Here are all our favorite tools and resources that have helped us travel with ease and tools that also helped us grow a successful travel blog over the last 6 years. Because of my maximizer personality, I am always comparing, cross-referencing, and looking for the best products and services that can improve our travels (you should see my NYC excel sheet). You may also find that we’re a tad obsessed with finding ways to pack lighter, smarter, and smaller. Check back often to see updates on our newest finds.
Disclosure: Many of the links below are affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on sales that are linked at no additional cost to you. Read our full disclosure for more info. This helps us keep the site running, so thank you for supporting the brands that make Local Adventurer possible. We use and love everything listed below, but please read all the reviews and only make purchases that are a good fit for you.
If you feel there’s something missing from our list or if you have any questions about any of these companies, please feel free to reach out to us on social or email. We’d love to hear from you.
If you’re looking for a simple rewards program, Hotels.com is for you. Stay 10 nights, get one free!
Once you book your hotel, email your reservation to [email protected]. They offer an interesting service where, at no cost to you, they monitor the price of your room. If the price doesn’t change, your booking stays the same. If it does drop between when you book and when you stay, they will send you an email to let you know how to book it at the lower price. It’s like travel insurance that costs you nothing!
Transportation + Tours
An amazing company that lead epic bucket list hikes around the world. They support local communities by working with local guides.
- Luggage Hero – If you ever have a long layover or need to store your luggage while you’re out adventuring, check out Luggage Hero. You can search by city, find a convenient location, and pay by the hour or day.
For the best Cash Back cards, check out and compare them on this list. We used to use these type of cards until we started traveling more.
We use the Adobe Suite for all our photos and video. We mostly edit in Lightroom and Photoshop for photos, and use Premiere for all our video edits.
Favorite Camera Gear
- Canon 5D Mark IV (We bring our Mark III when we need two cams.)
- Sony RX100 Mark IV (up to VII now) – I’ve taken this camera through the wringer. It’s beat up and needs an upgrade but still shoots beautiful slo-mo.
- DJI Mavic II with Smart Controller – Recently added to our collection. Also got the Sandmarc ND Filters, which has improved the photos and video a ton!
- Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L – This is our favorite lens that always goes with us whenever we travel. Nothing else quite shoots this sharp.
- Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L – A huge lens that’s annoying to carry around, but we always regret not bringing it with us. It takes all our best portrait shots.
- Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 – We only bring this along for astrophotography or when I know I’ll be in tight spaces where my 35 won’t be wide enough.
- MeFoto Globetrotter Air Tripod – Very packable tripod that we throw into our carry on.
- GorillaPod – We mainly use this for our video point-and-shoot since we’re always shooting both photo and video simultaneously. If you want to go extra light, and you aren’t in a time crunch, then you can travel with this alone.
- Peak Design Everyday Backpack – Used day-to-day in the city.
- Peak Design Everyday Sling – When we only need the camera.
- Wandrd Prvke Backpack – Current travel backpack (fits one camera + extra lens + drone).
- Lowepro Whistler Backpack – For outdoor adventures when I need more support.
Check out Blue Host and Host Gator. They offer great prices and options no matter what size you are.
Here’s a list of all our affiliate partners.
This Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 is a beast of a charger. It can charge two devices at once, and you can even charge a new MacBook pro on it. We actually use this quite often in NYC.
We’ve tested out a few, and this Skyroam one is a solid wifi option for traveling. You can connect up to 5 devices so we always travel with it to stay connected.
This is such a great small sling perfect for carrying around your every day items. We use a few other backpacks for when we need to carry more detailed below.
OUR GO TO TRAVEL GEAR
- TRAVEL ADAPTER – This has been a game changer! It has adapters for any country and acts as a power strip too.
- HEADLAMP – It’s always a good idea to bring a headlamp. It’s especially great for camping and astrophotography, but we’ve also used them in countries where the electricity goes out or during storms and power outages.
- TRAVEL TOWEL – Light and packable towel.
- Platypus SoftBottle – This water bottle comes with me on every trip because it’s so lightweight and takes up practically no space when it’s empty.
- Hydro Flask – If you’re going to be out in cold or hot temperatures, this water bottle is great to bring hot soup or keep your water cold.
- Peak Design Everyday Sling – This is such a great small sling perfect for carrying around your every day essentials without the burden of a full on backpack. I usually pack in a DSLR, one lens, a thin layer, and a few small items. Can fit a small tablet but not a laptop.
- Peak Design Everyday Backpack – Easily the most used bag we have and one we get the most compliments on. Great to store camera gear, laptop, and other travel essentials. It also gives easy access to your camera without having to take off the backpack. You can also take out the dividers if you don’t travel with camera gear.
- Wandrd Prvke Backpack – Our newest addition used as our travel backpack. We currently fit 1 DSLR + lens + extra lens + drone.
- Peak Design Everyday Sling – This is our go-to bag when we need to bring our camera gear on hiking and outdoor adventures. Rugged build, supportive straps, and great for organizing all your camera gear. You can also access everything without taking the bag off or sitting down.
- Sharmbaa – Always travel with both the lighter one and the fleece. The fleece can be worn 4 ways and the knit one can be worn 5+. I usually wear the knit as a scarf, a light cardigan, or a head covering if I’m in conservative countries or visiting a church or mosque. The fleece I use as a blanket too on the plane.
- Arc’teryx Beta SL Hybrid Jacket – Rain jacket for travel and outdoors.
- Arc’teryx Down Jacket – Keeps me warm and packs light.
- Arc’teryx Fleece Jacket – So comfy and warm!
- ExOfficio Underwear and Boxer Briefs – Their slogan is “7 countries. 6 weeks. One pair of award-winning underwear. (Ok, maybe two.).” We have yet to travel that light, but we’ve had occasions where we needed to wash and rewear them. They dry quick.
- Under Armor Sandals – Super lightweight and comfortable.
Favorite Outdoor Gear
We shop at REI for 90% of our outdoor gear. The staff is friendly and can usually speak to a lot of the products. Plus they have one of the best return policies around.
A lot of outdoor gear doesn’t fit us well, but we really like how Patagonia fits. We usually keep an eye on their site to pick up items when they’re on sale.
Arc’teryx is our new gear obsession. They create some really quality gear that we’ve brought on our recent adventures.
OUR FAVORITE OUTDOOR GEAR
Camping / Hiking
- Platypus Big Zip LP Reservoir – Always have enough water and easy access to it with this reservoir. We switched from Camelbaks because these are way easier to fill and clean.
- REI Co-op Magma Sleeping Bag – Lightweight 3 season bag.
- Exped Syn Mat Hyperlite Sleeping Pad – We both have this one. Packs really small!
- Big Agnes Copper Spur UL 2 Tent – We have the older version of this tent and still love it. It’s great for backpacking.
- Osprey Ace 50 Pack – We’ve had Osprey bags for over 8 years and love them. Esther uses a kid’s bag because it fits better. This is the women’s one I would have picked out if I had a bigger frame.
- Osprey Aether 70 AG Pack – Can you tell we love the Osprey bags!
- REI Co-op Flash Carbon Trekking Poles – We’ve traveled with these with no issues on several international hiking trips.
- Exped Summit Lite 25L Day Pack – In case you need something packable and lightweight for short day hikes.
- Yeti Cooler – Perfect for keeping all our goodies cool.
- Jetboil – All we use to cook!
- Leatherman Multi-tool – Always good to be prepared.
- Danner Men’s Vertigo 917 – Great men’s urban shoe but is also waterproof so it’s ready for any situation
- Danner Women’s Mountain Light Cascade Hiking Boots – Women’s urban shoes good for the city and outdoors
- Danner Mountain 600 Hiking Boots – Our go-to hiking boots!
- Yak Trax Diamond Grip Traction – A must for winter hiking.
- Arc’teryx Delta LT Jacket – Perfect mid-weight fleece jacket.
- Arc’teryx Cerium LT Down Hoodie – My favorite jacket for cold weather – it’s unbelievably warm and packs down so small.
- Columbia Saturday Trail Convertible Pants – Go to hiking pants.
- Mountain Hardwear Dragon Pants – Awesome for cooler weather!
- Mountain Hardwear Exponent Pants (Womens + Mens) – For any really wet adventures. It’s not as breathable, but they’re the most waterproof option we’ve tried.
- Five Ten Anasazi MoccAsym Climbing Shoes – Jacob’s first pair of climbing shoes. He loved them so much they have holes in them, so they need to get them resoled.
- La Sportiva Finale Climbing Shoes – These are Jacob’s current everyday climbing shoe.
- Scarpa Instinct – They’re aggressive, but these are my favorite shoes. I have small feet but need a wide toe box and I’ve tried pretty much ALL of them.
- Metolius Dust Bin – We mainly boulder, so we use this chalk bag most often.
- Arc’teryx Aperture Chalk Bag – We love how compact it gets and the closure keeps all the chalk in unlike most chalk bags with a cinch on top. Great for sport and trad climbing and travel.
- Metolius Wood Grips II – For finger board training at home.
- Metolius Hand Repair Balm – We use this for post climbing to help our hands recover.
- Metolius Inferno Wiregate Carabiner Quickdraw – We don’t do as much sport climbing but have started to gather the basic gear once we live closer to a good sport climbing spot.
- Metolius Session Crash Pad – For outdoor bouldering!
- Frictionlabs Liquid Chalk – I get really sweaty hands.
City Bucket Lists + TRAVEL TIPS
“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust
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