If you’re committed to the carry-on only life, pony up for a quality bag. With measurements of 21.5 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches, the Osprey Transporter fits the bill nicely. Yes, it’s a backpack (although it can also be carried as a duffle bag with the included shoulder strap, or briefcase style by the handle) and therefore won’t be for everyone. I find the ability to negotiate stairs and cobblestone/uneven roads with ease is worth sacrificing wheels. Plus, when you feel more nimble, you’re less likely to cop out and pay for a taxi. You can fit a lot in this bag, which opens suitcase style to reveal two large interior pockets. Other useful features include compression straps, a separate padded laptop sleeve, external organization panel and a top pocket for items you need to grab quickly and easily. $230 at osprey.com.
Toting your own reusable water bottle is one of the easiest ways to save money and help the environment when travelling. Without it, spending $20 on a few bottles each day isn’t unusual in hotter climates. Of course, one of the biggest obstacles to BYO bottle is the question of whether it’s safe to drink the water at your destination. Enter the self-cleaning stainless-steel Larq bottle. It uses UV-C LED light to purify itself and the water it holds. Powered by a lithium-polymer battery (recharged using a MicroUSB cable), Larq claims to eliminate 99.9999 per cent of present E.coli bacteria in one minute. (If you’re really concerned about the water – say it’s from a river or other natural source - the three-minute “Adventure Mode” is recommended.) The price tag makes the eyes pop at first, but for the right kind of traveller, it’s a purchase worth making. $125 at thebay.com.
It’s one thing to leave an item behind when you’re travelling (almost every tourist has sacrificed a charging cable or two). It’s an entirely different story to lose something to theft. For starters you’re out money – possibly a lot – not to mention the time you’ll have to spend during your vacation finding a replacement. It’s no fun to walk around being paranoid, so get some piece of mind with an “anti-theft” tote. The Pacsafe Metrosafe shoulder bag comes with security features such as a slash-proof strap and body fabric, RFID-blocking material, zippered pockets and a clip for attaching zipper heads together or adding a lock. It’s also roomy enough to hold what you need for a day of sightseeing and has two side pockets perfect for holding water bottles or umbrellas. $99.95 at mec.com.
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