Gear & Books

My Favorite Travel Gear

I really like and use all the items below (with the exception of the Surface Pro 3 which, at this point, my budget only allows me to drool over).

As you know, I’m all about packing light so I don’t have a long gear list. I consider every one of these products worth its weight to carry. I hope this page is of help.

Please note that all of the product links go to Amazon and if you buy one (or anything else on Amazon as you enter their store via one of the links) I’ll receive a commission. If you do, thanks! If not, I completely understand. Generally, these prices are very good but if you find a better buy, go for it.

Ipad 2 for travel

I no longer travel with a computer.

I now use my iPad, coupled with the Logitech keyboard described below, to be fully connected on the road.

This is not a 3G model but I either pick up free WiFi or tether to my phone. I run all my email accounts through gmail so that I have full access to email and I load my main documents folder onto Dropbox so that I have access to them on the road as well. Dropbox is a site where you can securely store photos and other documents. Get it free here.

Apple iPad 2 16GB, WiFi

Lumix G Review

This is my camera… and that of a Nat Geo photographer too.

I knew I had the right camera when I met a National Geographic photographer with the same camera. The Lumix G is one step up from a compact camera. It has a view finder in addition to the flexible LCD screen at rear. My main complaint with compact cameras is the difficulty of seeing my subject in bright sun without a viewfinder. I don’t have that problem now. The camera has a full range of automatic and manual features. It’s a camera worth considering.

The Lumix G with interchangeable lens

Logitech ipad keyboard Light and really functional.

This keyboard protects my iPad and makes it blogger functional.

This keyboard is comfortable (at least I’ve adapted to it’s slightly smaller format with ease), holds my iPad at the right angle when I’m working and fits onto my iPad to protect it with it’s metal back when not in use. At around $50 it’s also one of the more affordable options out there.

Logitech Keyboard Case for iPad 2 with Built-In Keyboard and Stand

ipad sd card connector

It doesn’t look like much but… With this device I upload my photos to my iPad and then to Dropbox.

This is an SD card connector for the iPad 2. I put the SD card from my camera into the wide end and plug the small end into the power port of my iPad. Then I can upload photos to my iPad. I then drag them into my Dropbox so even if I lose all my technology, I won’t lose my photos. Dropbox is a site where you can securely store photos and other documents. Get it free here.

SD Card reader to load photos onto your iPad

Microsoft Surface Pro 3I don’t have this but it is the one piece of gear I dream of.

Yes, I use my iPad on the road now but, as a blogger, I’ve discovered its limitations. It’s great for social media and surfing the net, booking travel and online banking (with my VPN on, of course) but it isn’t great with WordPress which is the software for the blog. If you need the power of a full computer and the size/weight/ functionality convenience of a tablet, I think the Surface Pro 3 is the product. When budget allows, I’ll be going for this but, as all my travel budget posts suggest, I only buy what I can afford.

Surface Pro 3 comes with a variety of Intel Processors

Sony Cyber-shot

This Compact Camera is Great for selfies.

At first I stopped carrying my Sony Cyper-shot in favor of my Linux but I then found that the wider angle on this camera is better for selfies. So now I carry both in most situations.

The link takes you to the current version of my camera which is now three years old. You can read my review on this camera and see examples of what it does here. The biggest downside in my mind is the lack of a proper viewfinder which I find makes it almost impossible to use in high light situations. However, almost all compact cameras have this problem.

Sony Cyper-shot

camera bag interior

This is a great camera bag.

I saw this camera bag first on another travel blogger who is also an Emmy award-winning producer. I saw it and loved it!!!  The Lowepro Passport Sling Camera Bag is great for men and women – it looks just like an ordinary city bag but functions like a day pack and travel bag. Yes. Love it

Lowepro Passport Sling Camera Bag

Screen Shot 2013-03-24 at 3.02.42 PM

My model is not widely available but this is close.

I love my Vaude Backpack

Unfortunately, this isn’t my pack exactly but it’s pretty close. It seems that my pack was designed for the Canadian store where I bought it. Regardless, Vaude backpacks are smart and sturdy. This one, like mine, is 45 litres +10 making it the right size. I can’t over-pack. Designed for women, the frame is adjustable, there are zipper pockets in the hip belt and a whistle on the chest belt. It includes a wash section in the top and a rain cover at the bottom.

Here’s a wide range of Vaude backpacks

Merrell Sandles for WomenI’ve walked a lot of miles in my Merrells

I’ve had a number of pairs of Merrell sandals in my life and I have found them to be comfortable and durable. I usually get three years out of a pair and, as you can imagine, I do a lot of walking in my travels.

You can see the Merrell Women’s Honeysuckle Casual Sandal here.

Berghaus Hiking bootsI walked out of the store in my Berghaus hiking boots and started hiking – in the rain!. No blisters. Dry feet. Heaven.

I bought these Berghaus hiking boots on my trip to the Lake District of England in 2009 and I’m still using them. It was November so I was hiking in the rain and through streams. These boots were a perfect fit from the get-go.

BERGHAUS Ladies Explorer Trek GTX Boots

Love this jacket.

Love this jacket.

It took me over 12 years to wear out my first Marmot Jacket

I bought my first Marmot jacket in 2001 and I just replaced it this year. And the rain pants I bought at the same time are still going since they’re not used as often. With pitzips and breathable, waterproof, ripstop material, I think it’s a great jacket.

Marmot Women’s Precip Jacket

Travel Books

solo travel, Book on how to travel solo

Yes, this is my book…

The Solo Traveler’s Handbook, 2nd edition

The 2nd edition of The Solo Traveler’s Handbook offers more stories and tips on solo travel fun and safety. Part how-to manual and part travel literature, it will help you venture out with confidence to discover yourself as you discover the world!

In the three-plus years since I started this blog, I’ve published more than 1000 articles on solo travel. While it’s a wonderful resource and forges a sense of community amongst solo travelers, it is sometimes difficult for readers to find the information they’re looking for. This is the why I wrote The Solo Traveler’s Handbook. You’ll find all the basic information you need to travel solo in one place. Read the reviews.

**Available in paperback $16.99 and most e-readers for $9.99**

 

Don’t have an eReader? Download a Kindle app FREE for your computer, tablet or phone and buy the Kindle version from Amazon.
Free ebook accommodtaion guide

CLICK the image to download the guide.

Yes, this one’s free…

The FREE Solo Traveler Accommodation Guide

 

Solo travel is a great way to explore the world. But because you’re alone, your travel accommodation is a big decision. We can help with this free guide to 159 hotels, hostels, B&B’s and Inns from 51 countries.

I have traveled a lot but I don’t travel full time and I haven’t been everywhere. It’s not possible.

But Solo Traveler readers have collectively traveled far and wide. With your help and a little from technology, we gathered your experiences together and wrapped them up in this nice, free ebook of your favorite B&B’s, hostels, inns and boutique hotels from around the world.

My gratitude goes to those who submitted their recommendations. It was generous of you to take the time to add the many details to the form and, in some cases, share your photos as well. Thanks! DOWNLOAD IT FREE

luxuryThe Luxury Traveler’s Handbook proves that luxury travel doesn’t have to be expensive. Written by the founders of the online travel and lifestyle magazine, LiveShareTravel, it’s a show and tell guide on getting luxury for less.
career_breakThe Career Break Traveler’s Handbook is your indispensable tool for dreaming, planning, and finally taking your trip of a lifetime. Filled with tips, stories, and photos from around the world, the Career Break Traveler’s Handbook will both excite you and prepare you.
foodThe Food Traveler’s Handbook makes a compelling argument for using food as a primary focus in discovering the world. Using this handbook, you will learn how to eat safely in developing countries, source cheap, delicious streetside meals and discover how to make food a tool for connecting to a local culture.
volunteerThe Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook guides new and veteran travelers through the challenges of finding, vetting, and choosing their ideal volunteer experience. The book’s practical advice is interwoven with first-person narrative, stories from diverse volunteers, beautiful photography, and expert interviews.
The Cruise Traveler’s Handbook will protect you from the many common mistakes made when purchasing a cruise, keep your costs under control and help you get the most of your time on board and on shore.
The Family Traveler's HandbookThe Family Traveler’s Handbook will help all parents, single and otherwise, get the most out travel with their children. It takes on the tough kid issues and will help you ensure that you enjoy the trip too.
The Adventure Traveler's HandbookThe Adventure Traveler’s Handbook will guide you to exciting new ways to take on the world and help you do so safely. It offers a mixture of on-the-ground tips and inspirational stories for both new and experienced outdoor explorers.
The Art of Travel is written to give us some insights into what separates good travel from bad travel. It’s a book that will make you think and perhaps even change how you view travel.
the AlchemistThe Alchemist
by Paulo Coelho is a book I’ve mentioned a number of times on Solo Traveler. To learn why I think it’s a great book for solo travelers read 10 Reasons to Read The Alchemist.
Screen Shot 2013-03-24 at 4.32.45 PMMoleskine Ruled NotebookDespite being online so much, I still use a moleskin as my diary. Recording my travels by hand somehow connects the words to the experience in a more meaningful way.
Screen Shot 2013-04-25 at 1.47.17 PMSeven Years in Tibet This is a great book and a great movie. It reflects the fascination of the west with Lhasa in one person’s story that “Trespassers on the Roof of the World” shows in multiple stories.
Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 5.34.03 PMTrespassers on the Roof of the World: The Secret Exploration of Tibet A non-fiction work that traces the west’s historical relationship to Tibet and Lhasa.

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Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Back Door 2013This is a great resource to help you get beyond the common tourist destinations in Europe. I used this book when I did my 10 month trip through Europe.

Women on the RoadWomen on the Road: the essential guide for baby boomer travel. Details. This book has lots and lots of details for newbie travelers and many tips that even seasoned travelers will appreciate. It’s the A-Z of boomer travel.
Stip off Your Fear and slip into something more confidentStrip Off Your Fear: Slip Into Something More Confident (Volume 1)
This is a great book for women. Author Betsy Talbot takes readers through a striptease of the emotional layers that keep women from fully expressing their wants, needs, and dreams to the people they know and love
Oh the Places You'll Go Dr. Seuss
Oh, the Places You’ll Go!This is another great book. Dr. Seuss wrote this about life – it’s a popular graduation gift. But it’s equally relevant for anyone taking off solo. A bit of a lark, for sure, but it has significance.