I debated compiling this list, wondering who might be interested, for some time. But having answered quite a few questions on the topic over the last few months I realized that good tools are hard to find and require a lot of research and decided that sharing what lives in my carryon may be of value to other people.
This travel kit, so to say, is a wide range of tools that support me working remotely, facilitate all the wanted and required photography, and help me survive music festivals that I frequent as a journalist. And since I tend to put quite a lot of effort into researching my purchases this list is only my favourite, most trusted products.
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Camera FUJI X-T100: I switched to this smaller, mirrorless camera a couple of years ago after using a Canon DSLR for a decade. There was a lot of research involved in choosing it, looking specifically for something small, with full manual capability, video recording, and good battery life. Now I absolutely love this camera: it is compact so I can carry a fairly small purse and the quality of photography is stunning (the manual and program settings do a lot of the effort if you are hesitant to use manual settings). The screen opens and tilts which is really helpful when trying to get a different perspective or gain heigh. The last couple of years of photos are on this camera if you’d like to see it at work (for example Florida and Roadtrip). A great bonus with this camera is that it pairs with a mobile app so you can pick up and share photos via WiFi while you’re on the road. A range of Fuji cameras are available online at Henrys.com*.
Fuji XF50mm F2 R WR lens*: I fell in love with a 50mm lens a long time ago, yes you can’t always get the full view into the frame but the depth of field and clarity that 50mm lens offers is one for the books. Because I tend to shoot a lot of concerts which means the light is uncontrollable and the subjects are moving fast I had to make sure the lens could handle that kind of environment and this one does that really well (examples here). The low light capability also means you can get some nice nighttime shots, like this Eiffel Tower photo or streets in Cartagena here.
Fuji XF 23MM F2 R WR lens*: Great wide-angle lens for interior photography and nature shots. The 50mm is still my go-to but this has been a much-needed addition for hotel photography. I used it for room shots for the June Motel article.
Polaroid lens filters: Because you need to protect your lens and it’s always nice to have a polarizer for the outdoor shots. This specific kit comes with a nylon carry case, multi-coated UV filter, Fluorescent, Circular polarizer, and warming filters. The most important thing, however, is lens protection from all those fingerprints and accidental drops.
GETIHU Portable Charger: This is a lifesaver! It’s about the same size as the iPhone and quite thin and now when I travel I go nowhere without it. Mine came with a surprise reading light in the box, which was a great free add-on. For $20 it is worth every dollar.
Apple devices: iPhone, iPad for in-flight entertainment and journaling, MacBook Pro for work, USB converter to connect the camera.
tomtoc 360 Protective Laptop Sleeve: Because my, and likely your entire life is on this computer. For the business trips and meetings I also have a, let’s call it “fashion laptop case” from Glass Ladder & Co, called The Megan. This case is made from vegan leather, has 8 pockets and 3 cardholder slots – stylish and functional.
iPad ProCase: to protect the precious piece of equipment, paired with HOMIEE Felt Sleeve which comes with a small felt bag perfect for all the cables and converters. This case fits anything up to a 13” MacBook.
Let’s not forget an iPhone case: mine is a Pela Case* – a Canadian startup that creates fully biodegradable phone cases from ocean trash. They’re quite cute, offer good protection, come in different colours, and sometimes have lovely pattern designs.
Katherine Tech Roll Up by Glassladder Co: this little tool is for all those loose cords, chargers, memory cards, and earbuds that create a mess in your backpack. It won’t quite fit the wall bricks but all the messy things are now nice and tidy.
Vibes acoustic filter earplugs: My travels take me to a lot of loud places and crowded photofits very close to very large speakers so earplugs are essential. These Vibes are high fidelity decibel reducing and also serve as hearing protection for tinnitus and autism sensory processing disorders. The kit comes with different size caps and a handy little carrying case.
The Hustle Backpack*: A Kickstarter invention with neatly and carefully organized pockets (some secret), a built-in laptop sleeve, and a solar power battery. What I like about this backpack is that it is minimal in design, compact, and solid which makes me feel comfortable with all the gear being stacked in it while traveling. The company, Solgaard, is very eco-friendly and removes 5lbs of ocean plastic for every purchase.
Solarbank Boombox*: It is a Solgaard charger and a speaker that you can charge through an outlet or by leaving it out in the sun while using it, which I think is super cool. I do also quite like the design of it and my friends now joke that I carry my own soundtrack around the cottage.