My 9 Travel Essentials – What’s Most Important To Me When Travelling?

While I don’t travel as much as the next travel blogger, given I leave the house basically once or twice a month, I’ve eventually found my “niche” in terms of packing for travel. Of course, being a travel blogger, I’m naturally a very technology-inclined person and tend to stay connected 24/7 while traveling. Add that to my photo-taking habits on planes and in lounges as well as in hotels, where I need to produce high-quality photos on my feet, and you get someone lugging around a bunch of crap that makes himself look deranged more than anything else.

img_4897Sometimes seats can be kinda small so I actually have to get organised to be comfortable

So I’ve decided I’d put together a short guide to how I work at airports, so you guys can judge if I’m actually a psychopath or just doing my job. 😉

What do I lug around?

I normally check my clothes when I travel, so I’m left with what I actually need on the plane – but that’s still a lot. I make sure that everything that I lug around is sorted into two bags – one that I’ll need around the airport, and one that I’ll need on the plane.

Everything that I need immediately in the airport goes in a camera bag. This includes my passport, ID cards, boarding pass, and a few other things that I’ll talk about in a bit. Specifically, I use the Hellolulu Lance DSLR camera bag, which has everything I need – easy access to a padded surface for my camera (it’s not a DSLR, but it benefits from the padding), enough space for a passport and everything else and side zippers for the camera’s charger, as well as a phone cable if I’m in need of one.

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Everything else goes in a much bigger backpack, which I particularly like due to the size, lightness and number of compartments it has. It’s a Puma backpack, and while I think it’s out of production now (I can’t remember the actual brand), its rectangular size allows my computer, my travel planner and a lot of other things to fit into it with room to spare.

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What’s so convenient is that when I’m travelling and making short excursions out for dinner or something, I can just take my camera bag and throw everything I need inside. It’s really easy for lugging around, and is a great setup that’s easy to get used to.

What goes inside?

The first thing that goes into my backpack is my MacBook Pro “Core i5” 2.6 GHz 13-Inch (Mid-2014 Retina Display). It’s much lighter than the old version that I used to lug around and the screen is much clearer, and I need it over the MacBook Air because of the HDMI cable that comes in handy at school sometimes. All in all, it’s probably the single most important travel gadget that I have, given how antisocial I can be sometimes.

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Goes Inside: My Backpack

Another important thing that I have to carry around is my iPhone 6, which carries my mobile boarding passes, and is what I use as a medium to take notes and, occasionally, photos. It’s worth noting that the iPhone 6 contains a much better camera compared to the iPhone 5. I can take photos that I believe are rather high quality without much effort on my iPhone 6, which I may explain an a later post, whereas the iPhone 5 is pretty grainy (probably seen best in my review of the Plaza Premium East lounge in Hong Kong). The iPhone 7, which my dad has, seems like an improvement, but not by much. So if my dad doesn’t want it and passes it down to me, I’ll take it (I listen to music off my computer anyway), but I’m not looking forward to it as much as I was looking forward to my current phone before I got it.

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Goes Inside: My Pocket

A third thing that I really need is my camera, which I currently use to take 99% of the pictures that come on this blog. Since my parents gave me the camera for my birthday last year, I’ve been using it for basically every trip report that I do. Specifically I use the Canon Powershot G3 X, which is a sizeable, though really high-quality point-and-shoot camera. I do get weird looks using it, especially in lounges, though the pictures I get are worth it.

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Goes Inside: My Camera Bag (duh)

Since I use my phone so much, I need something to keep it on juice all the time. I bought myself a Proda MDO3 PowerBox, a relatively inexpensive portable charger that still manages to charge my phone up around four times (10000 mAh). It looks good, fits in my pocket, and generally serves as a really good charger, despite only having one USB socket.

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Goes Inside: My Pocket/My Camera Bag

I also listen to a substantial amount of music, so I usually take my Plantronics Backbeat Pro headphones with me. Unfortunately the software installed in the headphones is outdated by now, so I need to use an auxiliary cable as the Bluetooth function doesn’t work anymore. That doesn’t hinder the sound quality, though, and that’s what makes it awesome.

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Goes Inside: My Backpack

Every traveller carries a watch around, and partly in memory of my grandfather, I take around the Garmin Forerunner 225 wherever I go, whether I’m travelling or not. While I don’t actually use the “workout” features, I do use it to test my steps, heart rate, etc.. Ultimately it currently defies the point of a watch since the time can’t be set correctly due to a GPS malfunction (stupid, I know), but I still wear it like a lucky charm given it was my grandfather’s gift to me after he died – I’ll explain that another day.

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Goes Inside: N/A

Due to the number of cables I have to lug around (a few micro-USB cables and an iPhone lightning port cable), I have to keep a pouch that keeps them all in line. Due to its simplicity I quite like the m square Digital Set Buggy Bag, though honestly I’d be happy with any other similarly designed bag.

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Goes Inside: My Camera Bag

I also lug around a travel adapter, though that hasn’t ever been consistent, and I’ve seen myself using a different one every single time – that’s largely due to how many we have at home, and I take the one that I find first.

Bottom Line

Ultimately it’s up to you when it comes to what works best for yourself, though this is how I work as a travel blogger on flights and when travelling. I’m curious to know how different travel bloggers function at airports and on planes, though.

What are your travel essentials?

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