What a carry-on

Each time I travel I’m truly amazed at the amount of things people are carrying with them. I’m often wondering where these people are going and why they need so many things. Are they moving home and need all their essentials; as their other stuff will be arriving by ship in 2 – 3 months or are they travelling for business and need to carry samples for clients? I really have no idea, but the majority of people seem to be carrying way to much stuff.

I remember a long time ago I was making a back-packing trip in Japan with a friend; my friend (who had never really traveled before) turned up at my door with a massive rucksack filled with all kinds of crap. You know, one of these really massive rucksacks that are used for mountain climbing in the Himalayas or something. I said to her “what you doing with all that stuff”? Do you understand that you will need to carry that everywhere for 3 weeks? I finally persuaded her to leave about 1/3 of it on my hall floor before we departed. I had the same conversation with my partner before a trip to Australia – we had planned a trip that involved 11 flights and he wanted to take one of these large hard suitcases with the small wheels. As I know him very well I knew I would be the one humphing this case around in and out of taxis, hotels and hire cars. I made it absolutely clear that there was no way I was going or would go anywhere with this suitcase.

So while I’m pondering where to start with this site and starting to prepare my bags for my next trip to the USA next week; I thought I should start with what I like to take as carry-on and how I minimise as much as possible for a comfortable journey with no clutter.

Here is a list of things I take as carry-on in the cabin:

Camera (although sometimes I just use my iPhone depending on where I’m going)
Headphones (Noise Cancelling)

That’s it; ok maybe I might buy a magazine at the airpot shop, but I try to keep it minimal.

Crumpler camera bag

My carry on bag for flying

Crumpler bag closed

Crumpler Camera Bag

Crumpler bag opened to rucksack

Crumpler Camera Bag Opened as Rucksack

It took me a while to find, but the Crumpler camera bag is nearly ideal as a cabin bag. I have the protection for my camera and the space for my iPad, headphones, and other bits and pieces. The bag could do with a few modifications, (it could maybe do with a little structure on the back of the extendable rucksack area), but generally light and strong and great for travelling. If you can, try to get some noise-cancelling headphones for flying; even if you don’t listen to anything. Cancelling out the aeroplane noise works wonders for grabbing some shut-eye on long-haul flights.

When I travel I like to use my iPad for all Internet and entertainment stuff; I also like to upload all my pictures to my iPad incase something happens to the SD card or the camera; and whenever possible upload them all to the cloud as a precaution. Apart from the charger for my iPad and iPhone (which is normally in my checked-in luggage) that’s it. I took a while to come to this realisation, but I have over time when upgrading equipment tried to minimise everything. For example my next headphones will be the in-ear bud type Bose noise-cancelling as this reduces the amount of things I carry.

Just like when my friend got back from travelling in Japan her attitude to what she took when travelling was greatly minimised. For example take enough clothes for one week, no more. There is always somewhere to do a bit of washing and if not then you must be in some really remote place; in which case it does not really matter if you smell a little. You can always buy a few clothes as souvenirs on your travels; it’s little memories that you can enjoy every time you wear them.