What’s in your bag?

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Another blog post from Mr. Deals

First item to go in Mr. Deals suitcase, a pair of board-shorts. Comment Mr. Deals receives from Mrs. Deals upon beginning packing:  “Why do you always bring a bathing suit?!”

Lets face it, with hotels all trying to outdo one another these days you never really know when you might be able to jump in a hot tub or a pool on a quick trip. I’ve always got to be prepared. Mrs. Deals just doesn’t get it. That said, I do have some very other important things that go with me everywhere and I figured as we head into a big travel time of the year, it’s worth laying out Mr. Deals top travel essentials.

The things that go everywhere with me

So beyond my board-shorts, there are always a few items that make it into the bag. I don’t like to bring anything that doesn’t serve a purpose, especially because I opt to never ever check a bag (though that changes when the baby comes on a trip). So here’s what I’ve got:

1) Shoe bag:  That red bag in the photo is something I’ve probably gotten hundreds of over the years. They are those little swag bags that are given out at every conference under the sun, usually with some company logo on them. You can buy them if you really want ($5ish on Amazon.com), but I’m sure you can find some simple bag laying around that will be a good travel tool. Here’s why I bring this:

  • Keeps shoes separate from clothes
  • Can be used as a laundry bag for socks/undies/etc.
  • Makes a good bag to bring to a pool area

2) Packable backpack:  I found this thing about 5 years ago when wandering around Eastern Mountain Sports. Since then it has always gone with me. It’s super packable and functions as a full nylon backpack with water bottle holders. It’s awesome when I bring it on work trips and have some extra time to explore. It allows me to pack a bunch of stuff without having to mess with my work bag. Here’s why I love this thing:

  • Great for when your suitcase is so packed you might actually need an extra bag to avoid having to check an oversized carry on
  • Super lightweight so I’m not worrying about a heavy bag when I’m out all day exploring
  • Perfect if you are taking a detour overnight from your main destination and just need to pack a few things without having to bring your whole suitcase
  • If you don’t use it, it barely takes up any space and weighs next to nothing

3) Empty water bottle:  I HATE BUYING WATER. I don’t know how airports can get away with it, but bottled water is just outrageously expensive. And even though you can always pop in a supermarket, it’s great to just have a bottle to put water in. It also fits nicely in the water bottle pockets of #2 (see above). It’s just smart to always have some water with you. Here’s the specific water bottle I use: Nalgene On The Fly Water Bottle

4) Carabiner clip:  I have a bunch of these things. They are pretty much attached to every bag I own. No I don’t climb (though I did a few times back in college) but these things are just so damn useful. You can get them in all different sizes, but I personally love the big ones. Here’s a few reasons why:

  • Clip sneakers or sandals on them off the side of a bag (easy way to lighten the load on the carry on roller bag)
  • I can clip my water bottle to it
  • Can dangle my extra bag (#2) off of it so it’s not taking up space in a bag
  • If you are traveling in winter (maybe on a ski trip) you can have your gloves or helmet dangling from it as you travel

5) GoPro Camera: Lets face it, you should always just bring a camera when you are traveling. Most people use their phone or have a point and shoot or DSLR with them. I typically have one of those with me as well, however the GoPro goes everywhere. Yes I love to surf and snowboard and do anything deemed a bit more risky, but that said, I’ve found the GoPro to just take some damn good pictures from time to time. Short of it, just bring a camera of some sort and you’ll be happy you caught those memories.

6) XShot Camera Extender: This thing is great. Sometimes you are out hiking and nobody else is around and you’ve got an amazing view behind you but nobody to take a picture of you with it — well this solves that problem. It’s basically a selfie improver. The XShot camera extender extends out a few feet and boom you’ve got the ability to take a nice shot of yourself or reach up way over a crowd if you want to get a cool perspective. I like to use this thing with the GoPro.

Now other than this stuff, I try to bring a few changes of clothes (somewhat important), some toiletries and maybe a book or some music. I want to keep my bags as simple as possible and not waste space with anything. I’m curious what essentials everyone else has. Share in the comments!

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