These are the travel products, websites and resources that we personally use and recommend to help you make travel easier and cheaper.
We created our iOS app, Trail Wallet, to track our travel expenses and help us stay on budget. It has now been downloaded by over 250,000 other travellers! It’s quick and easy to use and makes travel budgeting fun. You can organise your expenses by trip, set a daily budget, and see how much you’re spending in the categories you choose. Instead of just hoping you’ve got enough money, know. Available on iTunes.
I share my tips and secrets to help you pack light and never check luggage again. We’ve been travelling with carry-on luggage only for over 11 years and believe that packing light is the secret to stress-free travel. You’ll save time at airports, save money on checked luggage fees, and reduce the stress of hauling bulky bags. Available for Kindle or paperback on Amazon.
SafetyWing is the insurance we currently use. They offer affordable travel insurance for digital nomads and long term travellers from anywhere in the world. You can purchase a policy when you are already abroad, pay monthly, and they cover COVID-19. My SafetyWing insurance review has a detailed comparison with the other insurance providers below.
True Traveller is the best value travel insurance we’ve found for UK residents and we used them for eight years. They allow you to purchase insurance when you are already travelling and don’t require a return ticket. We found making a claim with them easy and fast.
A well-respected travel insurance company that also allows you to buy insurance when you are already travelling. We used them on our first round the world trip. Make sure to check the policy conditions as they don't cover COVID-19 for most nationalities with the exception of the US and Canada.
After 10 years of travel with backpacks, we switched to carry-on suitcases. I love the Away Bigger Carry-On combined with the Away Everywhere bag for my electronics (it slides over the handles of the suitcase).
The suitcase is stylish, spacious, and durable. The smooth spinner wheels mean I can effortlessly roll it alongside me (no need to drag it behind).
Tortuga backpacks are designed by travellers for travellers, and it shows. Simon travelled with the Setout Travel Backpack for years, a spacious carry-on backpack that maximises the amount you can carry while still meeting airline size restrictions.
It's comfortable and supportive, has a large laptop sleeve and plenty of storage, and we love the stylish design. It's available in men's and women's fits. See our Setout backpack review for more details.
I travelled with the Osprey Farpoint 40 backpack for years and it's a great option if you want a smaller bag than the Setout (or if you don't live in the US). It still has plenty of space, a laptop sleeve, a very supportive frame, and a comfortable hip belt. It’s a popular backpack with many travellers.
Packing cubes are the secret of carry-on only travel. They allow you to keep your things organised and fit much more in your luggage. I love the super lightweight Specter cubes. Simon uses the regular Eagle Creek compression cubes, which are heavier but open fully on three sides so it's easier to access your clothes.
A large portion of Simon's travel wardrobe is made up of Bluffworks clothing which combines the performance of technical travel clothing with a stylish look. Most items are lightweight, wrinkle-resistant, quick-drying, and have hidden zippered pockets for security.
He started with the fantastic Original pants which he has worn everywhere from an 80-mile hike to a wedding, and now also has their blazer, shirt, t-shirt, and jeans.
Read our Bluffworks review for more details.
Clever Travel Companion makes travel clothes with hidden zipped pockets for storing your passport, cards and cash. On travel days I wear their cotton tank top with two pockets under the arms. It's much more comfortable than a money belt and keeps my valuables safe. The pockets aren’t entirely hidden so it’s best to wear it under another shirt. Available from Clever Travel Companion or Amazon.
As digital nomads, being able to work from anywhere is essential for us. This is the equipment we use and recommend.
We both use Macbook Pros with Touch Bar (Simon has the 15-inch and I have the 13-inch). They are lightweight, powerful and durable.
As a travelling artist, Simon loves his iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. The touch sensitive screen replicates drawing on paper, without having to carry around notepads and pencils. It has revolutionised Simon’s illustrations and using apps like the powerful Procreate, he has done some of his best work ever. The Pro is also a really powerful iPad with a beautiful screen—ideal if you want to leave your laptop behind on your travels.
Incredibly small and light yet sturdy, this is perfect for backing up when travelling (which you are doing, right?).
Most travellers can manage with their phones these days, but for photography enthusiasts, mirrorless cameras are lighter than SLRs and still offer full control and take fantastic photos.
The Sony Alpha A7 III isn't the lightest mirrorless camera, but it's full-frame and takes very high-quality photos, especially in low light.
A must for travelling bookworms. It saves a huge amount of weight and space in your luggage and gives you access to thousands of books, not just the John Grisham novels in the hostel book collection.
We travel with just carry-on luggage so all our toiletries need to be under 100ml. These products make this easier and mean we aren’t lugging around heavy bottles.
Toiletries are a big concern of many new carry-on travellers, as all your liquids must be in containers under 100 ml and fit in a single ziplock bag. The way to get around this is to take as many solid toiletries as possible. My favourites are Lush shampoo bars, which are small and light, work as shampoo and soap, last for ages, smell lovely, and you don’t have to worry about leaks like with liquid shampoos.
Unlike shaving foam, shaving oil comes in tiny bottles—a 15 ml (0.5 oz) bottle lasts Simon nine months shaving every two or three days. It’s miracle stuff.
Once-a-day suncream only needs to be applied once and is water resistant (great for water sports), so you use much less. We buy a 100 ml bottle of Riemann P20 when we’re in the UK and it lasts us months.
Ladies, if you haven’t already switched to a Mooncup (or DivaCup), now is the time. It’s a reusable silicone menstrual cup that takes up far less space in your bag than tampons or sanitary pads. It's also better for the environment, your body, and your wallet (it lasts for years).
Other Travel Gear
Yoga Paws are little yoga mats for your hands and feet. They are small, light, and very grippy so I can practice on any surface without packing a heavy yoga mat. I now practice every day wherever I am with Yoga with Adriene videos (free on Youtube but I've joined the membership site for extra content and to be able to watch videos offline).
The perfect coffee maker for travel. AeroPress makes incredibly smooth, flavourful coffee and is compact, light, durable, and easy to use and clean. Simon loves being able to make a quality cup of coffee anywhere.
Our Packing List
Our favourite website for finding hotels. It’s easy to use, has lots of great deals, and unlike many hotel search engines, there are no booking fees or hidden costs.
Our favourite site for renting apartments and houses around the world. It's often cheaper than a hotel, and you have more space and a kitchen.
Housesitting is a great way to save money on accommodation, get off the beaten track, and enjoy home comforts and pets for a while. If you want to give it a try, sign up with TrustedHousesitters, who have many listings around the world and will send you daily alerts with the latest house sits.
When I’m looking for a flight I always check multiple flight comparison websites as prices vary.
Kiwi.com is my first stop when looking for the best flight deals. It often comes up with routes that other searches don’t by combining different airlines. We found flights from London to Bali for half the price by going via Amsterdam. The map view is a handy way to see which cities would be the cheapest to fly to, and you can set any date range to find the cheapest day to fly.
Find crazy cheap flight deals. It works best if you are flexible about your destination and travel dates.
The ultimate resource for train travel anywhere in the world including the best routes, timetables, how to book tickets, and even photos of the seats and views.
The best way to travel Europe is by train. If you are planning to visit a lot of places, an Interrail (for EU citizens) or Eurail (for everyone else) pass could save you money. We’ve travelled with an Interrail one-month Global Pass three times and love being able to hop on trains all over the continent.
Japan rail passes make train travel in Japan easy and save you money, especially if you travel on a bullet train (which you want to do!). We saved $150 each on our last trip and wouldn’t travel in Japan any other way. You can't buy passes in Japan so buy it online before you leave. Read my Japan Rail Pass guide for everything you need to know.
Loco2 is the easiest way to book train tickets across different countries in Europe and it doesn't cost any more than booking direct.
We’ve found some really cheap car hire deals using Rental Cars which compares 800 car hire companies.
Kayak is the other site I always check for the best car hire rates.
Find out how to get from one city to another by plane, bus, train or car.
For more of our favourite resources, see 60 Useful Resources for Digital Nomads.
Backing up in the cloud is essential in case you lose your laptop and hard drive. We use Backblaze which only costs $6 a month for unlimited data and is really easy to use, automatically backing up everything on our laptops. The initial backup does take weeks (depending on your internet speed) but now new documents and changes are backed up quickly.
Another good option for backing up in the cloud, which we use for backing up our most important files. All our iPhone photos automatically get backed up to Dropbox using their camera upload feature. A free account gives you 2 GB of space and if you sign up with this link, you’ll get an extra 500 MB free.
I still find guidebooks the easiest way to research a travel destination and Lonely Planets are my favourite. I buy the Kindle versions to read on my Kindle or phone (using the free Kindle app).
When we were planning our first round the world trip this guide was really helpful. It covers everything you need to know including visas, insurance, vaccinations, round the world tickets, and suggested itineraries.
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