After some time spent traveling I have come to the conclusion that there are a few travel accessories that I couldn't travel without! From suitcases, to jackets, to backpacks and chargers, here are my top ten accessories I won't go anywhere without!
1. Away Travel Carry-on! This carry-on is amazing. I had noticed it a few times on Instagram before really looking into it, but when I found out it has a lifetime warranty, I was sold! So far I have only purchased the small carry-on, but hope to eventually have a full set! The suitcase features a hard body, four wheels, a leather luggage tag, an inset lock, and a pocket that I use to suspend my computer and iPad while traveling to ensure it will never get jarred! The best part? You can charge this baby up before leaving and it will charge your phone FIVE TIMES! For $20 off your purchase, click HERE! or comment with your email!
2. X-Design Anti-theft Backpack! You may have seen this baby on Facebook before, so have I! However, I purchased mine in a store in Como, Italy because I could never really figure out which website was the legit one! This backpack does not disappoint! It's sleek, trendy, and a little sporty so it looks great even if you dress up a little! I love this backpack for so many reasons, but one of my favorite things is that it works super well with my Away luggage! It features not one, but two places to attach it to the handle of your suitcase; this feature makes travel with this duo an easy! I can't tell you how many times I had ~spinouts~ in airports before this because my backpack was only attached by the top handle. I'm sure you can relate! It also features a charging port, easy access pockets, and keeps everything nice and organized! Oh! I forgot to mention it opens completely flat which makes it a breeze to pack and keeps you from fishing in the depths of your backpack and getting frustrated to the point where you take everything out!
3. Mophie Portable Charger! The charging port on my backpack works in conjunction with my Mophie Portable Charger! Seriously, never have a dead phone while traveling again! It can be so stressful for a phone to die while traveling.. I mean I keep my flight boarding passes, train tickets, hotel reservations, and everything else on there! Having my phone die is just not an option.
4. Calvin Klein Collapsable Jacket! This jacket has saved me more times than I can count! I can fit it on one side of my backpack or in 1/8 of my carry-on and easily pull it out of it's bag as soon as I get cold! This jacket is made of a super soft material, sometimes I literally wear it with only short sleeves under! The worst is when you are in an ~almost~ cold climate and you really need that extra layer, but when you start walking around and seeing things you start to warm up; this jacket is perfect for that! Simply stuff it in the bag and put it in your backpack. The bag allows it to stay organized and it also doubles as a pillow when you need it! I recently used my jacket as a travel pillow on a five hour car ride.
5. Olympus Pen E-PL8! I get the question all the time, "what camera do you use?"This little camera is my JAM! I religiously used a Canon 70D with a f1.4 50mm lens before switching to this little guy for travel photography. So far I only have the kit lens, but have been so impressed that I know I will be buying at least one, if not two, more very soon! When I would travel with my Canon I would literally get neck cramps from that thing being around my neck all day long, it was too big for my purse and honestly became a hassle to take with me so I ended up not bringing it and missing some great photographs! This camera has changed all that! I still use my Canon for portraits, but this is my go-to for Instagram and blog photos! It gets better, the camera has a built-in wifi feature that allows you to download images directly to your phone from your camera without any data or wifi! Simply connect to the camera's wifi and go to the Olympus App! I have the white leather one, but there are really nice options for black and brown leather as well!
6. RICK STEVES! Lol no I do not actually bring Rick Steves with me, trust me, I would if I could! However, his guides have never steered me wrong! On my last trip to Lausanne, Switzerland I followed his guide for the hotel and a restaurant and I can honestly say that meal was the best meal I've had since I arrived in Switzerland (five weeks ago!)!!! Also, the hotel was perfect! It was cheap, homey, had wonderful service and was in a great location! The others on my trip kept acting like my book was too touristy, but after the trip they were literally all talking about my man Rick. Okay, so you start to think, what happens when things change, it is in print? Well, he puts updates for each city frequently on his website!
7. Wireless Headphones! This one isn't a necessity per say, but more of a convenience. Listening to music on airplanes or trains can be a good way to pass the time, but can also be a really quick way to get unorganized! With a cord strung from your ears to wherever you happen to be holding your phone, it's easy to get caught when you're trying to handle so many thing. Having wireless headphones allows you to keep your phone safely in your bag or your pocket while still listening to your music. They can also be super helpful when trying to navigate loud cities. Simply put one headphone in (keep one ear free so that you can pay attention to your surroundings) and click GO on Google Maps for turn by turn navigation while walking or biking to restaurants, shops, and more!
8. Reusable Water Bottle! Not only are you being an advocate for the planate, but you also are being an advocate for your own wallet! The US is one of very few places that offer free water. Restaurants do not usually advertise their price for water, but instead just ask you if you would like "con gas" or "no gas." It's super easy as an American to say, "sure I'd love some!" BUT beware! These sneaky waiters are out to trick you! I've been charged as much as 9CHF for one bottle of water at a restaurant— flat water, not even sparkling! Do yourself and the planate a favor and fill your bottle up before leaving your hotel and when you see a fountain in the city! *This might be obvious to you, but it wasn't to me since I wasn't used to drinking sparkling water: NEVER put sparkling water in a Camelbak.. that baby will literally explode in your backpack!* If you are going to splurge and get a bottle of water at the restaurant, be sure you drink it all and are careful to not get another one right before leaving. Trust me, they do that. You finish pouring your bottle into your glass and they bring out a new bottle.. it seems like a refill right? Wrong, they just charged you for another bottle.
9. Athleisure Style Shoes! What if I told you it was fashionable to be comfortable, would you believe me? We believe it because Athleisure is in style big time in Europe and Asia right now! Athleisure is a cross between athletic shoes and leisure shoes, meaning comfy and cute all in one! Travel is the time to rock your best athleisure wear. This is like the dream for me! Do yourself a favor and invest in a cute and comfy pair that is an EXTREMELY NEUTRAL color without a pattern. This part is super important because if you play your cards right, you can rock one pair of shoes for the entire week and have every outfit match perfectly. Wearing patterns or bright colors not only makes it harder to match, but also makes other people notice more when you wear the same shoes seven days in a row! (Bonus Fact: if you have a small foot you can probably fit boys shoes which are cheaper than women's! I'm wearing the boy version of the Adidas All-Stars below and got them for $20 less than the regular price!)
10. A Coin Purse! Last, and perhaps the least tech-y of all, is the simple coin purse. You might think, why on earth does anyone need a coin purse, I only pay with plastic, and if we were talking about travel in the US, I would agree with you, but for travel in the EU or Switzerland... do yourself a favor and get a coin purse! In the US, the largest coin in 25¢, but in Europe coins go up to €2 and up to 5CHF in Switzerland! The smallest paper bill in Switzerland is 10CHF meaning anything less than 10CHF is going to be paid for in coins or you will be getting some in return!