Travel Gear

Cities, Wilderness, and Unknowns

We’ve lived and traveled all over the world, and especially all over California with road trips up and down the Pacific Coast Highway to month-long stays in Lake Tahoe. Over the past 12 years, we’ve been able to test all types of travel gear.

We know the best way to test a piece of gear is to simply hit the road and take it with us while traveling. So, we do plenty of in-the-wild tests but also controlled tests at home when comparing products side-by-side to have a consistent setting. After months of testing, we rate and score each product based on various metrics most important to that type of gear.

Use this page to find your next piece of travel gear, no matter where your adventures take you! If you’re new to traveling or just want a top-level look at our recommended gear and tips, the below articles are for you.

A woman in the distance, looks a a giant T-Rex statue painted to be wearing a Santa Clause suit.
A woman in athleisure poses with her travel duffle bag.
A woman in a red jumper holds the handle of her powder blue suitcase.

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Our Go-To Packing List

If you’re just looking for a quick list of our must-have clothing and gear, these are the products we use the most while traveling.


Two Tieks flats in gold with turquoise rubber soles.
  1. Allbirds Tree Breezers: Comfortable for all-day walking, lightweight, made of sustainable materials.
  2. Teva Sandals: Durable, secure for hiking, versatile style, tons of colors.
  3. Vivaia Flats: Dressy or casual, comfortable for walking around town, lightweight, washable.
  4. Olukai Hawai‘iloa Manu Hope: Versatile bootie, waterproof leather, cushioned insole, 1-year warranty.
  5. Hoka Clifton 9: These shoes are stylish, comfortable, and as running shoes perfect for being on your feet all day.


A woman with a stylish backpack faces away from the camera as she gazes out at the ocean from a dry grassy cliff.
  1. Packing Cubes: Ebags offer easy organization, reduce wrinkles, and separate clean clothes from shoes.
  2. Travel Purse: The lululemon belt bag is stylish, safe, practical, and something I use daily.
  3. Glasses & Contacts Case: This Muf case stores glasses and contacts in one place, so it’s easier to keep track of them.
  4. Hanging Toiletry Bag: The Bagsmart toiletry tote organizes and hangs up off the counter easily.
  5. High-Quality Suitcase: The Away Bigger Carry-On bag has a super durable hard shell, storage pockets, and is secure.

Travel Clothing

Travel Luggage

Travel Accessories

Travel Apps & Websites

Travel Gear FAQs


You should follow the 5-4-3-2-1 rule when packing for a 7-day trip. The idea is that you pack five tops, four bottoms, three accessories (e.g. belt, jewelry, scarf), two pairs of shoes, and one swimsuit. 

in hot weather, and a jacket and beanie in cooler weather.


Make your long-haul flight more comfortable by wearing comfortable clothes or bringing a pair of clothes to change into on the plane.

Pack an eye mask, ear plugs, travel pillow, compression socks, snacks, headphones, and daily prescriptions or medicine.

Always bring your bedtime and morning toiletries in your carry-on. Have a toothbrush, toothpaste, face wipes, and deodorant.

Downloading music, podcasts, movies, books, or offline games also gives you more choices in case the inflight selection is lousy.


You should travel with a backpack if you’re planning to walk long distances over uneven ground with your luggage. Travel with a suitcase if you have back issues that a heavy backpack would worsen and if you’re taking a car directly from the airport to your hotel.


The best traveling outfits are stretchy slacks, nice sweat pants, or comfortable jeans, with a T-shirt or long-sleeved shirt, and a cozy sweater.

Fly in layers of soft fabrics that are comfortable and not too revealing. Many people fly in athleisure because you sit for hours and potentially want to nap on the plane.

Look your best by sticking to black and white pieces that give a classic aesthetic.

Don’t fly in pajama pants, and make sure that your outfit is appropriate for the climate and culture of your destination.


Pack shoes in a designated packing cube or bag within your luggage. Wear your bulkiest shoes on travel days so they don’t take up room in your bag. 

Stuff shoes with socks and underwear to consolidate space and help the shoes keep their shape. Don’t put dirty shoes with clothes.


Each airline has its own weight restrictions. Visit the official website of the airline you’re flying.


The easiest way to weigh your luggage is using a hanging scale, but you can also weigh your bag using a standard bathroom scale.

Some suitcases even have scales built in.

Our Travel Experts

Mimi McFadden
Founder & Editor-In-Chief

Mimi McFadden Headshot

Mimi traveled abroad for nearly a decade and in the past five years has still taken trips frequents. She enjoys sharing her first-hand knowledge and expertise with the places she knows so well, and part of that is also sharing the gear that makes those travels as easy as possible. One day, she hopes to discover that magic is real and that she can create a little pocket dimension to store everything she wants, but until then it’s packing cubes and hitting weight limits on the dot.

Elina Ansary

Elina Author Headshot

As a visual artist, Elina is a frequent traveler and pathological over-packer who often finds herself transporting lots of objects while traveling—from artwork to art materials to gifts and souvenirs. She’s tried tons of different suitcases, backpacks, purses, and bags in her quest to resolve her baggage dilemmas and is happy to pass on everything she’s learned.

Jodelle Marx
Editor & Content Manager

Jodelle Author Headshot

Jodelle is a minimalist obsessed with finding and testing the best travel gear for smooth trips around the world without forfeiting style. From 2022 to 2023, she lived nomadically, putting all of her travel skills to the test. Jodelle’s visited India, Vietnam, several European countries, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico. While living in Italy, she liked keeping up with travel trends, trying out new travel gear, and learning the keys to a versatile wardrobe.