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Our Favorite Travel Gear 

Travel Gear - Home
Let It Work For You to Make Your Family Trips Easier

Our travels are easier because of the gear we choose to bring. As we share in many of our blog posts, each piece of gear is specifically picked based on our family's needs. Our favorite items are below, sorted by what's worked for us on plane trips, road trips (including ski trips), and clothing. Click on any of the items to learn more or order from Amazon. We're loyal Amazon Prime members because of the free shipping and easy (free) returns for all our travel - and everyday - gear.

Plane Trips
Travel Gear- Plane Trips

Plane trips for us start with fitting everything into a backpack that each person can carry. What they can't carry, the can't bring. Some packs are stuffed to the gills at initial departure, other packers are more selective to have room for souvenirs (and because more stuff = more weight!). We use 4 sizes - big for Dad, medium for Mom/older kids, smaller for elementary-aged kids, and then the daypack that folds into a self-sealing small ball that clips on one of the parents' pack. This last pack is either used as a second airplane carry-on or the daily "excursion pack" with all the snacks and activities for a day of touring.

Dad's pack: the "Big Dog" - but really its just a regular-sized backpack that holds a ton.

Kids pack: small and manageable but can hold weeks' worth of outfits for an elementary-aged traveler.

Mom's/Big Kid pack: Big enough to hold tall boots and lots of toiletries and outfit combinations, but easily manageable for getting from plane to hotel. 

Daily "Excursion Pack": rolls up into a compact, self-sealing pouch and clips onto a parents' backpack when not full and in use. Holds everyone's daily water bottle, snacks, tour book, and any activity to pass time in lines.

Road Trips
Travel Gear - Road Trips

Our road trips are more manageable because we get the luggage and other gear out of the car and on it's roof in easy packing and lockable solutions. Whether camping, road tripping, or skiing, we have found these to work best for our family. We prefer the Thule brand for much of the travel gear for our car. Maybe it's because they're Swedish, like us. Or maybe it's the durability and well-designed products that make it easy for people like you and me to use. Whatever it is, we're Thule loyalists.

The Sherpak. You just keep stuffing things in and the flexible sides just seem to hold it. Inexpensive and easy to store because of its flexibility to fold up.

Ski and snowboard rack that hooks onto your bike rack in minutes and keeps the car roof free for a larger carrier like the Sherpak or Thule hardtop box.

The hardtop. Opens and locks easily and great for cold weather. Fits backpacks, duffles, skis, sleeping bags...whatever you want to get out of your car's cabin...except the screaming kid. 

We prefer the Thule brand for our bike racks because of how so many of the components fit together to make traveling and transport easier. This hitch bike rack combined with the ski/snowboard rack makes packing for a ski weekend a breeze.

Travel Gear - Clothes

Clothes that are comfortable for sightseeing, exploring, or sitting for longer periods of time (i.e., airplanes, trains, and car rides) are key to our travel success. These clothes are quick-dry for those rainy days but roll up into ultra-small bundles to fit extra outfits into one backpack. Because they're wrinkle free they are ready to use once unrolled. We leave the jeans at home - too bulky!


Ultra stretchy and comfortable pants. We try to go with a common color palette for pants and shorts to more easily mix and match shirts and minimize the overall number of items.

Ultra stretchy and comfortable pants. We try to go with a common color palette for pants and shorts to more easily mix and match shirts and minimize the overall number of items.

The wrinkle-free, water proof blazer doubles as a dinner jacket if we need to spiff it up a bit or add as a layer during any colder days or nights.

A shorts version of the pants. We buy the same color so the pants or shorts matches with the shirts, etc. Minimizes what needs to come to create multiple combinations.


Ultra stretchy and comfortable pants that can roll up into capris for those mornings that start cool before the warmer day. Also great for those plane rides that can be a bit cold!

These are my go-to shirts. You can roll up the sleeves into the built-in clip or wear long-sleeved. I like one piece of clothing that serves several purposes.

Shorts to complement the pants to match the get the idea.

Short-sleeved shirt for those days along the mediterranean or any other warm climate.

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We hope you enjoy our travel tips and that this gear we've had success with helps your family, too. Each of these links provides a small commission from Amazon to help fund this site, at no extra cost to you.  We only recommend travel gear we actually use and are passionate about. If we come across something that's a complete bust, we'll tell you that also!

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