I’m about to leave for Hawaii for a week. Enjoying hassle-free travel, I like to pack light. How light? My whole setup fits in my large-but-not-oversized backpack. This means not only do I never have to check my luggage in, it’s also with me at all times and never gets lost by airlines.
I also advise to wear the bulkiest clothes on yourself while traveling, such as your coat or jacket, so as to not have to worry about using precious bag real-estate for that. You can fit said jacket in the overhead bin, during the flight.
Here is what I’ll be bringing along with me for 8 total days of travel, in tropical weather, in that one backpack.
- 12 t-shirts (long+short sleeves; rolled, not folded; 4 layers of 3 t-shirts in bag)
- 1 pair of black jeans (rolled; I’ll be wearing a 2nd pair while traveling)
- 2 casual buttoned shirts (folded flat, against the back of the backpack)
- 2 pairs of cargo shorts (rolled, takes up 1 layer)
- 2 bathing suits
- 7 pairs of short socks (warm weather)
- 7 pairs of underwear
- 1 Apple MacBook Pro 13″ + power adapter (with extension)
- 1 factory-unlocked Google Nexus 5 smart phone (which I can also tether with)
- 1 USA travel SIM card for my phone, by Roam Mobility
- 1 good pair of in-ear headphones (can be worn during take-off and landing)
- 1 water/shock/dust/freeze proof pocket camera
- 2 extra camera batteries ($7, from China, on eBay)
- 1 portable charger for camera batteries
- 1 power bar with 2 outlets and 2 USB ports
- 1 small Apple iPhone USB-to-power adapter
- 1 standard, long USB to micro-USB cable
- 1 hybrid USB cable with iPhone, mini-USB and micro-USB plugs
- 1 portable USB battery pack (extra juice for in-flight mobile devices)
- Passport (for which I’ve verified the expiration date well in advance)
- Printed ticket, just in case, on the way out of Canada (we cross US customs in the Montreal airport).
- 1 travel neck pillow, hanging off said backpack.
- 1 pair of hair clippers (hair and beard)
- 1 razor and blades
- 1 toothbrush (I buy toothpaste, deodorant, etc on location)
And, voilà! The only other things I’ll add to this list are not things, but actions:
- Check-in online as soon as you can.
- Charge all of your devices to their full capacity before leaving. Not all airlines/airports will provide you with [free] power.
- Do make sure to use full-disk encryption on as many of your devices as possible, and lock them all with a password/PIN.
- If you travel with a computer and/or mobile devices, back them up before you leave, and leave the backup drive at home. If anything gets stolen, you’ll be able to set up a new machine once home, or even have it shipped express to you if absolutely needed.
- Spend time with your family. You never know, maybe you’ll decide to stay wherever you’re heading, forever. ;p
Note: I’ve packed planning not to have access to a washer and dryer, or reasonably priced laundromat. I sometimes go lighter. With all of that in, I’d still have enough room to pack a pair of dress shoes if absolutely required.