What’s in my Travel Bag 2018

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This year I’m taking a new approach to travel: I’ve written a list of destinations I don’t believe I can live without visiting in my lifetime and I’m ticking them off one by one. This year my adventures kicked off in Alberta, Canada, a destination that has been on my travel list for as long as I can remember. Although this destination is more popular in the summertime, I was determined to make it a winter trip as the concept of snow is still quite foreign for this Tasmanian native!

Another new approach I am taking this year is to spend a lot more of my time capturing video content to help inspire journies of your own. For the past five years I have really side-lined video content and focused more on imagery, but this year I want to make my Youtube Channel my main approach.

Switching to more video content means investing in new gear and upgrading some of my old and faithful gear. After much deliberation and way too much time watching review videos on Youtube, I’ve found the below equipment to be the best for me to capture my solo adventures this year in both photos and videos, and think this will help fellow solo travelers learn how to capture great content on your own.

Whats in my travel bag 2018 | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Olympus OMD EM5 Mark II

It was a few years ago when I made the switch from a heavy DSLR camera to a mirrorless, upon suggestion from a photographer I met on location in Belgium. He said that “mirrorless is the way of the future” for cameras, and it was either his professionalism or the fact he shouted me a hot chocolate that led me to believe him. Fast forward to today and I’ve been using the Olympus OMD for 3 years and haven’t looked back. This camera is super lightweight and still packs a lot of quality, is really great for travel photography and easy to use for video.

Olympus PEN

This guy is my secret weapon. Tiny, compact, and with really high video quality (I use it for most of my vlogging to camera). Its a great little camera to take with you everywhere so that you’re always armed and ready to film, though I would recommend upgrading to your own microphone with a wind protector (below) as the sound suffers in windy situations. Inside it manages just fine!

GoPro Hero 6 Black

The other camera I use is the newest version of the GoPro; the HERO 6 BLACK. I’ve always been a big fan of GoPro for their innovative little cameras that are perfect for capturing adventure sports, though it isn’t until now that I’ve believed in the quality. After taking the 6 for a test drive I think it is leaps and bounds ahead of any previous model and I’m excited to take it with me skiing, on safari, in the ocean and just about anywhere this little guy is willing to go.

GoPro Selfie Pole

Being a solo traveller means taking your own photos, so be sure to invest in one of these bad boys! I can’t say I’ve ever been a fan (or user) of a selfie stick, but I do love the GoPro pole to help me take photos with a wider perspective and myself in frame (facing away from the camera, of course!)

Rode Microphone

This year I’m focusing more (much, much more) on video content, so it was time to re-invest in a Rode microphone. I previously used one of the battery-operated mics and after one too many fails, decided to purchase this plug-in AUX cable microphone that requires no batteries and less headaches.

Zhiyun Crane v2 Stabiliser

This is a newbie to my travel bag but a very welcomed one. In 2018 I want to spend a lot more time creating video content, so I invested in this stabiliser to help keep my footage smooth and cinematic. This particular crane suits a mirrorless camera, which is perfect for my Olympus OMD. If you do happen to have a bigger camera, you’ll need the next model up.

Joby Gorillapod

This bad boy is integral to shooting vlog-style videos if you are travelling by yourself. Not only is it a great extension pole to fit more in your frame when speaking to camera, but it also doubles as a flexible tripod that can be placed just about anywhere to capture your solo photos and videos.

Mini Gorillapod

Because I’m often out for really long days without connection to power, I also purchased a mini gorillapod for my phone so that if all of my batteries die, I’ve always got a backup device. This is also great for making better Instagram stories, as it makes for smoother video content and the gorillapod can be wrapped around just about anything!

Manfrotto BeFree Tripod

As a solo traveller, a good tripod is just as important to me as the camera that sits on it! If you’ve ever wondered how I take my solo travel photos, nine times out of ten this is the secret. I re-invested in a new tripod this year as my previous (cheaper) one wasn’t sturdy enough in extreme weather conditions. This bad boy is just what I need without being too expensive and it comes with a carry bag making it easy to cart around.

Manfrotto Mini Tripod

Sometimes you just can’t lug around a huge tripod around for a whole day and these cases (believe me, it happens almost every day!) I take my mini tripod. This mini tripod will carry the weight of both my Olympus PEN and my OMD camera, so it is a great alternative to carrying a full-size tripod around for the day.

Manfrotto Backpack

After my Olympus OMD took a hit in check-in luggage last year, I promised myself to only carry gear in my carry-on and thus invested in a proper camera backpack to keep my gear safe. Although this felt like money I didn’t really need to spend, I consider it as a sort of insurance policy for my gear and know everything will stay safer if packed properly.

Lifeproof Phone Case

You’re either one of those people whose phone is smashed to the core or you’re in the club of having a Lifeproof case. Recently, I made the switch. A few years ago I was using Lifeproof cases but found they would reduce the amount of light let in to my camera and my phone photos would suffer as a consequence. However after one too many trips to the phone doctor for a new glass screen, I’ve decided to revert back to a Lifeproof case and stick to taking almost all of my photos on my camera and AirDropping them across at the end of each day. This also means I can answer emails in the shower which, as odd as it sounds, is actually really handy!

Brooke Saward | Versailles Palace


12-40mm lens

This is my main lens I use when I travel and I would say 90% of my photos are taken with this lens.

7-14mm PRO lens

This is my wide-angle lens I use when photographing hotel rooms or trying to fit a lot more in frame (i.e. inside a car to show my location, rather than just the windscreen).

25mm PRO lens

This lens I use for bokeh as it has a maximum of f1.2 Aperture and is really good for portrait photography.

14-42mm lens

This is my core lens for my Olympus PEN camera, which is always my first choice for vlogging to camera.

Fisheye lens

I’ll be honest: I hardly ever use this lens as I’m not a huge fan of the “GOPRO” look in photos. Cases where I do use it are usually when photographing a close-up subject to distort the reality, like the photos I took in Cambodia at Angkor Wat.

Other Bits and Pieces

I also travel with: GoPro attachments for various viewpoints, gaff tap (comes in handy on so many occasions), a “selfie light” to vlog at night, a BackUp USB to keep all my photos and videos secured, a plug-in remote for my camera to start time-lapses or long exposure shots, my Timberlands that I don’t think I’ve taken off since buying in a Boxing Day Sale and a couple of polaroids of my pooch!


I hope you found this post useful when considering the camera gear you might invest in this year! For the past few years I have been an ambassador of Olympus Australia as I use solely their cameras and lenses to capture my adventures. All opinions remain my own!

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    February 16, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Which PEN is it ? 8 or 9?

    I am looking to get a new camera and I am intrigued by the Pens’

    • Brooke Saward
      February 17, 2018 at 3:21 am

      I have the 8, but the 9 only just came out! I’ve found each upgrade to be really similar 🙂

    london clubs
    February 15, 2018 at 1:33 am

    I think you would need to take a mavic air, and you would have the complete set, have you thought about buying a drone and taking aerial images?

    • Brooke Saward
      February 15, 2018 at 4:41 pm

      Drones aren’t allowed here, they interfere with the wildlife so its a no fly zone 🙂

    February 10, 2018 at 3:29 am

    I’m looking into the PEN E-PL8 model and it doesn’t have a mic input… how do you connect your Rode? Thanks!

    • Brooke Saward
      February 11, 2018 at 6:32 pm

      I only use the Rode for my OMD EM5 Mark II 🙂 The internal mic on the PEN is really good though, I have never needed an external mic unless in extreme winds!

    February 5, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    Wonderful!! Thank you for posting informative blog. Your posts are more interesting and informative.

    Molly @ Molly On the Move
    February 1, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Hmmm…I’ve always made my dSLR packing essentially number one when traveling, since photos are the only souvenir I care about getting! I’ll have to look into this mirrorless concept, as the dSLR really does weigh a girl down (especially with limited bag space). Thanks for the tip!

    the adventurer
    January 29, 2018 at 10:54 am

    I have the olympus pen camera and absolutely love using it =o)

    • Brooke Saward
      January 29, 2018 at 1:45 pm

      Same its the bomb! So tiny I take it everywhere 🙂

    January 28, 2018 at 4:00 am

    I need to update my camera bag pronto!!

    • Brooke Saward
      January 29, 2018 at 1:46 pm

      No better time than now before a year of adventures 😀

    January 27, 2018 at 10:21 am

    Absolutely love that the fact he was shouting at you over a hot chocolate made you more convinced of his professionalism. Thank you for all those tips, I am thinking of investing into some new camera equipment and tech too, so those are very helpful tips!



    • Brooke Saward
      January 29, 2018 at 1:46 pm

      No worries Anna, thanks for reading 🙂 xx

    Sally Donald
    January 25, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Thanks so much for this. From one traveller to another, it’s always great to see what others have in their bag.

    Happy travels in 2018! Look forward to following the journey!

    Touch base if you get to Bali!!!

    • Brooke Saward
      January 29, 2018 at 1:47 pm

      Its always so interesting to see what other bloggers are using hey! Same to you for 2018! xo

    January 25, 2018 at 1:31 am

    Great list Brooke. I am very keen to try out Olympus but find it too expensive here in India. Do you think they would have any great offers or deals coming up?

    • Brooke Saward
      January 25, 2018 at 7:44 am

      I’m not sure, but I know they are WAY more affordable than Canons or Nikons! I would defintely recommend having a look at the Olympus PEN, it is the smaller more compact camera I have and a lot of the times I use that instead! 🙂

    Sandeep Goswami
    January 24, 2018 at 11:27 pm

    How do you carry all these? It is a very big task for me to carry them safely.

    • Brooke Saward
      January 29, 2018 at 1:48 pm

      I have a photography back pack which helps keep it all safe as it is padded! Definitely worth the investment 🙂

    January 23, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Thanks for this post! We’re heading to Europe for 6 weeks in April (our longest trip yet!) and I’ve been meaning to look into getting a little tripod and maybe a new lens for my Olympus camera so this has been so helpful!
    Thank you as always for the inspiration 🙂 I am loving your videos!

    Lauren x

    January 23, 2018 at 6:10 am

    Do you carry this with you on your day-to-day adventures, or is this simply what you’d pack and leave the majority in your hotel room? If you do haul all this around while exploring, how do you store it all so you stay comfy while walking around all day? My back gets sore from my big DSLR, so I’d love to hear how you manage all this equipment!

    • Brooke Saward
      January 23, 2018 at 12:54 pm

      Hi Claire, great question!
      It totally depends on the day I have planned If I was going out for a full day of walking I would condense what I take, but I never (ever) go without my two cameras, as I use one for vlogging and one for photos (the OMD). That’s why I changed from a heavy DSLR to mirrorless – I don’t think I could ever go back now!
      – Brooke xx

    January 23, 2018 at 3:21 am

    I’m looking for a decent, warm parka jacket for some winter travel destinations – would You recommend Yours? If so, what brand is it? And You really made me think about the Olympus Pen again… Best wishes from Sopot, Poland.

    • Brooke Saward
      January 23, 2018 at 12:55 pm

      Hi Anna,

      Yes I would! Mine is by roots canada. happy travels!

    وی اس تی
    January 23, 2018 at 2:16 am

    It was very useful. Thank you

    January 23, 2018 at 12:35 am

    You actually gave me an idea when you mentioned going to Canada in the winter as opposed to summer. That is a great idea for lots of places that have actual seasons! Thanks for sharing your list of tools. As a novice who is considering doing this, it is a great help.

    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams
    January 22, 2018 at 11:06 pm

    Some great stuff, I can’t live without my lifeproof case. It’s the best way to keep my phone safe when traveling!

    Amanda @

    January 22, 2018 at 10:22 am

    That helps a lot. I am planning to focus on YouTube as well and will gladly use some of your recommendations.

    January 22, 2018 at 6:43 am

    Makes totally sense to me what you have in your travel bag!
    With love from Bavaria/Germany, Rena