Travellin’ light

BackpacksI got no bags and baggage to slow me down.
Well, I’m travelling so fast my feet ain’t touching the ground.
Travellin’ light. Travellin’ light.
Well, I just can’t wait to be with my baby tonight.

―Cliff Richard & The Shadows, 1959

To maximize my mobility, I plan to travel with only two pieces of luggage, both carry-on. Keeping everything within my reach will, hopefully, reduce the possibility of theft or lost baggage. Fully loaded, the rolling backpack weighs 23 pounds and the zip-off daypack 13, for a combined 36 pounds.

Here’s my packing list:

Luggage and locks

I use the Eagle Creek Switchback Max 22 backpack. It’s actually two backpacks that zip together. The larger one has wheels for rolling through airports; the smaller one zips off for use as a daypack. Zipped together or used separately, they provide a lot of flexibility.

Additionally, I stow a rolled-up lightweight Marmot Kompressor daypack. Once I have arrived at a destination, it is the better, smaller choice for day trips and shopping.

For those times when I need to leave my luggage unattended, I use TSA-approved locks and a Pacsafe Retractasafe cable lock. It’s a slash-proof, stainless-steel wire for securing luggage to permanent fixtures, such as a bed frame in a hotel room.

To keep things organized, I use Eagle Creek’s packing cubes and some plastic storage bags.

  • rolling backpack
  • zip-off daypack
  • small, compressible daypack
  • packing cubes
  • plastic storage bags
  • TSA locks and keys
  • cable lock

Clothing

  • 3 long-sleeved shirts
  • short-sleeved shirt
  • trousers w/zip-off legs
  • 2 trousers or jeans
  • running shorts
  • 4 pr. socks
  • 2 pr. running socks
  • 5 boxers
  • 3 T-shirts
  • 2 long-sleeved T-shirts
  • jacket
  • down vest
  • rain jacket
  • windbreaker
  • knit cap
  • gloves
  • bandana
  • belt
  • compression socks
  • long-underwear bottoms
  • gaiters for hiking
  • walking/hiking shoes
  • lightweight running shoes
  • sandals
  • laundry soap
  • clothesline
  • sink plug
  • trash bag for wet clothes

Note: All of my travel clothes are lightweight, wrinkle-resistant and durable. Most can be washed in a hotel-room sink and air-dried overnight. ExOfficio, Kühl, Columbia, The North Face, Royal Robbins and Patagonia are good sources for travel clothing.

Sleeping

  • mask
  • earplugs
  • alarm clock
  • LED flashlight
  • mosquito net for head
  • doorstop
  • space blanket

Toiletries

  • hanging dop kit, including toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, razor, shaving cream, shampoo, brush, mirror, deodorant, nail clippers, cotton swabs
  • microfiber towel

Medical kit

  • analgesic tablets (ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin)
  • anti-inflammatory tablets (NSAID)
  • anti-diarrhea tablets (Imodium)
  • antacid tablets
  • antihistamine tablets (diphenhydramine)
  • decongestant tablets (pseudoephedrine)
  • anti-motion sickness tablets (Dramamine)
  • disposable gloves
  • antiseptic towelettes
  • adhesive bandages
  • adhesive tape
  • elastic bandage wrap
  • tweezers
  • 1% hydrocortisone cream
  • antibiotic ointment
  • aloe gel

Documents

  • passport
  • vaccination certificate
  • driver’s licenses, domestic and international
  • proof of insurance
  • health card
  • spare passport photos
  • airline and train tickets
  • itinerary
  • lodging confirmations
  • documents backed-up online
  • plastic envelopes for storage

Money

  • cash
  • 2 credit cards, 1 debit card (See “Cards up my sleeve.”)
  • money pouch
  • RFID protection sleeves

Travel and sightseeing

  • 2 pair of reading glasses
  • sunglasses
  • magnifying glass
  • tissues
  • camera
  • journal
  • sticky notes
  • pocket notebook
  • pens, marker and highlighter
  • guidebooks and maps
  • navigation apps
  • family photos
  • compass
  • whistle
  • energy bars
  • handheld water bottle
  • coffee pouches
  • insect repellant
  • sunscreen
  • anti-bacterial gel
  • lip balm
  • small umbrella
  • printed cards with contact information
  • resistance cable for exercise

Repair kit

  • needle and thread
  • safety pins
  • duct tape
  • rubber bands
  • paper clips
  • multi-tool
  • carabiners
  • scissors
  • extra batteries for alarm clock and flashlight

Eating utensils

  • spork
  • bowl
  • can opener
  • cork screw

Electronics and communications
(See “Staying connected.”)

  • tablet and charging cable
  • tablet stylus
  • keyboard folio and charging cable
  • tablet USB cable
  • mobile phone and charging cable
  • SIM cards for mobile phone and tablet
  • earbuds for mobile phone and tablet
  • multi-USB charging cable
  • camera charging cable
  • SD card reader cable
  • spare SD memory card for camera
  • HDMI cable and AV adaptor
  • 2 USB plug adaptors
  • plug adaptors
  • SIM tool
  • car charging cable and adaptor
  • backup battery and cable
  • USB flash drive
  • cleaning cloth
  • cable wraps
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