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Travel Essentials

Keep reading to learn about my favorite travel essentials, trip gear, and lifestyle brands. Note: Many of the companies below also help empower women, support causes, and give back to the community, which will be mentioned in their description.

Note that some of the links below are affiliate links. I only recommend products & brands I love and that I think you would love, too! 

Travel Safety

best travel gear

Clever Travel
Companion

This line of pickpocket-proof clothing and undergarments allows me to carry money, IDs and credit cards, as well as a sleek camera phone in hidden interior pockets so robbers won’t even know I have valuables on me.

best travel gear

Fox Sonic Blast Safety Whistle 

I love hiking, the outdoors and getting lost in new cities, though as a solo female traveler I sometimes get nervous on my own. This is why I always carry a safety whistle to scare off potential danger and alert others to my distress.

Vigilant
Personal Alarm

This portable device can be worn as a bracelet and emits a loud alarm with one pull to scare away potential attackers.

travel gear

Reflective
Vest

I use this inexpensive vest when I'm jogging -- or more likely cycling -- at night. Often a bike is the quickest, healthiest and most enjoyable way to get around, but after dark it's important to take a few extra safety precautions.

Speakeasy Hidden-Pocket Scarves

These jersey-knit scarves are actually lovingly crafted by my blogger friends over at Beers and Beans. Showcasing over 40 different patterns, the cozy, handmade accessories are made in the USA and feature a pocket large enough to fit your passport, phone, glasses and more! They also come with a self-locking zipper to make sure nothing falls out or gets stolen.

SafetyWing

This is my travel insurance of choice. SafetyWing offers a flexible, pay-as-you-go alternative to typical travel insurance with straightforward pricing. They offer robust coverage, have a large network, one overall deductible ($250/year), long-term coverage if needed, and access to private healthcare providers.

Travis Touch Plus Pocket Translator

I love this gadget, and listed it as a safety essential since being able to communicate is important when you're trying to get out of a challenging situation. Additionally, it's a great tool for having more meaningful conversations with locals -- even if you don't know the language. Simply speak into the device and you'll get text and audio translation. A global SIM card with data is included!

Loctote

There are many bags on the market, though if your goal is to keep your belongings secure then Loctote is exceptional. The bags are lockable and slash-proof to protect against pickpocketing and thieves. Moreover, an RFID-blocking design keeps your identity safe.

Staying Connected

fospower bank is one of the best travel gear items

Fospower Rechargeable Power Bank

Along with USB charging capabilities, it's extremely rugged. In fact, it's snow-proof, dirt-proof, drop-proof and waterproof. Bonus features include an LED flashlight Compass Carabiner.

best travel gear

KnowRoaming

Avoid roaming charges with this sticker you affix to your SIM card, automatically giving you competitive network rates in 200+ countries. You can also add 24 hours of unlimited data for $7.99.

best travel gear

HooToo Wireless Travel Router

This tiny 1-ounce device converts a wired to a wireless network as well as streams and backs up media. Super handy and portable on the road, and can save you on Wi-Fi/internet charges.

Anker 60W 6-Port USB Wall Charger

Anker 6-way USB charger

Hostels are notorious for lacking outlets, while hotels hide them all over the room. I like to keep all my gear charged in one spot with this handy and inexpensive gadget.

 

TravelMore Adapter 

This adapter lets you convert your plug to 150+ countries and also has dual USB ports built in for additional charging capabilities.

huawei mobile hotspot is the best travel gear item

Huawei E5330Bs Mobile Hotspot

Never be without WiFi again! This portable hotspot is budget-friendly and has a battery life of six hours. If you'll be out longer, opt for the premium (albeit more expensive) Huawei E5885, which has a battery life of 25 hours.

Travel Photography & Video

The NikonD750 is my main travel essential

Nikon D750 

I've been a Nikon user for years, and have nothing but positive things to say about the brand. I'm currently using the full-frame Nikon D750, which really helps me take professional travel shots. The link above will show you how to get the camera discounted by buying it used!

the gopro8 is a definite travel essential

GoPro HERO8

I am obsessed with my GoPro, not only because it takes high-resolution wide-angle photos and 4k video, but because it's rugged, lightweight, and takes up almost no space. The HERO8 also has incredible stability for smooth clips.

best travel gear

GoPro 3-Way Arm

I use this as a selfie stick of sorts, though it also works as a tripod and monopod. It's versatile and sturdy, especially considering the size.

best travel gear

Intervalometer

As a solo traveler I often take photos of myself. I can set my intervalometer to take as many photos as I want in a set time frame, plug it into my camera and just hit go.

PicMonkey 

Photoshop for dummies! I love PicMonkey for editing my travel photos, with options to manually edit, add beautiful filters and text, make collages, layer images, beautify yourself and much more, especially with their Royale membership.

best travel gear

Joby GorillaPod

While I love my large tripod, I often find it impractical to take with me if I'll be moving around a lot. For this, the Joby GorillaPod is perfect, especially when paired with the intervalometer.

this camera lens is definitely on my best travel gear life

Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8

While there are a few lenses I travel with, this is my absolute favorite as it is high-quality and works in most situations. I have a Nikon DSLR, so I often opt for Tamron over Nikon lenses to save some money, and I buy used (which you can also do using the link above).

Lightroom

This is my go-to tool for editing photos professionally. It's also a huge timesaver, as you can batch edit photos taken in the same location.

best travel gear

GoPro Head Mount

The head mount is my favorite GoPro accessory. It makes it easy to throw the camera on my head and have my adventures without needing to think too much.

pack a moukey microphone to have a travel essential

Moukey MCM-1 Microphone

This small microphone works great with DSLR cameras and smartphones. You'll get high-quality audio at a budget-friendly price.

dji osmo 3 is a travel essential for videographers

DJI Osmo 3 Gimbal

This smartphone gimbal allows you to shoot smooth shake-free video footage even when you're moving or walking. I also pair it with a mini tripod stand for hands-free video recording.

a smartphone stabilizer is on my best travel gear list

Ulanzi U Rig Pro Phone Video Stabilizer

I love this stabilizer as it's super budget-friendly and doesn't require batteries. While the gimbal on the left is great for panning, this item is great if you just want to record simple shake-free shots — no learning curve required. Pair it with your tripod for a more professional setup.

Packing

solgaard backpack best travel gear

Solgaard Design Lifepack Backpack

This all-purpose backpack has so many features, like secret pockets, an anti-theft lock, a Solarbank S3 (with a solar panel, 6x powerbank, and Bluetooth speaker), and drop-proof laptop storage. Bonus: It's super stylish, too!

travel essentials deuter backpack

Deuter ACT Trail Pro 34

This rugged backpack is uber comfortable, with tons of compartments and pockets to help keep me organized. Other pluses include back ventilation, adjustable padded hip, back and shoulder straps, a wet pocket, a wet laundry pocket, compression straps, a detachable rain cover, and an SOS label with emergency numbers.

this dakine bag is a true travel essential

Dakine Carry On Roller 42L Wheeled Travel Bag

I love this carry-on suitcase! It features a split-level design with a mesh divider for easy organization, as well as compression straps to fit more items and keep things in place. There is also an exterior pocket with a laptop sleeve. Bonus: The bag comes in a wide array of colors and designs.

you must pack these compression and packing cubes

Cambond Compression Cubes

The first time I used these compression cubes my jaw literally dropped. It's amazing how much you can fit inside. Labels on the cubes help you keep garments organized, and the zippers are reinforced so they don't break easily.

Health

best travel gear

SleepPhones

I usually listen to soothing sounds and ASMR while drifting to sleep, though sleeping with traditional headphones is super uncomfortable. Enter SleepPhones, a soft headband with flat, built-in headphones. You can get SleepPhones that pair with Bluetooth or ones that plug into your device.

best travel gear

Sinus Saline

One thing many travelers -- especially frequent fliers -- have issues with is their sinuses. A simple saline spray allows you to cleanse your sinuses and remove irritants and pollen. This one is carry-on friendly.

travel tech

HumanCharger

The HumanCharger looks like an iPod with ear buds. Put them on for 12 minutes, with the gadget sending UV-free light flow through the ear canal to photosensitive receptors in the brain. This gives you instant energy, and helps travelers beat jet lag. There's also a free paired app that uses your travel details to provide the ideal HumanCharger schedule (with alerts), like when to find or avoid light.

best travel gear

TheraBand

These bands take up almost no space in your luggage and are great for working your entire body. I love using these for arm workouts I'd usually do with free weights.

yogadownload

YogaDownload

I'm not a gym person, nor will I set my alarm early to go for a jog; however, I'm obsessed with YogaDownload, which for $12/month gives me access to 1000+ yoga classes for all levels and goals, from weight loss to back pain to waking up. And, I can do it anywhere there's Wi-Fi. Get 50% off with link above!

moji pro massage bundle travel gear

Moji Pro Massage Bundle

This massage bundle — which includes three massagers equipped with stainless steel rollers — is essentially a portable spa. You'll get a foot massager, a massager with a hand strap, and, possibly my favorite, a curved massager for rolling out your IT band and hips. Pro tip: Put them in the freezer for an ice massage!

earplanes

Earplanes

These ear plugs are made to relieve head pressure inflight. Put them on before the cabin doors close and you'll feel so much better in the air.

eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus Oil

I like to dab a few drops on my temples, the crown of my head, on my neck and behind my ears for sinus relief while flying.

probar meal bars are handy to pack for a trip

ProBar Meal Bars

These portable and satisfying meal bars are tasty and come in a wide variety of flavors. A few favorites include the Superfood Slam, Chocolate Coconut, and Banana Nut Bread.

compression socks are a travel gear essential

CEP Compression Socks

These snug yet comfortable compression socks relieve pressure and are a travel gear essential on planes. Moreover, they're made from merino wool to wick moisture away and keep the body dry, temperate, and odor-free.

bug bite thing is a great travel item

Bug Bite Thing

This portable and chemical-fear travel essential allows you to suction out bug bite poison, venom and saliva to relieve itching instantly. It's budget-friendly, too!

silk & sonder journals

Silk & Sonder Monthly Journals

Traveling offers the perfect time to reflect, and journaling is a healthy daily self-care practice. Silk & Sonder offers monthly themed journals focused on productivity, introspection, and lifestyle. Each journal is unique and allows you to start fresh every month!

Style & Beauty

able apparel shoes are great for travel

ABLE Accessories & Apparel

This ethical fashion and accessories brand trains, educates and invests in women. I'm particularly obsessed with their She’s Worth More Collection, though you'll find loads of great travel items.

the helm offers great travel gear

The Helm

If you love traveling with high-quality products from female-founded brands, you must check out this website selling clothes, accessories, beauty, housewares, aromatherapy, and more!

novica offers unique travel items

NOVICA

This online marketplace is run in partnership with National Geographic, and features apparel, art, and goods made by artisans from around the world. Find really unique travel essentials with a story!

lulus offers great travel clothing

Lulus

This online shop sells really cute clothes for women, with apparel that's perfect both at home and on the road. Buy basics, statement pieces, shoes, trendy outfits, and more!

 

best travel gear

Stowaway Right-Sized Cosmetics

To help minimize waste, reduce cost and lighten carry-on load, these cruelty-free, gluten-free, EU-compliant cosmetics are crafted in sizes meant for you to finish. Most of the products are also vegan, though some contain beeswax. I personally use their makeup on the road and at home.

best travel gear JR Liggett Shampoo Bar

JR Liggett Shampoo Bar

I’m all about packing light, and JR Liggett 100% natural Shampoo Bars — which are sulfate- and detergent-free — allow me to carry one small soap-sized bar instead of shampoo and conditioner. Bonus: They come in a variety of ingredient combinations, and are 100% biodegradable with minimal packaging.

best travel gear

Stonewear Breathe Pant

Not only can these uber comfy pants work as pajamas, lounge pants or dress pants, but there's a sustainable edge as they're crafted from recycled PET plastic bottles.

travel essentials kimono

Kenny Flowers Kimoni Collection

I'm obsessed with my kimono! Not only is it cute for photos, but it's comfortable as a beach or pool coverup and can even be worn layered with a tank top and jeans. Kenny Flowers has a huge collection of kimonos, swimsuits, and seaside wear, so definitely check it out before your next trip.

LANCÔME Miracle Cushion

Not only is the coverage great, but it doesn’t count toward my carry-on liquid allowance since the foundation is absorbed into a sponge for you to squeeze out with the applicator.

best travel gear

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

This serum gives my skin moisture and visibly tightens and brightens my skin. I use it when I don't feel like wearing makeup but want some extra glow.

travel essentials

Urban Undercover Panties

These uber comfortable undies are made in the USA using domestic materials and Italian lace. What's amazing is they fold up into a travel quote-adorned waist pocket (convenient for knowing when they've been worn) and for hiding valuables when out and about.

pack petit vour makeup for an ethical trip
Petit Vour

Ethical travelers will love this cruelty-free lifestyle brand. Their beauty and accessory items are high-quality, and they have a zero-waste section on their site. Make sure to take their free Foundation Quiz on their website!

Eco Travel

best travel gear que water bottle

que Collapsible Water Bottle

Continuously buying plastic bottles is bad for the environment. Instead, I use a reusable BPA- and plastic-free bottle. This one collapses when empty to take up almost no space. Plus, it's super stylish, and the mouth is large enough to fit ice cubes!

best travel gear

Project 7 Gum

Gum isn't just great for having pleasant breath and popping your ears on planes; it can sometimes help change the world. Project 7 Gum provides tangible benefits (think planting trees, providing malaria treatments, etc) through its nonprofit partners when you buy their product. The Birthday Cake flavor is the best!

rheos sunglasses offer some of the best travel gear essentialsRheos Floating Sunglasses

These are the only sunglasses that don't give me a headache! They come in a variety of styles, they float, and they offer 100% UV protection. Plus, 1% of profits get donated to environmental charities.

best travel gear

WakaWaka Power+

This solar lamp gives more than 150 hours of light with a single charge from the sun and charges your devices. Their Buy One Give One initiative donates a device to the International Rescue Committee to distribute to those in need with every purchase.

finalstraw

FinalStraw

Single-use plastics are killing the planet. Luckily, you can say no to plastic straws by carrying your own portable re-useable FinalStraw. It even comes with a super cute case!

Sustainable Tour operators

intrepid travel tours

Intrepid Travel

This sustainable tour operator offers multi-day experiences around the world, with an emphasis on showing local life and supporting locals. By the way, how incredible do these Women Only Expeditions look?

lokal travel

Lokal Travel

This platform for booking sustainable tours, hotels, and experiences is one of my favorites. You'll find really unique listings - from spending the day shadowing locals at their job to staying in amazing private ecolodges - that have been hand-curated by their team.

backstreet academy tours

Backstreet Academy

This platform offers sustainable tours and experiences throughout Asia. Their goal: “To improve communities at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP).”

cotopaxi questival

Cotopaxi Questival

So. Much. Fun! These 24-hour adventure races happen all over the United States. The format is similar to The Amazing Race and are both quirky and community-focused.

book yoga retreats travel

BookYogaRetreats

This platform lists immersive yoga retreats happening all over the world. You'll find a wide variety of yoga styles, accompanying experiences, and local opportunities.

Blogging

beaver builder logo

Beaver Builder Theme

This is the lightweight, SEO-friendly theme I use for Jessie on a Journey. It has a much smaller learning curve than many other themes, in my opinion. Bonus: Beaver Builder offers incredible support.

beaver builder plugin

Beaver Builder Pagebuilder Plugin

I use this budget-friendly plugin to create gorgeous landing pages / blog pages, like this page. Also check out my About Page for an example. Basically it allows you to edit pages using a drag-and-drop pagebuilder. On Jessie on a Journey, I love using the Beaver Builder Theme in conjunction with the Beaver Builder Plugin.

best travel gear

Bluehost

If you're trying to create a professional blog you'll likely be using WordPress.org, and will then need a hosting provider. Bluehost offers 24/7 customer support, the potential to host up to 100 sites, free domain name, unlimited space and transfer bandwidth, backups of databases and files, and competitive pricing.

flywheel hosting

Flywheel

This is the hosting platform I use. In terms of speed it is much better than the others mentioned, though is much more expensive, as well. If you have the budget to upgrade your hosting, I highly recommend this or WPEngine.

rev captions and transcripts

Rev ($10 off!)

Creates caption files for your videos (important, especially on Facebook where people typically watch videos without sound). I also use this to create transcripts of my videos to turn into blog posts, which saves a lot of time. Best of all, it only costs $1/minute of video!

envato marketplace for bloggers

Envato Market

A huge collection of themes, plugins, email templates and photos to make your blog look snazzy and your marketing more effective. ***This is almost always the first place I look when I need anything for my blog.

webinarjam testimonial

WebinarJam ($1 trial!)

Webinars offer a powerful way to engage, nurture and authentically sell to your audience. In terms of software, WebinarJam has all of the features necessary to run a successful webinar, from automated attendee notifications to clickable calls-to-action during your webinar to beautiful landing pages and more.

teachable for bloggers

Teachable

One way I've been able to monetize my site is through travel blogging-focused ecourses, and I couldn't have done it without Teachable. This easy-to-use platform lets you quickly create beautiful courses with options to add video, PDFs, quizzes, text lessons, coupons, bundled upsells, an affiliate program and more!

ultimate bundles for bloggers

Ultimate Bundles

This is hands down my FAVORITE affiliate program. Click the link below to sign up, and then you'll be able to promote their bundles — which cover everything from travel to blogging to wellness to finances and beyond — and even contribute a product to them to increase your commission.

best travel gear

ConvertKit

This email marketing service was created specifically for bloggers. It's incredibly user-friendly and has loads of powerful features like visual automation creation (to help nurture new subscribers and increase income), simple segmentation within emails (to better target your community), auto-resending to those who didn't open your email the first time (to get more eyes on your content), and more!

influencer networks

Influencer Networks

These networks make landing paid brand partnerships easier as the networks link you up with campaigns that are a great fit. My favorites for higher-paying opportunities include Linqia and Perlu. The Impact Travel Alliance Media Network is also good for those in the sustainable tourism space.

try interact quiz maker

Interact Quiz Builder

Grow your email list by creating beautiful free quizzes that engage your audience. You can use this strategy to grow your email list by asking people for their email address in exchange for their quiz results.

tailwind

Tailwind

A great tool for scheduling Pinterest pins during optimal times to keep your account healthy and active. Their *Tribes* feature allows you to collaborate with other pinners in your niche to share each other's content. A few Tribes you can join for free even if you're not on Tailwind include The Best Travel Hacks, Inspiration, Lifestyle & Destination Tips and Dream.Pin.Go. [Mappin Monday Tribe].

WPRocket for bloggers

WPRocket

This caching and performance optimization plugin does a lot. Once I installed it, it analyzed my blog and gave me some suggestions. After simply pressing some of their caching clearing buttons I was already seeing a boost in performance.

socialpug plugin for bloggers

SocialPug

This GDPR-compliant social media sharing plugin offers a ton of features to help grow your traffic and community, like customizable social sharing buttons, space to easily add descriptions to Pinterest graphics, popup social share buttons, Click to Tweet, share count recovery, and more! Note: This plugin will soon be called Grow by Mediavine. 

skimlinks

Skimlinks

This is actually a set-it-and-forget-it affiliate platform where you add their code to your website once and then they automatically turn your non-affiliate links into affiliate links. Once I set this up I started earning money immediately, and it's fun to check your dashboard and see your income go up without you doing any extra work.

best travel gear

Jiva Cubes Coffee Cubes

Working on the road means there is a constant need to have caffeine close by. I absolutely love these portable coffee cubes. Two tiny cubes is equivalent to a standard cup of coffee, and they come pre-sweetened with raw, unrefined cane sugar. Moreover, the cubes are crafted from single origin Colombian coffee without preservatives or artificial additives.

flexjobs

FlexJobs

An incredible resource for finding high-paying remote work, often including benefits and sometimes even free travel. If you want to find remote jobs while building your blog, or just want to ramp up your income on the road, check them out.

best travel gear

Gleam

There are a few free tools out there for hosting contests, though none are as user- and design-friendly as Gleam. It's got an eye-catching design and offers a slew of options for non-paying subscribers.

keysearch

Keysearch (20% off!)

This budget-friendly tool allows you to kick your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) up a notch to more easily rank on Google's first page and increase your traffic. We'll be going over this tool in depth as the course goes on. You can use code JESSIEONAJOURNEY for 20% off!

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