Today marks half a year on the road for us! So today we will answer the question we get asked quite often – What gear do you use? How do you take your photos? Where do you edit your photos? How can you carry all this around? Thus, we have listed the best travel gear that works for us and that we use as content creators. Well, there is no secret that we travel with only our carry on most of the time. That is a part of our “Traveling the world cheap“ approach, thus we try to use as little equipment as possible. The outcome is quite the opposite and 70 % of our bag content is electronics. That leaves us with 2 T-shirts and 2 pairs of socks! Okay, just kidding, it is not that bad. Let’s dive in!
Best Travel Gear | WHAT WE USE TO CREATE CONTENT
|PRODUCT NAME||IMAGE||SHORT DESCRIPTION||PRICE RANGE||BUY HERE|
|Apple MacBook Air 13||Great battery life, extremely portable, regular 3.0 USB ports||$$|
|Apple Macbook Pro||Retina display, power house, touch bar||$$$|
|Sony A7R II||affordable full-frame camera, lightweight, does wonders||$$$|
|Sony SEL28F20 FE 28mm f/2||High quality, affordable prime lens, great for travel photography and vlogging||$$|
|Hoya 67mm Circular Polarizer Filter||Removes reflections form non-metallic surfaces, colors appear more saturated and clear||$$|
|FosPower 10200 mAh Power Bank||water-resistant, shock-proof, portable||$|
|Apple iPhone X 64GB||Super Retina HD Display, 4K video, 12MP||$$$|
|Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 32GB||Emergency phone you are not scared to lose, use it for maps and when going to shady places||$|
|GoPro Hero5 Black||Water-resistant, 4k videos, 12MP photos||$$|
|JOBY GorillaPod||Stand strong, capture superior perspective, set up with ease||$|
|Zhiyun Crane||Great battery life up to 6 hrs, rotates 360 and have 3 axis gimbal control||$|
|Rode VideoMic Me||High quality directional microphone, very small, comes with a 3.5 plug||$|
|WD 2TB My Passport External Hard Drive||Auto backup, password protection, reimagined design||$|
|FosPower 10200 mAh Power Bank||Rugged high capacity, built-in short-circuit, over-charge, and over-heat protection||$|
|XD Design Bobby anti-theft backpack||Cut-proof design, hidden zipper and secret pockets||$|
|Mavic Air Drone||Lightweight, great photos and videos, vloggers/bloggers must-have||$$|
Best Photo & Video Travel Gear
Not all travelers would carry around as much electronics as we do, so by no means, you should have all that, but it is still worth checking out and choosing some essentials. However, this is what we use to maintain our blog, Instagram, and film some videos for Youtube and do a couple of freelance jobs here and there.
1.1. Apple MacBook Air
Kris’s humble servant. It works smoothly with photo editing and you can edit videos on the good old Mac as well. If you are shooting 4K you might experience some lag, so we suggest going for the Apple MacBook Pro 13″ straight away. Thus eventually if you upgrade your camera you do not have to worry about the computer being slow.
Pros: It’s lightweight (2.96 lbs/1.34 kg) and extremely portable. The battery life of MacBook Air is 14 impressive hours, which is great when you don’t have a place to plug in. It has regular USB ports to plug and charge most of your electronics, while other Macs don’t have this feature.
Cons: It has a 5th generation processor inside, while the newer models run on the 7th generation already. If you are planning to buy a laptop that will run smoothly long-term, you might as well pay the extra $ 200 for the MacBook Pro 13″.
1.2. Apple MacBook Pro
This one is Linda’s go-to laptop. It has a touch bar and a retina display. As Linda edits a lot of photos, the retina display is such a great thing to have. Touch bar makes things easier as well. It is fast with 16GB RAM and it looks so silk and smooth. Well, we are Apple fans, so this laptop is as good as it can get (for us).
Pros: It is great for video and photo editing. It can take some heavy usage so, fear not (Star Wars reference) to run programs, render and edit photos/videos and not have a single lag.
Cons: As Apple products tend to be, it is quite expensive. However, once again, if you invest in good gear it will last longer and make your life so much easier. It is worth the money. By the way, if a price is a bit too high (as it was for us) look for a refurbished model on Amazon or a used one! Great way to get the same thing for half the price.
2. Great Camera for Travel Photography and Videos
2.1. Sony a7R II
This is the best camera we have ever held in our hands. We love it, it is really the best thing that could have happened in the full-frame camera market. Sony has done a great job with this beauty, it shoots flawlessly and most importantly it is perfect in low light! Thus, it is great for video shooting!
Pros: Sony a7R II has 42 megapixels, super sharp focus when paired with good lenses and it is a great full frame, professional option for a reasonable price.
Cons: It is quite expensive if you do not want to shoot professionally. However, we strongly encourage getting this camera as it will not disappoint and you will step up your photo game for about 100 levels.
3. Lenses We Use for Travel Video and Photography
Sony E-mount prime lens. It is fast, it is sharp, it is quiet. Perfect for everyday photography and even more so for traveling. Great for vlogging as well as filmmaking. Bokeh is very smooth as well. Great overall lens if you do not want to carry many different lenses.
Pros: It is a very good Sony lens for a very good price. The quality is very high and it is a great native lens thus works perfectly with Sony 7 series.
Cons: It is a prime lens so it cannot zoom in and out, thus you will have to either walk closer or step back to get the right framing. As long as you do not shoot macro or wildlife, you are perfectly fine with this one!
Great standard F4 aperture zoom lens which maintains the F4 aperture regardless of the focal length. With a minimum focus distance of only 0.38 m, it is a versatile companion to have. The photos come out insanely sharp and there is almost no distortion. This lens is very universal and great for travel photography as well as portraits. The universal zoom gives this lens so many uses! Most of the time we have this baby on our camera! We love taking portraits so this lens does the job flawlessly and for twice less than its famous predecessor Sony 24-70 F/2.8 GM.
Pros: It is very universal and great for all-around professional photography and filmmaking. It is quite lightweight compared to what the lens can do.
Cons: Honestly, we don’t know. Haven’t had any complaints and cannot think of anything wrong with this lens. Perhaps it’s quite pricey? Being above $1000, but then again, it is a professional lens.
4. Polarizer Filter for Landscape Photography
This filter is absolutely amazing. If you are a travel blogger, photographer or just a travel enthusiast polarizer filter will come in handy very often. Actually, we keep the filter on all the time. The purpose of it is to increase the color contrast, enhance blues and greens and remove the reflection from surfaces such as water and glass. The water becomes transparent and the sun reflection is eliminated. It is a must!
Pros: Very useful when shooting nature and landscapes. You can have an insight on how it works here, great tutorial.
Cons: It might darken your photos for one or two F stops. However, during the editing process, you can easily brighten the image to your taste.
5.1. Apple iPhone X
This guy serves as our main Instagram story tool and it takes awesome photos on the go too. We believe that this is the best phone to take photos and videos on. (Until Huawei will rock the market with one of their future phones.) We waited so long to get this phone and both of our previous phones died and it was not available for purchase in the remote locations we were traveling through. It shoots beautiful 4K videos, the colors are amazing and you can get cinematic shots with the newest iPhone on almost the same level as with some professional cameras. It is 2 in 1, because, hey, its also a phone! Check out our youtube channel for some video samples from the very beginnings when we shot them on iPhone X.
Pros: Its lighter than any camera, gimble for a phone and a mic for a phone are cheaper than the same gear for another camera. You can take pictures and videos and share them directly on Instagram or Youtube if you want to. Plus, it is a great phone. iPhone is great for beginner bloggers and vloggers.
Cons: It is quite expensive and you can buy a camera for the same price, but then again you get a phone and a great camera for the price of one. You have to be gentle with it and get a screen protector just to be on the safe side, as Apple service is quite costly.
Don’t ask! This is the phone we bought when one of our iPhones got stolen and the other one decided to go sleep with the fishes. We needed maps, so this was our solution. Xiaomi is a cheap Chinese smartphone. It takes pride in having a 12 MP camera and a dual sim. Actually, the dual sim feature is pretty cool as we could put in both – local sim and our Dutch sim card as well. This is the phone we take with us when we feel we might get drunk or if we go to questionable places. Also, when driving a scooter to check maps, so if someone snatches it – I’m sorry for their bad catch! We strongly recommend having a throwaway phone.
Pros: It’s cheap and has a dual sim. It’s quite useless apart from its sole purpose – backup phone.
Cons: The quality is exactly as cheap as the price suggests.
6. Action Camera
6.1. GoPro Hero 5 Black
Everyone has a GoPro nowadays. Even 5-year-olds do. This was one of the first cameras we have ever bought. We do not use it much, though, as we are not the “cliff jumping, free diving, extreme sports” types. However, it is great to have it if you are an adventurous spirit and love being in the water. It’s robust, indestructible and waterproof. It is also quite cheap and you can film almost everything on it as well as take pictures. You could make fun movies and exciting Instagram pictures by just using a GoPro.
Pros: GoPro Hero 5 is waterproof and versatile. It is super tiny so you can carry it with you everywhere you go.
Cons: The quality is not as good as a DSLR or iPhone X, and the audio is not excellent either. But for an all rounder this is a perfect starting gear.
7. Best Universal Tripod for Travel
7.1. JOBY GorillaPod
You have seen them everywhere, haven’t you? Each vlogger has a GorillaPod. However, it is not meant only for vlogging and selfies. This tripod is perfect for so many things. You can use it as a usual tripod, but then you wrap it to hold onto almost everything. We use it with both, our DSLR camera and our iPhone X for photos and videos. It is the best alternative if you do not want to buy multiple different tripods.
Pros: It can hold some serious weight (it’s built like a tank) and JOBY GorillaPod is versatile. There are endless ways you can shape it and wrap it. The ball head is super easy to use.
Cons: It is quite heavy and bulky. JOBY is also not the cheapest brand for gorillapods, however, there are so many copies out there that resemble the original almost identically and for 3 times less the price.
8. Best Lightweight Stabilizer / Gimbal for Travel Videos
8.1. Zhiyun Crane
Our filming experience has changed by about 180 degrees since we bought a gimbal. It is such a great add-on to have if you want to produce smoother, more professional videos. Zhiyun is an amazing product and Crane model is specifically made for cameras up to 1,8kg and also Sony A series. It is big time cheaper than the crane gimbals used for big cameras, thus another bonus of filming with Sony A7 series SLR if you want to save some money or are just starting out. You can also use a stabilizer to vlog and film yourself, thus if you believe you do not need a tripod, you can just get by with a stabilizer alone. Your filming quality will improve big time.
Pros: Insane battery life of up to 6 filming hours. It can hold up to 1,8kg heavy cameras. Zhiyun Crane comes with a very cool, hard carry case which might raise questions at the airports, hahaha. It is made of smooth metal, so seems it can take some beating.
Cons: It spins uncontrollably if you leave it on and release the handle. The carry bag and the crane weight around 3kgs, so if you travel with only carry on you will have to sacrifice your clothes for your gear! However, we love filming so we love this crane!
9. External Microphone for Travel Vlogging
9.1. Rode VideoMic Me
An external microphone is so important for us. Whenever we vlog we use it attached to our Sony A7R ii with a converter plug. You can also attach it to your phone. Rode VideoMic Me is magical. It comes with a “dead cat” windshield so you can vlog in whatever weather conditions and your voice will be recorded beautifully. It is wireless, easy to plug in and so small, but does the job perfectly.
Pros: It is lightweight, great quality and well built. It is perfect for basic vlogging and voice recording. Eliminates the surrounding sounds perfectly.
Cons: It might be tricky to connect it with iPhone 7 and up at first, but as long as you have the lightning to 3.5 mm headphone jack converter that comes with the phone you will be alright. To make it universal and use it with your big camera as well, you will need a converter as well. However, the benefits completely outweigh the drawbacks.
10. External Hard Drive
If you take many photos in high resolution and film many videos you will need an external hard drive to store all your files. This especially applies to 4K videos who take up enormous amounts of space. Also, if you travel for a longer period of time you will end up running out of space on your computer eventually. If you have a hard drive you can safely store all your files and access them anytime you want. We lived without an external hard drive for almost half a year and stored everything online. Taking into account the internet speed around Asia, it was a nightmare getting access to our online storages. We wasted so much time not being able to do anything. Get an external hard drive and don’t make our mistake!
Pros: You can safely store all your files and you do not have to worry you will run out of space on your computer. Shoot as much as you want.
Cons: Make sure to back up the most important files you have on another storage, offline or online. From time to time these storages give up on you or might get stolen. It is just a precautionary measure and not really a con.
11. Power Bank
The power bank is any travelers’ must have. Batteries go flat, power cuts do occur and you end up being in remote places at some point along the way. If you have a power bank you do not have to worry about getting lost or left without a connection. If you use your phone for maps every day as we do, power bank comes in handy even on usual travel days. Power banks are not expensive so we highly recommend getting one.
Pros: You have to have one, whatever price or brand you choose. They all seem to be equally reliable. Pick a waterproof and shockproof one.
Cons: There are really none we could think of.
12.1 Mavic Air
Well, every single travel blogger/vlogger can make great use of a drone. Areal video and photography are becoming more and more popular, thus drone is a great asset to have. It is small, it is lightweight. It shoots 4K and the battery life is 21 minute, which is great taking into account drone’s size.
Pros: It makes great pictures and brings vlogging to the next level. Having incredible areal pictures is so, so beneficial. The price is not as high as it was when drones started to become popular so you can easily afford one now.
Cons: There are some countries you are not allowed to bring in the drone. For example, Morocco, UAE, Cuba etc. so be sure to check out the regulations before you pack and go, otherwise, the drone will be confiscated. Also, if you are not careful enough and fly it in big winds or, with many obstacles around, you might easily crash it.
Best Travel Gear – Accessories
1. Gear Backpack / Laptop Bag
Our beloved laptop/gear bag. It fits two laptops, chargers, and a DSLR camera, as well as our passports and wallet. It is meant to fit only one laptop and some accessories though. You can use this innovative bag as your day bag as well. It has a USB charger to charge your phone and the anti-theft design is really cool. It is quite indestructible and made of great materials, thus it will last a long time. We got this bag for free with our MacBook Air purchase as a gift. We probably would have bought a cheaper replica and regretted it later. This bag is such a great addition to our usual backpacks and we take it with us everywhere we go.
Pros Sleek design and very good quality. It can hold a lot of your gear so it is very convenient for day trips. The bag has many secret pockets to store all your valuables. It comes in many cool colors and the brand is known worldwide.
Cons It is advertised as being shockproof. Well, I dropped it and due to the impact bent corners of both of our laptops. It’s my fault, though. However, do not throw it around and be gentle with your gear.
TravelLit Best Travel Gear Summary
That is all we carry around with us as we go. It is the best travel gear (for us) and we highly recommend all of these products. All of them do a great job for our needs and are completely sufficient for our blog, Instagram, and Youtube. You can buy just a couple of these things, for example, Apple iPhone X, Tripod and a MacBook Air and you will have a great starting pack. As you go you can create your own best travel gear list with your favorite go-to travel gear.
Note: If you carry many valuables with you, we highly recommend insuring your stuff! First thing, of course, is to get insurance for yourself, but adding luggage insurance is a great add-on! World Nomads is the best insurance out there! Better safe than sorry, right?
If you want to know more about any of the products or receive a more throughout review, just let us know in the comments and we will be happy to advise! Share with us what is your best travel gear and your go to video and photo equipment!