Tools

Below is a curated list of favorite travel essentials and tools from my experiences. Whether you are preparing for that next adventure locally or abroad, I hope these will come in handy for you!

Time-saving Travel Tools

TripAdvisor
My go-to website for ideas and reviews on all things to do. TripAdvisor is a great resource for figuring out day trips and must-sees. The reviews are a gold mine of information and come in quite handy whether you are planning your day, budget, or what to eat.

Skyroam
One of my biggest fears while traveling is a) my phone battery dies, or b) I don’t have wifi when I need it. Skyroam is a portable hotspot that you can bring anywhere around the world so you can stay connected at all times. You choose which days you need it, and for about $9 a day you get unlimited 4G internet for up to 5 devices. It’s a pretty great alternative to roaming and airport day passes.

Tiqets
Advanced admission tickets for the best museums, landmarks, and attractions in Europe, Middle-East, and the USA? Yes, please! If you are someone who wants to avoid long line-ups for tickets, you NEED to get on this! Plus, the super easy to use and fun interface is a huge bonus.

Accomodations

Airbnb
A great tool for booking stays offered by the locals, especially during popular tourist seasons where accommodations might be harder to come by or when hotel prices are jacked up. Although accommodation experiences vary by hosts, it is important to be reminded that these are people’s private homes that they have opened up for us and to be mindful of noises and privacy while you are there. If you are looking for a much more personal experience in indulging in local culture and customs, this might be a great start.

Booking.com
As an alternative to Airbnb, I use Booking.com for all my hotel needs. As a Genius member (attainable once you book with them 5x), you also get an additional 10% off select hotels! A huge money saver especially for those long stays.

Rocketmiles
Although slightly limited in hotel selection compared to popular hotel booking websites, they are a great alternative if you want to earn frequent flyer rewards on your accommodations. Plus, if you have a travel rewards credit card, I highly recommend using it in conjunction with your reservation to “double-dip” in bonus points. However, definitely do your research and compare prices with other hotel booking websites to see if the prices make sense for the number of points awarded. I have noticed for certain hotels their prices are a bit pricier in comparison.

Flights

Google Flights
Search by destination, budget, or dates. Super easy to use and you can instantly search on flights around the world.

Kayak
Tired of constantly checking flight prices? Let Kayak do the work for you by signing up for their flight price alerts (note: you’ll need a free account with them).

Travel Photography

Canon EOS 80D
I believe in investing in a good camera, especially for travel photography. This one has been my trusty companion for many years, in fact, all photos you see on this blog were taken with this camera! My favorite feature is the flip-out LCD screen that’s super helpful when taking pictures from different angles, plus it fits nicely in most backpacks and shoulder bags so perfect for grab-and-go.

Canon EF 24-70mm Zoom Lens
My absolutely favorite lens to bring with me on my travels. Great for capturing everyday life, streets, structures, sceneries, and so much more. Not to mention photos turn out crisp, sharp, and vibrant. It is the perfect all-around lens.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm Wide-angle Zoom Lens
Excellent for outdoor and nature photography. Whether you want to capture landscapes or architecture from up close, this is the lens for you.

Packing

Away
These suitcases are sturdy, lightweight, stylish, AND scratch-resistant! Their Bigger Carry-on is my go-to suitcase for travel, it’s a great size to fit in a lot of essentials when you are traveling (especially for those who are into packing light), but also light and small enough when it comes to train travel. Plus, it comes with a 100-day trial + lifetime warranty, perfect for those of us who travel at every chance we get, am I right?

Packing Cubes
I wish I had discovered these sooner, they are an absolute must for keeping your packed suitcase organized. I swear by the ones I get from Muji – my typical go-to size is Medium. However, if there isn’t a Muji near you, Amazon have many great selections as well.

Apps on the go

Audible
I love, love, love Audible. Whether I am on the train, on the plane, or out on a hike, it is the perfect travel companion for reading on the go without the added bulk, after all, you just need a pair of headphones and a compatible device. Plus, it works offline!

Evernote
Take your travel planning to go! Not only can you share your note with friends and travel companions, I also use it to store my packing lists, travel reminders, booking confirmations, maps, photos, web clippings… you name it, all saved in one place. Plus, it’s also a great tool for capturing your travel memories straight from your devices (ex. like for your travel blog or perhaps just a photo log of all the happenings).

Polarsteps
Ever wondered how you can keep track of your travels in a seamless and shareable way? This app is your answer! Simply create a profile and pop in where you’ve been. My favorite is the aerial map view of the exact routes I took for my trips. It’s a good reminder of where I have been, ability to upload “memories” for those places, and, share my trip with family and friends!