As my round the world trip creeps ever closer I have found myself buying a lot of new travel gear in preparation. Ideally I like to use all the old things I have but seeing as it’s 15 years since I have done a big round the world trip and the world has moved on drastically I felt I should probably update my beat up old rucksack and perhaps get some new travel gear and tech which will help me on the road.
What new travel gear did I get? Read on to find out
My old backpack, whilst okay, was pretty beat up so I was looking for something new. Now I’m older I fancied something with wheels to give my shoulders a break and I will be hiring cars and staying in Air BnB’s which means i wont need to be carrying my luggage on my back all the time.
For me there was only really one choice, the Osprey Soujourn. I firmly believe you get what you pay for and after trying many cheaper alternatives I kept coming back to this Osprey rucksack. It has a clever design which allows you to wheel it if needs be but it also has a full harness backpack system so is not uncomfortable to carry as a backpack. Cheaper alternatives that I looked at had really poor straps for carrying.
This bag is a great choice and very well made so I am expecting it to last 15 years like my last one.
iPad with keyboard case
Currently I use a really old iPad 2 which is slowly dying and wanted to replace this so I had something to use whilst travelling and for doing some simple work on (think emails and some word processing). I debated between a lot of windows 2in1 laptops and other tablets but in the end was drawn back to the iPad.
Whilst cheaper, if I bought a windows 2in1 I don’t think I would ever use it again in the future, the iPad i most definitely will.
The main priority is that I wanted something very light and easy to use so in the end went for the iPad Air 2 rather than the more expensive Pro. I then bought a second-hand Logitech Bluetooth keyboard case which lets me work more effectively. I basically have the best of both worlds a mini mac laptop as such and a fantastic tablet. I have got the SD reader for the iPad too and will back up my photos to the iPad and the cloud.
Silk travel sheet
Often if I am travelling in places where the beds might be somewhat suspect I pack my own sheet from home. For a long trip that seemed ridiculous so I bought a silk travel sheet to add to my other travel gear. It takes up no space at all and is super light.
There are hundreds of expensive silk travel sheets around but I went for a handmade sheet in plain white (if you get a colour it’s likely the dye will run or rub onto your skin) from a company in Vietnam. I found these on eBay and they were good value and arrived really quickly.
Last time I did a big round the world trip I took a mini disc player as I didn’t want to carry around hundreds of CD’s! Tech and travel gear has definitely changed for the better here! Nowadays I stroll around with millions of songs in my pocket on my phone or mp3 player all accessible within seconds. I have a Spotify subscription but am not sure I will keep it up whilst I am away, I will however pack a load of music onto my devices. Enter stage left………….the perfect companion a Bluetooth speaker.
This was a random impulse purchase. After listening to a few in store I went for the JBL Clip 2. It was cheaper than others and projected the sound enough for me, plus it was also very light and waterproof which is a huge bonus.
As an audiophile I’ll admit the sound isn’t the greatest but it’s certainly better that carrying a heavy speaker around or having no music at all.
Garmin Virb Action Camera
The lure of the Go Pro and the fancy adverts almost suckered me in but I didn’t bother buying an action camera. I thought I’d make do with my trusty Panasonic duo of the waterproof FT5 and the extended Travel Zoom. Luckily as a nice little joint birthday/xmas surprise present with my wife we were kindly given a Garmin Virb XE.
We have used it a few times and are quite impressed so far. When I get a chance to use it to its full capabilities I will do a gear review on it. However for now it connects to my phone and iPad perfectly and interestingly captures things such as speed, G-force and wind for those actions videos.
Whilst I didn’t buy it myself I know for sure that it will help me create some great content to share.
Another really random purchase. I travel a lot and have never bothered with packing cubes but I get that they can be great and I like the idea and ease of separating your clothes out into cubes. A friend recently told me he swore by them as part of his travel gear set up and I should get them for my trip. So I did!!!!
They are much better quality than I was expecting and I just went for some cheap Amazon Basic ones. I have yet to put them to the test so am not completely sold as to their worth just yet.
Apart form these purchases I am just expecting to pack the usual clothes and my normal camera. Generally l travel fairly light so I think my Osprey will only be half full. It does have a great straight jacket tie system though so I can make it really small if it isn’t full.
The only other thing I am hoping to buy is a new pair of trainers. I don’t want to take any walking shoes so I am looking at just a pair of trail runners that can function for some hikes but also runs. It would be great to get these in the outlet stores in America as this is my first stop.
So there you have it I have updated some travel gear stuff but generally haven’t had to buy much. There is so much product marketed for travelling and backpackers – from fancy travel wash bags to passport wallets and other things. In truth you really don’t need any of it but I understand it can make things simpler.
Do we need all this travel gear though? I guess I could sling my old battered backpack on and pick up my 15 year old Lonely Planet Guide’s and just go with the flow…………….and perhaps I just might! 🙂
Disclosure: The images in this article contain some cheeky links back to Amazon which means if you buy anything I get a small percentage