My Complete Pre-Trip Gears, Gadgets, Insurance, and Points and Miles Cost

Before I left Canada to travel around the world for one year, I spent 18 months preparing for the trip. In this article, I go over the complete pre-trip gears that I purchased. Some of these gears I purchased knowing I would use them during my travels and outside of travelling. And some of the gears were intended solely for use when I travelled for one year.

Many of these purchases between 2015 up until before I left Canada to travel back on September 14, 2017.

I don’t use some of the pre-trip gears on this list anymore. Mainly because some of these items broke, or I sold them to upgrade to better gears. Many of these pre-trip gears were amazing buys and some of them I wish I had purchased something else.

I’ll be making another blog post later on with my current travel gears at some point in the future. If you want to see what those travel gears look like, check out the video I made where I do a show and tell on the pre-trip gears I used.

VIDEO – What Travel Gears I Used During My One Year Around The World Travel

Pre-trip gears I purchased before leaving Canada to travel for one year around the world

Disclaimer: some links contain my Amazon affiliate link.

Pre-trip gears I purchased for my day to day use:

Travel Gears

The Osprey Kestrel 48 backpack is a godsend. I used this backpack through many rough travel situations and it held up very well. Also, for many airline cabins, they only allow you to bring in a 45-litre backpack. This backpack is 48-litre which is close enough as long as I don’t overstuff it and keep the weight under 10kg.

The packing cubes and shoe bag were also amazing buys to keep my clothes, electronics, shoes, and first aid kit organized.

The Swiss rainproof backpack is way too big and I’m now using a different backpack. I wouldn’t recommend it for travelling.

The SevenBlu RFID money belt kept my money and passport safe while travelling. Although I personally don’t like wearing money belts, they’re pretty uncomfortable.

Having the 85L Pacsafe Mesh lock protected my backpack but it was a pain in the ass to have. I kept getting stopped in airports and several times I was forced to check it in. Many scanners assume it’s a weapon and I’d have to go through the hassle of explaining it’s a bag lock.

Travel Clothes

I still use both the watertight and fleece jacket to this day. However, I think the fleece jacket looks like a dad jacket. Despite being good at keeping me warm from a practical standpoint. It’s not very good from a fashion standpoint. So if you don’t care how you look, then it’s a great jacket.

Gadgets and electronics:

The GoPro Hero4 Silver is an amazing action camera that I really maxed out using during my one year trip. Paired up with the selfie stick, it allowed me to make amazing videos and take great landscape pictures. The Canon G7X was also a great buy at the time because of its portability. I actually missed it when I ended up selling it to buy a mirrorless camera later on.

Having a Macbook air was a wonderful choice for my travel laptop. I still use it to this day. And getting the 1TB external hard drive and the extra camera batteries and memory cards was a great idea as well. I have no regrets in any of my gadgets and electronics purchases. Although I don’t use some of them anymore today because I’ve since upgraded.

Health-related purchases to make sure I stayed healthy

  • Scrubba Portable Laundry System Wash Bag (Can also be used as a dry sack) – $69.95
  • Travel clothes line – $7.95
  • Microfiber Travel Towel – $11.99
  • 20-Pack Laundry Soap Kit – $13.43
  • 1 year supply of Acuvue Oasys contact lense from ClearlyContacts – $200.31
  • Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A, Typhoid Shots and Travel Pharmacist Consultation – $277
  • (12) Malaria Pills – $65

The Scrubba wash bag was fantastic. I used it to do my laundry when a washing machine wasn’t available. It truly saved me during times when I needed clothes washed right away. I also went through the laundry soap kit and had to re-supply later on during my travels.

The travel clothesline I probably didn’t need. Many times, I just hang my clothes on random spots in hostels and hotels. The microfiber travel towel I bought was way too small, I should have bought a bigger one.

All my travel shots were necessary and probably helped with preventing myself from getting ill. I didn’t use any of my Malaria pills until later on when I travelled to Rwanda.

Travel Phone Plan so I can communicate back home

  • Fongo phone number transfer – $28 (after tax)

I still use this service even when I’m back in Canada. To be honest, it was a godsend while travelling but it sucks for day to day use. I’m actually planning on switching back to a regular phone plan in Canada. I’ll definitely use Fongo again for international use.

Travel Insurance just in case something bad happens

  • World Nomads 6-month Travel Insurance – $408.45

World Nomads is great, they’re my go-to insurance company. I purchased another 6-months plan after my initial 6-months ran out. During my trip, I had to do a claim when I went to a hospital and they paid me back in 3 months.

International Driving Permit

  • CAA International Driving Permit – $39

I used my travel permit when I rented a car in South Africa and drove to Eswatini.

Total pre-trip gears purchase cost: $4,739.77

Points and miles annual fees and associated cost to help me travel to more places

  • 430,000 Aeroplan miles (11 overseas flights for $100 or less) – $120
  • 89,000 Starwood points (22-29 free hotel nights) (now Marriott Bonvoy) – $280
  • 75,000 Alaska miles (1 overseas first class flight) – $225
  • 66,000 Marriott Hotel points (8 free hotel nights) – $240
  • 135,000 AMEX Points (transferrable to Aeroplan), Priority Pass (unlimited free lounge access for two), Starwood and Hilton Gold Elite Status – $699 – $400 travel credit ($400 worth of free flights, hotels or car rental) = $299
  • 50,000 IHG Points (5 free hotel nights) – $100

Total pre-trip points and miles cost – $1264

Getting points and miles is not always free. If you pay annual fees, there’s always an associated cost that comes with it. But the massive savings I gained from redeeming flights and hotels from the points significantly outweighs the cost of the annual fees.

Also, when you’re travelling for such a long time, it’s refreshing to stay in a nice hotel. I use those times to catch up on uploading my videos, relaxing, and getting a proper shower. Staying in a hostel dorm room gets old after awhile. I actually don’t like staying in dorms anymore. I tried it when I travelled to Malta and realized I’ve outgrown it. While I still like hostels, I’d definitely get a private room when I stay in one again in the future.


While many of the purchases I made back in 2015-2016 were a great buy, I think some of these items are outdated nowadays.

My big backpack is still good but I’ve seen upgraded my smaller daypack to a much better one. Security and portability is key for the smaller backpack.

As for cameras, I learned that point and shoot is the way to go for travelling. My favourite camera to this day is still the point and shoot and GoPro on a selfie stick combination.

In a future article, I will go over my upgraded travel gears and what I kept from this list of pre-trip gears.

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