What's in our Travel Backpacks (and Bum Bags)?
What’s in our backpacks (and bum bags) for a 6-month round the world trip?
We do get this question a lot, and with good reason, so we wanted to share with you guys what we actually pack, and what you really need for a trip around the world. Whether you go for a month or a year, here is what we can’t travel without on our backs.
We already covered our full travel packing list for a long term carry-on trip, so this article will cover our electronics and how we fill our day packs and bum bags.
Jeff and I have embarked on a 6-month around the world trip across North and South America, Europe and Asia with just one duffel bag, one day backpack and one bum bag or fanny pack, which has proven to be more than enough if you know how to pack for long-term travel, even in varying weather and seasons!
Yes you read that correctly: we each own a bum bag! Jeff is still trying to pull his off, so we are welcoming any feedback in the matter.
I personally have joined #TeamBackpack as well at the beginning of this trip, after years of Jeff trying to convince me, and I must admit they are extremely convenient and can be very cute as well!
We like to film and take a lot of pictures while traveling as you know, so we carry a fair amount of electronics - this will vary of course depending on the amount of pictures and videos that you will take.
So from our electronics to our daily can’t-live-withouts, here are the essentials we always pack in our backpacks and bumbags!
Which travel backpack to get?
We are proud partners with Eastpak, who we’ve both been big fans of since our days in high school! We both own an Eastpak backpack, and couldn’t be happier with them. From their safety with closed drawstrings to their comfort - we literally can’t feel them on our shoulders - and their impeccable style, which you are familiar with if you follow us on Instagram (plug, plug), we couldn’t imagine better travel backpacks.
What’s in our travel backpacks?
TEP Wireless WIFI device
We each own one TEP Wireless portable WIFI device, which allows us to access unlimited internet in many countries around the world. We’ve used our TEP on Bali beaches as well as the Utah desert, or even in downtown Belgrade. Extremely reliable and indispensable when you don’t necessarily want to buy a SIM Card wherever you go, our TEP have saved the day more than once! You can either rent or buy the unit and pay daily for 24 hour wifi passes as needed. Couldn’t be easier or more handy when you land in a new country!
Tip: Use the code WHATDOESNTSUCK for 10% off your TEP rental
Our DJI Drone
We own a DJI Spark and it’s proven to be really valuable when traveling and filming, as there are angles you can only get from above! However, in true honesty, if we had to buy a drone today we would go for the DJI Mavic Air - foldable and shooting 4K and RAW are the only two things missing on the Spark!
We don’t own many accessories, just an extra car charging cable which has proven to be EXTRA valuable during long road trips, as charging the drone batteries was done in 15 minutes while driving!
Camera FujiFilm X-A3 with 27mm and 50mm F2.8 lens
We love filming all our travel videos with our iPhone cameras because they are quick, easy, and we have mastered how to use them, but sometimes we need a bit better camera for those epic Instagram moments. The FujiFilm X-A3 is an entry-level camera which takes beautiful photos without being too complicated for the entry user. With a screen that flips around to help you take the perfect selfie, a timer, shooting in RAW and all the auto and manual settings you need, this little camera is the perfect package to take on your next trip.
The standard 16-50mm lens comes in the kit with the camera but Jeff has added an additional 27mm and 50mm f/2.8 lens to take some photos to the next level. These added lenses add those soft backgrounds and crystal sharp subjects just like you'd get from a bigger, more expensive lens - and all compact enough to fit in Jeff's new bum bag.
JBL Reflect Mini BT Wireless Headphones
Having noise cancellation headphones is a MUST, but when you’re limited in space, these wireless headphones do just fine! With a durable battery and connecting to your phone via Bluetooth in seconds, these headphones are amazing for a run, walk, podcast or just in a plane when you need to tune out!
JBL Go Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
This is definitely a little extra, but we love to have our Bluetooth speaker to play some tunes on a boat, by a pool, or just to set a mood while picnicking or working! It works perfect, is small enough to fit in a backpack and the sound levels are great for the size of the speaker.
Go Pro Hero 5 and car mount holder
Another classic, our Go Pro is the key to those car time-lapses and underwater/action shots! We own a Go Pro Hero 5 and a car windshield tripod, which works perfectly for us as we mostly film on our phones anyway.
Sea Gate 4 TB Hard Drive
Since we film a lot and take many photos, we always make sure we have reliable storage, and always double or even triple save the data! We own a couple Sea Gate hard drives of 4 TB each. Those small drives are perfect to be taken around the world!
We love to read when we have some down time, and unfortunately we didn’t really like our Kindle - we are old school and prefer to turn pages (we old!). Our favourites at the moment are:
Nomad by James Swallow
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb
Since we are often off on day and multi-day trips, we need to make sure all our devices can last long enough if we are filming and taking pictures without access to electricity. Our battery packs guarantee several extra charges each, and those have been the most reliable we have had so far. If it’s 2018 and you’re over the age of 12, I’m sure you already have one, but just in case, make sure you bring one on your next trip.
MacBook Air laptops
We both own a MacBook Air 13’, which are perfect for traveling as they are light, and allow us to do the work we need to do aka writing, posting, planning, photo editing and even video editing! We plan on upgrading once we settle, but for now we have been very satisfied.
Chargers, Cables and Adaptors
Of course for each of the electronics, we have separate chargers and cables. We share one computer charger as there is no need to carry two - we always make sure one of us is charging at all times! We own very few cables - only a mini-USB each for Go Pro and wireless headphones, and iPhone/Apple Watch chargers. Just make sure you know exactly which cables all your accessories use, so you don’t end up in a Target in the middle of the desert looking for a USB-C cable like we did…
Extra: a Comfy Scarf!
I always have a chunky scarf in my backpack as well, especially when we travel by plane! Used as a pillow, a blanket to keep warmer, or to cover in temples or sensible areas, it doesn’t take a lot of space and is super valuable.
What’s in our Travel Bum Bags?
Now that the electronics are covered, what in the world do we need in our travel bum bags, you will ask. Well, only the essentials that we always need to have easy access to - no need to turn around, open the back pack, close it, and put it back on! #EasyBumBagLife
First and foremost, our iPhones are always in our bum bags, we use them to film, take pictures and sometimes to figure out where we are or where we're going! We use iPhone 7 at the moment and are still happy with them, but planning to upgrade soon. Yes, we film all of our travel videos with beat up old iPhone 7’s with cracked screens. We aren’t fancy :)
My mum wouldn’t be happy, but we swear by cheap sunglasses! No worries about breaking them, losing them or wanting a new pair… which we do fairly often (okay, that might just be me). Jeff has had the same pair of $5 fake Raybans he bought in Beirut for three years.
Since Jeff decided to (voluntarily… yes yes) shave his head, and my forehead can’t handle a lot of sun, we always carry 30+ SPF sunscreen. Better safe than sorry! Spray is always better but anything is better than nothing :)
When we go from cold to warm places, from dry to humid, lip balm is often a life saver! Our favourite? Le Petit Marseillais Repairing Lip Balm. This ALWAYS comes in handy way more than we think. Always.
Passports and IDs
No brainer, but we carry our important papers right next to us at all times. An accident happens so quickly and being left without them is a nightmare. We always have printouts of both on us as well as easy access to copies in our Email or on our phones.
Mastercard (N26) and VISA
We got an N26 card before leaving Dubai to be able to withdraw money and pay without any fees in any currency around the world. This card is available to all European residents, and it’s SUPER worth it if you’re traveling a fair bit. We also have a VISA as we figured out that some countries (especially in South America) only accept VISA. Multiple card options is always preferred when traveling - especially kept in different places in case you get your entire purse stolen in LA while on a hike…
Health Insurance cards
We use Safety Wing for our health insurance, which turns out to be around $35 a month each for a decent health coverage - win! It’s a policy especially created for digital nomads and people who travel without a home base, so that worked perfectly for us for this time. It’s an easy auto payment each month and gives us that extra peace of mind.
There you go, you now know everything we carry with us at all times! How about you?
If you guys have any more questions, let us know in the comments!