At the beginning of 2019, we were living a very different life. We had a beautiful apartment in San Diego, California with everything we could possibly want or need. But stuff isn’t everything, and life felt like it was passing us by. That’s why we eventually made the decision to quit our jobs and travel the world.

We sold pretty much everything we owned. Clothes, shoes, electronics, furniture, you name it. Our neighbors had a field day with our OfferUp listings. Only a few of our favorite things made it into our tiny storage unit. For everything else, we either sold it or gave it away.

Our two carry-on suitcases

After all, we were going to be traveling the world with only one carry-on suitcase each! And boy did we stuff those suitcases. We could literally barely zip them closed. When we set out with our way too heavy suitcases, we only made it as far as the LAX Airport before realizing that we couldn’t possibly take all this stuff with us.

We got rid of a ton of stuff. And do you know what? We don’t miss any of it! Most of the things we got rid of were duplicates or things that we would rarely use anyways.

BUT there are a few things that we would never dream of traveling without. It’s the things that we use every day, and make traveling so much better and easier.

What's In Our Suitcases? | Jack and Gab Explore

Here are 17 things we can’t travel without. Trust us, we’ve been on the road for over 8 months straight so we kind of know what we’re talking about 🙂

17 Things We Can’t Travel Without

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1. Anker Battery Pack


We use our iPhones all the time while traveling. We can’t even imagine how people traveled back when smart phones hadn’t been invented yet. Without Google Maps, we’d totally get lost all the time.

But what happens when your phone runs out of battery and you have no idea where you are, or how to get back to your hotel? That’s exactly the purpose of the Anker Battery Pack. It’ll charge your iPhone up to 7 times, so you never have to worry about running out of battery. It’s a total lifesaver on long travel days.

2. LifeStraw Water Bottle


We never even leave our hotel room without our LifeStraw Water Bottle. We both have one, and we’re convinced that it’s the best travel water bottle out there. It has a filter so you can drink the tap water in any country you visit. We’ve literally used them to drink river water in Bosnia…we’ve never once gotten sick.

Without having to buy plastic water bottles, it’ll save you money and it’s much better for the environment. Plus, it’s way more convenient to be able to drink the tap water than having to go to the store for a bottle of water.

3. Charles Schwab Debit Card

Charles Schwab Debit Card

When we first started traveling, we were just exchanging US money that we brought with us at currency shops. We quickly learned that it’s a total rip off to travel that way since they charge you huge commission fees. But with ATM fees and foreign transaction fees, we didn’t want to use our debit cards either.

Then someone told us about the Charles Schwab Debit Card. It lets you take money out of any ATM in the world for free! At the end of the month, they just refund you any ATM fees that you’ve been charged.

4. A Reversible Jacket

A suitcase only has so much room. Opting for versatile clothing helps make the most out of your limited suitcase space. A reversible jacket is the perfect way to make the most out of your space. One jacket, two looks. What’s not to like?

Many reversible jackets are even waterproof on one side and made for cold weather on the other side. That way, a little rain or unanticipated cold weather won’t spoil your travel fun.

We love this Men’s Reversible Jacket from Nautica and this Women’s Reversible Jacket from The North Face.

5. A Mobile Hotspot


Purchasing local SIM cards are the cheapest way to stay connected while you travel. But when you’re traveling with two people and have multiple devices, one SIM card doesn’t get you very far.

That’s why we purchased a mobile hotspot. Every time we enter a new country, we buy a SIM card and have them install it in our mobile hotspot. Then, we take it with us everywhere and it allows us to connect up to 10 devices to the password-protected network. Voila!

6. Comfy sneakers with gel insoles


It sounds silly, but we did not realize how much walking we’d be doing while traveling full-time. We definitely have days where we need to get work done and sit behind our computers, but most days we are out and about walking around.

To make sure our feet are comfortable and have good arch support, we both have a pair of durable sneakers with gel insoles. It makes it feel like you’re walking on a cloud.

7. An International Outlet Adapter

International Outlet Adapter

There’s nothing more inconvenient than trying to plug something in and realizing the outlet doesn’t match the plug. We’ve got an awesome international outlet adapter that works pretty much anywhere in the world to make sure that doesn’t happen.

It’s cool because it also has USB plugs so you can easily charge your phone and tablet, too. It’s worth it to spend a little more and get a good one so you know it’ll work well and be reliable.

8. Portable Hand Sanitizer

Hand Sanitizer 5 Pack

Traveling can be pretty germy. Especially when you’re stuck on a train that doesn’t have soap or running water, or you’re stuck on an airplane next to a guy who keeps sneezing.

To keep ourselves healthy, we always make sure to have a portable hand sanitizer handy. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve used it. We love this 5-pack of hand sanitizer from Bath & Body Works.

9. Our DJI Pocket Osmo

DJI Pocket Osmo

This is the best travel camera ever (in our opinion). It has a built in stabilizer so your footage is always smooth and professional, it shoots in 4K, and (the best part)…it fits in your pocket! We seriously love of DJI Pocket Osmo.

We bought one of those shortly before we left to travel and now it’s our favorite piece of camera equipment. If it were to break or we lost it, we would buy another in a heart beat.

10. A pair of thick, comfy socks

Thick comfy socks

This one is kind of random, but there is nothing better than going back to your hotel room after a long day of traveling and having a nice thick pair of comfy socks to put on. It makes you feel super cozy and comfortable..almost like you’re home 😉

Plus, these are great if you’re doing any hiking during your travels. They help prevent you from getting blisters or ticks.

11. Bar Shampoo

Shampoo Bar

We had never even heard of bar shampoo before we started traveling. It’s the perfect travel toiletry because you don’t have to worry about getting the right amount to go through security since it’s not liquid!

There are a ton of different types to choose from. Many are more natural alternatives to bottled shampoo, plus there’s way less plastic so it’s better for the environment.

12. Reusable grocery bags

Reusable Grocery Bags

Plastic bags are absolutely terrible for the environment. Many cities are even beginning to ban them outright! In Europe, almost every country we went to charges you for plastic bags when grocery shopping or clothing shopping.

We were so glad that we brought these fold up reusable bags. They’re so durable and great, plus they fold up super tiny so you can just put them in a purse or bag and forget about them until you need them.

13. A baseball cap

You’ve got to have something to protect your face from the sun, and what’s better than a nice sporty baseball cap? They’re great for keeping your hair out of your face on windy days. We almost always wear a baseball cap on travel days and to hide our bad hair days.

14. A crossbody bag


A crossbody bag is a blessing while traveling. They’re great for security for your belongings, because they go around your body so they’re harder to steal. We suppose the male equivalent would be a fanny pack?

15. An iPad fully stocked with books


Reading while traveling is so luxurious. It opens your mind while you’re already testing your limits in a new place. Unfortunately, physical books take up a lot of room and they’re heavy to carry.

We each have an iPad stocked with TONS of books so we can read on travel days, in parks, on the beach, etc. It’s way better than watching TV.

16. A travel-sized container of painkillers

Travel Sized Tylenol

You never know when disaster will strike. We have a travel-sized container of painkillers in Gab’s purse, and in both of our backpacks. They’ve come in handy more times that we can count.

17. An exercise band

Exercise Band

Staying fit while traveling has been one of the biggest challenges of being on the road full-time. We each have an exercise band in our suitcase and we love them. They roll up and take almost no space, and they let you get a really good arm workout in.

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17 Things We Couldn't Travel Without


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