Years of traveling and photography have refined my packing and travel resources, what gear I take on trips, which flight search engines I use, what credit card I use, where I find places to stay that are the best value, and so much more.
I only recommend what I actually use (or the closest thing I can find with the best reviews), and I’m sharing all of it here – so keep reading for all my recommendations!
Here’s what resources you can expect to find in this page:
What to Pack
Carry-on Suitcase: This one from Samsonite is a great choice – definitely try to stick with this size only, because more luggage will be a huge hassle!
Best Carry-on Backpack for Photographers: Along with a carry-on suitcase, a big backpack is great for a carry-on, and can be your only luggage if you’re on a short trip or really packing savvy! The Peak Design Travel Pack 45 L is not only top-rated, but recommended as one of the best options by many major magazines and newspapers.
Also, it was designed for photographers, so it’s great for fitting your camera, gear and laptop plus more for every kind of trip!
🎒📸 Learn more about the Peak Design Travel Pack 45 L Here
Apple AirTags: To track your bags so they don’t get lost in transit (which has been happening a lot to people)! I just got these for my next trips.
AirTag Covers for the AirTags (these are the ones I have, and they have amazing reviews).
A Packable Daypack: This daypack packs into a small pouch for a daypack that can get dirty – the camera insert case I listed above fits in here as well! It’s lightweight, plus it has places for drinks on both sides… and I can vouch for it as I’ve been using it on multiple trips now!
Chrome Kadet Crossbody Bag: This top-rated, low-key Chrome Kadet Crossbody bag from REI is perfect for fitting your camera, lens, wallet and even a small jacket for traveling in style!
Accessories like Passport Covers, Luggage Tags and more are optional, plus fun and usually serve a protective purpose for your gear, as well as possible additional storage!
Visit the Mukikapup Shop for travel accessories, including:
- Luggage Tags
- Travel Mugs
- And much more!
Bose Wireless Bluetooth Noise-Canceling Headphones: If you want to actually cancel out the noise on flights, these are your best bet:
Bose Noise-Cancelling Earbuds: You can also opt for these earbuds that will drown out those crying babies and snoring adults:
JLab – Best Value Bluetooth Headphones that I swear by – these are great for the fit, volume control, and also for talking on the phone – there’s not as many issues as with other ones in this price range!
Apple Earpods that plug into smartphone (iPhone 7 & up) with the proper connector:
Apple Earpods with a regular headphone jack: These are especially important to remember to bring in your carryon for listening to the TV, since they either take regular headphone jacks or they have the weird two-pronged connectors, but then they’ll give you headphones.
Universal Power Adapter: This one works for the US, UK, EU, and AUS.
Portable Charger Banks: Necessary for a backup to charge your phone and bluetooth headphones, and especially for if you find yourself without an outlet, or without a converter!
Mini Portable Charger With Built-In Cable: This is a handy charger for iPhones that has a built-in cable for those times when you really can’t get to your things.
Audible: Audible is Amazon’s place for all things audiobooks and podcasts – it’s perfect for travel and everyday life! It’s harder than ever for me to sit and read because I do that all day long, and I love that I can listen while driving, walking down the street, shopping or eating out solo.
Audible members get a number of free credits per month (I get one per month) for certain books, and then podcasts and many other books are free!
📚 Sign up for Audible Here to see if it works for you!
Here are a few of my favorite books to listen to for traveling and inspiration:
- Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
- Herodotus’ Histories
- The Arabian Nights by Sir Richard Burton
Kindle Paperwhite: While I sometimes bring an actual book I’m reading on a trip, it’s not really smart to bring more than one for space purposes – not to mention, it’s easy for books to get messed up in a bag (pages and cover bent, etc). A Kindle is the best way to bring all the books you want to read on the plane, the beach or in the airport.
I especially love that I can download pdfs onto my kindle to read sans the horrible light I get on my phone screen! Then, when I’m waiting around I can catch up on all those free downloads (when I was a student, I used this for school-related reading, too)!
Earthbreeze Fragrance-Free Laundry Detergent Sheets: These are the greatest invention EVER… I’ve replaced liquid detergent with them. You can use for washing machines and hand washing, and they’re perfect for packing because they aren’t liquid and are super lightweight.
Microfiber Towel: This is a towel that won’t take up hardly any space in your luggage. It’s a yoga towel, but it’s great for the beach and showers too, so you won’t have to rent one or go without!
Baubax Travel Jacket: These are perfect for flights and for fall/winter travel, with all kinds of compartments and gadgets! I bought one of these when they were first starting, so I’m pretty proud of it, haha!
Lightweight Cargo Pants for summer/fall travel: I have some like these and they’re great for everything, plus easy to pack.
Other things to pack
Sleep Masks: I’ve been using these for years – they’re the best because they have contours for your eyes and nose, and they’re adjustable. Also, this is a pack of 3 which is great so you have extras if one gets lost or dirty!
Padlock for Hostels & Luggage Storage: These will save you money, especially at hostels because you can avoid having to rent a padlock!
Brita Stainless Steel Water Bottle: This bottle filters the water as you drink it through the straw, so it’s perfect for travel!
Replacement filters for the Brita Water Bottles: So you can change out the filter when needed – it’s a good idea to pack at least one extra in case you need it.
Self-Cleaning Water Bottle: This is another option – it UV-sanitizes the water.
Eno Hammock: These are the BEST hammocks, and they’re easy to pack because they fit into a pouch. They hang up on any trees by fitting around the tree, and they’re so comfortable you can sleep in them.
👉 Check out this double-nest Eno hammock from REI
US National Parks Passport: I love my National Parks book, because every time I go to a National Park, I get a stamp like on my International passport! It’s so fun 🙂
👉 Get Your US National Parks Passport Here!
Best snacks to pack for travel
Protein Powder: I love bringing some in a Ziploc bag so I can have it whenever to mix in with water.
Salmon Jerky: I first heard about this on a health podcast, and bought some on my next flight – I don’t usually eat jerky because it’s so tough, but this one isn’t tough at all! And it’s really healthy.
Mini Clif Bars: These have been amazing for when I get hungry and there’s no food around – I brought a box’s worth on a 2-month trip abroad and finished almost all of them by the end, they really came in handy.
Check out even more photo gear on the photography page!
Memory Card (for DSLR/SLR/Mirrorless): I use SanDisk Extreme Pro memory cards with my DSLR. These memory cards prevent many issues with photography and video that happen with lower quality memory cards.
4-In-One Travel Tripod for cameras, smartphones and doubles as a selfie stick, monopod and as trekking poles! Made with durable and lightweight (2.8 lbs.) aluminum alloy, and it’s super affordable.
Portable External Hard Drive: Seagate is one of the best brands for these, and they hold up well – plus, this one is 2TB so it’ll last awhile!
Camera case insert bag: My new obsession: it’s water-resistant, and it fits into any backpack or bag! I use this to switch between my carry-on backpack and day pack.
Photography Gear Posts
Best Camera Straps for Backpacking
The Best Cameras for Surf Photography for Every Skill Level
5 Best DSLR Cameras Under $300
Flight Search Engines
WayAway is a flight aggregator that helps you find the cheapest flights and gives you cash back! Use MUKI-TRAVELS for 10% off WayAway Plus.
Google flights is my go-to for searching for flights at the cheapest rates from the airlines.
Kiwi Nomad is great for planning for multiple locations in one trip – they find the best and cheapest options combining flights, buses and trains.
Travel Credit Card
I use the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card, which gives me points that I can use on travel and is one of the best all-around travel cards for points!
Where to Find Places to Stay
Airbnb – Where I find most of my accommodation, because it’s cheaper than hotels and more comfortable than hostels – though they also have private rooms in hostels sometimes, which I’ve stayed in as well. These are excellent for longer stays, too.
VRBO – Like Airbnb, you can find places to stay that aren’t hotels.
Booking.com – The top accommodation booking platform in the world, with no booking fees.
Budget & Working Accommodations
Working In A Hostel: Everything You Need To Know In 2023
Hostelworld – A search engine to find hostels.
Trusted Housesitters – If you’re not allergic to animals (like I am), you can sign up for this. There’s a yearly fee, but you get housesits and you can stay free while caring for people’s pets!
Couchsurfing – Where to find places you can stay on people’s couches and save a lot of money.
WWOOF – A platform that connects people with organic farms where you can stay for a few hours of work per day.
Allianz (This is what I use through my AAA membership)
Travel Credit Cards with insurance: Many travel credit cards have some insurance for travel. For instance, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is what I use, and it includes insurance for rental cars and baggage. Check with your card to see what’s included!
Where To Find Group Tours + Activities
Airbnb Experiences – Book short experiences and tours wherever you are, in advance up to last-minute depending on the tour!
The following booking sites have short term, skip-the-line tickets, classes, walking tours, outdoor adventures and up to multi-day tours around the world with unique offerings, so feel free to explore them all:
Trafalgar Tours – Longer group tours, around 7-10 days on average.
Big Bus Tours – Open-air bus sightseeing tours, river cruises, and walking tours.
Internet and Phone Options for International Travel
SIM cards: Getting a SIM card upon arrival is the best option – it’s easy and makes sure you have Internet and phone service with the best price!
Airalo eSIM is the world’s first eSIM store, already used by over 1 million travelers. With Airalo, you can download and install a digital data pack for over 200 countries/regions and get connected anywhere in the world as soon as they land.
Google Fi: This is Google’s phone plan, and it works all over the world. You only pay for the data you use (or you can get unlimited data).
VPN: If you’re working abroad especially, you need a VPN. It protects your data from being seen when using WiFi service and also lets you change your location online (so you can do things like get your favorite Netflix show back). ExpressVPN is the one I use.
Where To Find Rental Cars & Transportation
Kiwi.com – to find and book cheap trains and buses
Look these up wherever you download apps:
GetTransfer: Booking site for transfers and car rentals
Kiwitaxi: International airport transfers in 100 countries
Flixbus: Train travel with the largest transport network through Europe
Rome2Rio: This tells you options for how to best get from one location to another with prices.
Ways To Get Around
Obviously, Google Maps is the most common and you can pre-download maps so you don’t have to rely on Internet. But, if you’re having issues you can also use:
More Travel Tips
43 Flying Hacks For Solo Overseas Travel (Step-by-Step)
LyricalHost: I use Lyrical for my website hosting, and they’re the absolute best with customer service, site speed and more! Use the code MUKI10 for 10% off your first hosting plan payment.
WordPress: I use WordPress.org to make and design my website.
Adobe Creative Suite: I use Lightroom and Photoshop to edit photos, plus other programs for logo and graphic design and video editing.
Canva: I use Canva to make quick, simple graphics for my site.