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How to Pack your Bag for a Day of Sightseeing

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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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Sed Bona

Saturday 17th of June 2017

Love these tips and you're reminding me how badly I need one of those Bendel backpacks!! I love that you can turn it into a purse too!


Ashley || Sed Bona


Saturday 17th of June 2017

The Bendel backpacks are the best!


Friday 16th of June 2017

Great tips! I love all your travel bags you have!


Friday 16th of June 2017

Thanks so much Ruth!

Cathy Lawdanski

Tuesday 13th of June 2017

Great idea about leaving your passport and extra credit card locked in the hotel! Love your bags.


Tuesday 13th of June 2017

Thank you! It definitely makes me feel a little safer!

Sue Loncaric

Monday 12th of June 2017

I usually forget the umbrella! Thanks for sharing your tips and ideas with us at #overthemoon. I'm sharing on social media. Have a lovely week and see you next week. Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond


Monday 12th of June 2017

Oh no! That can be the worst!

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