The things I travel with

I’m currently in the midst of a three month journey living out of a backpack while I venture to NYC, Europe and Brazil. I’ve been getting serious about travel for a while but I’m constantly refining what I travel with. Friends are always surprised to hear that I travel with no checked luggage.  Here’s how I do it:

What I travel with

  1. The bag itself: The Minaal. This bag is incredible to travel with. I could write a whole separate post about it. Biggest win: It enables me to travel with just carry-on luggage, which saves me time and money.
  2. Stainless steel water bottle.
  3. Samsonite 2 in 1 travel pillow. Extremely helpful on those long haul flights. To save space I’m considering moving to an inflatable pillow.
  4. Muji organic cotton zip hoodie.
  5. 5 x Ralph Lauren custom fit t-shirts. 3 in grey and 2 in blue. Simple shirts in only two colors makes for less decision fatigue about what to wear.
  6. Levi’s 511 jeans with reversible black / brown belt.
  7. Bose QuietComfort 25 Noise Cancelling Headphones. I can’t live without noise cancelling headphones now. Well worth the money.
  8. Morrissey empire sunglasses with case.
  9. Black sport / workout shorts. Super comfortable when it’s warm.
  10. 6 x brown socks and 6 x Calvin Klein black cotton stretch boxer briefs. Every single one of my socks and underwear is exactly the same so I don’t have to face any decision fatigue about what to wear.
  11. Hikpro foldable daypack. I can’t believe this bag was only $20. Crucial to travel with since the Minaal is too big to carry during a normal day.
  12. Muji packing cubes. 2 in small for dirty and clean underwear and 1 in double-compartment medium for all other clothes.
  13. Black smartphone gloves.
  14. Qantas pyjamas. I cashed in some frequent flyer points last year to fly first class to the US and kept the PJs. 
  15. Muji A5 recycled paper notebook. I travel with one or two or these at a time. They’re lightweight, inexpensive and nice to write on.
  16. I carry four pens with me. From top to bottom, right to left:
  17. Red Ralph Lauren long-sleeve jumper.
  18. Vitamins and supplements. I read the Bulletproof Diet recently and carry most of the supplements on this list. Since leaving for this trip I’ve realized one multi-vitamin might be more practical, even if less ideal.
  19. Phillips Norelco SensoTouch 3D electric shaver. I can’t go back to non-electric shavers after using this guy for a few years. It takes a bit of space with the charger (not pictured) but I think it’s worth it.
  20. Clear toiletries bag for my liquids and gels. As well as the standard toothpaste, deodorant etc I also keep an eye mask and some earplugs.
  21. A few locks for staying in hostels or locking the zips on my bag.
  22. Wallet with cash and cards.
  23. A few personal business cards.
  24. Other cards I travel with but don’t always need in my wallet like my Qantas Frequent Flyer card, Zipcard, Costco membership.
  25. One paper book with a metal bookmark. Yes, I refuse to use a Kindle. Real books are so much better that I gladly take the tradeoff of a slightly less practical solution when it comes to traveling.
  26. Post-it notes and sticky flags. Essential for taking notes in non-fiction books. Inspiration for this from Ryan Holiday and Farnam Street.
  27. My Australian passport.
  28. Mondaine Helvetica No1 Bold watch. It does exactly what a watch should do and nothing more: tell the time and date.
  29. My Australian sim card and a paper clip.
  30. Basis B1 fitness tracker with charging cable. I only use this for sleep tracking. Tells me how much time I spent in REM, deep and light sleep.
  31. Incase Portable Power 2500. Backup battery for my iPhone, just in case.
  32. Apple EarPods. I use these for the microphone when I take a Skype call. They let enough outside noise in my ears so I can hear myself speak.
  33. iPhone lightning cable and wall charger.
  34. Macbook USB-C cable and power adapter.
  35. USB-C to USB adapter and USB-C to USB cable (for the new Macbook).
  36. Space grey 12-inch Macbook. It’s the perfect size to travel with. I do all my coding and development on this machine with no performance issues. I’m keeping it in this case until I get a better one.

I forgot to number it but I keep my cables in that black Grid-It organiser.

Not pictured:

As of right now that’s all I need to carry. Packing my life into one bag has definitely made me more of a minimalist. Back home in Melbourne all I have are a few clothes and my books. Going out to do long term travel with just a carry-on bag has made me realize that I don’t need to own a lot of things. It has been a liberating experience.

We’ll see with time if what I keep in my bag changes. If you have recommendations for better items that I’m already carrying then please tweet me.