A reblog from: Choosing Your Perfect Travel Bag

For weeks now, you’ve been researching the Internet or pacing up and down the isles of outdoor adventure stores looking for your perfect travel bag to head out on your next outbound adventure. I remember those days quite fondly, researching for hours trying to learn all about the perfect travel bags for your travels. However, once I got out in the field, I quickly learned that there were a few important factors that I did not consider at the time. Most importantly, knowing whether you are pursuing a simple travel adventure, a working holiday, a hiking adventure, or a combination of all three activities.

Type of Travel Adventure

While reading many travel blogs, from other experienced travellers, two common themes became apparent. One, the number one packing issue is bringing too much stuff, especially clothes. Everyone kept reiterating not too bring too many clothes and pack light. For many, this is true if you’re simply travelling. However, there are a few things I’ve learned about choosing the right travel bag for your travels since leaving. I’ve now put together a multi-part series on my thoughts and lessons learned in picking the right travel backpack. After 5 weeks in travelling in India, I was glad to have headed the advice as much as possible, using packing four packing cubes, when packing my travel backpack. While I still packed too many things, it was mostly little things that were replaceable that I eventually had to abandon in India. The second theme, whatever you pack you can find in another country. Everyone continues to discuss how many clothing or pharmaceutical items are replaceable or purchasable in other countries. While this is true, there are a few significant consequences and sizing factors that can result of this advice depending on the type of travel your pursuing.

Consequences of Purchasing Clothing On The Road

If you’re pursuing a working holiday adventure in Australia or elsewhere in the world, the biggest challenge is deciding on what clothing to pack. While I headed the advice of others to pack light and purchase items I needed once I got to Australia, I found the biggest challenge was reserving space for items purchased here. Ultimately, this led me to a pattern of dumping off fairly new work clothes at the conclusion of my stay in each city. This would include such items as dress shoes, dress pants or slacks, and dress shirts, as most of my work experience was business oriented. However, for others, it might be different if you’re working in hospitality or construction. As one might imagine, this became a costly experience in Australia and New Zealand to purchase new work clothes in each city.

The other factor is that clothing, in different cultures, is made in significantly different sizing than what some may be use to if you’re from North America. If you find yourself on the slightly bigger side, then finding specific types of clothing can be hard due to limited sizing. This can result in costlier expenses if you’re adamant about purchasing those specific types of clothing.

No Perfect Universal Travel Bag

Using my own example, it’s primarily related to my own personal experiences of the working holiday, however, you’re intended outbound adventure may compose entirely of travel and no work. If this is the case, then your backpack or luggage requirements are entirely different than mine. I’ve believe that for a working holiday, there really is no one bag that perfectly fits all my personal requirements. As a photographer, I travel with my equipment in a dedicated bag designed specifically for my photographer gear. My carry-on backpack doesn’t provide a lot of space for other personal items that some might be able to take in their carry-on bag.

However, don’t expect to fit multiple pairs of shoes and work clothes in that bag as well. My new technique to try and get around the issue of over-packing is to compress my loose items as much as possible through compression sacks. In the next part of the series, I’ll discuss how and why to compress your loose items.

A reblog from: Choosing Your Perfect Travel Bag