Travel 101: Packing List

Travel 101: Packing List

After quite the ordeal to find the “perfect” bag, we finally resolved that these Osprey bags were almost exactly what we I wanted (let’s be real…I did all the researching and second guessing on bags here). While the intention was not to match or anything, these turned out to be the best travel-friendly carry on backpacks for us. They are carry on sized, can open all the way up for easier packing and have a good amount of support through the straps for walking around all day.

Travel Backpacks | Moving Peaces

 For Her – Osprey Farpoint 40  |  For Him – Osprey Porter 46

(More about travel backpacks here)

 What to Pack:

  • Snacks – SO many snacks. With a long list of food allergies/sensitivities/whatever you want to call it, I don’t exactly know what I will be eating when outside of my home. So, Lara Bars, Think Thin, Trader Joe’s Fruit Bars, trail mix, KIND, Luna Bars and so many others become trusty companions rather quickly. But even without food challenges like mine, it’s always a good idea to pack plenty to eat on the go.
  • Important documents (duh) – For this trip, it’s a passport, plane ticket, immunization records and the receipt of the reciprocity fee (saying we paid the money required to enter the country).
  • Printed itinerary – this one doesn’t always make the list for people, but I think it should. We have a mix of planned and unplanned days ahead, but it’s nice to have it all in one place. Ours includes all the information (and directions) to each of the places we are staying (we’re staying in six different hotels/hostels in our time there!) as well as information on a few things we’d like to see or do. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it helps put it all in once place.
  • Phrasebook – yes, they still make these. Lonely Planet has an excellent line of phrasebooks that are ideal for travel.
  • Notebook (Noticing an old school theme here yet? things like paper and books) As much as we love technology, they can at times be less reliable, plus they can become a liability. Who might want to steal my computer? On the flip side, who would be interested in grabbing my tiny notebook? This is for random notes and thoughts along the way.
  • Camera – I already gave you the full run-down on this one.
  • Clothes, shoes, toiletries. You know, the things that you pack no matter where you go. Nothing groundbreaking really other than the fact that we are fitting it all into one backpack each. Packing layers is key. So is rolling your clothes and supposedly, packing cubes are all the rage these days. We’ll try out a few packing cubes, but don’t think you can’t pack light without one.
  • Clever Travel Companion Shirts – We’ve tried the money belts before and think they are okay. This is the first time we are trying the shirt/tank with a pocket built-in, and I feel pretty good about it.
  • Small bags – I’m sure you’re thinking, we get it, you’re only bringing backpacks. But we aren’t going to want to have our full backpacks with us while hiking through the jungle or climbing a mountain (are we doing those things? time will tell). Therefore, we’ll each be bringing smaller bags as well to take around during the day. I’ll be using my Keen purse I bought a few years back and the hubby will be bringing a tiny backpack that folds up super small. Both have great pockets with zippers – what I consider to be an absolute must for a day bag.

What We Didn’t Pack:

  • Large suitcase – I promise I didn’t do this just to be difficult. I’ve packed large suitcases in the past (like when I studied abroad for an entire semester) and it can serve a purpose. But it can also get in the way. With the amount of moving around we’ll be doing, it seemed best to keep things simple.
  • Current cell phone – meaning, don’t try to get a hold of me while we’re gone. We are bringing old phones for the purpose of wi-fi when it is available, but otherwise there didn’t seem to be a need to bring our actual phones, especially considering how common pickpocketing is.
  • Engagement ring – GASP. Don’t worry. I’m still married. Also, still wearing my wedding ring. My rings are antiques and not exactly the kind of thing you can replace. I never got my rings soldered together, so sometimes it’s nice to leave the engagement ring home in a safe place.
  • Computer – I am not going to Argentina to blog or send emails, believe it or not. When you only have one (small) bag, you are also forced to prioritize, and a computer did not make the cut. We’ll have access to computers in some of the places we’re staying if absolutely needed, but it’ll be good to take a break. I’m sorta looking forward to that kind of freedom from technology.

For more info about travel bags specifically, I wrote an entire post dedicated just to travel backpacks, luggage, and daypacks. I’d say that’s a great place to start, and it makes a huge impact on your overall packing strategy!

*Affiliate links used above. We really do use Amazon a whole bunch.

Travel Essentials: Around Town Camera

Travel Essentials: Around Town Camera

With an upcoming trip to Argentina this spring, you would think that I’ve been nonstop planning. The thing is, so much more goes into a trip than simply itineraries. I have researched everything from the type of backpack I want to buy (the plan is carry-ons only) to the many hostels that will house us for an evening or two. There is so much to prepare beforehand, but guess what you have to show for it all in the end (other than taking the trip of a lifetime and the memories that you will cherish forever)? It’s the pictures.

Here’s the thing: I love taking pictures, but I hate lugging my camera around town. You would think having such a great camera (we own a Canon 7D) and a love for photography would result in a camera being around my neck and in my hands at all times. But the reality is, it feels like such a commitment. I know that sounds ridiculous, but unless I am going somewhere with the intention of shooting something in particular, I take more photos on my phone than with my nice camera. I know I’m not alone here, I see you and your phone pics.

Bearing in mind that we will only be bringing oversized backpacks for our two weeks roaming abroad and our camera would account for roughly 23.7% of that space (give or take), it seemed logical to rethink the situation.

Introducing the Canon EOS M Compact System Camera! The perfect small camera that still allows you to use your fancy lenses (EF and EF-S lenses) but manages to fit in your purse if needed. Much research was done, but ultimately this met both our criteria and budget best.

Canon EOS M

What I love about it:

  • Purse and pocket friendly, at 9 oz it’s easy to bring just about anywhere
  • Interchangeable lenses, meaning we can use the lenses we already have with an adaptor
  • Video capability with full HD 1080p movie mode
  • Similar specs and quality to our current camera, including the sensor type, megapixels and video format
  • Lower price than many other mirrorless cameras

Canon EOS M Camera

Why doesn’t everybody have one of these? Well, when you look for cameras there are a lot of things to consider. Ultimately, this made sense for us because we had already invested in Canon gear and wanted to be able to shoot both photos and videos in the most compact model possible. Being so small, it does not give off as much of professional vibe, so for someone trying to break into the photography world they could spend a similar amount of money and get a camera that is bigger and looks more serious. A few other companies are more known for mirrorless cameras so those in the market for a mirrorless camera might consider another brand first. Canon actually stopped producing this camera because of negative reviews from an initial autofocus driver issue (which was later resolved), so the price has gone down. These “negatives” to some were less important to us and helped bring the camera into our budget. (Note: If you are just looking for a basic point-and-shoot camera without interchangeable lenses, then that likely be the cheaper route and definitely simpler to use if you do not want to change a bunch of settings).

Canon EOS M

Admittedly, it is still an adjustment. The LCD screen in the back is a touch screen (which may eventually be really cool but it takes some getting used to) and there is no viewfinder because it is a mirrorless camera. It uses an SD card and has a different size battery than we currently have, so we’ll need to stock up on each of those. Thankfully, I have a few more months to work with it before putting it to the test. While we bought it primarily for this trip, it is a complementary second camera to the one we already have for future photo shoots or videos. So far, we have been incredibly pleased with this purchase. Now, if only we could decide what else to put in the backpack…

*Note: Affiliate links have been used above but we really did buy this camera and no one provided anything to me for free or at a discount. It’s a real review based on our experience and research. If you do decide to click on some of these links, I may get commission on the sale.