I’ve been traveling a lot more recently, especially by plane, and with that, I finally feel like I’m getting smart with packing. The days of bringing 3-4 bags for a trip are gone. Instead, I’m finding my carry-on bag is more than enough.
Side note: I love my Vera Bradley carry-on bag. I got it on sale when they discontinued the color. I love that it has a TSA-approved laptop sleeve so that I can just open up without removing my laptop. Jen from Pretty Neat Living did an excellent video of it a few years back. Sadly, it looks like their current bags don’t have near the amount of organization this one has. I’m not sure if they’re still available on Ebay or somewhere else, but I highly recommend it, if you can find one. They’re also easy to spot at baggage claim if you ever check your bags.
My number one travel essential for flying is easily my Airpods. I’m still amazed at how delightful I find them, even months later. They’re always within reach, and since I like to listen to podcasts on a plane (or just to tune out my boyfriend for a bit), they are essential. I also bring my Kindle in the event I want to read, but usually, I have a backlog of podcasts to catch up on.
While I’d prefer to not bring my laptop with me on trips, sometimes I just can’t avoid it. In the most recent case, I had several work deadlines and a paper for graduate school to complete during our recent trip to Austin. I was lucky enough to get my new 13″ MacBook Pro just before our trip, and that opened the doors to something I’d never been able to do before. I brought ONE charging cable! ONE!
I brought my main Macbook Pro USB-C charger along with a USB-C to Micro-USB adapter and Micro-USB to Lightning adapter. With these adapters, I was able to charge my Macbook Pro, iPhone, Kindle, Airpods, and battery pack with a single charger, and believe me, it was wonderful. I added a LightningCozy to keep the Lightning adapter attached to my USB-C to Micro-USB adapter even when I’m not using it.
Another thing that I love traveling with that doesn’t seem to get mentioned online much is my Belkin Portable Valet Charger. It has a built-in Apple Watch charger on it. I had planned to buy a separate watch charger for travel but decided to spend a little more for this since I can use it to charge my phone and Kindle as well. Since I’m only traveling with a USB-C cable and this still uses USB-A, I toss a handy USB to Micro-USB and Lightning keychain in my bag with it, and I’m always prepared for a low battery.
If you have any ways to simplify traveling with gadgets any further, I’d love to read them in the comments below.