I’m coming out as a one bag man (and occasionally a one bag couple). In almost all of my leisure trips I bring nothing but a carry-on bag. The intention behind this post is not to “show off” (I barely have anything to show off) but rather to show travelling with mediocre gear is okay. The other lesson to learn from this post is probably that it is worthwhile to stay up-to-date with deals so you can grab amazing travel gears for cheap.
Why One Bag
Because waiting for luggage is boring. So is checking in a luggage and dragging (my super cheap, old, and dated) luggage to hotel. Luggage is something I will eventually have to upgrade but I am am more or less holding out on buying a new one for as long as I can.
The Slow Upgrade
I am frugal. Most of my gear isn’t “blog worthy”. If I posted anything I traveled with prior to 2017, I would get negative views. That said, I am slowly upgrading my gear. Some will obviously take priority over other.
If this is your first time in this blog, understand that many “good” gear I share were bought in discount. In some case (ex Samsung S10+ and Pixel 3 XL), I actually made money on them 🙂
Bag is probably supposed to be of big importance to the “one bag people”, but I use $25 bags that I bought in 2015. When I am not travelling said bag is my school bag and when I am travelling it is my travel bag. Yes, I have checked into hotels that cost $1000 (thanks to miles and points) with no luggage and my beat up school bag re-purposed as a travel bag.
Google Pixel 3 XL and Galaxy S10+ Phone
For normal use both phones do just fine. And that is exactly what I was trying to point out by saying which photo was taken by which phone.
Anyway, I bought Pixel 3 XLs when they were “literally free” during a one day sale. I have since sold my Pixel 3 XL but my SO still has one we travel with. I also bought two S10+ with T-Mobile promotion, sold one of them, and I use the other one as my current main phone.
Galaxy S10+ Pros: Both phones are amazing for general photography but Pixel 3 XL does not have wide angle on the rear camera. I find that wide angle is a huge bonus for often travelling folks like you and me. Additionally, Samsung Pay can be an amazing feature for those of us who roll with Altitude Reserve Card. I can essentially earn 4.5% at almost every physical store.
Pixel 3 XL Pros: I joined the Pixel lineup with Pixel 2 XL and Pixel software experience has been one of the highlight for me. The other major selling point has been the ability to backup original quality/size image and video on cloud. I also miss the fingerprint sensor on the back, especially because the on screen fingerprint sensor on S10+ is not worthy of $1k phone. I also miss the night mode because for whatever reason T-Mobile isn’t including nightmode on my S10+. Uncarrier.
I have an old, often crashing, and occasionally freezing E403S ASUS laptop (B&H). It is something I have to eventually replace but for now it has been doing the job. It weights about 1.5 kg (3.3 pounds).
I have had PixelBook (Google) for several months now but somehow I have used it so much less than my SO that it might as well belong to my SO.
The fact that chrome books boots very faster is very ideal for travel but I very much miss the full Microsoft OS experience. I often think I probably should have replaced my laptop with a better laptop suitable for daily use as well as travel.
If I bring my ASUS laptop, I will likely have to bring a charger with me. It isn’t a bulky charger whatsoever but the alternative option I have when bringing in PixelBook is pretty good.
If I can get in the habit of bringing in PixelBook instead, I can simply carry my Pixel 3 XL charger and not worry about bringing a separate charger for the chromebook. I choose Pixel 3 XL charger over PixelBook charger simply because it is light and smaller. I have yet to even unpack my Pixelbook charger.
I used to carry various cheap water bottle but none of them felt right. These days I carry a generic plastic bottle (I know I’m ruining the planet). When visiting a 3rd world country, I sometimes carry a water filter bottle (LifeStraw on Amazon).
For last 8 months, I have been wearing these generic sneaker off amazon pretty much everywhere. They do the job just fine. Meanwhile, my cushion scandal from reef scandal costs more than my sneaker. I like my scandal but I feel that these sneakers are far better value for the money.
If necessary, I carry around from Mountain Hardwear. My SO also carries a similar Women’s Jacket which apparently doesn’t exist on Mountain Hardwear’s website anymore. They were both blackfriday exclusive items back in 2017. They cost $111 and $129 but I did not find value in them. Let’s just say they were blackfriday exclusive items for a reason.
Pants and Other Clothing
At the moment, the other clothing items I travel with are stuff you probably don’t want to hear about. I pack a few regular clothing items that I think I will use and that’s pretty much about it. The eventual goal is to get lighter clothing suitable for travel.
I’ve had the same wallet for several years. I wish I could tell you what “several years” means but I don’t remember when I bought this wallet. I probably bought my current wallet for $7-20 bucks.
Because I carry very little in my wallet, I have thought about switching over to slim card holders but I have been hesitant.
As far as the content of my actual wallet, maybe that could be addressed in a separate future post.
If I am travelling to places where availability of outlets or electricity isn’t reliable then I will bring along a powerbank. Otherwise, bringing on my super bulky powerbank is a hard pass.
I have Panasonic 60x Zoom Camera (amazon) which I bought for $37.5 (thanks Dansdeal). I am fairly satisfied with all the pictures I have taken with Pixel phones over the years so this camera doesn’t get much action.
The travel sized cologne from Scentbox and Scentbird is pretty cheap. Sceintbird recently ran a $3 promo and they got my money. You can read on various perfume subscriptions. If I were to carry perfume with me, these would be it.
I have stayed in chain hotels for more or less all trips I have made in developed countries. These hotels pretty much always provide toiletries. Some of them even provide shaving kit, toothbrush, and toothpaste without asking.
I occasionally bring toothbrush and travel sized toothpaste with me but oddly enough I have yet to take my electric toothbrush during travel. Not sure why.
If I was really into bringing my own toiletries, I would probably occasionally sub to Margot Elena subscription box for it often seems to have good hand creams, body wash, etc
If I am travelling to a 3rd world country then towel is something that I try not get forget about. I don’t have dedicated travel towel but one of the towels I have received from various subscription boxes (Fab Fit Fun, Rachel Zoe’s, and Causebox to name a few) do just fine.
Obviously I skipped over a few things but this post was getting a little too long 🙂