Go See Do Photography

A Lot of Travel, A Little Bit of History, and a Whole Bunch of Photos

Tag: shopping

18 Things You Need For Your Next Trip

Plane WingSome of the links below are affiliate links and as such, I earn a small commission from purchases that allow me to continue telling you my stories without costing you anything extra. Prices listed are at time of reporting and are subject to change.

I don’t know about you, but I am always on the lookout for gear that will make traveling easier and more comfortable. Here are some of my favorites that I have found so far:

Luggage Photo

Hard-sided luggage: Hard-sided luggage is sturdier than the more traditional soft-sided and it is lighter so you can fill it up with more stuff before reaching the airlines’ weight limit. I have a complete set of the Amazon Basics brand and I have no complaints about them! The 26 inch (checked size) is $96.32 and 21 inch (carry- on size) is $76.04 on Amazon and is available in four colors.

Carryon Backpack: Sometimes to save money we will fly a budget airline that charges extra to check or carry on a hard-sided suitcase. In those cases, I can squeeze everything I need for a short trip into a personal item. But, since you’re carrying everything you need for the trip, that bag can get heavy so you will want something that is comfortable to carry around the airport. This large backpack is easy to pack, fits within the budget airlines’ personal item dimensions, and is $32.98 for a black backpack. Price varies for the other 5 colors.

Headphones: Most people love earbuds, but I can’t stand them. They hurt my ears. I’ve used over-the-ear headphones for years, but the big ones take up a lot of space in your bag. I love these headband-style headphones. They are so much more comfortable and don’t squish your head as much! And they double as a sleep mask. Bluetooth headband headphones is $17.95 on Amazon and is available in four different colors/patterns.

Cords

Cable organizer: Have you ever gotten to your Airbnb late at night and you just want to plug in your phone and put your head on the pillow but you can’t find your charger in the bottom of your bag? I love this cable organizer because everything is in one place. It does take a while to learn how to fold your long cables to fit in the small pockets, though. The small travel cable organizer is $11.99 on Amazon and is available in seven colors and three sizes.

Portable battery charger: Don’t let your electronics run out of battery when you are on the go! These little chargers had two recharges before needing to be plugged in themselves. And they fit right into the cord organizer I recommend above. 2 pack of USB Battery charges are $13.99 on Amazon and are available in two different colors.

Water bottle: Don’t get stuck paying airport prices for a bottle of water. Most airports have water bottle filling stations now so it’s easy to fill up after security. I like this one because you can clip it on the outside of your carryon and it doesn’t have a straw so it’s easy to clean while you’re out and about. This 26 oz bottle is $21.99 on Amazon.

Packing cubes: I am late to the packing cubes game but they really make packing easier. Sometimes when we travel we share a suitcase and these make it so much easier to determine whose clothes are whose and they seem to make the clothes fit better in the suitcase. If you haven’t jumped on the packing cubes train yet, I highly recommend it. Veken 6-piece packing cube set is $19.99 on Amazon.

Shoe bags: I used to always pack my shoes in plastic bags to keep the dirt from getting on my clothes. Then, I found these reusable drawstring bags for just that purpose! 6 pack travel shoe bag is $5.99 on Amazon.

Hanging Toiletry Bag: Hotel bathrooms never have enough counter space. Keep your things off the counter by using a hanging toiletry bag. I used to always have my makeup and my shower toiletries in separate bags, but now I just use this one bag with nine zipper pockets, and it’s all in one place! WANDF Hanging Toiletry Bag is $15.99 on Amazon. For shorter trips, this PAVILA Hanging Toiletry Bag holds travel-sized toiletries for $19.99 and is available in 6 different patterns.

Charger

USB Charging hub: A lot of hotel rooms don’t have enough plugs for all of our devices and most cruise lines no longer allow power strips. A USB hub allows you to charge all of your USB-powered devices at one outlet and you only have to carry one charger block in your cord organizer! 4 port USB adapter is $9.99 on Amazon.

Roku Stick: This is not something we take with us on all trips, but if we are going to be staying in hotels for a while, I don’t like to be stuck watching scheduled television. I cut the cord a long time ago and must prefer watching what I want when I want to watch it. Why does it seem like Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives is always on when you’re in a hotel? Roku Stick+ is 37.99 on Amazon.

Passport

Passport/Vaccine Card holders: On our last cruise, I literally kept our passports and vaccine cards in a Ziploc bag to keep from losing them. I got home and ordered these holders and they look so much nicer. They’re big enough that your documents won’t get lost in your bag. 2 Pack Vaccine Card Passport Holder is $10.99 on Amazon and is available in 15 different color combinations.

Neck pillow: If you’ve ever tried to sleep on a plane, you know that it is hard to get comfortable! This memory foam neck pillow bends to keep your head and neck straight or you can bend it to cushion your head against the window. Twist Memory Foam Neck Pillow is available on Amazon for $24.99 and in available in 5 different colors.

Airplane

Airplane footrest: Flying coach can get cramped and uncomfortable. This airplane footrest allows you to put your feet up and relax on those long flights and takes some pressure off your feet. It folds up small enough that it doesn’t take up too much space in your carry-on. Everlasting Comfort Airplane Footrest is $19.95 on Amazon.

Portable luggage scale: Have you ever packed your bag and headed to the airport, only to learn that your suitcase is three pounds over the weight limit and then have to scramble to move things into your carry-on? This small scale fits easily into your suitcase and allows you to weigh your bag before you get to the airport! Amazon Basics Portable Luggage scale is $10.34 on Amazon.

Scarf with hidden pocket: It’s frustrating when you get dressed and realize you don’t have any pockets! Add this scarf that will carry your phone and ID for you without being bulky! Pop Fashion Infinity Scarf is $10.00 on Amazon and is available in 6 colors to go with every outfit.

First Aid Kit

Travel first aid kit: Accidents happen everywhere, including on vacation. It’s good to always have a basic first aid kit with you on every trip. This 100-piece travel first aid is $14.95 on Amazon.

Travel pill organizer: I don’t have any prescriptions that I have to take every day, but I do travel with pain killers and allergy meds just in case we need them. I used to always keep them in Ziplock bags that took up way more space than they needed. Then, I found this handy pill organizer that lets me fit several weeks of the just-in-case meds that we may need when we are out and about. 2 piece Travel Pill Organizer is $6.48 on Amazon.

Thanks for stopping by! Do you have any must-have travel accessories that I forgot? Let me know in the comments! To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my updated Gear Page.

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What to look for in a camera

Photographing the Photographer

Chris photographing the Livingstone Lighthouse on Belle Isle.
I’m sure if you did a search for most commonly used phrases on this blog, the phrase, “you don’t need an expensive camera to take good pictures” would probably come out on top. This is something I mention a lot because I know the price of camera gear can hold photographers back from pursuing their hobby or make them think they can’t make good images on cheap gear and that is just not true. Yes, an interchangeable lens camera system (either DSLR or mirrorless) will make it easier to get quality shots, but the camera does not make the photographer. I figured its time to start a series of photo tips on the blog and I wanted to start at the beginning – choosing a camera. I won’t get into the Nikon vs. Canon debate (although I’m a Nikon shooter, only because it was cheaper that day) or DSLR vs. Mirrorless  (there’s a lot out there on this topic right now) but just simply what specs to look for when purchasing your first serious camera. Let’s get to it!

In my opinion, one of the biggest things you want to look for is that the camera has the capability to shoot in RAW. I didn’t understand what RAW was when I first got my DSLR so  up until recently I did all my shooting in JPEG. When I go back and look at those older images I’m frustrated because I’m unable to do as much to them as I am to RAW files. My friend Steve at Burnsland.com recently posted a great article about the power of RAW files that is a must read for anyone who is scared to switch from JPEG!

Another thing to look for when camera shopping, is manual controls – the ability to control your aperture and shutter speed and do it easily (a lot of cameras have the setting buried in menus and that’s no fun for anyone). To be able to get full control of your images, you’ll want to be able to control your depth of field and the motion in your shot and you just cannot do this in camera that will only shoot in fully programmed mode.

And then there’s the sensor size question but honestly, any camera on the market today has a big enough resolution for most of the things you’ll be doing and, if you ask me, some of these new giant megapixel cameras are kind of a gimmick. Go out on one shoot and your hard drive is full! It is important to note that with smaller image sizes it is harder to do any significant cropping to the image without taking a hit in quality. But, for the average photographer doing basic printing and online sharing, you’ll be fine with most any camera in today’s market.

Interchangable lenses like mirrorless and DSLR camera systems have are obviously a better but more expensive choice than a fixed lens camera. But, if your budget doesn’t allow for that, definitely consider something with a optical zoom (the lens comes out of the camera) over the strictly digital zoom (like an iphone camera). My first digital camera was strictly digital zoom and I hated it because the zoom was basically worthless; it made everything very noisy. But, if that’s all you can afford, you always have the old-fashioned zoom, your feet!

So, to recap, when looking for a camera look for the ability to shoot in RAW, manual controls, and optical zoom. If you’re looking for an entry-level DSLR, I highly recommend the Nikon D3x00 series (I have the D3100 but the D3300 has newer features). You can also get older cameras used for a good deal (although, this is where you’d have to watch out for megapixel count)!

Thanks for stopping by! Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on  Flickr! This month I am taking part of an Instagram Travel Challenge, posting a travel photo a day on Instagram and I’d love for you to follow along!

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