Travel Essentials

What I use to travel the world, from eSIMs to backpacks to guidebooks. This page is a work in progress! Keep checking back for new recommendations.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I get a small percentage of that at no extra cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.)

Digital Stuff

Airalo – $3 USD credit for new users

Airalo is an eSIM provider that covers a wide range of countries and is very easy to use when traveling. eSIMs are great to have as an alternative to switching out physical SIM cards all the time. I’ve used Airalo in Japan and Indonesia and had good coverage on both.

Use code ANASTA0149 when you sign up or apply it at checkout.

ExpressVPN – 30 days free for new users

Every time you use a public wifi spot you run the risk of someone stealing your info. This is especially dangerous when you’re doing banking stuff or signing into credit card portals, etc. Very basically: using a VPN blocks unauthorized access while still allowing you to use the internet.

Get 30 days free with ExpressVPN when you sign up using that link. The VPN works on computers, phones (iOS and Android), and tablets so it’s really handy!

Rakuten – Cashback on travel websites

Rakuten is a browser addon that looks for coupons, discount codes, and cash back offers from websites. I’ve been using it for years and gotten over $100 in cash back! It’s good to use when booking hotels and excursions especially; I always double-check if something has an offer on Rakuten before I buy it.

Get an extra 10% cash back with my referral link:


I enjoy reading travel memoirs; they’re what inspired me to travel the world in the first place and I always have a few ready to go on my Kindle.

Here’s my favorites:

The very first “world travel” book I ever read, back in high school. This is the book that inspired me to go solo traveling myself!

The next book I read that kicked off not only my desire to travel, but to travel long-term. A classic of solo traveler how-to book.

Another favorite travel memoir, this time of a husband-and-wife duo who bicycled around the world for two years.

Backpack Stuff

If I have to carry it around for months, it better be worth carrying. Here’s my favorite “backpack stuff”:

Beurer BR60 Insect Sting & Bite Relief…thingy. This heats up a small plate, and you press it to your mosquito bite for 3 seconds or so. The heat breaks up the proteins in the bite and makes it less itchy! My friend in Borneo had one of these and I liked it so much I got one of my own.

Sea to Summit Premium Silk Sleeping Bag Liner. Great for when a hostel’s sheets are just slightly…off. Or when the air con isn’t quite strong enough and all they gave you is a thick duvet.

Silicone mug cover. This thing is fantastic! Not only does it keep my tea warm, but it keeps bugs from dive bombing into my drinks. It’s a staple in my travel kitchen supplies.

Reusable silicone bags, great for storing extra food or little things in my bag. I also use one to wash laundry in the sink!

Travelon soft packing cubes. I specifically like these ones because they’re lightweight but good quality, and the soft sides make it easy to squash them into a backpack.

Kindle Paperwhite. I used to carry multiple books with me. Now I just need this thing! Dozens (or hundreds!) of books on one small device, and it’s comfortable to read on, too.