How to pack everything you need into a carry-on bag. See the full packing list at: http://www.lifelisted.com/blog/the-on…
When picking a case, I recommend looking for these three features:
First, it is not black so it is easy to spot on at a baggage claim (most people have black suitcases which means black blends in)
Secondly, it should roll with four smart wheels. At first I thought this design was dorky but I quickly realized it is much more practical for walking long distances. I will likely never go back to the traditional two wheel suitcase.
Lastly, I recommend going with a hard case. They are heavier but last longer and are better at protecting your gear.
I recommend something like this roller bag.
Foam Earplugs (I recommend these foamy guys)
Travel toothbrush (I just bought a toothbrush/paste combo to save money: 3-in-1 dental kit
Fingernail/toenail clippers (It might be easier to buy one of these locally to avoid shipping. Alternatively, just get something like these toenail clippers)
Floss (This floss is awesome: Tom’s Floss)
Condoms (Umm, I’ll let you pick these out. :-p)
Heat resistant deodorant (I went with a pack of six: Tom’s natural unscented deodorant stick) Note: I no longer recommend this as the makers added zinc to the new version of the deodorant which causes skin irritation.
Sunscreen (If you travel in the US make sure it meets the TSA security rules for size)
Bag of bags
Three garbage bags (Bonus points if you go eco-friendly: eco-friendly tall kitchen trash bags)
Three zip locks (I recommend going with the big sized ones: Ziploc gallon sized bags)
Macbook Pro (Always go with the 15 inch version)
Laptop charger with extension Edison cable (This is clutch: Apple AC Extension Cord)
Unlocked iPhone 5 (Right now the cheapest way to get one of these legally in the US is through T-Mobile. $99 up-front. Alternatively you can check amazon or eBay by searching: Apple iPhone 5 (Unlocked))
iPhone headphones (Comes with phone)
iPhone charger (Comes with phone)
1 pen (Most useful for airport documentation)
1 USB thumbdrive (Look for a price cheaper than $1.00 per 1 Gigabyte such as this one Kingston 64GB thumbdrive)
A universal plug adapter (This thing is awesome! – Kensington all-in-one plug adapter)
Laminated vaccination documentation (Look for a travel focused doctor at local Universities)
Credit Cards (See this post on my cards. Note, it might be slightly outdated. Thanks to Nancy for suggesting this!)
Passport (See this post on how to get two. Thanks again Nancy!)
Ideally, I would keep my suitcase always packed. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough clothes to do that.
Roughly 3/5th ratio for clothes/days
3/5th American Apparel shirts (Thanks Jacob Puhl for the inspiration!)
3/5th Exofficio boxer briefs (I ran a marathon in these things)
3/5th black socks
2/5th athletic socks
2/5th atheltic pants/shirt combo
2/5th warm pants (these are my favorite)
Two pairs of jeans (always)
running shores (for a total of two as I have to wear a pair to the airport)
One reversible leather belt (that I don’t wear to airport)
One jacket (that I got in Buenos Aires)
That’s it! Everything else I sort out once I get to my location if necessary. If it is really cold, I rent or buy a jacket there (this is what I did for Antarctica). If it is really hot, I buy a super cheap pair of shorts (which usually only survive the trip).
Notice that I don’t have a razor, shaving cream, soap or really any body maintenance products. I have found them useless to pack as you can buy these common items very inexpensively in practically any city.
In this way I stay super lean while traveling.
One Warning On Gear
The trick to traveling smart is not really gear at all. I don’t have a top secret batman style utility belt. Instead, I have a lot of normal things. My most important items are actually habits not objects. I am writing a short story about these so check back on the blog on the coming months.
I hope this was helpful and please leave me comments on this new format in the comments below.
P.S. Some of the gear selections above contain affiliate links. This means I get paid a small percentage of the normal price if you choose to buy something. Don’t feel any pressure to buy, I am just testing out the concept. Remember, it is not the gear that will save you on an adventure, it is the habits.