Travel Essentials

I travel. A lot. I travel at least once a month, some months twice. I’m an expert at airports. I’m not afraid to show up half an hour before my flight is departing in certain situations. I wouldn’t recommend that at DFW, but in Reno for a 7 AM flight, it’s not a problem.

Want to travel like I do? These are my necessities.

1. Timbuk2’s CoPilot roller is the best piece of luggage I’ve ever had. It’s small enough to carry on when I want, but large enough that I packed for my three week Europe trip with no problem. I can check it when I don’t feel like dealing, or carry it on when I don’t. The front pocket fits my toiletry bag so that it’s easily accessible when going through security. The zippered sides keep everything organized, contained and in it’s place which is a big necessity for me when I’m living out of a suitcase. The front shoe pocket holds my running shoes separate from my clothing. I never travel without the ability to go out for a run.

Timbuk2 Does Luggage Right

2. My Timbuk2 toiletries bag is always packed and ready to go so that I don’t have to stress over forgetting something. The clear front is TSA approved and ready to be sent through without dealing with stupid plastic bags. I use Nalgene brand leak proof bottles to keep small versions of all my favorite products with me.

Mine is always loaded with leak proof bottles of all my necessities!

3. We all know that I have a messenger bag problem. I have at least four or five. If I am carrying my laptop on the plane with me, but want a messenger bag for around town when I arrive at my destination, then I pack the Timbuk2 Hidden Messenger. It’s super lightweight, folds into it’s own pocket, takes up very little space in my suitcase and is always ready to go out on the town!

Large enough for all your daily site-seeing necessities, small enough to hide in your suitcase.

4. The Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Prima Jacket is perfect for traveling. At a mere 23 grams, it weighs nothing, packs up into the size of your fist and is unbelievably warm thanks to Primaloft Insulation. I can scrunch it into my carry-on or my suitcase no problem. It’s so lightweight and small that it’s never a question of whether or not to bring it, I just always do. I’m never caught out of town without a bit of warmth in case a chilly night sneaks up on us.

Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Prima Jacket, stylish enough for the city, warm enough for freezing nights.

5. The Amazon Kindle is the best purchase I’ve ever made! As a prolific reader, especially on vacation, I no longer have to travel with multitudes of heavy books. Even better, Amazon often has free classics for your Kindle on their site, so mine is loaded with about 30 books perfect for travel, like the Sherlock Holmes series. With wi-fi access, I’m never caught without the ability to pick up a new book. I like to download the Lonely Planet guide to my destination as well.

Read a kindle, here or there, anywhere! Photo: Erik Moore

6. Scarfs. Lots of them. I became a fan when I was in Europe. Turn you from t-shirt wearing American into instantly classy traveler. I originally bristled at the idea of me wearing scarves but I have now repented my ways.

Classy. Photo: Erik Moore

7. My Chaco Leather Flips have proven indispensable over the years. I’ve had them for at least 7 years now and they are showing no sign of slowing down. They’ve been on every trip with me. They are small enough to fit in my luggage, rugged enough to handle the beach, nice enough that I can wear them with dresses or skirts, and have enough support that I can walk in them all day with no qualms. By wearing comfortable boots on the plane and packing my running shoes and Chacos, I’m always ready for whatever my vacation throws at me.

8. In addition to having a messenger bag problem, I now have a camera bag problem as well. My collection is up to 6 bags but for travel, I rely on the Lowe Pro Slingshot. I currently have a smaller version of this bag, but any more lenses and I’m going to have to upgrade. It has a waterproof cover to protect against the elements, something that came in handy to also keep sand out when I had my camera at the beach in Puerto Rico.

Easily accessible side entry makes this perfect for travel photography.

For the purposes of full disclosure, with the exception of Pearl Izumi, none of these companies know who I am. I just happen to really like them.

4 thoughts on “Travel Essentials

  1. Awesome advise on attire for traveling. My hubbie and I travel a lot. I generally tend to pack lighter with a small duffel. Hubbie, not so much. Anyway, I was looking at the travel bag you use on-line is it the small bag or the medium bag? My hubbie needs a new one as I busted the wheels on our good bag. While that bad was great for not having to check it in, it was a bit on the heavy side; with the new weight restrictions, it was good timing it bit the dust. However, now we are down to my tumi which is also a bit on the heavy side. We need new bags. I love the jacket you mentioned also, I usually bring along a NorthFace black light weight jacket, but it is getting to look a bit worn. In terms of size, are they true to size, to do you need to purchase a size up. While my frame is medium, I have long arms and find size large accommodates this problem. I really like the pearl izumi you recommended. Would large work do you think or xl? I travel with a nice pair of dress sandles, and birkenstocks, and these flat ballet like shoes, never received a blister ever with them, but were replaced for a pair of Merrill mary jane type walking shoes. Blisters galore for a while until they were broke in. Love them now, but I find they are a bit on the heavy side. Would love to replace them. I loved the ballet like shoes they lasted nearly 10 years and have been around the world and back again. Can’t find a replacement. I knew I should have bought two pair (a habit of mine, when I find something I like or can’t decide, I buy two.) Thanks for your great traveling tips. It is great to learn new tips, especially since we travel a lot and their are always new products on the market. BTW love your site. It is fun, funny, very useful and a great read.

    • Hey Louise! Thanks for the compliments!

      I bought the medium, because I wanted something that was big enough to take on a trip to Europe but small enough that I could fit it in an overhead bin if I wanted. It’s a little bit bigger than I would like for small weekend trips. Honestly, I’m considering buying the small version for smaller trips. Actually, what I would really like to find is a roller bag small enough for overhead bins meant for photography equipment that also has a small compartment to fit enough clothes for just a weekend trip. I keep finding myself annoyed that I have to trek around so many bags to protect camera gear + carry clothes. If someone out there knows about or owns a roller suitcase with built in padding and protection for cameras and lenses PLUS space for a laptop PLUS space for two days worth of compact clothes, please please please tell me about it!

      The PRO Prima Jacket fits true to size if you like things to be fitted. The arms will be more than long enough because it’s designed for cyclists and the arms are an extra few inches in length than a normal jacket. If you like a little bit more room in your clothes, I would try an XL. Honestly, I actually work for Pearl so if you are interested in the jacket, call me at work this week (530-541-9044) and I can sort you out/discuss more.

      I have quite a few friends who swear by Keen’s for travel dress shoes, but I’ve never been able to bring myself to buy them. That being said, their recycled lunch bag is something that I wholeheartedly stand behind.

  2. I needed some nice new sandals and just ordered the Chacos 🙂 My post-baby feet are not shrinking back down and I only want to buy ONE pair of shoes to wear this summer since I am hoping they go back before I start work.

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