Ya'll keep asking us what gear we're traveling with, so here you goooo. It’s taken us a couple of years to get it all dialed in, but ask us again a couple of years from now and I highly doubt much will have changed- we’re pretty damn happy with our setup right now (besides #6- we’ll hopefully have a burning ceremony for that trash bag soon). Here’s our setup in perfect numerical order.
(#2) A constant struggle we face being full-time travelers, is trying not to look like tourists. We want to be discreet or subtle in every way so we don’t become a target. You’ll never find us in a bright blue Patagonia pack and red North Face duffle- because A) it doesn’t look cool and B) we don’t think it’s ever smart to stand out while traveling (unless it’s in the form of massive beard, obvi). We went through three different bags from Patagonia, Osprey, and Timbuk2, before we discovered the greatest carry-on backpack of all time, Tortuga. These guys have crafted the perfect backpack for people who don’t use their bags for major hiking and trekking events, but who use them heavily and in constant transit. That said, if you wanted to hike with it, it’s probably just as comfortable on your shoulders and easy on your back, it’s just not extremely expandable, nor is it covered with straps. Also, it’s not a top-loader like you’d normally find on a hiking bag. This masterpiece we love so much zips fully from the front, which makes packing and unpacking much more convenient. The material of the bag and zipper seams are water resistant and it’s so minimal that you can fit way more inside the bag than most 45L packs. The hip straps are sturdy and have pockets big enough to fit a phone and passport. It’s the epitome of comfort and convenience. My favorite part? It even looks like a smart bag. Like I said, it’s perfect.
(#4) If you’re thinking about skipping packing cubes, then un-think that stupid idea. No matter if you’re traveling out of a backpack or roller bag, packing cubes not only make your life more organized, but you will somehow, magically fit more clothes in your bag. Again, we’ve been through a couple of brands such as eBags & Eagle Creek and we much prefer Zero Grid for our p-cubes. The tops are all mesh, so you can see what’s in the cube. They have two different straps, so you can hang them or carry them easily. Also, there’s a bit more structure and the zippers are tougher than alternatives we’ve tried. These packing cubes will not fall apart like a lot of the inexpensive options you see on the market.
(#5) Speaking of Ebags, we were in a rush to replace a worn-out duffel bag and we made the horrible mistake of getting this sack of crap pictured here. After only one month of light use, the inner lining completely ripped out. If you come across this bag, stomp on it. Don’t buy it.
(#1), Toiletry bag, (#12) Electronics organizer, (#7) dry towel, (#8) ultra-light waterproof tarp, all by our fav travel accessory company, Zero Grid. Zero Grid has spent years perfecting all the gadgets us shakers and movers could need, not to mention the incredible durability of it all. Their website is a one-stop shop for us. Also, can’t beat 20% off your first order and lifetime guarantees.
(#9) TSA approved locks & (#10) lockable wire cords. We carry 4-5 locks each and 3 total cords. Since we travel with a lot of technology, we’re very protective of our gear, so these are our babies. They’ve also come in handy when we needed to secure doors or windows in some of our housing situations. Often times you can buy the locks and cords together, like this.
When we’re not wearing super flashy African prints, we’re wearing the exact opposite, black/gray/white. We like everything to match and we like simplicity with our everyday items, so here’s another black item. This (#3) Tumi backpack has been with us since day one and even if we wanted to switch it out for something more comfortable or practical, we wouldn’t. It’s the perfect size for a day bag and even when it’s packed full, it fits perfectly under an airplane seat. Tumi no longer carries our bag, but they have a newer versions here.
Instead of the annoying plastic zip-lock bags, we prefer (#11) TSA Approved carry-on liquid containers. They’re easy to clean and since they have some structure, my GoToobs (best liquid containers ever) don’t get easily smashed.
Adrienne has been going through (#6) toiletry bags for her makeup, face masks, anti-drool cream, continuously. She happened upon this one in Target about 8 months ago and it’s been doing the tricky trick. We couldn’t find a link because this little babe is old news, but Target is a good spot for cheap make-up bags and travel kits.