Even though my packing list is always changing, there are certain items that have stood the test of time and that I highly recommend for life on the road. Same goes for software and services.
I’ve created this page to promote the items that I most highly recommend, regardless of what I’m currently carrying or using.
Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. I will get a small kickback if you purchase using one of these links. If you’d rather not use one of the affiliate links, feel free to Google the product and purchase it independently. I’m happy to recommend either way!
13″ Retina MacBook Pro – My current favorite laptop for travel. You can find lighter laptops, but this one is incredibly powerful in a relatively light/compact package. The retina screen is amazing. I also love the regular-size HDMI output. This makes it easy to hook up my computer to TVs in hotels and Airbnbs.
iPhone 6 or 6S Plus – I didn’t think I’d like the larger screen, but I adjust very quickly and now have a hard time using phones with smaller screens. Life on the road means using your phone for basically everything. The extra screen real estate is great for maps, reading, and watching videos on the go. The camera is good enough to be the only camera most people need to travel with.
Roost Laptop Stand – I can’t sing enough praises for this laptop stand. It’s been the biggest game changer for my overall health and well-being on the road. If you work more than a couple hours per day on a laptop, you owe it to yourself to use a laptop stand + external keyboard & mouse. Your back, neck, and shoulders will thank you. You’ll also reduce the risk of chronic RSI, carpal tunnel, and a slew of other nasty problems associated with being hunched over a laptop all day.
Prana Brion pants – If you’re mostly going to be traveling in hot climates, jeans can be a bit of a drag. They take up a lot of space and are uncomfortable in the tropics. I like the Brions for warm-weather travel. They don’t look technical like most nylon pants, are super comfortable, lightweight, and easy to care for.
Patagonia Houdini jacket – This jacket is technically a windbreaker (which it does very well) but it’s also water-resistant and holds up well in drizzle. I wouldn’t wear it in a downpour, but I also try to stay inside if it’s raining hard, so this does the trick for me 90% of the time. It also weighs practically nothing and packs down smaller than my fist. Perfect compromise if you don’t want to travel with a full rain jacket.
Bedrock Sandals – I’m a big believer in zero drop footwear. I used to have severe tarsal tendonitis and was able to cure it by wearing these sandals. They are super durable, very packable, and suitable for walking around cities, hiking trails (once you toughen your feet up a bit), and the beach.
Aeropress coffee maker – Still the best way to make quality coffee on the road! Won’t break. Easy to use. Relatively compact. There are some other promising alternatives, but nothing has beat the Aeropress yet, in my opinion.
Brompton folding bicycle – This won’t apply to 99% of people. Steph and I were avid cyclists before we started traveling, and riding high quality bikes was one of the things we missed the most for the first few years of our travel. After much research and deliberation, we splurged on Bromptons and have absolutely LOVED traveling with them. If you are committed to having your own bicycle on the road, a Brompton is a great way to go.
Dropbox – I think everyone already uses Dropbox, but if you aren’t you SHOULD. It’s the most ubiquitous and the easiest way to backup a handful of important documents, transfer files with clients, and have your information accessible on any device. If you sign up through this link, you’ll get an extra 500MB of storage for life!
VyprVPN – Steph and I have traveled extensively in mainland China where many common websites (Google, Facebook, etc.) are blocked by the government. VyprVPN has been the most consistent and reliable VPN for China travel. Even if you aren’t going to be traveling in China, you should still use a VPN for things like logging into online banking on public wifi connections. If you sign up through this link, you’ll get 40% off an annual subscription!
SiteGround – The best web hosting provider I’ve used. Very fair pricing, incredible uptime, and customer service is 10/10.
Airbnb – Most of our accommodation these days is booked through Airbnb. It’s easy to negotiate good deals for stays of one month or more, and it’s great to have the security of going through a 3rd party service. Plus it’s great to pay with a credit card to earn airline miles! If you sign up through this link, you’ll get $20 off your first booking!
Uber – Uber has been a game changer for travel. It’s SO wonderful to land at a new airport and not have to worry about getting ripped off by crooked taxi drivers. And again… more credit card airline miles! If you sign up through this link, you’ll get your first ride with Uber free!
Kayak – I mostly use Kayak to get initial price estimates on long-haul flights. If I like what I see, I’ll generally book straight with the airline.
Skyscanner – In my experience, Skyscanner is the best flight search engine to use when traveling in regions with lots of budget carriers. You’ll generally see better flight options with Skyscanner in places like Europe or Asia, as they search more small airlines than a large aggregator such as Kayak.
Agoda – Agoda continues to be the best hotel booking site for Asia. If I need to go to somewhere in Asia for just a few nights and don’t want to bother communicating with Airbnb hosts, I look on Agoda. They often have great last-minute deals!