When I am traveling I usually don’t spend much time at the hotel. I like to get out and explore. Often times I will leave the hotel in the morning and will not return until after dinner. This means I put a lot of thought into how I pack my bag for a day of sightseeing. I want to have everything I need with me so that I don’t need to go back to the hotel.
The key is to balance having everything you need without being burdened by carrying around a heavy or bulky bag.
First things first, I like to pick a bag it big enough, but not too big. I prefer if it zips up, just so I know my belongings are a little more secure. I love the Henri Bendel Jetsetter Backpacks – my sister and I have matching ones.
I have it in green canvas, and I received a crazy number of compliments on it.
And I have another in black nylon, and I like that it is almost indestructible. I have worn it when canyoneering in Utah and glacier climbing in Iceland and it is still in great shape.
I also have a reversible Michael Kors tote that served me well for a year before the straps began to tear (totally my fault for using it to carry my laptop and camera). I like the tote because it can really fit so much – it’s especially handy when I am traveling with Charles and he wants to me carry his things in my purse.
Lastly, I have a Zac Posen satchel that converts into a backpack. It’s small and light but fits all of the essentials I need for a day of exploring.
The most important thing that I pack is my camera. I have a Canon Rebel, and while it is probably time for me to invest in a better camera, I like my Rebel because it wasn’t crazy expensive so if it breaks I won’t be heartbroken, and it is much lighter than higher end cameras. The camera’s light weight is the number one reason why I can’t bare to part with it just yet. For lenses, I love the 24mm which is really versatile. It is a prime lens, which means that it doesn’t zoom. Sometimes I bring my 55mm-200mm zoom lens with me if I think the situation calls for it.
To save space in my bag, I have a simple thin leather camera strap on my camera. I realized that the big bulky strap I had before was taking up too much space.
I always bring my phone and a small mobile charger. The one I have is the size of a credit card but about 5 times as thick, and it can get from phone from dead to 80% charged. I often use my phone’s map feature which drains the battery, so having a mobile charger is important.
I always check the weather and if it is going to rain I bring a small umbrella or a rain jacket. I always bring a very lightweight rain jacket with me when I travel. I like that it can fold up to be tiny, and it can go on over a jacket or sweater.
I pack sunglasses so I am not squinting all day long, Ray Ban is my go to brand.
And depending on the situation I will bring sunscreen with me. I do use a daily moisturizer that has sunblock in it, so I only pack sunscreen if I am in a particularly sunny destination.
If I am abroad I don’t have data access on my phone I bring a map. And I like to have a little snack – usually a granola bar of some sort.
And of course I bring my wallet. I have a Brahmin wallet that has spots for two currencies and it is still in great shape after 2 years.
That is it! Less is more. Is there anything else that you pack when you go sightseeing? Let me know in the comments!
There are two things that I don’t bring with me. I always leave a spare credit card locked in my luggage or a safe. The same goes for my passport. If my purse gets stolen I want to make sure I still have access to some money, and that I have my passport. When I was in college and I was staying in hostels I would lock my backpack closed and then I would lock it to the bed.
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