Sharing a few of my favorite things
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I’m so happy with most of the gear that I’ve used in extensive travel since fall 2019, that I want to share and recommend some of my favorites. You see these are Amazon links: yes, I’ve just registered as an associate. If I have sufficient sales in the next six months, I’ll get to keep that status. So, if you are interested in any of these things, I’ll very much appreciate your using my links. It will give me a little commission but even more important to me is generating enough sales to keep the account. Everything on this page is something I bought and have carried in 2022, 2023 or both years, so my recommendations are solid and sincere. Hope you find something useful!
This water bottle has a UV light inside the cap. It recharges over USB. Fill the bottle with any water, touch the button on top, and in 3 minutes you have safe, sanitized drinking water. Brilliant, I think. Perhaps LifeStraw would be sufficient, but I feel so very secure starting with UV.
Maybe it’s over the top, but I sanitize water with that UV tool, left, and then pour it into this LifeStraw bottle. UV kills any germs, but with the LifeStraw filter I know that any chlorine from treated tap water will be filtered, as will any sort of particulate matter.
What I’m most enthused about this trip are my two water bottles that I use in tandem. I no longer buy water. No more wishing I had more on hand late at night. No more consuming microparticles of plastic. And when I shop, wine can be the only heavy bottles I need to tote! When out for the day, I carry the LifeStraw bottle, full, and because that’s heavy, I put a luggage strap on it and carry it as I would any shoulder bag. When I travel, I pack the UV bottle, and put the LifeStraw bottle in the backpack’s bottle pocket, then clip bottle’s carabiner to a bag strap so it doesn’t fall out – as heavy water bottles easily do when you shift a pack.
Put this slender pillow on top of anything and have the most comfy foam for a good sleep. Will squish into an already-full suitcase! It comes with two pillowcases – I put both on for transport use, then remove the outer cover for a clean sleep surface.
If your packing allows a 2-pound item, I recommend this super-soft, silky 100% bamboo travel sheet. It zips up both sides, has an envelope top to hold a pillow, and is a generous 90″ x 45.” Have used it on airbnb sofas and elsewhere for super comfort.
Lovely, lightweight, quick-drying linen towel. A great spare any time, and lets you avoid towel rentals at hostels.
Such a simple thing, but when something is provided for washing dishes at hotels or airbnbs, it can be awful. This quick-drying cloth can get inside narrow wine glasses, does a good job on everything, and you know it’s fresh.
I always take a laptop lock. It’s not just protection from being snatched, but also a way to keep the computer from being knocked off and hitting the ground. These hard tile floors everywhere are dangerous. There are several lock types/sizes through this link.
Packing cubes are a must; I’ve got 4 sets. Now I buy compression style although I still use my first simple ones. Here’s a link to another Bagail set. And one more from Gonex. I have many things of both brands.
I am paranoid about losing my ATM card. It’s my lifeline. I use this little wrist wallet to keep the card on me and not in anything snatchable or losable.
I have lost 3 passports, so faced stiff extra fees last time, and dread a repeat. Now I try to keep my passport un-thievable. Deep pockets here ZIP and keep a passport on one side (does not stick out!), extra cash and cards in the other.
Love these lightweight backpacks that fold into a small pouch. I use one all the time for my laptop, headphones etc, but I also pack a spare because they’re such useful, strong totes. If not overstuffed, okay as Ryanair underseat item.
Whether on a plane, train, bus or in a hostel, lightweight Bluetooth noise-canceling headphones are a must! Not luxury class, but rather a pricepoint that won’t be crushing if anything happens to them. Chose after reading many reviews, and very satisfied.
Speaking of charging things – this hefty little power bank (13oz), 36800mAh, has been outstanding. Holds its charge for days. Can charge my phones and help fellow travelers, as when the outlets on planes and trains don’t work. (All too common.)
This super-protective laptop bag is snugly waterproof, great for boating and just rainstorms. Padded, removable inner sleeve. Handy pockets where I keep the power bank and a usb cord. Can tuck it in my backpack or carry it alone.
I traveled with this in 2022 – and unintentionally left it behind at my last stop. Lightweight and useful if you travel in Europe with anything that takes only 120V. Comes will all the outlet adapters you could need.
After losing the step-down multiplug, I just packed this unit, as I realize I’m only plugging in my laptop, phones, and electronics that charge over USB. All I need with this is one adapter plug, which you can get with this link.
Shopping in Europe?
Amazon supposedly will direct a visitor to the closest Amazon website and the nearest match to a product here. But it does not seem to work. So, I’ve added a page with a few items from Amazon France, Spain, Sweden – possibly more to come. Take a look if you’re in Europe.