My Travel Bag MUST Haves
Although this is nowhere near an extensive checklist there are a few ABSOLUTE things that make it into my travel bag every single time no matter what. After putting on WELL over 10,000 miles on road trips with kids too I have also come to learn a few favorite brands that make my current must have list.
But I’m always looking to discover the next best thing to make my travel more comfortable so please share with me if you have a favorite you can’t live without!
I like to have a one shoe fits all adventures type of style – it’s gotta have decent grip, be waterproof, and comfortable.
The ONLY shoe I’ve ever found with all 3 of these is my pair of Skechers H2GO shoes which you can actually buy on Amazon. They are beyond AWESOME! It’s as waterproof as a pair of Crocs – I literally just hose these things off anytime they get really muddy or gross. They have never given me a blister – even walking in them wet – and I have been in at least 10 different cave systems with them and never slipped. I wear these suckers everywhere.
I’m a HUGE flip flop lover and hate sneakers because my feet get so hot so these are not only safer for me to wear than flip flops when we’re out exploring but I can walk in water with them on which is what I really want. I expected that they would crack with being so foamy feeling but so far they’ve held up admirably!
My most important and MUST HAVE camera on every trip is my NIKON DSLR camera. Right now I’m currently using the D5100 and previously used the D3300. These cameras have gotten SO much more affordable the past several years and you can easily find a whole starter set for under $500.
As my kids get older and our family gets more adventurous I am more frequently finding myself in situations where I don’t want to bring a DSLR so now I carry other cameras with me too. I’m sure my husband snickers and my hefty camera bag of equipment but it’s my life source that I can’t leave home without!
I always have with it my 50mm lens (vital for crisp clear quality photos), 70-300mm lens (great for distance shots!), a macro filter set (until I can afford the fancy macro lens!), extra battery w/charger, lens cleaner, and a lens filter kit. I also bought these cheap fisheye lens just for fun and take it out on occasion.
My GoPro Silver w/Waterproof Case:
After a LOT of research on waterproof cameras I settled on the GoPro Hero4 Silver edition. (At the time of my decision the higher versions were better for highly professional commercial video software only.) It came with all sorts of various mounting equipment and housing cases but I almost always only use the waterproof casing (which does muffle video sound FYI).
I am still learning to incorporate it with my regular travel photography but it’s a MUST HAVE for exploring waterfalls, caves, up close animal encounters, waterparks, etc. I really need to buy the floating head strap because of how handy it is. You can see above the types of things I normally take when out hiking and cave exploring.
I also bought this floating strap which I would buy in a heartbeat again if I ever needed one.
My Phone & LimeLens kit:
The LimeLens smartphone kit – this was a product I received at a travel influencer workshop I attended and I have to admit – it’s pretty handy! Since we road trip all over the place and I don’t always have my DSLR on me I rely pretty heavily on my phone for photos.
Right now I have the Samsung S6 Edge which takes some pretty darn good images. But now that I have the little LimeLens lens clip on the back of my smartphone I can easily swap out the lenses on the go.
The kit includes the Macro Wide Angle and the Fisheye lens – both of which have noticeable improvements on my images and are just plain fun to play with.
My Secret Scarf:
You guys – I absolutely CANNOT live without my Secret Scarf by Tammi! While attending a travel influencer workshop I was introduced to this amazing concept and I was sold. I came right home and bought another one myself.
I HATE HATE HATE carrying purses and usually make my hubby carry my essentials (credit cards, license, etc.) but this Secret Scarf has a built in zipper pocket that you can’t see for all of that! It’s even large enough for your passport so it’s pretty roomy! I want one for every day of the week – ultimate goal!
My Medicine Bag:
One VERY important but often overlooked area of travel is first aid and medication. I can’t tell you how many times (ESPECIALLY with kids) we’ve been stuck in the middle of the night or in the middle of nowhere and in need of medicine. Accidents happen, you get sick, whatever!
The LAST thing you want to do while traveling (other than being sick of course) is left hunting for a pharmacy or store when you’re not feeling good. Every time we travel I have a smaller bag (like my Thirty-One bag in the photo above) designated for medical needs. It doesn’t matter what type of bag you use but I do recommend a fairly waterproof one in case something opens.
Cloth ones are cute but not practical. What I pack depends on who is with me but I typically include:
*OTC Pain Medications (Naproxen, Motrin, Tylenol, kids versions, etc.)
*Antibacterial Ointment & Anti-septic Wash
* Prescription Medications
*Specialty meds (allergy, vitamins, etc.)