From this list of travel things to love, you will note that we prefer to buy things that we will use for years. Although more expensive than other options, we have found that buying certain items at the top end is good value when instead of buying multiples of the cheaper items.
Olympus OMD EM-5 Mark III
I hemmed and hawed on buying the Olympus OMD EM-5 Mark III for months. I had its predecessor, my first mirrorless camera, the OMD EM-5 Mark II, for years.
The Mark II no longer had a working flat screen in the back after I banged it around too much. The Mark III is just as good as the Mark II but now I have a working LCD screen!
There is also an entry-level OMD EM-5 Mark IV for travel photography on the market now which is similar to a Mark III but also has a flip-down screen.
Go Pro Hero 9
I got the Go Pro Hero 9 and love its versatility! We had the Go Pro Hero 5 for years.
I didn’t see the need to upgrade for ‘sports’ photography since mainly we go skiing and do water sports. Now, I see how versatile for all sorts of video and the picture quality is so much better than it used to be.
iPhone 12 Pro Max
The iPhone 12 Pro Max is simply amazing. I upgraded from the iPhone 7 Max which I had for years. The thought of having no on/off put me off upgrading for a long time.
I have, however, now become a convert. The battery life is excellent as is the camera quality. If the only camera you have is an iPhone 12, then you will be just fine.
The Manfrotto Pixi is a small tripod which easily fits in my bag attached to the camera itself. Make no mistake, a tripod can make difference in photos.
I started with a Gorilla Pod but switched to the Manfrotto Pixi because it was faster to set up in place. You got to grab those kids’ moments quick! It’s also sturdy enough to protect your expensive camera.
Tumi Expandable 4 Wheeled Packing Case
The Tumi Expandable 4 wheeled packing case is super easy to wheel around when full as well as being a sturdy case.
With a divided compartment, we have packing cases that fit sturdily on either side. Returning from a trip, we put used clothes on one side and clean clothes on the other (with expanders on usually!).
We had ours for years used on multiple trips. We have taken them everywhere from Transatlantic Flights to a Chinese city train. They are battered but the zippers work and the wheels haven’t broken. We expect them to last years longer.
If you don’t want to splurge on a Tumi, we have found Briggs & Riley suitcases are fine too. The wheels stay on but the zippers aren’t as reliable. On the other hand, Briggs & Riley tend to be half the price of Tumi – a better value if you don’t travel as much as we do.
Brics Life 22” Holdall
I’ve had this Brics Life 22” holdall for 28 years now bought on my first trip to Florence Italy. It’s perfect for a weekend bag because it doesn’t get too heavy. What’s the point of a duffel bag you can’t lift?
There’s a smaller 18” size which isn’t nearly as convenient – somewhere between a large ladies shower and a proper weekender.
Even more convenient, the newer versions of the Brics Life holdalls have an attachment in the back that you can put onto wheeled luggage handles.
Samsonite Tote-A-Ton 32.5 inch duffle bag
We got this Samsonite Tote-A-Ton duffle bag when the kids went to summer camp. It needed to be relatively sturdy, lightweight and big enough to take 2 weeks of clothes, towels etc. Plus, thanks to its bright colors, we can spot it in a sea of campers’ returning bags.
This duffle bag is amazing! We have now taken it on international flights and it is super sturdy. Usually we pack this duffle bag small and stick it in a suitcase. On the way back, it becomes the “extras” bag – dirty clothes, shoes etc.
Kipling Teagan Carry On
I love my Kipling Teagan Carry-on which is a perfect size for a weekend away. In fact, for warm weather destinations, there’s enough space for a whole week’s worth of clothes. It has lasted me for 10 years now.
I have never had any airline staff either in the US or internationally question its size. With straps on 4 sides, it’s easy to lift and manoeuvre from overhead compartments.