Best Travel Hats for Bug Protection, Sun, Wide Brim, Crushable, Tilley

gray baseball cap

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Best Travel Hats – The hat I usually took with me when traveling was an old baseball hat.

It was “broken in,” fit me well, packed well (I usually put socks inside it in my bag to save on space), and would keep the sun out of my eyes.

It served it the purpose I needed.

The baseball hat provided shade, looked decent, and covered up a bad hair day.

These are all important qualities in a hat.

But sometimes when you are spending a lot of time on a boat, in the rain forest, on the beach in the sun, hiking in the desert, or somewhere with lots of bugs and mosquitoes, you need something better than a baseball hat.

Here are the best travel hats for bug protection, sun, wide brim and more, based on hats in various categories.

After getting attacked with bugs on our visit to the southeastern states, we made it our mission to never leave for a trip or even a day hike without a hat to keep the bugs away.

Here are two of our favorites.

Best travel hats for bug protection

These mosquito protection hats really do help keep the bugs away:

Olymstore Camouflage hat – This Olymstore(TM) 2pcs Camouflage Beekeeping hat is so affordable, I couldn’t believe the price was for two of them.

And I sure wasn’t sure what to expect after I ordered them.

Yet, they proved to do the job and then some.

My hat was great at keeping the mosquitoes away from my neck — where I’m usually bitten — during my evening hiking excursions.

I used it during the day another time and had rolled up the netting.

It was there if I needed it.

This is great for using during fishing, camping, hiking, gardening, and more.

It provided excellent protection from mosquitoes and works great to prevent bees, pesky gnats and no-see-ums too.

ExOfficio BugsAway Mesh Cape Hat – This comes in two sizes so this hat is great for older kids as well as adults.

It’s made from nylon.

The mesh part detaches.

It doesn’t completely cover your face but what’s nice is that it snaps in front so it covers better and won’t flap around.

It’s so important to protect against mosquitoes, especially when traveling to other countries.

Best Sun Hats: Wide Brim and Beach Hats

We love spending time in the sun.

The best travel hats for sun protection include those that have wide brims or special neck coverings to keep the sun as much off your face and neck as possible.

I’ve also included beach hats here:

Dorfman Pacific Solarweave Mesh Trekker Hat
Sahara Hat – Women’s
White Rock Oasis X-Lite Bucket Hat
Outdoor Research Oasis Sombrero – Women’s

Tilley Hats (and Tilley style hats)

Travel Hats

These hats are all in Tilley brand hats or in the traditional Tilley style.

They have wide brims, tend to be breathable, and come backed with a brand name that says:

This is an awesome hat – so awesome that we guarantee it for life.

Tilley LTM6 Airflo Hat

This Tilley travel hat floats if it falls in the water, offers 50 SPF protection, fits with a cord under your chin (for high winds or high speed boat rides), and comes with Tilley’s lifetime guarantee.

Tilley also offers an aviator hat, a Tilley Winter hat, and a Tilley Hemp hat.

Tilley look-alike travel hats

They look much like the Tilley hats, but are cheaper in price.

They generally do not offer the same breathability as Tilley’s hat, but they are usually similar in style.

You may find some imitation brands that snap on both sides to keep the flaps up if you want them up instead of down.

Best Travel Pants for Women that are Stylish and Comfortable

Crushable Travel Hats

These crushable travel hats allow you to fold up or roll up the hat so that it doesn’t get crushed or wrinkled in your suit case while you are traveling.

Our top picks include:

Brixton – Gain – Comes in black crushable felt
Dorfman Pacific All Season Crushable Hat

Best travel hats for bug protection wherever you are going

It is so important to wear a hat, even if you don’t particularly like wearing them.

There are best travel hats for wherever you are going.

Remember to pack one or two on your trip as the right kind of hat for your journey can be more effective than sunscreen alone to shield you from the sun’s harmful rays.

And who knew there were hats to keep the mosquitoes away.

Even if you think you don’t need one or won’t wear it, pack a hat before leave for your trip.

You just might find it comes in handy.

Natural Mosquito Repellent Ideas ~ Plants and Other Tips

As a child in the 1970’s in the Chicago area, I remember going inside and watching from my living room when the mosquito control truck would go down our street spraying chemicals to prevent mosquitoes.

Even then we knew those chemicals couldn’t be good for us to breathe in but we didn’t have many natural mosquito repellent choices.

We sprayed Off! from aerosol cans and enjoyed our evenings.

Wearing a hat seemed to help keeping them away from my head.

I haven’t seen those trucks in decades but they have to exist as without them in some areas, there would be even worse mosquito population problems.

Increases in mosquito populations cause devastating public health issues, including increases in Malaria, West Nile, Lyme Disease, Yellow fever, Dengue fever, Encephalitis viruses, and more.

There become more problems for livestock and wildlife as well.

So many mosquitoes

Did you know that in the US there are over 176 types of mosquitoes and over 3,000 types in the world?

No matter what area of the country or world you’re in, chances are you may be plagued by these pesky creatures.

And if you’re like me, to ward them off you typically reach for mosquito repellent sprays or creams which are all basically chemicals.

Traditional Deet-filled mosquito repellent is far from natural.

Thankfully, there are preventative measures you can take.

There are even plants that repel mosquitoes.

They either work by planting them in your garden or by taking a bit of the plant and releasing some of the scents.

Natural mosquito repellent ideas

Whether or not it’s the season for mosquitoes, it is always a good time to think about keeping mosquitoes away from your property.

There are easy chemical-free steps you can take to ward them off, especially if you live in an area where it doesn’t get below freezing often enough to control their populations.

Remove standing water from around your home

You can do this by ensuring you don’t have empty buckets or flower pots collecting water.

You can also take a broom to “sweep away” standing water in low spots on your driveway or patio.

Make sure your garbage cans are always closed.

Clean out your gutters

Dried and decaying leaves, damp twigs and water are the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Rake and remove leaves

Damp and decaying leaves blow around your yard and often bunch up under bushes, at the base of trees and fences, and around your house.

Though unsightly for my neighbors, I always thought a few little piles were okay and even good; I thought they would break down and enrich the soil.

Now I know while they may be good for the earth, removing them eliminates mosquitoes from living and breeding there.

Avoid being out at sunrise or sunset

Especially in the hot summer months, these are times when you are most likely wanting to be outside; however, this is the time when mosquitoes are most active.

Natural mosquito repellent ideas

Hang a bat box

When we lived in Indianapolis and in Tucson, we saw lots of bats — probably because there were lots of mosquitoes!

We bought bat boxes to encourage them to fly around and feast in our yard.

Hang bird feeders and man made nesting boxes

Some birds, like swallows, eat mosquitoes so do what you can to encourage these animals to live near your home.

Bird feeders, man-made nesting boxes, and bird baths are helpful.

However, if you use a bird bath be sure to empty and clean it frequently because mosquitoes will breed in the water.

Plant mosquito repellent plants

This is a controversial topic as most research points to the mosquito-repelling benefits only when you rub the leaves on your skin.

It is important before doing this that you test a small amount on a small section of your skin for a few days to ensure you are not allergic.

Mosquito repelling plants

Here are some mosquito repelling plants that have been known to help:

  • Fennel
  • Thyme
  • Clove oil
  • Basil
  • Citronella Grass: Use the oil from Citronella. Ensure the plant you’re buying is not just a “Citronella Plant,” “Citronella Geranium,” or “Mosquito Plant” as these are different varieties and while they may smell similar to Citronella, they are far less effective.
  • Catnip: Reported to be up to 10 times more effective than DEET
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Garlic
  • Lemon Grass
  • Marigolds
  • Neem Trees
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Lemon balm (a great alternative to Citronella)
  • Lemon Thyme (studies show this is about 60 percent effective as DEET)
  • Pennyroyal
  • Tea tree

Not all of this mosquito repellent plants grow in all climates.

Check with your local nursery to find the plants that grow best in your area.

In order for these mosquito repelling plants to be most effective, plant them in potted plants around your patio area.

When you’re sitting outside and the mosquitoes are especially bad, break off a piece of plant that repels mosquitoes.

Crush it, and rub the oils on your pulse points.

How to prevent mosquitoes

Citronella oil to repel mosquitoes

The plants that contain the citronella oil in them may deter mosquitoes.

However, it is mostly when you crush the leaves and rub them directly on your skin.

There is also citronella oil that you can purchase online or at health retailers.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA) when used correctly, mosquito repellents that have DEET or picaridin are safe for adults and children over 2 months.

Still, many mosquito repellents are in spray form.

These are bad because we inhale them.

Also, if they are aerosol and not pump bottles, they contribute to ozone depletion.

We’re also busy slathering sunscreen on ourselves during these mosquito prevalent months.

There are a lot of chemicals being absorbed through our skin.

Preventing mosquitoes

While there are many ways to prevent against mosquitoes, it seems some people attract mosquitoes than others.

When we lived in the Midwest, my elementary-aged son was what our family calls, a Mosquito Magnet.

Since moving to Tucson, I have been given that distinction.

Even better than repelling mosquitoes is preventing them.

Do what you can with natural mosquito repellent ideas to prevent mosquitoes.

It’s so important to control mosquitoes.

Remove standing water and have a few plants potted in your backyard.

You may be on your way to a DEET and mosquito-free spring through fall!

Sun Safety for Kids Tips from Safe Sunblock to SPF Clothing

It’s the summer vacation season, and whether you’re traveling or staying at home, sun safety for kids is a must.

In addition to buying new sunblock for your family every year, it’s important to ensure you apply it often and in ample quantity.

Read on for lists and picks of safe sunblock for kids, plus sun protectant wear for everyone in your family.

Choose a Safe Sunblock

With hundreds of sunblock brands to choose from, how to know which are best for the environment and your skin?

The EWG (Environmental Working Group) does the work for us, annually testing top sunblock brands to bring consumers environmentally safe picks.

The best sunscreens protect skin from UVB (sunburn) and UVA (skin cancer) rays, score a low hazard rating, and are rated at 30-45 SPF (higher is usually meaningless).

If you want to dig deeper, 21 safe sunscreen winners are listed by the Organic Authority, as well as the best kid-friendly sunscreens from Delicious Baby.

Our own top three choices for active travel, travel with kids, and all-purpose use all rate highly assafe sunscreens:

All Terrain AquaSport:

All Terrain is all-natural, oxybenzone-free, and includes a skin protectant to protect from drying effects of the sun.

It comes in a convenient, non-greasy stick ($10.30) for active travelers.

EWG safety score: 1 out of 10 (the best possible score).

Badger Baby Sunscreen

Badger has long been a trusted name in natural sunscreens.

Badger is thicker than many mainstream sunscreens and provides excellent protection for you little one’s skin.

It’s a little pricey, but it goes a long way.

EWG safety score: 1 out of 10 (one is the best score).

Badger Baby Sunscreen

Kiss My Face:

Kiss my Face products, including their lip balm and sunscreens, are made with organic beeswax or hydresia and no artificial colors.

Plus, they’re vegan-friendly and use no animal testing.

It’s more economical than some other options.

EWG safety score: 2 out of 10.

If you have some sunscreen at home that isn’t expired, check it on the Good Guide to see its safety rating.

Make Your Own Sunscreen

Not sure you trust any brand to make truly beneficial sunscreen, or can’t afford the expense?

Make your own sunscreen utilizing any of the many Pinterest recipes below.

In general, most standard sunscreen recipes call for the following:

  • coconut oil
  • cocoa butter
  • aloe vera gel
  • zinc oxide powder

Opt for SPF Clothing

Over the years of wrestling kids to wear sunscreen and remembering to wear (and reapply!) it myself, I’ve found the best sun protection is in clothing.

Make sure you pack a sun hat and sun protective clothing in your bag along with sunscreen before a day outdoors in summer.

The three brands below are my favorite for sun protective clothing for women, kids, and everyone!

Athleta:

Athleta’s line of sun shirts and cover-ups for women are sporty, so they won’t hamper your active vacation or day out.

In other words, these are not decorative cover-ups meant only to make a fashion statement or cover where swimsuits don’t.

They are lightweight, playful, and do double-duty as shirts and dresses to eat out in or do some shopping in should you be traveling.

Sun protective clothing:

I love Sun Protection line of sun and swim wear that blocks 98% of UV rays, because they offer them in sizes from baby to adult for both genders.

Gone are the days of baggy, ugly sun protective wear: these items are fitted and fun but still get the job done.

Sunday Afternoons:

This line of sun-protection clothing for men, women, and kids boasts wide-brimmed hats, sun shirts, and swim wear.

A ground-breaker in sun protection, Sunday Afternoons has been around since the beginning of sun protection awareness.

Remember the sunglasses!

Sun protection for your eyes is crucial, and is often overlooked for kids.

If you have kids who resist wearing sunglasses, try fitted pairs with elastic straps, soft frames, or foregoing sunglasses in favor of wide-brimmed hats.

My kids refused sunglasses until well into their school-aged years, and we relied completely on hat protection to shade their sensitive eyes.

Keep kids safe while in the sun

Sun safety for kids, even on days that don’t seem hot, is essential.

How to keep kids safe while in the sun is easy with some precautions.

It’s always a good time to review the measures you take for sun protection.

With these tips for sun safety for kids as well as adults, you can arm yourself with sunscreens and protective wear.

Eco Friendly Shopping Bags ~ Here’s Why You Should Use Them

toilet paper hangingout of a lady's pants

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Eco friendly shopping bags – Lately, it seems like “going green” is everywhere.

Companies, charitable organizations and even individuals are increasingly committed to saving the environment.

For the uninitiated, it’s overwhelming.

Is it truly necessary to give up your car, retrofit your house with solar panels and cultivate a vegetable garden to be more environmentally responsible?

Eco Friendly Shopping Bags is one of the easiest ways to start “going green”.

While all of these are great ideas, they are somewhat extreme for the person who is just beginning to take part in the environmentally friendly movement.

Why not begin the process by making one easy, convenient change?

Switching to eco friendly shopping bags is the ideal place to start.

What is Eco Fashion?

eco friendly shopping bags

You’ve seen these reusable bags everywhere.

People carry them while commuting on the bus, and they also bring them to the grocery store, farmer’s market and the mall.

They are bigger and more durable than the average plastic grocery bag.

That means you can use them again and again without wearing them out.

In fact, most of these eco friendly shopping bags can stand up to years of continued use.

Making the switch to reusable bags from paper or plastic is a cinch.

They are available everywhere, and they come in an endless array of colors and styles.

A reusable shopping bag just might become your favorite accessory, and it’s the kind of fashion statement you can feel good about making.

That’s because environmentally friendly shopping bags don’t have the same drawbacks that paper and plastic bags do.

Despite the fact that paper bags are generally seen as more acceptable than plastic bags, they have a lot of the same detrimental features.

Manufacturing paper bags requires cutting down enormous numbers of trees each year, and the construction process releases harmful toxins into the air.

The process by which plastic bags are made is similarly hurtful to the atmosphere.

Moreover, plastic bags are petroleum based, putting undue strain on a limited and non-renewable resource.

Paper and plastic bags are recyclable.

Nonetheless, the overwhelming majority of them end up in the landfill.

Still others simply become litter.

In these circumstances, plastic bags are particularly harmful.

They clog drain pipes and sewers.

They also present a danger to marine life and other wild animals.

Clearly, eco friendly shopping bags are the smarter alternative to paper and plastic.

They’re made from biodegradable materials, and just one reusable bag prevents the circulation of literally thousands of plastic bags.

Make the switch today to ensure a greener tomorrow.

small-travel-backpack-osprey-farpoint-40

Eco friendly shopping bags

Green shopping bags are popping up everywhere.

You see them at the grocery store, in farmers markets and even at the mall.

Some grocery stores give discounts to customers who bring their own bags.

Progressive cities, including Bellingham, WA, have even banned the use of plastic bags in an effort to persuade consumers to choose reusable bags.

If you’re like many people, you’re probably wondering where the push to use green shopping bags comes from.

Why is their use so desirable over plastic bags?

eco friendly shopping bags

The reasons for ditching plastic bags are many.

The manufacturing process that results in a finished plastic bag involves petroleum.

This non-renewable resource is in short supply, and when it must be diverted to factories that make plastic bags, consumers feel the pain in higher prices at the gas pump.

Plastic bag production has other hazards, such as the toxins that the process releases into the atmosphere.

The end of the life cycle for these bags isn’t much more attractive.

They aren’t biodegradable, and they can take as long as 1,000 years to fully decompose.

Reusable shopping bags, on the other hand, feature many distinct advantages.

On an aesthetic level, these bags are more attractive.

They come in incredible varieties of size, shape, color and pattern.

Some people have started seeing reusable bags as part of their daily fashion statement.

On a more functional note, many reusable bags have the equivalent capacity of three to four plastic bags.

They are more durable than their plastic counterparts, and their handles are much stronger, enabling you to load up the bag without fear of destroying it.

Many of these bags are able to stand on their own thanks to a stable base.

Unlike a plastic bag, you can set down a reusable bag without spilling the contents.

Best of all, reusable bags are made using environmentally friendly ingredients.

Some are even composed of recycled materials.

When the reusable bag has reached the end of its life, which typically lasts several years, it can easily be recycled.

Even the manufacturing process that creates these shopping bags is environmentally friendly.

No petroleum products are used, and no harmful toxins are released into the atmosphere.

There are so many ways to go green at home and while out and about.

With so many advantages to using green shopping bags, it’s no surprise that so many consumers are making the switch.

Take the proactive approach by seeking out a few stylish bags to use on your next shopping trip.

Going Green This Summer
Going Green This Summer

Choose a Reusable Bag for Green Travel and Shopping

How to Choose a Reusable Bag for Green Travel and Shopping – 5 trillion plastic bags are produced each year and the vast majority get thrown away according to World Watch Institute.

That’s a lot of plastic.

Luckily, more people are switching to reusable bags.

Given the unbelievable number of options when choosing a reusable bag, it’s not always easy to know which one to buy.

So we’ve put together this handy guide to help you choose a reusable bag.

Primary Use of Reusable Bag

The first question to ask yourself when looking for a green bag is:

What am I going to use my reusable bag for?

Grocery shopping?

Daily tote?

Random shopping spree?

Travel?

Unfortunately, I have yet to find the perfect bag for every occasion (if you’ve seen it, let me know) so I have several types of bags that I use depending on the circumstance.

Reusable Grocery Shopping Bags

For planned trips to the grocery store, I find that short and deep bags made out of durable material work best.

Reusable Grocery Shopping Bags Size and Shape:

The bags that are about 6-8 inches deep, 12+ inches tall, and 12+ inches wide work especially well for carrying cartons of milk, juice, and other heavy products.

Look for grocery bags that have sturdy bottoms that don’t bend when heavy products are placed at the bottom.

Reusable Grocery Shopping Bags Weight and Material:

Because I don’t carry grocery bags with me on a daily basis, the weight/bulkiness of bags doesn’t matter too much.

However, insulated bags are particularly handy.

As are compartmentalized reusable bags with spaces for wine bottles.

Reusable Grocery Shopping Bags Design:

Frankly, if my grocery bag is ugly, it doesn’t really matter.

Good thing too, because few reusable grocery bags have fun patterns on them.

Reusable Grocery Shopping Bags What to Buy:

Free reusable grocery bags tend to work just as well as any you’ll buy.

I got mine from a Discovery Channel booth at a Green Expo.

Most grocery stores also sell their own brand of reusable bags.

Online you can find numerous options for reusable grocery shopping bags in sets, combos with insulated and wine bags set, or just single decorated grocery bag.

Reusable grocery bags tend to be the cheapest of all reusable bags with most bags costing under $2.

Reusable Shopping Bags and Travel Bags

Whether wandering the streets of Tokyo or browsing the aisles of a hometown boutique, you need a reusable travel bag tucked away for unplanned purchases.

Reusable Shopping Bags and Travel Bags Size and Shape:

Small and compact.

There is no way around this one — unlike reusable grocery shopping bags which are fine if they’re fairly bulky, a reusable shopping bag for shopping or travel needs to be very small and very compact so you can shove it away in the depths of your purse or backpack.

I like bags that crumple into a small self-contained storage compartment.

Reusable Shopping Bags and Travel Bags Weight and Material:

The lighter the better.

Again, because you’re carrying this bag with you all the time, you want the lightest and thinnest material possible.

Reusable Shopping Bags and Travel Bags Design:

Reusable shopping bags come is a wide variety of patterns and colors.

Shop around and you’ll find a design you like.

Reusable Shopping Bags and Travel Bags What to Buy:

Look for bags that tuck into themselves like the Flip and Tumble or cinch into a small pouch.

We own several Baggu bags and they work really well.

Several Twitterers (see below) suggested Envirosax bags.

Daily Tote Bag

If transporting your lunch to work, carrying extra work home, or bringing a change of clothes for the after work work-out, daily totes are indispensable.

Daily Tote Bag Size and Shape:

For daily totes the size and shape of the bag is completely up to you.

I prefer fairly flat bags with less depth, but figure out what you’re transporting and what you need to fit in it.

Daily Tote Bag Weight and Material:

For a daily tote you want a bag that’s durable and washable.

We own several organic cotton bags that are sturdy enough for a stack of library books and can be thrown in the wash when the leftover curry from lunch spills.

Daily Tote Bag Design:

Whether hopping on the subway or sneaking into work a few minutes late people are going to notice your daily tote.

Find a design that says something about you or the issues you care about.

Daily Tote Bag What to Buy:

Like reusable grocery shopping bags, daily totes are often giveaways.

But remember, just because something is free don’t take it if you don’t need it.

If you don’t get one for free, buy one from a cause you support — such as NPR — or get one free with a donation to a cause — like Pet Charities (through PetSmart).

Reusable Bags Who Likes What

We asked folks on Twitter for their reusable bag recommendations and here are the answers we received:

@katonahgreen love plain bag from ecolution from organic cotton. use for shopping, and washing dedicates in!

and have one from chico bag- works great, wish it were more eco-friendly material

@ghtravelblog I’ve got plenty, tops are canvas bags from TJ’s or the heavy plastic ones from Whole Foods.

@jclynes envirosax bags! They’re totes that fold and snap up to fit in your purse. Cute designs too! Www.envirosax.com

@EKricfalusi ChicoBag! Love them. Light but strong, Roll up into compact form. Loop and carabiner for storage/carrying. www.chicobag.com

@cartmanmacduff The ones I don’t have to buy, I don’t mind advertising for companies that give away their reusable shopping bags. Its fair deal

@chrisjoeytotes www.joeytotes.com but I am a little biased

@IsabellesTravel If you mean a reusable shopping bag, I like the ones from Envirosax!

best suitcases for kids

Eco Bags and Green Bags: Sustainable Materials

If you’re looking for the greenest of reusable bags you’ll want to carefully consider the type of material the bag is made from.

Options include bags made from recycled plastic bottles, organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, and more.

But, before you immediately opt for the more sustainable material, realize that what is greenest isn’t always apparent.

For example, Treehugger points out that canvas bags require a lot of energy and water to produce and have more of an impact than polyester or polypropylene.

What’s your favorite reusable bag?

Best Travel Shorts for Women – Best Shorts for Travel

Travel Shorts for women

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Best Travel Shorts for Women – Anyone who travels frequently knows that packing for your perfect vacation can be a chore, especially if you’re planning on being away for any substantial amount of time!

How do you look cute when you’re on the road?

More to the point, how do you choose clothes that are going to work with the weather and your scheduled activities?

Best Travel Shorts for Women

Finding the best travel shorts for women does not have to be rocket science.

Simply follow this handy guide and you’ll be well on your way to looking and feeling fabulous anywhere in the world.

Don’t Automatically Go For The Cheapest Option

It might be tempting to go for the cheapest shorts that you can find, but resist the urge!

Traveling puts a lot of wear and tear on your clothes, and going for the least expensive option often leaves you with ripped or damaged clothing halfway through your trip.

Think about it this way; the money that you save by buying inexpensive clothes before your trip will be lost when you need to splurge on new clothes during your vacation.

Instead of looking at the price tag as the only determining factor, consider thinking about what you’ll be doing on your vacation.

Choose travel shorts that serve you best, not ones that are the least expensive.

Think About What You’re Planning On Doing

Best Travel Shorts for Women
Best Travel Shorts for Women

In order to determine which travel shorts will work best for you, it’s important to give some thought to what you’re planning on doing while you’re on vacation!

Best Travel Shorts For Hiking

If your travels include some adventures in altitude, consider shorts that will work with you on your climb.

The best hiking shorts are made of breathable material, like a cotton and nylon blend, and are built to last.

Hiking is guaranteed to test the durability of your shorts, so make sure that they’re made to stand up to harsh conditions.

You’ll also want to invest in shorts that are waterproof and have plenty of zippered pockets.

These days there are plenty of options and hiking shorts don’t need to be ugly or oversized.

You can easily find cute hiking shorts that are both flattering and utilitarian.

Best Low-Maintenance Travel Shorts

Even if extreme sports isn’t on your travel agenda, you’ll probably want shorts that look good but don’t require a ton of effort.

There are plenty of places out there that don’t have irons readily available, so if your shorts are delicate and wrinkle easily, they will probably stay at the bottom of your suitcase for the entire trip.

The best low-maintenance travel shorts for women are made of a material like polyester or nylon.

Shorts made out of these materials can be balled up and tossed at the bottom of your bag, and emerge looking like new.

It’s especially advisable to invest in shorts made out of polyester and nylon if you’re staying in hostels.

These types of low-budget travel accommodations generally do not have all of the amenities of a hotel, and you’re less likely yo have drawers or space to spread out.

As a result, you’ll be literally living out of your suitcase.

Minimize the stress and buy yourself some low-maintenance shorts.

Why not get shorts in a color that goes with everything?

Beige, brown, black or dark blue shorts will compliment nearly every outfit and don’t show dirt as much as lighter shorts.

Simply thinking strategically will help you look more fierce on the road!

Best Travel Shorts For Hot Climates

If you’re traveling to a hot climate, stay away from cotton.

Instead, look for material like polyester. Polyester wicks away sweat and is lightweight enough to bear the brunt of a sweltering sun.

Try to find travel shorts that don’t cling to you, as tight-fitting materials can lead to unpleasant skin rashes and increased sweating.

Instead, look for loose fabrics that allow a little air flow between the shorts and your skin.

Additionally, stay away from black colored clothes which will only absorb the sun’s rays and make you hotter.

If you’re heading to the beach, find shorts that are made of waterproof material.

Don’t be afraid of fun colors!

Find ones that match your bathing-suit and fit in well with the tropical environment.

The beach calls for lightweight, flowy fabrics so make sure that your shorts aren’t too formal.

You’re on vacation after all!

Best Travel Shorts When Going To Countries That Prioritize Modest Dress

Sometimes you’ll find yourself traveling to a country where modesty is expected.

You don’t need to make major modifications to your wardrobe, but it’s important to avoid obvious inappropriate dress like crop-tops or skimpy miniskirts.

Similarly, your short should be at least halfway to your knees.

When traveling in countries that value modesty, try to find for shorts that are made out of sturdy material.

You don’t want them clinging to your legs in a suggestive fashion.

Additionally, find muted colors and fits that are longer.

Pair your shorts with flats and a modest blouse and you should be completely fine.

Whenever you’re traveling to a country that values modesty in fashion, remember to err on the side of caution.

It’s better to be overly covered than under-covered.

Additionally, many religious sites specify that you wear certain types of clothing.

Packing Tips For Traveling

No matter how amazing your shorts are, if you don’t pack them properly you could run into problems!

Here are a few sure-fire ways to get the most out of your suitcase.

Start off with a packing list that details what combination of clothing you’ll be wearing.

  • Roll your clothes so they pack properly
  • Use packing cubes to make the most out of your space
  • Choose clothing in lightweight, wrinkle-free materials

Use the advice that I’ve outlined in this travel guide and you can be sure to look your finest while wandering anywhere in the world!
Best Travel Skirts for Women
Best Travel Dresses
Women’s Travel Shoe
Best Travel Pants for Women
Best Travel Jackets for Women
Best Travel Shorts for Women
Women's travel shorts

Best Shorts for Travel

Best Shorts for Travel – I recently heard about a shirt made of wool that you could wear for 100 days without washing because wool is such an amazing fabric.

While I wouldn’t wear them for 100 days straight without washing, the Via shorts that Icebreaker sent me to review are also made of wool and are pretty amazing.

When I first heard of “wool shorts” I was skeptical.

As a Minnesotan I spend about 75% of the year wearing wool sweaters and honestly the thought of wool shorts had me imagining thick scratchy shorts (totally unappealing).

It turns out that the Via shorts are not at all what I imagined.

Surprisingly, they are neither thick nor itchy.

I would highly recommend them.

Here’s my full review of these amazing shorts.

Merino Wool Shorts: About the Material

I’ve always thought of wool as a winter fabric, but merino wool is a bit different than the typical scratchy sweater wool.

Several years ago, I reviewed Icebreaker’s Merino wool pullover, which I wear even during the summer months because the fabric is so wonderful.

After wearing my Icebreaker Via shorts for several weeks, I can now tell that the shorts will follow the same pattern as the pullover.

They will get a lot of wear and last a long time.

The Via shorts are made of 70% merino wool and 30% cotton and is a soft, durable blend.
travel shorts for women - best Shorts for Travel
The Icebreaker Via shorts make the perfect travel shorts.

They are breathable, lightweight, machine washable, and stylish.

Breathable

Wool, as I’ve learned, naturally regulates temperature.

Wool is breathable to prevent overheating, but also can keep you warm when the sun goes down.

Lightweight

I always thought that wool was a heavy fabric, but the Merino wool is extremely lightweight and the shorts are small.

You can pack light with these shorts.

Machine Washable

The Icebreaker shorts are machine washable.

In my opinion, a pair of shorts could not contend for “best shorts for travel” without that label.

Gone are the days of ironing too!

Style and Fit

Via shorts are wonderful because you can dress them up or down; you can wear them hiking or out to dinner or a show.

The shorts also fit great.

There is a similar pair, the Vista, which are longer with an inseam of 9.5 inches compared to a 5-inch inseam on the Via.

The Vista might be better for travel in countries where you are more concerned about modesty, but 5 inches in still a long enough inseam to be considered modest in most places.

Bottom line on the best shorts for travel

The Via shorts have become my go-to shorts for changing into right after work and are perfect for the weekends.

They have become my best shorts for travel and for all-around wearing.

They come in Jet Black and in Cabin.

I own the Cabin, which is dark Khaki color.

You can buy the shorts straight from Icebreaker.

Best Suitcases for Kids’ Carry-On Luggage

Trunki kid suitcase

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Not all kids’ carry-on luggage is created equal.

For families flying carry-on only, it’s important to find the best suitcases for kids to do the job.

We travel with kids over a dozen times per year, and reach for the same bags each time.

The luggage we recommend for family travel is versatile, tough, kid-sized, and carry-on luggage sized.

How to Pack A Suitcase

Kids’ Carry-On Luggage for kids
kids' carry-on luggage

Kids’ Carry-On Luggage Your Children Will Love (enough to carry themselves)

Traveler’s Choice Rome 21″ Hardside Rolling Carry-On

We love Traveler’s Choice for its affordability and quality, and their Rome Hardside Rolling Carry-On is the perfect first ‘grown-up’ carry-on for school-aged kids.

It’s lightweight, and its four wheels swivel in all directions, making it easy for kids to maneuver even through dense crowds.

It fits into airplane’s overhead bins easily.

The shell is polycarbonate which absorbs impact, so it will last a long time, even if luggage handlers handle it, should you decide to check it.

There are different sizes and colors to choose from.

This is a suitcase that will be practical for your kids to use into their teens and beyond.
kids' travel backpack

Skip Hop Zoo Kids Rolling Luggage

For younger travelers, the Skip Hop Zoo rolling suitcase is a great option.

This adorable animal-themed bag comes in many designs: ladybug, unicorn, bee, dog, owl, giraffe, rhino, butterfly, and monkey.

Your little traveler is sure to love it — and so will you.

They are colorful and bright and easy to keep track of.

There’s just enough space to carry clothes and a small stuffed animal or toy for a weekend trip.

It’s also the perfect way for your little one to carry his or her own snacks, books, and toys around town.

You’ll probably find they use it for trips to the library, sleepovers and play dates, and to tote games and books for long car rides.

This is the smallest bag on our list.

The Skip Hop Zoo Kids suitcase measures 12x5x16″.

It usually ships free.
kids' carry-on luggage

Kids’ Carry-On Luggage by Melissa and Doug Trunki

Everyone’s noticed a Trunki or two rolling through an airport.

Bright and colorful, these rolling hard-shell carry-ons serve a dual purpose: Toddlers and preschoolers can ride them like push-toys as well as pack their belongings in them.

Trunkis include a tow-strap, locking catches, and two carry handles for mom and dad, as well as a teddy bear seat belt and a sticker pack for the kids.

Kids love to customize their Trunki.

At 46x20x31cm (18x8x12″), Trunkis are carry-on size while still big enough to carry what small children need.

Like the Skip Hop above, your child will probably use this luggage piece a lot.

It’s perfect for the airport and airline travel as well as road trips and travel by bus, train and ship too.

It’s practical for around-town too, not only vacations.

Trunki carriers are easy to tote and easy to spot.

They are unique, bright and colorful.

This makes a great gift too.
kids' carry-on duffel

High Sierra Wheeled Duffel

Another dual-purpose pack, the High Sierra Wheeled Duffel, is two bags in one: a rolling duffel and a backpack.

We love it because kids can be in charge of both their carry-on and their backpack.

The main compartment features a divider panel that creates two internal compartments, and an internal mesh zip pocket on the front flap.

This is great for dirty laundry!

The bag includes a pull-handle and wheels.

The whole ensemble is 22x13x9″, making it carry-on sized. See High Sierra luggage.
kids' carry-on luggage

Eagle Creek Flip-Switch

This new offering from Eagle Creek comes in two sizes.

We recommend the 22″ for kids.

It can be used as both a roller and a backpack.

That’s right: When your kids encounter those pesky stairs down to a boarding area or up to a terminal, they can easily switch to backpack mode.

The backpack straps (including a waist strap) fold into the external zippered pocket when not in use, but are easily accessible when you need them.

Eagle Creek has even addressed our only complaint: The stowed straps do take up a decent amount of room, but you can remove them altogether and use the external pocket for other items if you’re sure your trip will not necessitate the backpack.

The Flip Switch is lightweight, durable, and includes a roller handle and roller wheels that actually roll.

It’s one you’ll be using for a long time. Buy the Eagle Creek Flip-Switch on Amazon.

kids' duffle - Kids' Carry-On Luggage

L.L. Bean Adventure Duffel

We’ve been using L.L. Bean’s Adventure Duffels in the medium size for years.

These tough-as-nails duffle bags are small enough to be toted by kids as young as preschoolers, but roomy enough to store all they’ll need for a week’s vacation.

We love the thickly padded, removable shoulder strap, and the easy-to-grab handles.

The duffle bag comes in four sizes and an array of bright colors.

We monogrammed ours for each child, but alternatively, your family could keep track of their own by color.

They have a reinforced bottom that’s water resistant.

There are cinch straps.

Ours show literally no wear and tear, and we’ve been traveling with them for at least five years.

Why get kids’ carry on luggage

You may be feeling like wanting to buy your child a piece of luggage for an upcoming trip is a luxury purchase.

But know your child will most likely use it many times, not just for big trips.

When kids have their own luggage, they take pride in keeping track of their belongings and want to live up to the challenge of being responsible, especially as they get to tote it around the airport.

Get them involved with the packing too, and help them to learn early on what to pack.

Suitcases for kids are an all-around win!

Best suitcases for kids

What’s your favorite kids’ carry-on luggage?

Smell Proof Backpacks When Hiking With Kids.

Luggage for Kids Travel Gear for Children

Are you planning a trip for your family of four?

Whether you’re going to a tropical getaway in Bermuda or a ski trip to Colorado, you need a way to carry your gear – and so do your kids! Kids carry-on luggage

When it comes to choosing luggage for your kids, we know you want fun yet practical options.

You don’t want something too large or too expensive as your child is constantly growing.

This article will provide you with the best luggage for kids and also give you tips on how to travel with your little one.

Read on to discover the top kids’ luggage the internet has to offer:

Luggage for Kids

Kid’s Luggage Scooter:

Oh to be young and be able to skate through the airport on portable luggage.

This is the perfect piece of luggage for your energetic child.

It will hold all of their stuff while also wearing them out.

Once they spend some time skating around the airport, they will be nice and tired and ready to sleep on the plane all the way to your destination.

This luggage scooter comes in bright yellow so you won’t be able to easily lose your child.

Hey’s Marvel Two Piece Luggage Set

Encourage your kids to be SUPER with this Marvel superhero luggage set.

Not only will these suitcases make your kids feel trendy, they’re also practical.

They come in a two piece set with one large suitcase and one small.

You can pick which suitcase is appropriate for your length of travel and leave the other one at home.

American Tourister Finding Dory Luggage

This Finding Dory suitcase is perfect for any ocean destination.

The Finding Nemo movies are beloved by most children and your child will surely love traveling with Dory.

This suitcase also features a hard shell top so your child’s belongings won’t get damaged.

3D Car Travel Suitcase

A toy and a suitcase in one!

This 3D car suitcase is on wheels so your child can play with is between destinations.

It also features a durable outer shell and an adjustable handle.

Backpack with Trolleyhand

This bag is a backpack-trolley hybrid.

Your child has the convenience of wearing it on his or her back when you need to move quickly or pulling it behind them when it’s time for easy rolling.

It comes in a fun, hot pink color that will make your child happy to carry it.

American Tourister Disney Mickey Mouse Spinner

Are you planning a trip to Disney World?

If so, this is the perfect bag for your child.

It’s compact and practical with the appearance of Mickey Mouse.

It will give your child a taste of the Disney vacation that’s to come. American Tourister Disney Mickey Mouse Spinner

Hey Girls’ Spinner and Beauty Case

This is the perfect suitcase for your little diva.

It comes with a “beauty bag” for all your little ones’ hair and make up essentials.

It’s also Hello Kitty themed and very cute. Hey Girls’ Spinner and Beauty Case

Lily Bloom Under The Seat Bag With Wheels

Lily Bloom Under The Seat Bag With Wheels: Covered in cute animals and trees, this is the ideal bag for nature enthusiasts.

This bag is shorter than all the others and great for car trips as you can store it under car seats.

You can’t go wrong in choosing this piece of luggage for kids.

Cabin Max Bear Children’s Luggage

Cabin Max Bear Children’s Luggage: Does your child have a stuffed animal they can never leave behind?

If so, end your luggage search now.

This is the bag for you.

This suitcase has a pouch in front for the sole purpose of carrying your child’s stuffed animal.

Buy this piece of luggage for kids and your child will never have to be separated from their fur-ever friend.

JustNile Children’s EVA Brown Bear Travel Luggage On Wheels Trolley Bag

JustNile Children’s EVA Brown Bear Travel Luggage On Wheels Trolley Bag boasts a spacious interior and an adjustable handle.

It is also shaped like a penguin and your child will feel like they’re traveling with a friend instead of a suitcase.

Tips For Traveling With Children

Ok, you’ve chosen the perfect piece of luggage for kids and your child squealed in delight when they saw how cute it was.

But do you think you’re ready to travel long distance with your little angels?

We’re here to give you some tips on how to travel with kids.

Don’t forget to stay up to date on the current TSA regulations.

While luggage for kids is typically well under the 50 pound limit for bags, it’s still important to abide by the other TSA rules for travel.

Prepare for the climate of your destination.

You’ve just updated your child’s luggage, it may be time to buy them the clothes they’ll need for your destination too.

Inform your kids what to expect:

Let your kids know what they’re in for at airport security.

If your child has never flown on a plane before, they may be overwhelmed when it comes to airport security.

Help ease their anxiety by giving them a run through before hand.

Tell them in advance they’ll have to remove their shoes and let go of their beloved stuffed animal.

Pack Toys and Games:

It’s important to keep your children entertained and happy during travel but don’t pack so many toys that you get bogged down.

Traveling with kids can be very stressful.

Just remember that they’re learning and taking in a new environment too and be patient with them.

Getting angry will do nothing but ruin the trip for everyone involved.

Luggage for Kids: Kids’ Carry-On Luggage and Travel Gear For Your Little Ones

We hope this guide has provided you with enough information on choosing the best suitcase for your child!

Remember when choosing luggage for kids one of the best places to start is with your child’s interests.

There are suitcases out there in a variety of themes your child may love including: Star Wars, My Little Pony, Minions, and many more.

If your child loves their luggage, it will make traveling less scary for them and make you happier in return.

Don’t forget to keep TSA regulations in mind before traveling and pack entertainment for your children. How to Take a Car Seat on a Plane

Whether you’re staying in the states or going abroad, this guide will help make traveling with kids a breeze.

Chester Minima Spinner Carry-On Luggage ~ What’s great about it!

Small Travel Backpack For Traveling Light

Small Travel Backpack Osprey Farpoint

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Small Travel Backpack – When it comes to traveling the bag that you choose could be the difference between bringing back fun mementos from your time overseas, or bringing home the lasting memory of an aching back.

Your backpack is the single most important item you’ll be bringing with you on your travels, so it’s important to choose one that will enhance your vacation, not hinder it!

The Importance Of Traveling Light

Not all travel backpacks are created equal.

These days, it’s important to embrace traveling light, especially if you’re going to be moving quickly from place to place.

Small travel backpacks are really the way to go if you want to maximize your space and minimize your troubles.

Fewer Hassles And Fees At The Airport

It’s certainly is no secret that airlines are looking to cut back on costs as much as they can.

This is especially true if you’re flying on a budget airline.

Instead of white-glove service, expect tiny seats and hidden fees.

One of the biggest moneymakers for airlines is charging big fees for checking luggage.

The days of free checked bags are totally over, and you can expect to hand over up to $40 at the counter for each bag that you check.

There are also size limitations on carry-on luggage.

Small backpacks don’t guarantee that you won’t be hit with an extra fee, but you are far more likely to get on the airplane without putting a dent in your bank account.

As an added bonus, they fit nicely in the overhead bin!

high-sierra-rolling-duffel-bag

More Space On Buses And Trains

Similarly, you’ll have more space on buses and trains.

Depending on the country that you’re traveling to, you might find that there’s absolutely no space for your luggage.

I once passed a very unpleasant four hours between San Jose and Puerto Viejo with a huge backpack on my lap.

I barely had room to breathe, let alone move comfortably.

If you pack light you’ll have more space.

You also won’t run the risk of annoying your neighbors by intruding into their space with your big backpack. It’s a true win-win.

Your Back Will Thank You

Lugging around a heavy backpack will hurt your back, especially if you have to do a lot of walking.

No matter how strong you are, the straps of a heavy bag will dig into your shoulders and cause sharp pains that won’t go away for weeks on end!

Nobody wants to bring back the souvenir of an aching back. Simply put, when you have a lighter load, you have a happier back.

The bigger the bag, more crap you end of carrying…’If I have room I got to fill it up’ – TRUTH!

Less Luggage Means More Security

Small backpacks are much more secure than larger ones.

When you have less stuff to look after, you tend to keep a closer eye on your belongings!

You can also keep a little backpack on your lap, or wedge it between you and the window on a long bus trip.

A big part of travel safety comes down to being a hard target.

When I was traveling in Colombia, I learned the phrase “no dar papaya,” which means “don’t give people a reason to mess with you.”

Getting robbed is never your fault, but there are certain things that you can do to minimize your risk.

Having a lighter load is one of them!

What To Look For In A Small Travel Backpack

Don’t mistake a good travel backpack with your middle-school backpack.

When you’re wandering the world, you’ll need a pack that does more than just hold your lunch and math book!

There are a few things that set excellent backpacks apart from mediocre ones.

Lots Of Compartments

No matter how small the bag, make sure that it has plenty of compartments.

This is especially true if you’re planning on bringing electronics with you on the road.

Multiple compartments will help you keep organized, and keep expensive equipment safe.

Make sure that each of these compartments zips up and are independent of the others.

Eagle Creek Flip Switch - lightweight luggage reviews
Eagle Creek Flip Switch

Zippers That You Can Lock Together

If added security is something that you’re concerned about, check the zippers on your backpack.

The best ones have two zippers that you can lock together.

This will prevent people from slyly unzipping your pack and rummaging around inside.

Most seasoned backpackers will lock their bags up.

It’s a wise idea that takes three seconds to do, and could keep your valuables from being nicked!

Back And Shoulder Padding

The best backpacks have good padding on the back and shoulder area.

One of your primary objectives should be to have a backpack that gives your shoulders a little breathing room.

Minimize pinching and shoulder stress by investing in a backpack that has plenty of padding.

Your back and shoulders will definitely thank you!

Waterproof

You never know what kind of weather you’ll be encountering on your travels, so it’s good to think ahead and invest in a backpack that is waterproof.

The last thing that you want is for your precious cargo to get soaking wet!

If you have electronic equipment, like a laptop or smartphone, getting the inside of your pack wet could be a costly and unpleasant experience.

It’s simple to check whether or not a backpack is waterproof, so simply make this one of the non-negotiable qualities that you’re looking for.

Take Care Of Your Backpack

Once you’ve found the perfect backpack, you’ll want to have it for as long as possible!

  • Don’t over stuff your backpack
  • Try not to force the zippers closed as this will lead to rips and tears
  • Wash your backpack regularly

Your backpack is the single most important investment that you’ll take with you on the road.

Make sure that it does the job by investing in small travel backpacks that are waterproof, sturdy and built with plenty of compartments.

That way, you’ll feel comfortable hitting the road to go on your adventure!

Osprey Farpoint 40 – Our Review and Why We Love It

Osprey Farpoint 40 review – We were excited when Osprey introduced the Osprey Farpoint 40, an excellent small travel backpack.

They were kind enough to send us one to try out, and we wish we’d had this backpack for the long-term travel we did around Argentina a few years ago.

It’s comfortable, compact, attractive, and has lots of pockets.

Plus, the Farpoint 40 is the ideal backpack for packing light.

Osprey Farpoint

It’s Compact and Lightweight

The recommended load weight is 30-40 lbs and it measures 21 x 13 x 9″.

Plus, it’s lightweight, weighing in at just 2 lb 14 oz.

If you’re a regular reader of Go Green Travel Green, you know we’re all about packing light.

It saves money (no checked baggage fees) and it’s better for the environment (lighter weight luggage means less it takes less fuel to carry it).

The Osprey Farpoint 40 is the perfect small travel backpack for packing light.

In fact, it would be great for packing for a round-the-world trip.

Osprey has Great Pockets

An essential quality of a good backpack is pockets, and lots of them.

Staying organized is essential for stress-free travel, and having designated pockets for your gear makes it easy to be organized.

The Osprey Farpoint 40 has eight strategically placed pockets (nine if you count the shoulder/hip strap storage pockets), including two external water bottle pockets.

My favorite pocket is the padded laptop pocket, which will be very convenient on longer-term trips.

Osprey Farpoint Super Comfortable

I’m very picky about padding on backpack straps.

Some packs are great in every other way, but skimp on the strap padding, which makes for an uncomfortable pack.

Fortunately, Osprey prioritized adequate padding with the Farpoint 40.

The shoulder and hip straps are nice and cushy, as is the part of the pack that rests against your back.

Even the side and top handles are padded for those times when you’re carrying the pack in your hands instead of on your back.

Osprey Farpoint a Front-Loading Pack

I’ve traveled extensively with top-loading packs and while they’re great from cramming in a bunch of gear, it’s a hassle to have to dump them out every time you want to get to something in the middle or the bottom.

That’s why I prefer front-loading backpacks like the Osprey Farpoint 40, especially for extended travel.

You simply unzip the main pocket, take out what you need, and zip up the backpack.

No need to re-pack every time you want a change of clothes.

Osprey Farpoint Attractive

Attractiveness isn’t the most important feature of a backpack, but if you’re going to be looking at your pack every day of your travels (and, for some of us, that’s months on end), it might as well be attractive.

The Farpoint 40 fits the bill. It comes in three colors: Charcoal, Mud Red, and Lagoon Blue.

Mine is Lagoon Blue, and I love it.

It’s an attractive, gender-neutral color, as are the other two.

Osprey Farpoint 40 Features At-a-Glance

The Osprey Farpoint 40 is a great backpack with fantastic features for the casual camper or the long-term traveler.

Here are a few that you’ll want to know about:

  • Comes in two sizes to ensure a good fit (S/M and M/L)
  • Zip-away shoulder, chest and hip straps
  • Handles on the top and on the side for easy carrying
  • Large panel zip access to main compartment offers easy access to contents
  • Two mesh water bottle pockets on the front
  • Padded laptop pocket which protects your computer
  • LightWire frame provides flexible load support
  • Padded, low-profile shoulder straps and hipbelt offer excellent fit and support
  • Adjustable sternum strap with rescue whistle
  • Dual front compression straps keep load stable
  • Lockable sliders on main compartment zipper
  • Zippered mesh pocket on inner front panel
  • Two internal compression straps hold contents securely
  • Removable sleeping pad straps

The Bottom Line

The Osprey Farpoint 40 is a fantastic small travel backpack.

It’s incredibly comfortable, lightweight, and attractive, and it has great pockets.

I would highly recommend this backpack for both long-term travel (including round-the-world trips) and shorter, more casual trips.

It’s great for the casual camper and the harder core backpacker.

Read more about travel backpacks and backpacking:

Best Backpack ~ 9 Tips to Choose the Best Travel Backpack

Osprey Farpoint 40 review

We would definitely choose the Osprey Farpoint 40 for traveling.

We thoroughly enjoy using this lightweight backpack.

Keen Aliso Daypack Review

I’m a big fan of small backpacks.

Small backpacks allow you to pack light, which saves you money on luggage fees, but more importantly they give you increased flexibility and freedom because you can easily change plans at the last minute when you’re not weighed down by stuff.

I’m also a huge fan of daypacks.

What’s the difference between a daypack and a backpack?

To me, a daypack is a bag that you carry around with you during the day or for up to one overnight.

Ideally daypacks are much smaller than backpacks, which prevents you from over packing.

They also ideally have easily accessible pockets to get at everything you need to get out during the day.

KEEN (the maker of some of my favorite travel shoes) has a new line backpacks and sent us their new Aliso daypack to test out.

Here’s my review.

Keen Aliso Daypack Review: The Pros

Well Organized with Good Pockets

The Aliso is a very well-organized backpack.

There is one easily accessible pocket on the side for a water bottle and a pocket in front for other items you need to grab frequently.

Inside the bag there are two large pockets against the back (which are perfect for a laptop or tablet) and another zipper pocket on the front. Plus, there’s a clip, which is a great spot to hang keys.

Small (22L)

I really like the size of the day pack.

It’s 22L, which is on the smaller side, but it prevents you from over packing (as I do whenever I have more space).

If you’re looking for something slightly larger, Keen has a 28L (the Tilden Daypack) and a 35L (the Ellwood Daypack).

To give you a sense of backpack size in the context of school, I would consider the Aliso to have enough space for an elementary school books and papers, the Tilden to have enough space for books for a high-schooler, and the Ellwood be large enough to carry the books you had in college.

Extra Padded

Almost as important as the organization of a bag is amount of padding.

The Keen daypacks are extremely comfortable and have something they call “Wishbone strap technology” which distributes load weight across the shoulders.

Whatever the technology is, it works. Even loaded down with multiple of water bottles, you can barely tell you have anything on your shoulders.

Stylish

Check out the pictures of the Keen Daypacks.

These aren’t the backpacks you grew up with.

They are great looking and I’ve gotten many compliments on my Aliso.

Weatherproof and Durable

The bottom of the bag is weatherproof, which means your stuff won’t get damaged if you accidentally set the daypack down in a small puddle.

And the material for the bag as a whole is very durable; we’ve been carrying around the bag for about a month and it still looks brand new.

Bonus: Makes a Great Diaper Bag

With an 18 month old who is constantly “go-go-going” (his words), a traditional diaper bag doesn’t quite cut it anymore.

We have a Skip Hop and a Petunia Pickle bottom and both feel too bulky when I’m chasing my son around.

The Keen Aliso Daypack, on the other hand, fits everything my son needs for a day and is far more comfortable to carry.

We will be taking this with us as our daypack/diaper bag of choice when we head to Vancouver next month.

ll-bean-adventure-duffle

Aliso Daypack Review: The Cons

Honestly, the Aliso daypack is an awesome small daypack.

There are almost no drawbacks that I can think of.

The only thing I would do to improve it is that I would have added a second water bottle holder/side pocket to the other side of the bag.

One pocket is nice, but two would have been better.

Small Travel Backpack Recommendation

If you’re looking for a small, well organized, extra padded and comfortable daypack, the Aliso is the bag for you.

If you’re looking for other great daypack/backpacks, check out our guide to picking the best backpack for travel and a review of a small backpack.

Disclaimer: Keen sent us the Aliso backpack to review.

This post also contains affiliate links, which help us provide great content for free.

Thanks for your support!

Best Travel Fleece Jacket: Scottevest Chloe Hoodie Review

woman standing wearing a jacket with glacier at the background

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If you read my review of the Scottevest Molly Jacket, you know that I love pockets.

Luckily for me, the Chloe Hoodie has an abundance of pockets.

While the Molly Jacket is the best regular travel jacket for women, the Scottevest Chloe Hoodie is the best travel fleece jacket.

Scottevest was kind enough to send me one to try out for my recent trip to Iceland.

Best travel fleece jacket review

The Chloe Hoodie is warm and cute, it has great pockets, and I’m a big fan of the hood.

Overall, it’s an awesome travel fleece.

Here’s what I love about it.

It’s Warm

The Chloe is a thick fleece that will keep you warm year-round in most places.

I wore this travel fleece throughout Iceland (even by the glaciers) and was warm.

I was even comfortable in the Chloe Hoodie when it was in the 30’s Fahrenheit.

It’s Cute with Great Colors

My Chloe hoodie is the “Kiss” color scheme, and I love its colors.

Dark grey on the outside with hot pink details in the hood and at the bottom of the sleeves.

The “Dare” hoodie is a dark purple on the outside with black accents, and the “Magic” is black on black with a silver zipper.

All of the color combinations are attractive and fun.

It’s Soft

I live in Minnesota so I’m the proud owner of many fleeces in numerous styles (full zipper, half zipper, no zipper — you name it), and the Chloe Hoodie is by far the softest fleece I own.

It’s super comfy and cozy, perfect for curling up by the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate or heading outdoors for a long hike.

It has Fantastic Pockets

I could go on for paragraphs about the pockets, but I’ll try to be concise.

I’ll tell you that this fleece has 14 (!) pockets, including pockets for chapstick/lipstick, pens, sunglasses, your cell phone, travel documents, your e-reader, your camera, and your keys.

I especially like the built-in lens cleaner cloth for my sunglasses, which doubled as a lens cloth for my DSLR camera.

It Makes a Good Pillow

On those flights when you just need a little nap, there’s nothing like a soft pillow.

Sadly, plush pillows are few and far between on today’s airlines.

Plus, who knows how often those communal plane pillows are cleaned?

Instead, I used my Chloe travel fleece because it was just so soft.

It created just the right size pillow for bunching up next to the window.

It has a Great Hood

In my opinion, hoods are underrated in outwear.

A hood means you can enjoy your travels, even in the midst of a rainstorm or snow flurries.

The Chloe’s hood is amazing because it zips all the way around, which keeps your neck warm even on chilly, rainy, windy days.
best-travel-fleece-scottievest-chloe-hoodie

Room for Improvement

Despite all it’s great features, there are two things that could be improved on the Chloe Hoodie.

First, if you own multiple Scottevest items (like the Molly Jacket or Travel Vest), you’ll find that the pockets on the hoodie are on the opposite side.

So, I had gotten used to where the travel documents pocket was on my vest, but on the hoodie it’s on the right side rather than the left; the camera and sunglasses pockets are on the left and not right.

A minor flaw, really.

Also, this is not a super fitted hoodie.

It’s a little straight lined so if you have a tiny waist and larger hips, it doesn’t define your waist as well as it could.

That said, it fit me very well.

The Bottom Line

Overall, I love the Chloe Hoodie.

It’s warm, cute, soft, has a fantastic hood, comes in great colors, and it’s perfect for colder destinations.

I think the Scottevest Chloe Hoodie is the best travel fleece jacket on the market, and I would highly recommend it for your travels.

Best Travel Jackets for Women: Scottevest Molly Jacket Review

woman wearing travel jacket

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Best Travel Jackets for Women – I love pockets.

Typically my love of pockets results in buying bags that have lots and lots of pockets.

Or jeans that have pockets of the proper depth.

Who wants pants with pockets that are so short you can’t even fit your hands in them properly?

But recently, I’ve found new clothing items with great pockets.

Scottevest makes stylish travel clothing, all decked out with the best pockets I’ve ever seen.

One item they’ve perfected is the travel jacket.

They were kind enough to send us a Molly Jacket for review.

As the owner of numerous jackets, I can officially declare the Scottevest Molly Jacket to be one of the best travel jackets for women.

Here’s why…Travel Jackets Rain Jackets, Fleece Jackets, Lightweight Jackets

One of the best travel jackets for women

It’s Super Cute

In all honesty, I tend to opt for practicality over cuteness when choosing travel clothes.

As a result my travel clothing tends to be fairly boring.

Lots of quick dry, solid color shirts. So, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate adding such a stylish and practical piece of gear to my wordrobe.

Most of the models on the Scottevest site seem to be taller and skinnier than the average person I know.

But, the Molly Jacket looks great on both Kimberly (who is 5’ 3”) and me (I’m 5’ 6”).

I love the belt because it makes the jacket a little more fitted than most jackets are.
best travel jackets for women

It’s Affordable

Most high-quality jackets are several hundred dollars, but the Molly Jacket is less than $200.

It has Amazing Pockets

The Molly Jacket has 17 pockets (seventeen!). They include:

  • sunglasses pocket (with built-in cleaning cloth)
  • digital camera pocket and memory card pocket
  • lipstick / chapstick pocket
  • pocket for your earbuds, which can be wired through the jacket
  • cell phone / MP3 player pocket
  • pen pocket
  • ID pocket
  • travel documents pocket
  • ereader or tablet pocket
  • change pocket

My favorites are the ID pocket and travel document (passport and ticket) pockets, as they make going through security a breeze.

I put my phone in the phone pocket, my wallet in a larger pocket, and my sunglasses in the sunglasses pocket.

All I have to do is take off my Molly Jacket and put it in the bin to go through security.

I can’t tell you how much I love not having to empty my pockets to go through security.
Scottevest Molly travel jacket for women

It’s Lightweight and Breathable

I recently wore the Molly Jacket with a pair of jeans and a t-shirt on a flight from Minneapolis, where it was 75 degrees when I left, to Denver, where it was 83 degrees when I arrived.

The jacket was light enough that I wasn’t sweating while walking through the airport or on the plane.

There’s nothing worse than landing at your destination and needing a shower because you were too hot.

However, in colder weather — like on a recent trip to Iceland — the jacket can be paired with a long sleeve shirt or a wool hoodie to keep you warm in temperatures down below freezing.

It’s a Great Commuter Jacket

Not only does the Molly Jacket make an awesome travel jacket, it also works well as an every day commuter jacket.

If you’re a frequent rider of public transit — be it the Subway, LightRail, T, L, or Metro — you know a key part of commuting is having your transit card and phone accessible.

The ID pocket doubles as a transit card pocket.

And the phone pocket with the headphone system makes it easy to put on your favorite music or podcast and drown out the sounds around you.

It Makes Traveling with Kids a Breeze

Besides their tendency to throw tantrums or cry in the middle of an airport or plane ride, kids are also difficult to travel with because of the amount of stuff they require.

When we were traveling with our son, then 9 months old, to Iceland, being able to put everything in the coat pockets made it incredibly easy to breeze through security — as well as store toys and baby books we wanted to keep accessible.

Granted, by the end of the trip my jacket weighed about 15 pounds because of everything I put in it, but you wouldn’t have known by looking at me because of the special weight system that prevents bulkiness!

Room for Improvement

There are only three things that this jacket lacks. First, it doesn’t have a hood.

I’m not sure that a hood would look all that great on the jacket, but in my mind the very best travel jacket on the market would have a hood for those rainy windy days in Iceland or London, New York, Bellingham, WA, or wherever you happen to be when the poor weather strikes.

Perhaps it could fold inconspicuously into the collar.

The second and third imperfections are minor.

There is no little loop on the back of the jacket to make it easy to hang your coat on a hook.

Minor, but I missed having that loop on the jacket.

Third, the other Scottevest products I’ve tried have a great outside pocket that has a key ring on it.

As the person who normally drives the rental car, I loved having a place to attach the keys to so I didn’t lose them.

Unfortunately, the Molly Jacket doesn’t have this key ring.

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The Bottom Line

Overall, I would recommend the Scottevest Molly Jacket to any woman is who is looking for a travel jacket.

It’s cute, stylish, great in most weather, and has absolutely amazing pockets.

I can honestly say I’ve found it to be one of the best travel jackets for women that I’ve ever worn.

Sleep Sack Liner Review ~ Grand Trunk Goods Sleep Sack

Single bed with mattress

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If your green travel journeys find you in non-traditional overnight accommodations where crisp clean sheets may not always be in the cards (think yurts, huts, hostels, or the occasional couch via couch-surfing site), it’s essential to have a high-quality organic sleep sack.

I thought I was getting by just fine hauling around my heavy-duty backpacking mummy bag in all seasons, until I recently tried out Grand Trunk’s Bamboo Sleep Sack.

Read more for our sleep sack liner review.

What is a sleep sack vs sleeping bag liner?

A sleep sack is like a personal, portable set of sleep sheets.

Most sleep sacks are constructed much like a traditional rectangular sleeping bag, but are sized more generously in both length and width.

Some even come in double.

Most are made of thinner cotton or silk (much like a set of sheets), though I’ve seen flannel as well.

Sleep sacks are stored in cinch bags or rolls, or can be folded up in a backpack or suitcase.

You can use this sleep sack as a sleeping bag liner in cold climates, or use it on its own in warmer climates.

Sleep sack liner review

Grand Trunk’s Bamboo Sleep Sack

The Grand Trunk Bamboo Sleep Sack is so very soft, I don’t think I can ever go back to cotton.

It’s lightweight, so it would work beautifully in warm climates, but can be paired with a sleeping bag or blanket in colder weather (check prices here).

It’s of course far roomier than my mummy bag and features a nice slit down one side that can be tied back up for easy entry and more space.

Best of all, it has a pillow pocket, so you can insert a pillow, which won’t slip around and disappear during the night.
sleep sack liner review
I took the sleep sack along on a Mt. Hood, Oregon wilderness snowshoe overnight, where we trekked to a rustic hut that was equipped with communal sleeping bags.

I’d need the warmth of the bag, but didn’t relish the idea of sleeping directly where a stranger had the night before, so I wiggled into my sleep sack, then slid into the bag.

The arrangement worked perfectly, and since the bamboo sleep sack is only 16 ounces, I avoided carrying in a heavy bag.

Next I packed the sleep sack for a weekend trip to Portland, OR, where I’d be renting a vacation home room which I wasn’t sure included linens.

Turns out, it did, but I still felt more comfortable using my sleep sack, sandwiched between the sheets and comforter.

Using it with extra covers over me instead of a sleeping bag, I did get a bit tangled up at times, but have I mentioned how soft that bamboo material is?

Totally worth it!

The bamboo viscose material is not only soft, but quite stretchy, and washes easily in a regular washing cycle.

The feel reminds me a little of “t-shirt material” sheets, but better.

Plus, since it’s bamboo, it naturally wicks moisture away from your body.

And of course bamboo is a sustainable, renewable fiber, so you’re doing the planet a favor, too. Nothing synthetic here!

The bamboo sleep sack rolls into its own small cinch sack.

Grand Trunk Goods: Good for Green Travel

We like when companies are good stewards.

There are few on our short list of green companies.

It does my heart good when I find a travel product company that truly gets travel.

You’d be amazed how many don’t!

Not only does Grand Trunk sell eco-friendly travel products that you’d actually use, but their philosophy — that they make products for travel, not trips — tells me that they’re in the “travel as a lifestyle, not a destination” business.

While you’re checking out the sleep sack, take a look at their hammocks, shelters, tents, and hammock compatible sleeping bags!

Disclaimer: We received a Grand Trunk sleep sack complimentary for the purpose of this sleep sack liner review.

Best Vegan Shoes for Walking and Travel

vegan shoes for walking

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Best Vegan Shoes for Walking and Travel – As a vegetarian, I am always looking for great vegan and vegetarian travel gear.

I also like packing light, which means that I can only bring a couple of pairs of shoes when I am traveling.

So I love vegan shoes I can wear whether I am walking on the beach or exploring a new city.

Here are a few of my favorite vegan shoes for travel.

All are light-weight, comfortable, and can be worn with a variety of outfits — making packing a breeze.

Best Vegan Shoes for Walking and Travel

Sanuk Rasta Brisbane

Sanuk sent me a pair of their Rasta Brisbane shoes to review.

They call these sidewalk surfers, and they are comfortable for light walking.

Whether you’re roaming the streets of Paris or navigating tiny alleys in Zanzibar, you’ll love these shoes if you’re looking for vegan shoes for travel.

Since Sanuk shoes were created as an alternative to flip-flops, these are meant to be worn without socks.

Which just means one less thing to pack.

Made from hemp and lined with printed canvas, these are breathable and light.

With a 48% recycled rubber outsole, these Sanuk shoes are definitely eco-friendly.

In addition to being comfortable, these look nice with pants, shorts, or even a cute summer dress.

Even though many of Sanuk’s shoes have a pattern, they are usually subtle enough so they match other designs and colors in your wardrobe. This eliminates the need to pack and carry multiple pairs of shoes while you travel.

Available in two colors, dirty kauki (shown) and green, these shoes are made for women.

Also, there are some great options for vegan men’s Sanuk shoes as well.Best Vegan Shoes for Walking and Travel

Jambu Barefoot

Like the Sanuk shoes, you are meant to wear these shoes without socks.

Jambu sent me a pair of their vegan shoes to review, and I think they may become one of my favorite pairs of vegan walking shoes.

These vegan shoes are incredibly lightweight, which is a huge plus for travel.

The upper part of the shoe is made with mesh, making them very breathable and great for travel during hot weather.

Often while traveling, I set off exploring and end up far from the hotel, then have to face the long walk back. So I really appreciate the memory foam that adds extra comfort for long treks.

The partially recycled rubber outsole has a fair amount of traction, especially considering how lightweight the shoe is.

These Jambu vegan shoes are available for women. They also have a line of vegan shoes just for girls.

They come in white (shown), as well as black, light grey and tan. You may want to go up half a size if you are between sizes.
Vegan Shoes for Travel

TOMS Vegan Shoes

With every pair of shoes you buy, TOMS gives one pair to a child in need.

The majority of their shoes are not vegan, but they do a have a growing line of vegan shoes that are ideal for travel.

They’re easy to pack and because most pairs are canvas, they’re also easy to clean.

I like that a basic pair of TOMS works well with a variety of outfits. You can wear them with thin socks when the weather is a little cooler.

The TOMS vegan line is available for both men and women and comes in variety of colors and patterns.

The shoes boast a canvas insole with cushion for comfort and a one-piece outsole for flexibility.

I have found that TOMS are not the most durable shoe, but they are nice for light walking. We don’t recommend them for hiking.

If you are going on a long trip, I would definitely suggest choosing a more durable option.

TOMS make buying a pair of vegan shoes for travel affordable.
Vegan Shoes for Travel
Also be sure to check out our list of the best travel shoes and walking sandals and our review of Simple’s vegan ecoSNEAKS.

These vegan shoes for traveling are comfortable. You will find you wear them at home around town as well.

Best Microfiber Travel Towel Numerous Towels on the Market Today

tangerine microfiber towel

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Best microfiber travel towel – What do you expect from the best microfiber travel towels you buy?

You want softness, which is why microfiber is so fantastic.

You may want a stylish color to match the other towels you have.

You may want something that is absorbent, durable or just plain cute.

When it comes to options, you do have numerous towels to choose from on the market today.

These travel towels are super absorbent.

I carry two of the Micronet (below), a small and a large on longer, hostel-staying, trips.

Best Microfiber Travel Towel

To know what your options are, rely on these tips.

You will find that the following are the top three microfiber travel towels on the market.

That comes from the customers who bought then and reviewed them.

These are your best overall bet for quality and style.

Rick Steve’s Travel Towel

One of the top rated products, as reported by consumers, are the New Microfiber Travel Towels from Rick Steves.

Use them for hair drying, babies or for virtually anything you want and need.

This company sells these in a set of seven.

They are super absorbent in that they hold seven times the weight of the towel in water or other liquid.

In addition, these dry quickly, which means they are able to reduce bacteria growth.

You can use them for any wet or dry application, too.

Customers who bought them loved that they were a good quality and that they were lightweight.
Microfiber Towels

Design Go Luggage Travel Towel

For those that love to splash and play in the water, having a travel towel that allows for easy drying is critical.

A good option is the Design Go Travel Towel.

These are perfect for scuba diving, surfing or other wet sports where you need a fast way to dry off.

There are several reasons that consumers like these.

First, they are a high density knit material that is highly compact and it is super absorbent.

This means they can help you to dry off quickly.

In addition, they are durable enough to scrub with.

These towels will hold up to five times their weight in water.

Micronet Travel Towel

These towels come with a net that allows you to more easily carry and store them.

I own a hand-size towel and an extra large travel towel from this company and love them.

Aquis Adventure Towel

This manufacturer makes a number of different towel options, with and without microfiber, that are perfect for sports situations as well as other activities.

The Aquis Adventure Travel is a unique option because it blends a material called Aquitex, which is super absorbent, with ultra fine micro fibers.

This unique combination makes these towels super lightweight, but they are very effective at drying off surfaces.

They are able to draw in the water quickly so that you can dry off fast.

These are great for drying hair quickly and come with a special closure to keep the towel in place.

For those looking for a fantastic microfiber travel towel, do consider these options.

You will also find larger towels able to do many of the same features.

The customer who bought the above products say these products work as described and where perfect for camping or swimming, or just any use.

How to Pack Lighter and Smarter For Traveling