Summer Travel Gear Review; What’s In My Travel Bag?

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It’s summertime and that means summer travel gear review time! As a travel blogger, I’m often asked what’s in my travel bag? Sometimes I feel like I should have been a contestant on Let’s Make a Deal, as I always have pens, paper, bandaids and all sorts of random stuff in my carryall, purse, backpack and suitcase. Yet I pride myself on traveling light. Today’s summer travel gear review includes Lifeproof Fre iPhone case, Otterbox iPhone Pursuit case, Yeti Camino Carryall, Accell Powramid & Vision Global Wifi hot spot.

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Lifeproof iPhone camouflage phone case

I’ve been a fan of Lifeproof and Otterbox since my first iPhone case review in 2013. Each year that I buy a new smartphone, I make sure to protect it with the best iPhone case on the market. For my money, the best iPhone case is a Lifeproof case or an Otterbox. I prefer the Lifeproof Fre for iPhone for my travels to Alaska, Costa Rica and Hawaii – in other words, I put the Lifeproof case on when my iPhone has a chance of getting wet or submerged in water. I’m still one of those people who doesn’t like to submerge my phone underwater, but I’m okay with my phone getting wet or splashed with the Lifeproof case on. The only reason that I don’t keep the Lifeproof case on my mobile phone all the time is because I think the case muffles the sound quality a little. Suggested retail price of the Lifeproof waterproof Fre iPhone case range from $89.00 – $99.00.

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Lifeproof waterproof iPhone case

My son, a hunter and avid outdoorsman, prefers to protect his phone with the Lifeproof case year round. He learned a difficult lesson from the school of hard knocks when he dropped his iPhone in the Brooks River at the Katmai National Park when he was working at King Salmon Lodge in Alaska. He was able to retrieve his water-logged phone, but he wasn’t using a Lifeproof case and he lost all of his photos that he hadn’t yet uploaded to cloud storage.

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Otterbox Pursuit case for iPhone. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

For my everyday phone protection, I prefer the Otterbox iPhone Pursuit case. While not waterproof, the ultra-thin case allows my smartphone to slip easily in and out of my pocket. The Otterbox Pursuit case provides the ultimate level of protection for my iPhone. I specialize in equestrian travel, so it is very important that my iPhone fits easily into a back pocket or jacket pocket, yet it has to offer protective features that can withstand being dropped while horseback riding or even being stepped on by a horse or human. I love my Otterbox and the cell phone cases come in jazzy colors, too. Suggested retail price of the Pursuit series for iPhone 8 is $69.95.

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Yeti Camino Carryall bag. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

Yeti – Built for the Wild

I’m also a Yeti fan. My husband first introduced me to Yeti gear when he got his first Yeti hard-sided cooler. He takes that cooler camping, golfing, in our recreational trailer and most of the time it can be found in the bed of his pickup truck. Indeed, that cooler is built for the wild. I, on the other hand, prefer the Yeti soft sided coolers. The portable coolers like the Hopper Two cooler are designed for the grab and go traveler. I take my Hopper fishing with me in Alaska, California and Oregon and I recently got the Yeti Camino Carryall to use as my travel bag.

I like the Camino Carryall tote bag because it is as durable as the soft sided coolers (it’s made out of the same waterproof material) but it’s lightweight. In fact, I used it as my carryon bag on my fishing trip to Waterfall Resort in Ketchican, Alaska. Suggested retail price of the Yeti Camino Carryall tote bag is $149.99.

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Livermore Valley Wine Growers. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

Road trips

If this is a California road trip I tend to travel with my Grand Trunk hammock (my go-to goods for the road as it’s easy to hang anywhere) and a good bottle, or two, of California wine. This month I received a mixed shipment of red and white wine samples from Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association. The Livermore Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) straddles both Contra Costa and Alameda County. It’s an easy drive from San Jose, Walnut Creek and San Francisco, California and it’s an important wine growing region.

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Wente Vineyards and their white wines are well known to me (and Carolyn Wente shares my affinity for horses) but the other 5 red wine bottles in the box are all labels unfamiliar to me. Both Las Positas Meritage and Crooked Vine spoke to me because I love a good red wine blend that’s able to be laid down in the cellar, yet Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese are my friends because these grape varietals grow so well in this warm growing region.

Our son, a recent college graduate, is home with us until he lands a job and that means that he’s our in-house chef. It’s great fun introducing him to Mitchell Katz Sangiovese to pair with a homemade lasagna and the Longevity Cabernet Sauvignon and Bent Creek Cabernet Franc both pair well with elk and venison (both my husband and son are bow hunters.) Don’t worry, neither elk or deer are endangered species and we enjoy eating organic meat while supporting fish and game with proper hunting licenses.

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Vision Global WiFi Mobile Hotspot. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

Oversees travel

Vision Global WiFi reached out to me to test their mobile hotspot and portable wifi unit on a recent trip to Ireland. I loved traveling with Vision Global WiFi and highly recommend this summer travel gear. In fact, I’d rent this mobile hotspot every time I traveled internationally if money were no object. It is very easy to use and the California-based company offers excellent customer support in renting the portable unit. The mobile hot spot comes with its own carrying case and an inflatable neck pillow comes with the unit that is yours to keep after you return the portable wifi device.

Pricing of the Vision Global Wifi hotspot varies depending on travel to United Kingdom, France, Japan and Canada. We used the Vision Global WiFi hot spot on a 17-day trip to Ireland and it worked perfectly. It was a wonderful asset to us during our international travels both walking around Dublin, Ireland and when we were traveling by car all over Ireland and into Northern Ireland.

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Last, but not least, The Accell Powramid is a combination USB charging station and surge protector all in one. The power center, with 6 outlets, is something that I use in my home office, but you can also take this summer travel gear on the road with you. The Accell Powramid comes with a grounded 6-foot power cord and six adapter spaced outlets arranged in a circle. It has a suggested retail price of $34.99.

Summer travel gear review, including Lifeproof and Otterbox iPhone cases, Yeti Camino Carryall, Livermore Valley wines, Poweramid power center & Vision Global Wifi hot spot review written by and photos courtesy of Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. Thanks to @Lifeproof @Otterbox @yeti @LVWineCountry @accellcables and @globalWiFi_Us for supplying me with this travel gear for review purposes. For more travel gear reviews follow @Nancydbrown on Twitter and Instagram. All opinions are my own.