A few weekend breaks of traveling Europe and I have not yet perfected my packing scheme, but I’ve learned a lot. (I’ve learned that when you don’t have a dryer you really have to plan ahead, or you won’t be able to bring the clothes you wanted to…)
A must have is a travel backpack. I don’t know how or why I lived without one for so long but for a weekend getaway, or even longer (I’ve done a week trip with one) it is great. Particularly when using public transport to get around. Not being “that guy (or girl)” holding up traffic while trying to haul your roller bag up the stairs is pretty great. And the backpack has limited space which prevents me from bringing unnecessary items on the trip. There are a lot of great travel backpacks out there, at least according to reviews, and I had a hard time deciding which one to purchase, but after a few months and serious road time with my Osprey Farpoint 40, I’m pretty happy. It had the features I wanted, has been durable so far and the price was right.
Along with the backpack, I’ve also invested in packing cubes, which keep me organized and separate shoes/clean/dirty clothes in my suit case and keep it (at least for a few days) from becoming an explosion of clothing, electronics, and things I’ve bought while traveling.
Another investment I am extremely glad to have made was in versatile and comfortable walking shoes. I’m not much of a “shoe person” (aside from spending copious amounts on running shoes) but getting a solid pair of shoes that I could spend a day or two walking in comfortably that were stylish enough to wear out at night was a good decision. My only complaint is that they are not waterproof, and they could be a bit more dressy. Any suggestions on a waterproof pair?
A packable bag/backpack is also very helpful for all of the things that you buy while traveling that don’t fit into your carefully packed backpack for the trip home. They roll/fold up into a tiny bag, then can be expanded to hold all the things you bought while traveling that don’t fit in your carefully packed travel backpack. While I’m not sure what brand mine is (it was a gift quite some time ago, and has held up really well) there are a lot of great options out there.
I also don’t like taking long flights without my phone and kindle because they provide entertainment for the long haul.
What are your packing necessities and must haves? What gadgets/gear won’t you travel without?