Essential Travel Items for Exploring International Cities

Keen Targhee 3 Waterproof Hiking Shoes

*** Last Updated: August 2023 ***


TL;DR (Just take me to the list of Must-Have Travel Accessories)


I’ve been traveling internationally for many years. A few times a year, I check the internet to see if there is something new or innovative that will make my international travel better. I’ve read many helpful articles and blogs about the must-have travel items and gear to bring. The best travel items make my travel easier, safer, and more comfortable; they often save me money.


All the best travel clothing or items I write about are travel products I have purchased and used. I do a lot of research on each travel product before I buy online. I read several travel blogs and review online shopper ratings. I make my final purchase decisions based on my research and if the travel item fits within my budget.


As I explore more countries and cultures, I’ve become more of a minimalist and get almost disgusted when I return to the U.S. and see how much money is wasted on luxury brands, throwing away items that can be repaired, and the want to have DOZENS of shirts, shoes, and pants. With this in mind, along with making my international travel easier, safer, more comfortable, and a good value, I strive to find products that last long or are more sustainable.


Here are all the travel products that I’m actually using now…


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Anker USB-C 6' Cable

Anker USB-C 6ft Cable – Two of them!


Not too short, not too long. Just right.


One 6′ USB-C cable for the nightstand so I don’t have to teeter on the edge of the bed while I binge-watch the latest series after a long day of exploring. This one stays at the AirBnB or hotel. And I got a light-colored USB-C, so I can actually see it.


And another USB-C cable for my canvas briefcase so I don’t have to put my laptop on the edge of tables at cafes or coworking spaces while I blog about my travels. I got a Light Green USB-C 6ft Cable so it doesn’t get lost on the dark floors of coffee shops and someone trips on it.


Cotopaxi Allpa Travel Pack 35L

Cotopaxi Allpa Travel Pack 35L


I do not check-in baggage because it costs extra, creates more wait time, and increases the chances of lost luggage.


Keen Targhee 3 Waterproof Hiking Shoes

KEEN Targhee Waterproof Hiking Shoes


At the risk of looking like I’m gonna hike in the Amazon jungle instead of walking in concrete jungles, my first footwear choice is a low-top hiking shoe. I used to think traveling with the lightest and most breathable shoes were best for travel. I learned the hard way when I broke my foot on the ubiquitous sidewalk potholes in Latin America while I was wearing Crocs!


Brand isn’t important…they all seem to be a blend of plastic derivatives, canvas, adhesive, and foams. I haven’t experienced much difference in durability between mid-tier and premium brands. And when I travel to Mexico, Peru, Nicaragua, or any other Latin American country, I don’t want to flash that I’m wearing $400 or more hiking boots. I’ve tried Columbia, Oboz, Salomon, Keen, and others.


I’ve worn low-top, mid-top, and full-on high-top boots all in search of the best support and comfort. After a lot of research on orthopedic websites, I now know that hiking boots don’t offer more support than hiking shoes when it comes to strolling cobblestone streets. To keep my luggage lightweight, I choose low or mid-top hiking shoes. The most important features are heel support and toe protection. And I make sure it is waterproof.


Bellroy Via Work Bag 14L Laptop Messenger Bag

Bellroy Laptop Messenger Bag 14L


I used to carry a backpack and look like I was going camping every time I was in a coffee shop.


Smartwool Best Wool Clothing for Travel

Smartwool Wool Clothing


I’ve been a wool clothing snob for some years now. I always thought wool was for wintertime and, except for expensive cashmere, that it was itchy. Nowadays, wool and wool blends can be worn in any season and don’t itch at all.


Wool is the ideal material for travel clothing because it is perfect for layering, is breathable, wicks moisture, dries quickly, and resists wrinkles and odors! The only negatives this wonder material has is that it can be pricey and sometimes pilling occurs. So wool lets me pack fewer shirts, socks, and underwear because of the ease of washing and odor resistance.


I’ve tried many wool brands like Smartwool, WoolX, Unbound Merino, Western Rise, Icebreaker, and Warrior (socks). I absolutely love my Unbound Merino hoodie. But my go-to brand is Smartwool. I love their pocket t-shirts, socks, and underwear. I haven’t yet tried any wool pants or shorts as it seems the focus for wool clothing companies is baselayers, outerwear, socks, and underwear.


I did recently discover Merino Tech; they have a wide selection of apparel and great value.

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