I have a confession, I'm a list maker. Especially, when I'm feeling overwhelmed I'll usually take a moment to break things down and write a list. The act of actually writing the list usually calms me down and I come away from the exercise feeling ready to to attack the task at hand.
When I'm planning and preparing for a trip it's usually no different. And depending on the length of the trip and complexity of the itinerary I am prone to create checklists, excel documents and leave post-it notes everywhere. To help you my dear readers plan for your next international trip I created the following international travel checklist to help keep you organized.
If there's anything you think I missed or if there are any other checklists that you'd like to see leave a comment and let me know.
The bag you choose as your carry-on bag can make or break your trip. Maybe that is a slight exaggeration but it can have an impact on your overall packing efficiency and whether you look like a the hotness or a hot mess while schlepping through the airport. My preference is always for the former.
Until recently, the last time I carried a backpack was when I was in high school lugging my books from class to class and to and from home. As an adult, backpacks never appealed to me because I never saw one that appealed to my personal taste and style. Most backpacks have more compartments and zippers than you can count and external accents that I personally have no use for. Anything that makes me look like I’m about to go hiking for a month in the Andes doesn’t fit the bill for me. Last year I discovered two different backpack styles that I completely obsessed over and had to have, and in a relatively short period of time I went from zero backpacks to three.
I first saw this backpack in a YouTube video and I immediately had to have it, however, I couldn't decide which size to purchase. I ultimately decided to go with the large canvas style in the color wine and when it arrived I wasn’t disappointed. What I love about this backpack is that it’s lightweight yet sturdy which means I can pack it full of goodies and the bag itself doesn’t contribute much additional weight.
The other feature that I love is that there is one main large compartment and a metal lined opening which stays open until I’m ready to close it. The one main compartment may not work for everyone but it works for me because I generally use smaller pouches to compartmentalize my things so there’s no need to dig around looking for what I need. One downside here is that it generally takes both hands to open and close the bag but I see this as a deterrent to would be thieves. Another neat feature is the easy access zipper on the back which gives quick access to the main compartment which is convenient for grabbing a wallet or a snack quickly from the bag.
Since I’ve had it I've used the backpack for my trips to Cuba, South Africa and Martha’s Vineyard. In Cuba it was ideal because I could pack my DSLR camera in the large compartment in its padded Ape Case without anyone suspecting that I was carrying such an expensive piece of equipment on me. My iPhone did end up getting jacked from one of the side pockets while on a crowded ferry but that was totally my fault for being careless about the placement. In South Africa it worked out well to pack snacks for the long flight and again to transport my DSLR and binoculars. Once in South Africa I used it as my main bag during our safari game drives and it was just perfect. Since the material is a durable canvas I could wipe it down with a damp cloth if it got too dusty. Most recently, I used this bag for my road trip to Martha’s Vineyard. As I had to work for some days while I was there, I packed my 13’ MacBook Pro, some snacks (I’m big on snacks when traveling) and a few other things for the long drive.
I ended up loving this backpack so much that I purchased the smaller size in their nylon fabric in navy blue. While I haven’t travelled with this one yet I do however love the smaller one just as much for everyday use.
Oh how I love my Jetsetter Convertible Backpack. I don’t even know where to begin. First of all it’s sleek and perfect for those city getaways where you want to look fashionable and stylish but where you want a bag that’s practical as well. Second of all, since the material on mine is nylon that makes it lightweight. No one wants to be burdened with a heavier than necessary bag when traveling and clocking in almost 20k steps per day, I’m just saying. And finally, the pièce de résistance is that it can be converted from a backpack to a shoulder or cross body bag in no time adding to its versatility.
For my trip to Orlando I was able to fit my laptop with ample room to spare and it was the perfect day bag for the conference I was attending. I was able to carry the bag all day without any shoulder or back aches from the weight. I also had enough room to pack it with pamphlets and swag that I picked up each day.
I used this bag for my trip to Copenhagen and it was clutch running through the airport to catch my flight. As a travel professional I don’t recommended arriving late for flights however, there are sometimes circumstances beyond our control. I packed the bag full with my DSLR camera, snacks for the flight and all of my other long haul-flight necessities.