Travel Gear, Gadgets and Gizmos
I’ve been travel blogging now for about 8 years and regularly go on press trips both here in the UK and around the world. While away, I need to collect photographs, video, and written notes about the places I visit, posting to social media as I go. I need equipment that I can rely on as well as the means to charge multiple gadgets at once so that my phone, laptop, camera, GoPro, as well as spare batteries and my power bank (for charging devices on the road) are always ready to go and won’t conk out on me at a crucial moment.
And I need clothes that will be comfortable and practical, as well as look good. Ideally, they should pack down small and not crease and, for long trips where I may need to do some washing, dry quickly. Waterproofs should be just that. I’ve been sent items to review that didn’t keep me dry even in a light shower. I’ve learnt the hard way what I can rely on!
I’ve put together a list of my favourite travel gear that I feel confident to recommend to you. I’ve left out products that I’m not totally convinced are the best for the job, such as my power bank, which doesn’t work as well as it first did. I am sure there are better ones out there.
Some of the links, but by no means all, are affiliate links, so if you click on them and then buy a product, I will get a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This goes towards the cost of running this blog, for which I am very grateful.
I’ll be adding to this list as I come across new products that I love and that I am confident won’t let me or you down.
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The following gear and gadgets come with me on pretty much every travel blogging trip I go on. These are the items I rely on to help me get the job done.
Lowepro Event Messenger Camera Bag
I’ve been using Lowepro camera bags and backpacks for over 20 years and they have never let me down. This particular bag is the one I currently use the most. It’s got room for my camera with lens attached, my GoPro carry case, my iPhone, power bank and leads, business cards and a small purse. There’s also a padded internal pocket which is perfect for an iPad. And I love the pocket at the back, as I can keep my notebook in there and quickly take it out and pop it back again when I’m making notes on a press trip without having to open the bag itself. Likewise with the side pockets for my iPhone (although if I’m anywhere where I think there may be pickpockets around I keep it inside the bag itself).
My bag now looks like this, having been hand painted in Thailand a few months ago. If you’d like it painted like mine, then you’ll have to take it to Thailand!
4 Port USB Plug Charger
With interchangeable US, UK and EU adaptors, this little beauty is a godsend when I’m travelling and have multiple gadgets to charge. I have had this one for over a year and I’m delighted with it. Currently costing £13.99 on Amazon, it’s an inexpensive solution when I want to charge my iPhone, iPad, Power Bank and TEP (mobile WiFi hotspot) all at the same time.
Samsung Galaxy S8
A while back I defected from Apple to Samsung and I couldn’t be happier. In fact, I’m so happy with the camera on my new mobile, I even left my camera behind on a recent press trip and relied on my phone alone. You can see the results here 24 hours in the New Forest and a stay at the historic Bell Inn.
All the photos in that post were taken with my Samsung S8. I was particularly surprised by how crisp and sharp close-up almost macro photos are. I’ll soon be getting the chance to try out the S9 so I’ll let you know how I get on.
The only disappointment is when I zoom in, so for any wildlife shots, for example, I still need my bulky Nikon D700 and 200mm plus long lens.
Lava BrightSounds 2 Bluetooth speaker | Power Bank | Lantern
I’ve had this speaker for over a year and I love it, whether I’m using it as a light, to charge my phone or to play music, or all three at once. I take it on picnics, camping, to the beach and use it at home. The rechargeable battery lasts an impressively long time. You can read my full review here.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Bridge Camera
While I used to use a professional level Nikon camera, I found it very heavy and carrying it around with a number of lenses was taking it toll on my back (I’m no spring chicken, after all!). In 2016 I took the plunge with this Lumix Bridge Camera and I totally love it. Nearly all the photographs published in this blog since then have been taken with this camera. It’s lighter, the one lens covers a huge range 25mm to 400mm and it has WiFi so I can send photos to my phone when I’m out and about and post them to social media there and then.
The only thing I’m not completely happy with is when I use the zoom for wildlife pictures. they just aren’t up to scratch so I still need my Nikon D700 and a long lens for that.
GoPro HERO4 SILVER
This is the GoPro I have, and the quality of the video it produces is amazing. The video below was the first I shot with it back in 2015, and when I watched it on my smart TV, I was seriously impressed with the professional quality of the video. The still photographs featured were taken with my Nikon D700, a superb (if heavy) camera.
GoPro Hand, Wrist, Arm, Leg Mount
I particularly like the hand mount for my GoPro and I’ve used it a lot when kayaking and zip lining. I love that I can turn my GoPro around in 360° without having to remove the mount and that it’s usable in the water. I’ve had it for well over a year and I feel very confident when I’m using it that it won’t fall off.
It’s made by GoPro and currently costs £49.95, which is a bit pricey, but I think it’s worth it (I’ve bought cheaper non-GoPro branded mounts before that have let me down).
Smartree Spare Batteries and Charger for GoPro HERO4
I bought this package over 2 years ago and I have been completely happy with it. I love being able to charge these two batteries plus the one that came with my GoPro all at the same time. I know I won’t run out of battery power when I’m on the road. Please note: This is not compatible with the HERO5 series.
This Smartree charger and batteries currently cost £14.99 on Amazon.
Rohan outdoor clothing
I’m a big fan of Rohan‘s range of clothing, designed to pack small, weigh less, dry quickly and resist creasing. They’re extremely hard wearing too. Their clothes aren’t cheap but this is a great example of getting what you pay for. In my experience, Rohan’s clothes live up to all their claims making their range a great choice when looking for the best travel clothes for women or, indeed, men. I’ve worn their clothing snowshoeing in Canada, snorkelling in the Indian Ocean and hiking in the English countryside.
One of my favourite items is their Ambler Trousers. They’re smart enough for the office, flexible enough for yoga and extremely comfortable. Here are a few other favourites of mine.