something like riding a bike, it’ll help bugs not fly into your eyes.