a man standing outside with a suitcase and phone

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A benefit and a curse of traveling is that you really get to test things out. The curse is that you buy some things that end up breaking, sometimes before you barely get to know them. The benefit is that you also occasionally come across a travel product that you can’t live without, which seems to “carry on” without breaking, no matter how demanding your travel schedule. Here are my absolute favorite travel gear and accessories that I never leave home without…

a man standing outside with a suitcase and phone

Anker PowerCore Mobile Charger…

I very happily get up to 5 full phone charges from my Away Travel carry on, but once I’m done flying, it’s slightly less practical to tour around a city with a carry on bag. That’s where the Anker Powercore comes in for me. About the size of a middle finger, or lipstick, the Anker is a compact and efficient way to charge your phone on the go, because we all know that you inevitably start to run out of battery at the most inopportune times. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been saved when data and battery heavy apps like Google Maps and making phone calls leave me on red with hours to spare, especially when i need to stay in communication with someone about dinner plans, directions or where to go.

BUY From AMAZON: Anker PowerCore 5000 (Newest Version) ($15.99).

a man holding two suitcases

Away Travel Carry On / Luggage Set

Away Travel is the Warby Parker of luggage, which basically means their goal is to create incredible products for less, by cutting out middle men and retail mark up. For a fraction of the price of other high end luggage brands, Away created luggage using the finest components from durable Japanese wheels to light and resilient German shell fibre and even a charging port, allowing you to charge your personal electronic devices up to five times while on the go, without plugging your suitcase in. If you’re in the market, you can get $20 off your purchase (and I get credit for a future purchase too) by using THIS LINK.

BUY From Away Travel: Carry On $225. Carry On + Large Suitcase (Package Deal) $475.

a man wearing headphones and looking at his phone

Wireless Headphones (Cheap + Expensive Option)…

Wires are a thing of the past. Bad sounding headphones are a thing that should never have existed. Assuming everyone on earth has a mobile phone, tablet or laptop with some music or shows on it, the next key is to enjoy it in comfort. Emphasis on the comfort part. There are two wireless headphones that I absolutely love, one set at a lower price point and the other at a higher price point. The JBL E40BT wireless headphones, which run roughly $79 are amazingly clear and comfortable for on ear (rather than over ear) headphones. The charge lasts a long time and they have a cord you can plug in for flights. For the frequent traveler, it’s really tough to beat the new Bose QC35’s which run $350. The sound is incredible, the foam cushion feels amazing on long flights and being fully over ear you’re able to avoid a lot of the fidgeting after a few hours of wear. They’re as quiet, clear and comfortable as it gets…

BUY From Amazon: JBL E40BT Headphones ($79). BUY From Amazon: Bose QC35 Headphones ($350).

a man holding a camera

Ricoh Theta S 360° Virtual Reality Camera

I travel all the time and though I do my best to document it, a picture doesn’t always cut it. A 360° capture of anywhere and everywhere I’ve ever been, from an aircraft cabin, to the top of the Peak in Hong Kong, even just a cool pool seems to really be the thing I look back on and love sharing most with friends, readers and family. Without any photography knowledge or software, the Ricoh Theta S allows you to press a single button remotely from your smart phone and take a 360° image. The built in software then instantly stitches together a full VR 360° image which you can share online, allowing anyone you wish to view exactly what you’re seeing, in any direction, up, down, left or right. Hey, you’ll also be able to submit flight reviews if you get one to.

BUY From Amazon: Ricoh Theta S 360° Camera ($346).

a man standing next to a suitcase

Vans Slip On Shoes

Style is a very personal thing. In my personal attempt to blend practicality and comfort while traveling with a bit of style, I can always be found wearing Vans Slip Ons while in transit. In fact, you literally will never find me not wearing them if I’m in an airport. Vans are relatively inexpensive, provide soft soles, are slip ons, which saves time in security lanes, and for the rare security lane where you don’t have to take off your shoes, they don’t beep, since there are no metal components. They come in all sorts of colors and materials from suede to canvas and feature dark or light soles to match whatever other gear you’re rocking…

BUY From VANS: Vans Slip On (Multi Style) ($50-$65).

a man holding a camera and standing on a path with leaves and trees

GoPro Camera (I Use The Hero 4 Silver)…

There’s a reason people love GoPro and I’m no exception. They’re tiny, they shoot beautiful video, they operate wirelessly, you can take them underwater and you can mount one just about anywhere! Whether it’s taking sunset time lapses in the most beautiful cities (with the press of a button), capturing crazy flight experiences or just walking around the streets, the GoPro is the perfect (compact) companion. Since I am quite possibly the world’s worst video editor, I was psyched recently when some friends of the site launched BePro, a service which allows you to send all your raw GoPro footage and have it edited beautifully. They did our Jennifer Anniston Emirates First Class video

BUY From Amazon: GoPro Hero 4 Silver ($293). Buy From Amazon: Hero 5 (Newest) ($399).

a man holding a piece of luggage

Carmex Lip Balm…

Other than the insomnia from jet lag, having impossibly dry and chapped lips and nothing you can do about it is one of the most frustrating inevitabilities in travel. That’s especially true if you get dehydrated from drinking on board, which I’m 100% regularly guilty of! I literally never take a flight without a jar of Carmex, which I apply before flight, after dinner and drinking and first thing when I wake up. Carmex is cheap, makes for a great stocking stuffer and it’s available everywhere. I don’t think there’s a bad word you can say about feeling truly refreshed when your land, however long the flight…

BUY in Any Drug Store…

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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