There are affiliate links in this post. There will be no extra cost to you, but I’ll receive a small commission or fee if you buy or sign up through these links.
Welcome to my Travel Kit page. These are actual travel tools I am using or have used in the past. These items help ease the stress of travel. Yes, getting to your destination can be stressful. Therefore preparation is key so you can focus on creating memories of a lifetime.
International Travel Cards
American Express Credit Card. In the words of American Express, “Don’t live life without it.” The card has so many perks and benefits, especially for travel. I intentionally signed up for the Platinum card for the travel perks: access to travel lounges all over the world with Priority Pass, $200 Airline Fee Credit, Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre-check, and no foreign transaction fees. There are so many perks associated with this card.
Charles Schwab Bank Card. Schwab wants you to “Own Your Tomorrow.” They do a good job of helping you by refunding local and international fees and foreign transaction fees.
Transportation (Land & Air)
International Driving Permit. Before you leave the USA, go to your neighborhood AAA store and apply. It’s cheap, quick, and easy. AAA associates can take your passport picture in-store and the permit will be issued the same day in no time. The process is simple, affordable, and quick.
Hopper App. Hopper uses big data to predict flight prices and will notify you when it’s the best time to book. I use Hopper to track prices and compare the prices to other sites.
Google Flight. Surprisingly, there is no app. You can start your flight search to compare prices. There is no middleman. You book directly with the airlines.
Google Map App. Make sure to add the Google Map app to your phone and save all points of interest as “starred places” making hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions easy to locate on your mobile.
Uber. Uber is a multinational company. It’s a great app to have on your phone while traveling. I’ve used Uber in Ghana, South Africa, and France, just to name a few. Use my code (zevsb) and get $2 off each of your first 3 rides.
Lodging Reward Programs
One Key. Formerly Hotels.com and now a combination of Expedia, Hotels, VRBO & others. You can book hotels, flights, packages, cars, activities, and cruises. They offer hotels and private residences. You can even list your own property and get paid. In addition, they have their own rewards program. You get OneKeyCash, a rewards currency, to use on Expedia, Hotels.com, and VRBO when you book select hotels, car rentals, activities, and more!
Hilton Honors. There are so many perks to being a Hilton Honors (HH) member. First, it’s free and you get a HH discounted rate. For each stay, you receive points toward free nights. You can choose your room, digital check-in, and out. For every $1 spent, you receive 10 points. Tru & Home2 stays earn 5 points per $1. May vary by region. If you haven’t tasted the free cookies at the Double Tree hotels, you don’t know what you are missing. The Embassy Suites have the best breakfast omelets.
IHG Rewards Club. This rewards program is free also. There are no blackout dates. You get the IHG rate when booked directly with the hotelier. You can redeem points for free nights.
Groupon. Groupon is a great tool to have in your travel toolbox. There are endless activities on the website at great deals. I’ve purchased Groupons for desert safaris in Dubai to a ferris wheel ride in Atlanta. The reviews from actual customers are helpful and provide insight prior to the experience.
Viator. Similar to Groupon there are endless activities on Viator. You can reserve now, and pay later. There a lot of last-minute deals. In addition, the reviews are helpful to verify if you will have a good or bad experience. I always organize them by the most recent reviews.
DELSEY Paris Helium Aero Hardside Luggage with Spinner Wheels. I purchased this bag in November 2017 for my first international solo trip to the United Arab Emirates. Two years and twelve countries (and some domestic trips) later, it is still in good condition. I recommend this luggage for travel. It’s 2023 and the DESLEY is still hanging.
Memory foam travel pillow. This is not the exact brand I have but the specs are similar. I use this pillow for any long journey, not just airplane rides. A girl has to get her beauty rest. I use the TravelBlue memory foam pillow.
Eye mask. Once again, this is not the exact brand but has similar specs. I use this mask at home and during travel. Daniel and I keep separate sleep schedules. Sleep does not come easy for him. I, on the other hand, can be wake one minute and snoring the next. He envies my sleep ease. 😉 Also, I used it during my visa run fun, made great catnaps. I also use the TravelBlue brand. I use it so much, it’s falling apart.
Compressions Socks. On my international trip to Italy, I did not have compression socks and my feet were so swollen. As the saying goes, you live and you learn. I’ve been wearing compression socks on all international flights since then. The socks help prevent blood clots when sitting for a long time during long flights.
RainLeaf Anti-bacterial Microfiber Towel, Large. I purchased this towel for my birthday trip to Thailand in 2018. It absorbs water easily, dries fast, and does not take up a lot of space in luggage. Perfect for beach trips.
CamelBak Chute Water Bottle, 1-Liter. Another 2018 Thailand purchase. It’s important to stay hydrated wherever you are in the world. Daniel has claimed my water bottle as his own and uses it to mix his protein drinks.
Sawyer Products SP128 MINI Water Filtration System. I purchased this filtration system in 2018 for my Thailand trip too. It was handy in Ghana and India. It’s a big help to the environment. It helped me cut down on the purchase of bottled water. I saw the effect of bottled water consumption had on the beaches living in Ghana for three months. Let’s save our Earth, one bottle at a time.
Go Tours Dubai. We’ve wasted a lot of moolah on me for visa renewals. Recently, we discovered a British-owned visa-run company that takes you to the Oman border and bring you back the same day. If you plan on staying in the UAE for over 30 days and your country meets certain visa requirements, this is an affordable and easy way to renew your visa.