We’d like to think we’ve learned a thing or two after traveling to nearly 100 countries. While every destination is different, one thing remains the same; good travel gear is key to a smooth trip. We’re constantly trying out new products and here’s a short list of what we think is the best gear for socially conscious travelers. It looks good, functions well and gives back!
Cabeau Travel Pillow
With a patent-pending seat strap system, the Cabeau Evolution S3 travel pillow is a game changer for long-haul flights. The pillow prevents travelers’ heads from falling forward or to the side. By attaching to the plane seat wings, you don’t need to worry about getting too close to your neighbor.
To show how much the company cares about their local community, they created Cabeau Cares, an initiative that enables employees to regularly donate time and effort to help those in need.
Upping the game with stylish frames at a low price point, DIFF exists to ‘Make a Difference,’ as noted inside each case. Socially conscious and charitable at their core, DIFF has donated over one million pairs of glasses to people in need. To continue their impact, Project DIFF, a fair-trade, sustainable project uses kitenge sunglass pouches to empower artisans and improve education in Uganda.
Nimes Travel Wallet
A collaboration between two artisans, Clara and Santiago, Nimes is a brand of thoughtfully designed, handmade leather goods from Buenos Aires. Timeless pieces, the leather is vegetable tanned without any chemicals and materials are all natural. The perfect size for boarding passes, the travel wallet has 12 credit card slots, two pockets and room for four passports. It softens over time and zips up to keep everything securely in one place.
If you need to slip an extra bag into your suitcase but don’t want it to count as an additional carry-on, Tortuga has you covered. A travel company that provides scholarships to study abroad, they make a packable daypack that zips down into a small pouch. Throw it in your suitcase and then use it on the go. Their Outbreaker Backpack is a fully featured carry on that is more organized than a hiking backpack and designed to be comfortable, no matter how much you put in it.
Cotopaxi is a brand that makes ‘Gear for Good.’ A percentage of sales goes to their Foundation, which supports global poverty alleviation. For a day trip or a weekender, the Chumpi Travel Duffel is deceiving as it holds much more than it looks like it would. With backpack straps that can be tucked in and a removable shoulder sling, it’s perfect for quick trips.
Sea & Grass
Warm weather trips require beach bags and the Isla Tote by Sea & Grass is ideal. It packs flat and can go from day to night for an all purpose travel purse. The line of seagrass handbags are handmade by women in Northern Thailand and provide scholarships for the village children to attend school.
Banana Backpacks created the ultimate travel backpack. Thoughtful design optimizes the travel experience without sacrificing the space required to carry additional gear. The Khmer Explorer Travel Set is the company’s signature backpack. Designed to take up to 80% of the weight off of shoulders, it also has a three-piece removable packing system.
Each purchase provides an annual education for one student in Siem Reap, one of the poorest provinces in Cambodia. And just to remind you, the name of a student is embroidered in Khmer on the strap of every backpack. For that reason, we think this is some of the best gear for socially conscious travelers.