Perhaps the most important piece of gear for any budget traveler is a great backpack! Not only does the bag need to be the right size, durable, and comfortable, it has to fit your own travel needs. For me, those needs include being able to use the bag as a carry-on (to avoid those pesky checked bag fees and the possibility of a lost bag) and to fit as much as humanly possible. After doing tons of research in 2015, I chose to purchase the Tortuga. It has quickly become my favorite travel bag for short and long-term trips!