These are a few of my favorite travel related things..
If traveling in Europe, look no further than Rick Steves (www.ricksteves.com). His guidebooks include entertaining commentary on the sites with background to the country or city, great restaurant and accommodation recommendations, and highlight things most tourists want to see. His maps are also easy to follow.
My other favorite for guidebooks is Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com), convenient and user-friendly for traveling to destinations outside of Europe.
I've done my share of backpacking to destinations around the globe. I like that you can throw it on your back and be off, and not trying to use a roller suitcase across cobblestones. Suitcases have their place, but if you're going to be streamlined and go for a backpack as well, I recommend Kelty bags (www.kelty.com), I think their internal frame bags are the best. Most also have a detachable pack on the top that is a great daypack while out exploring.
If you're not going the backpack route, I absolutely adore this duffel bag as a carry-on from Sole Society (http://www.solesociety.com/mason-cognac.html ), the bottom section is perfect for my travel pillow and an extra pair of shoes.
Speaking of shoes...
I've long been a fan of Altra shoes for running (www.altrarunning.com), and I usually try to avoid sneakers or running shoes for travel, because you'll definitely not blend in. But let's face it, some itineraries call for the comfort. My last trip I decided to wear my thicker soled Altra Olympus shoes (made for trail running) and I walked all over the place without ever having sore feet.
Another pair of shoes that I love for travel are Tieks ballet flats (www.tieks.com). These remarkable shoes have a split sole and easily fold in half so you can toss them in your bag. I used these flats most recently in Tokyo and while they don't look like they'd keep your feet comfortable for long...they are incredible. I also like to use them for the plane since they're lightweight and don't keep my feet hot like other shoes do.
A travel pillow must be on this list somewhere right? Well...the link is coming soon. After years of having a love-hate relationship with the typical "U" neck pillow for airplanes, a good friend invented a new concept for a travel pillow and I'll tell you what...it's life-changing. A website is still in progress, but as soon as they are available to purchase, I'll include the link here.
Until then...try this Samsonite Micro Bead Neck Pillow (http://shop.samsonite.com/accessories/samsonite-micro-bead-neck-pillow/44826XXXX.html?dwvar_44826XXXX_color=Black&cgidmaster=acaz-ac074#start=6 ). I love that it's adjustable so I can either use it as a "U" or in a line. The cool fabric is also nice.