What goes in the bag...

Packing for the next trip (for work - so exciting, not), I'm reminded that I was going to write about tips for travel packing. They're really not hacks per se, and nothing is truly original - perhaps just little tweaks on stuff.

To start off though, we have these:

Rule 1: Gotta use it more than 50% of the trip

Case in point that I personally struggle with: My tablet. I still struggle to leave this one at home, because I argue that it'd be used on the plane for backup entertainment and for the rest of the trip for blogging and Netflix... but so many times I found in-flight entertainment adequate and I never stay awake long enough for the blog or Netflix. As a general rule though it's been helpful to cull the excess shirts, trousers, etc.

Rule 2: Gotta be comfortable and worn/used on the average day

By "average day", I mean any day not spent travelling (what are you wearing today?). This one is really important - so it means we try hard not to buy anything specifically for travelling... other than the obvious e.g. luggages, travel chargers (note very important: ALWAYS bring a travel charger when travelling). When it comes to clothes and outerwear (...and innerwear) we always go with what's in the wardrobe - because that's probably what we're most comfortable in... and cuts all the unnecessary shopping.

Rule 3: Gotta visually match anything with everything

This is I think the most useful tip. Our trick is to go with blues and whites - I take it one step further and lay everything out in a square (sorta like Instagram squares) which guarantees that everything matches. The idea is to have the most number of shirts-trousers-dress-accessories-shoes combinations with the least number of actual things in the bag.

So... currently in the bag I have this:

And these are notable...

1. Travel charger: I've said it before. Never leave the base during a full day of photography and Google Mapping without a good, reliable travel charger. We each have a Samsung capable of charging our phones over from flat thrice.

2. Compact wallet: I've discovered the best wallets to travel are very compact ones that fit cash, coins and cards. I have one from Trenery that is no longer sold - but when the zipper starts to give in to age I've got my eyes on the Bellroy Card Pocket.

3. Watch: One thing I hardly wear is a watch - but when travelling, my Timex Expedition is something I never leave without. Time is everything when on the move, and a watch is sometimes more reliable than having to check the phone - All. The. Time.

4. Day carry: A recent addition is our Rains waterproof tote bag. Large enough to fit our shopping, lightweight enough to fold into our pocket when not in use. This bag is a lifesaver in travels where rain is almost certain.

5. Shoes: I've packed two pairs for a short week-long trip involving casuals and formals. The most annoying thing to pack are shoes, and ideally shoes should be swapped out each day (for hygiene). So here's my tip: buy shoes a size larger, fit insoles, and bring spare insoles to swap each day. I use Neat Feet Work Force insoles in most of my shoes.