When I initially started traveling as an adult, I would pack everything but the kitchen sink. Once, on one of my frequent trips to London, I took a duffel bag filled with shoes in their boxes. 7 pairs of them! In all, I had a total of about 6 pieces of luggage. Picture me lugging all that crap through the Underground from train to train. By the time I got to my stop I was so tired that I called my cousin to come help me as I could not bear the thought of lugging all that stuff on the bus. I was so exhausted I even considered abandoning some of the bags at the station and coming back for them later. Adding insult to injury, I probably only wore 1 pair of shoes while I was there!
This was obviously before airlines got hip to the game and started charging for everything including hand luggage! I am glad to say I have come a long way as my OGIO backpack is currently my go-to travel tote. However, using a backpack leaves very little room for bulky items like camera equipment and so my fancy toy became a paperweight and I started relying more and more on my iPhone. As great as my phone is, there is just something about photos taken with a dedicated camera so I started toying with the idea of getting a more lightweight mirrorless camera. That is until I saw the prices! There is that saying that you make time for what’s important. I think the travel version is you make room for what is important. So as I play Hunger Games with my backpack contents, here are 5 things I currently have in it.
Ogio Excelsior backpack. So that’s not technically in my bag but it makes up the bag though! I won it at a raffle and did not think much about it until a friend told me it was a great brand. Side bar: My mum has cautioned me against making things important because someone tells me it is. I can’t help it. Anyway, so I researched the bag and found out it was indeed a dependable brand, so I held on to it and it became my staple. Definitely a Top Five.
Eagle Creek Pack-it Cube. About 4 years ago, while still an inefficient packer, I read about these cubes and decided to give them a try. I bought my first set from The Container Store and loved them! They allow me to segregate the items in my bag neatly. I usually travel with a minimum of 3. One for my unmentionables, another for my clothes and the last for my toiletries. An added plus is that if I get selected by TSA for special treatment, it is super easy to pull them out and isolate the perceived issue. I eventually got an additional set from ebags.com. It is comparable and cheaper so if you are interested, start with ebags.com.
Tumi Travel Kit bags. I use several of these to hold my chargers, cords, adapters, plugs. Pretty much all my electronic cables. They are compact and durable. I just started using these in the last couple of years. Before this, I used one of the pockets in my bag and it was a tangled mess! Any small pliable bag will work, though. I love these because they repurpose so well.
Beats Noise Cancelling Headphones. I became fixated on these headphones a couple of years ago but could not decide if I wanted them because of the hype or if they were truly worth it. My sister eventually settled the debate by getting me a pair for my birthday/thanksgiving present. I loved them at first especially the case that kept everything together and neat but eventually, they started to feel bulky in my bag. And as I mentioned above, I would like to travel with my camera more and as I have started experiencing dissatisfaction with these, they may become the tribute.
Passport. This may seem like a no-brainer but I truly take my passport everywhere I go even on domestic travel. You never know when an opportunity to skip across the border may come up while drinking Mai Tais in a local bar!
So there you have it, my Friday 5ive list of what’s in my bag. Not an exhaustive list by any means as I left out the notepads, the wet ones, my travel cologne, my scarves, …
The photo above is from 3 years ago. My friend visited me from Mississipi with the 2 bags in the top right/foreground. She stayed for over a week. We decided to go to Savannah for New Year’s celebrations. We planned on being there for one day. My bags are top left/background. Shoe boxes. Again. For one day. Well, it was technically 2 days/1 night…I’ll just leave that there.