What’s in my bag?
It’s a question I’ve gotten a couple of times over the years so I decided it was time to unzip and let my alert readers in on what it takes to work, photograph, video and blog your way around the world for a month.
On whirlwind RTW trips like mine, it goes without saying that travelling light is key. When you’re hopping a flight to a new country every few days, the last thing you want to be doing is schlepping a ton of luggage. Carry-on is where it’s at. To check a bag is to admit defeat! How do you pack for a month on the road in a carry-on bag? One word: laundry. Pack the essentials and wash when needed. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned after 6 trips around the world – I never wish I had brought more, but I often wish I’d brought less.
Carry-on Princess that I am, the most important item is a good sturdy rollerboard that meets international size guidelines (19”) – which are not as liberal as domestic US (22”). My favorite luggage is made by Tumi and my current bag obsession is from their new Vapor line. This hard-sided, super-lightweight bag is made of a high-performance alloy of ABS and polycarbonate. The 4 multi-directional wheels on the bottom allow it to roll alongside you as well as behind (a feature that I didn’t think I’d love as much as I do). The divided packing section inside is especially useful for those of us who often live out of our suitcases.
My “Personal Item”
In addition to my beloved Vapor bag, I also travel with what the TSA would refer to as my “personal item” – my trusty ESPN backpack (a gift from my employer which has turned out to be the best backpack I’ve ever owned). Lots of little pockets make it great for holding all of my gadgets and their various chargers and accessories. While you can’t actually own the ESPN version, it’s made by Ogio and the non-logoed version is widely available.
Now, on to my favorite part…the electronics!!! I am, after all, a gadget girl at heart.
First and foremost, my laptop – a Toshiba Portege R705. When it comes to laptops, the most important features to me are portability & battery life and at 3.2lbs with up to 8hrs of battery life, the Toshiba fits the bill. I formerly owned a string of Sony Vaios which I loved for their size & weight but kept having service issues with. After the last one died, I decided it was time to switch it up. So far, I’ve been pleased with the Portege. It’s slightly bigger than I’m used to but it’s light enough to make up for it. Since I work from the road almost exclusively, a reliable laptop is my most important business expense.
2nd most important is my Blackberry Bold 9700 3G from T-Mobile. Thanks to T-Mobile’s international plans, I can use my phone all over the world with very few exceptions. And thanks to my Blackberry, I have to open my laptop a lot less on my travels. Being able to respond to work e-mails from a beach chair is a beautiful thing…but I digress.
Of course, all work and no play makes Jenny a dull girl – so on to the fun stuff!
Camera, lenses and photo storage
For capturing all those great images on my travels, I rely on my Nikon D60 DSLR camera with both the standard 18-55mm lens and a 55-200mm zoom lens. I absolutely love this camera and while I am certainly no professional photographer, the D60 has been known to make me look like one.
For storing my photos while on the road, I upload them as I go to my 2 Verbatim 500G travel drives (one primary, one back-up). And for organizing and editing all those photos, I use Adobe’s Lightroom software.
My point and shoot favorite
But while it’s a terrific camera, a bulky DSLR isn’t right for every situation so I also carry a point-and-shoot camera for those times when lugging along the big camera isn’t practical. In those situations I turn to my Samsung TL210 which has the super-cool feature of a front LCD screen (an especially helpful feature for those of us travelling on our own and taking pictures with a timer!)
For HD video it’s the industry standard Flip cam. What a great little gadget this is! All that HD recording power packed into such a tiny, travel-friendly, little package. And since I ordered mine here I even have one with my website logo on it. How cool is that?
Yes, I carry a tripod, too!
For capturing all those pictures and videos with me actually in them, a tripod is essential. Nothing travels better than the Gorillapod by Joby. It’s lightweight yet sturdy enough to support a DSLR, available in 4 sizes (I have two) and has flexible, bendable legs that adjust to any surface. A dream come true for the solo traveler!
And for my latest and greatest toy…I recently broke down and bought an iPad. Mainly for the reason that I feel like I’ve been heretofore uninvited to the “app” party. Since I don’t own any Apple products other than my iPod, the wide world of apps has, for the most part, eluded me. I don’t know exactly why I need apps…I’m just pretty sure that I do.
And I have to say, I have fallen in love with my new iPad. I have so many fun travel-related apps now! While it can’t replace my laptop just yet (thanks to business and photo editing needs) I have a feeling that day is not far off – and I look forward to it!
Of course, none of these fancy electronics work world-wide without a reliable universal power adapter. I bought this one at Brookstone years ago and it has never let me down.
Who’s got room for clothes, anyway?
Aside from all the gadgets, I throw in a few clothing items, some shoes and a few essential liquids and I’m off! There are very few things that can’t be replaced along the way if the need arises so I don’t sweat the small stuff. Pack your carry-on bag, folks, the world awaits…