approved GEAR

After what feels like a million miles of travel under my belt (over 40K in the last year) I’ve found some items that make life on the road more comfortable.


ROLLING LUGGAGE


Save time and money with this 55 x 40 x 20 carry-on rolling it Luggage! It’s the perfect size for most flights (I recently rolled it onto Wow, Vueling, and Norwegian) and super lightweight. The swivel wheels make it possible to pull or push (on smooth surfaces). Mine was purchased at Marshalls for $49 and saved me at least $100 in checking fees on my two-month Amsterdam/Portugal/Spain trip. #itLuggage


TRAVEL SKORT


If you’re going somewhere warm, get something similar to this Nike Golf Skort. It sports a smooth front (zipper back) with two deep pockets. The back has two additional zipper pockets, each big enough for my Moto X4. I purchased this one used and have never been able to find anything as good new. If you find something, please let me know. #Nike


FOOT PROTECTION

Love Keen. You probably won’t find this style anymore. I purchased these used years ago. They were a hideous brown and gray combo. Recently, I spray painted them black (with Rust-Oleum spray paint) and replaced the laces. Very thrifty. Another option is to buy them new in your favorite color. Why are they so great? In warm climates, your feet can breathe, but your foot is still protected and supported. Plus, you can run—to catch a bus or after your stolen iPhone. I’ve seen lots of flip-flop accidents on my travels. Flip flops are for showers and beaches, only. Cheap knockoffs will probably work, but won’t last as long. New $50-120 #Keen #Rustoleum


PERFECT DAYPACK


This incredibly lightweight (4.5 oz), durable 11-liter G4Free is the perfect daypack. With 5 lbs of stuff, it feels like you are carrying absolutely nothing. It has one main pocket that fits my 11.6″ Chromebook, one tiny top pocket and two side pouches for water bottle/umbrella/glasses case. It has no extraneous straps (chest or waist) to add weight or get in the way. Because I’m small, I cut off a few inches of extra shoulder strap and melted the ends with a lighter so they wouldn’t fray. This was a new purchase from Amazon. Lots of colors to choose from, $12. #G4Free


INTERNATIONAL PHONE

 
I NO LONGER RECOMMEND THIS SERVICE. I was very happy with Fi for 5 years, then Fi canceled my roaming data making the service useless. Read the whole story here.

I’ve been with Google Fi for over a year now. I have a basic plan with unlimited US calling, unlimited international texting, and 1GB of international data for $30 US plus tax. This means that when I land in a new country, I have a connection. Wow, what a huge difference. Gone are the days when I went searching for WiFi or returned home to 50 texts from concerned friends. Gone are the days of SIM card swaps. I’m never going back.

My first phone had a bit of a hardware problem (I was given a full refund), but my new Moto X4 (roughly $250) charges quickly, holds a charge, and takes good photos. I’ve had it since April. #googleFi #MotoX4


SKIN CARE

I love Burt’s Bees. These are the three I keep on hand—beeswax lip balm, plum lip shimmer and lemon butter cuticle cream. The cream tin on the right has probably traveled 99K miles over the last three years! As long as you don’t misplace them, they last a good long time. $3-8. #BurtsBees


QUICKDRY BRA


I don’t buy much at dollar stores, but this three-buck jogging bra at Dollarama in Victoria, BC caught my eye. It’s comfortable, compact, and drys quickly. It comes in black and beige. Did I mention it’s $3 Canadian! #Dollarama