Our Travel Gear

Costo Kirkland Signature Luggage

We travel a lot, and we’ve been in about every climate while doing so. From hot and humid to dry and freezing and seemingly everywhere in between.

We decided it was time to keep an up to date list of things we bring with us when we travel and why. Some of the items will link to Amazon and we do get an affiliate commission, but rest assured it does not affect the price you pay. But does help us keep writing about travel.

Let’s start with the top question we always get when speaking with fellow travel enthusiasts on the road. What camera do we bring with us when we head out on our next adventure.

Best Travel Camera

The best camera when you travel is the one you actually have on your person when you need to take a photo. For most people that means choosing to bring a camera bag with extra memory cards and batteries, or a smartphone they would probably have with them regardless.

Let’s start with the smartphone side of the equation. Certainly current top of the line phones from all of the major manufacturers cost as much as a dedicated camera, but they do offer a lot of others benefits as well from translation and travel apps to offline GPS options.

P20 Pro


Huawei P20 Pro

The real appeal of this smartphone for us comes from it’s 3X and 5X zoom modes and it’s amazing night time photography capability. We have been using this daily (and nightly) since it’s release. It is now almost two years old and the current model is the P30 Pro which goes for around $700. There are some small upgrades with the newer version which is why its at the top of DXO for camera ratings. But not enough to warrant an upgrade in our opinion if you already have a P20 Pro. We will be expecting a good spec bump with the P40 Pro and do plan to upgrade when it is released.

Huawei has not had good success in US political waters so unfortunately, you cannot buy this phone directly from the carriers in the states. It is available on Amazon here and it will set you back around $500 at the moment. Keep in mind this is also a current top of the line Android phone, but the camera is the real key.

Other camera phones to consider which are all great during the daytime and close runners-up in our book.

Samsung S10

iPhone X

Google Pixel 3a

Currently our cell phone carrier of choice when we are traveling is Google Fi and we have written about how to help determine if it is a good fit for you here.

If you prefer a dedicated camera we currently travel with the Sony a6000 mirrorless camera.

Sony a6000

It has been updated with newer versions also currently available, the Sony a6300 and the Sony a6500. We are big fans of the APS-C sensors Sony makes, and the size and versatility of their current compact DSLR camera line. Some of our best photos when traveling have come from a Sony mirrorless camera. But would I buy one today?

It depends… if you know your travel schedule for the day and the logistics of how much walking, hiking, or just generally how much of a pain will it be to bring a camera bag along with you. If I’m going to be hopping in a tour van or car hire and know I’m heading to places with the intent to take pictures then I want a dedicated camera to capture the highest quality photos I can.

But also look at your application. If the end result is your photos are going on Facebook, Instagram, email or a blog post that high-quality image is probably overkill. I’ve had a very hard time NOT taking a dedicated camera with me, but our last couple of trips I’ve tested the waters and must say the reduction of space, and weight has been worth the trade-off in the end for us.

We write almost full-time, so it makes sense for us from a business point of view to keep our camera equipment relatively up to date as it often directly effects are livelihoods. Don’t let that convince you into thinking you need to spend more than you can afford to capture nice family photos on your next trip.

Get the best camera or smartphone with a camera that fits in your travel budget. We also like to remind people to get in your photos! You can access free high-quality photos of pretty much any monument on the planet in seconds with a search engine. If you want to look back on your memories of yourself or loved ones get in the photos and save memories!


The Kirkland signature luggage from Costco has gone with us around the globe for 5+ years without issue.


Costo Kirkland Signature Luggage

For us, this 22-inch bag provides enough space to pack a lot in. We also have the larger version they used to offer for checked baggage if the trip warrants the extra room.

Unfortunately, it would appear Costco has recently updated this suitcase to a new design or changed manufacturers.  Keep an eye on the reviews to see if anything changes, as the bag was amazing and the 10 year warranty which is still offered means you do not need to worry how the airline handles your bag.

Amazon Basics Luggage

We’ve also recently been using the 21-inch AmazonBasics bag when traveling only with carry on luggage with Easyjet, Ryanair and similar.

This bag is not something I would want to take any abuse. So bear that in mind, but it is cost effective and if you are keeping your bag with you on the plane or train it works well.


Started dreaming of travel after a high school field trip through Europe. Has been lucky enough to explore the world with his family.

Recently Published Stories

Google Fi for World Travel

Google Fi for Travel

If you are traveling outside of the US and want to stay connected then Google Fi might be for you. If you are going to be travelling for more than a week, you may find it still make sense to order a new line from Google Fi and data SIM’s for your family members and just keep the service for the time you need and then cancel or pause your service. The sweet spot is really going to be if you need more than a single device when you travel.

TAP Offers Portugal Stopover and New Planes

Portugal Stopver First, let’s start with the addition of the Portugal stopover program that TAP has recently added. Some readers

Snails in Portugal

Eating Snails (Caracóis) in Portugal

Snails known as Caracóis here are served throughout the summer in pretty much every cafe in Portugal. It is a