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At the time of purchase, this was the cheapest Canon that featured HD video recording. It’s a fairly bulky camera body, but the image quality means I’ve never resented a single ounce.

My go-to lens! This rarely leaves my camera. At its widest it’s perfect for cityscapes and interior shots while being long enough to capture detail when I want to get in a bit closer. 

I bought this with gift money that I was told to “spend frivolously.” Though I admit it rarely gets used, it’s perfect for wildlife photography and capturing stunning portraits on the sly.

A must for capturing HD video with a dSLR camera. I always go for the maximum GB possible in order to avoid missing a great shot while frantically clearing out old photos.

While I primarily use this camera with its underwater housing as a diving setup, I sometimes use it on land when I can’t be bothered hauling my dSLR around. The Canon S100 is a fabulous camera for travelers – find a full review here!

All underwater shots on my site (from June 2012, earlier photos are with a previous model) are taken with this impressive little housing. I use it for everything from scuba diving to snorkeling, from paddleboarding to playing in the pool!

This extremely generous gift from a friend has been so fun to play with. As a huge adventure sport enthusiast I get a lot of use out of this little camera – it has come with me whitewater rafting, surfing, paragliding, and beyond.

I adore these programs. I use Adobe Bridge to organize and lightly edit all my photos, and open select ones in Adobe Photoshop to edit further. I do a lot of manual editing but will occasionally play with filters I’ve downloaded online.


Osprey has a lifetime guarantee on all products, meaning they will repair for any reason, any damage or defect. I put this warranty to the test three years in when I ripped the zipper out and they replaced it and mailed it back for free.

My carry-on bag, also known as my mobile office. It holds all my photography gear and electronics and has held up to the extreme weight of those items impressively over the years. One feature I love? A hidden laptop pocket in the back.

In the past, when I wanted to go on a day-trip that required a backpack, I had to empty my carry-on and repack it again after. Now, I just pull out my palm-sized Packable and go! Also great for avoiding plastic bag use on the road.

These work as a portable closet in my backpack, helping me stay organized as well as unpack and repack in seconds. I have two , a , and a .

Read more packing posts



After 90 seconds of agitation, tap water in locations from Thailand to Tunisia is safe to drink, saving the world from yet another single-use plastic water bottle. This purchase will eventually pay for itself! I love this option because it allows you to sterilize water for multiple travelers at once.

Simply fill the bottle from the tap and start to drink — the water will be sucked through the filter like a straw and immediately safe to drink. Again, a purchase that will pay for itself and reduce plastic use. I love this option because the gratification is instant, and no batteries are needed.

Solid shampoo bars are the equivalent of three bottles of the liquid version, and can be carried in reusable tins rather than in single-use plastic bottles. My brand of choice is Lush due to their commitment to eliminating packaging waste and fighting animal testing. Read a full review here.

Especially when traveling in Southeast Asia, where street food reigns supreme, styrofoam boxes and plastic forks are all too common. Take away your take-out guilt by packing your own supplies. This tupperware easily folds down and slips easily into the tiniest corner of your backpack.

Read more responsible travel posts


I can’t imagine my life without my MacBook Pro Retina Display with all the upgrades – I simply adore it. For performance, portability, and playing nice with my Adobe products, I couldn’t ask for a better fit. This blog would not exist without it!

I backup often using Apple’s Time Machine on a WD My Passport 1TB hard drive. I try to keep my laptop and hard drive stored and carried separately so I don’t lose both sets of my data in case of an emergency – a good habit to keep.


My site is hosted with love by , who also hold down the fort for all my site development projects. While it felt like a big investment to switch out from the low cost hosting services I started with, I have found that you get what you pay for.

Hannah and Lee are the geniuses behind this big beautiful website! They were an absolute dream to work with and I can’t recommend them more highly. They provide a wide range of services and are very reasonably priced.

This changed the way I looked at blogging and helped me move this site from a hobby to a business. The member’s group gives me inspiration, feedback, and assistance. I couldn’t ask for a better community!

This taught me the basics of professional blogging at an extremely affordable price. If you’re not ready to invest in Travel Blog Success just yet, this is a great way to get a basic grasp on the principles of blogging.

I have purchased themes from many different sites before, and Elegant Themes is my favorite. The price for access to all themes is extremely reasonable, and questions are quickly answered in the help forum.

When I first started blogging, Bluehost took care of my domain names and web hosting. As I expanded they no longer fit my growing needs, but I still recommend them to anyone setting up a new site.


Flights and Transportation

I generally use or  to search for flights. For domestic flights I check  directly as their itineraries don’t appear on booking engines, and they are my favorite US airline. For remote destinations I use Google (simply typing “____ to ____ flight” into the search bar) to check what low cost carriers fly the route, as they too might not appear on booking engines. On the ground, I walk or use public transportation when possible. I use Uber and Lyft as a cheap alternative to cabs — get a free ride of up to $20 with Uber , and up to $25 with Lyft !



Sometimes I book ahead of time, sometimes I just show up. For hostels, I check  and sort by rating to find a good fit. For hotels and guesthouses in Southeast Asia,  is my go-to. For apartment rentals, I check Flipkey and Airbnb — get $25 off your first booking by clicking . I often comb newsletter for cheap deals in big cities, and poke around  to see what’s available in a new destination. I always try Travelpony to see what kind of hotel deals they have — read my review here and get $35 off your first booking of $200 or more by clicking .


Travel Planning

When it comes to guide books, I’m a  girl through and through. I wait until they have big sales, announced via email, and snap up books or digital guides for all my upcoming destinations. My favorite feature? Being able to purchase a single downloadable chapter at a time online. On a tight budget? Libraries carry guidebooks too! For Southeast Asia trip planning,  is hands down the best resource on the internet.


Credit Cards and Travel Hacking

I’ve experimented with sign up rewards with Capital One Venture (my go-to card, highly recommended), Barclaycard Arrival (highly recommended), Starwood Amex (recommended), Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa (recommended), and Citibank Advantage (not recommended). I keep 2-3 cards active and set them to auto-pay in full. I rarely pay full price for flights anymore! Read more about my travel money management system here.

Read more planning posts


Every single product recommended on this page is something I personally use, and none are paid placements. Some of the above are affiliate links and I will earn a percentage of the sale if you purchase through them at no extra cost to you. This helps keep my site running – so thanks in advance for your support!