Essentials — The Daypack
Packing is a chore, no matter how excited you are for the trip. I'm always, always scrambling to pack my suitcase at the last minute — which is why my daypack is always ready to go. I've spent some time slimming the contents down to (mostly) essentials, so it's not bulky — making it easy to walk with, shove under a tiny airplane seat or keep on my lap in a cab.
1 Killspencer Daypack — 2 Anker PowerCore 20100 — 3 B&O Play H8 — 4 Delfonics Quitterie — 5 Comme des Garçons Very Black Zip Top Pouch 6 Uni Pin Pen + Uni Sign Pen — 7 Nedrelow Sleeve — 8 MUJI Glue Tape + 2-ring A5 Binder — 9 Nano-SIM Case
1 The daypack itself is by Killspencer — it's a super-durable (but still minimalist) leather and suede bag that can carry a lot of stuff without looking like you're climbing a mountain (definitely not my desired travel look). It's modern and clean enough to look great on the back of a chair at a high-end restaurant, but won't draw to much attention to itself in less-than high-end neighborhoods. It's sealed with silicone protectant so I never have to worry about it getting too gross, too.
2 I always keep a giant battery charger in my bag because I am a total Instagram addict — and nothing drains a phone like #insta. This one from Anker can charge my iPhone 6S+ almost seven full times before a recharge — but beware, it takes forever to fill it back up. Not pictured: a mini-USB cable + power brick.
3 I splurged on these B&O headphone before our last trip and I was so glad I did. They are amazing for plane travel — the noise-cancellation is top-notch (way less ambient noise and chatter) and they can either connect via Bluetooth or an AUX cable (which was great for watching filthy Danish comedy on Icelandair's entertainment system). The one drawback is that they aren't super-comfortable to sleep in on a plane — but a pair of (not pictured) Apple EarPods work well for me in that situation. (FYI — I use this podcast to help me sleep on planes, and it works like a dream!)
4 This pen case is perfectly sized for a handful of my favorite pens (see 6) so they are never too far out of reach. I got mine at the Monocle store in London (#fancy) but there's one on Amazon for a bit less money!
5 This is a key travel piece — the catch-all pouch. I sprang for this Comme des Garçons model after buying what felt like fifteen $5 pouches at H&M, only to have them each conveniently disintegrate mid-trip. This is perfect for paper stuff — tickets / receipts / cash / odd bits of change etc.
7 These felt sleeves are the best minimalist tech cases — I have one for every Mac I own. For me, it doubles as a perfect "drop zone" in hotel rooms: a high-contrast area to keep important stuff in one place.
8 MUJI is heaven to me. I use the glue tape to scrapbook along our journeys — any shred of paper or receipt gets kept. The journal is a whole post in itself (coming soon!) but I use their 2-ring A5 binders for ease and convenience — easy to add or subtract pages, unlike a regular notebook, and easy to add in pamphlets or maps we find along the way with a hole punch (which gets packed in the suitcase, not the daypack — I'm not that big of a nerd).
9 Last but not least, the nano-SIM case. Because I am both frugal and fond of adventure, we get local SIM cards for all of our trips (save for Mexico, as it's only $2/day to use our Verizon service). Yes, it's sometimes a hassle — like France, where asking for a prepaid SIM card warrants utter confusion and/or suspicion of terrorist activities — but it's always been worth it. We got 30GB of data in Denmark for just 150DKK (like $22), which ended up being incredibly useful for looking up bus schedules / museum hours / walking directions. I keep track of top-up log-ins / phone numbers / any instructions per SIM in a note on my phone, so we can hang onto them for the next time we're back in town.
So there you have it — the daypack. Full of utility and style. Stay tuned for the next Essentials installments: the Dopp Kit / the Suitcase / the Journal.
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