After automating my income with Airbnb, I decided to travel to Thailand for three months to focus on my personal projects. Here’s a post on how I travel.

About a year ago, I switched from using rolling suitcases to a backpack when I travel. I didn’t want to, but my suitcase completely fell apart and I didn’t feel like getting another one for $200. So, I began going on all my business trips with just a backpack.

Since then, I’ve gotta say: once you go backpack, you never go back (I had to say it).
Here’s 6 reasons for why you’re better off ditching that trunk on wheels. At the end, I share what I packed for my current three month trip. So, why should you avoid taking a rolling suitcase with you?

erase

1. You barely need anything when you travel, anyway. 

Most of what you pack are clothes. Why bring a case that’s heavier than its contents?

2. No more time wasted waiting around for your checked luggage.

After immigration, you can skip baggage claim and  zip right through to customs with no line. Gone in 60 seconds. Everyone else has to wait around for 10-30 minutes for their luggage to be brutally thrown off the plane and hurled sideways onto the conveyor belt by a guy who doesn’t give a crap about your stuff. Which brings me to my next point…

3. The airlines won’t lose your baggage.

Ahh, the butt-clenching minutes spent waiting for your baggage to come around while everyone is leaving with theirs, wondering if the airlines lost all your favorite clothes. That’s just part of traveling, right? Wrong.

4. You’re forced to practice minimalism.

I’ve been a huge fan of minimalist living this past year or so. Traveling lightly is a great way for people to try it out for the first time, because you can only fit so much in a backpack. And even then, you don’t want it so heavy that you can’t carry it around. So, it makes you pack only what you need and little else. It lets you realize that maybe you don’t need two pairs of shoes. Definitely no hair dryer.

5. You’ll spend less on your trip.

Want to buy that adorable stuffed Thai elephant at the gift shop? Nope, won’t fit in the backpack. Wow, that authentic, hand-carved wood elephant figurine has a dinosaur body. Can’t buy it though, that thing looks heavy.

You actually don’t need to buy any paraphernalia from your travel destinations to remember your trip there. Reject our societal habit for endless consumption, now.

6. Because you look like this:

via

suitcase


 What I use now

bkpk

I use an Osprey Kestrel 28 that I got through Craigslist for$50 in like-new condition. It’s main compartment has incredible depth, and the chest and waist straps provide stellar weight distribution,  I don’t feel any fatigue from having the backpack on for long periods.

So what’s in my bag?

backpackthings

I brought 51 things:

  • 1 Apple Macbook Pro 13″
  • 1 soft laptop case (generic)
  • 1 Nintendo Power Glove (My current project. Hacking it into a MIDI controller)
  • 1 GoPro HERO 3 (Your adventures should be remembered in HD.)
  • 1 3rdPersonView for GoPro (I regret bringing this. Too big.)
  • 1 PocketWiFi (To put in the local SIM card so I’m always connected. SIM free.)
  • 1 passport
  • 2 cards (driver’s license and credit card)
  • 1 wallet
  • 2 containers for fluid (Some hostels don’t have their own shampoo, etc.)
  • 4 types of medicine (DayQuil, Seirogan, 2 tubes of prescription acne cream)
  • 3 cables (Apple lightening, Micro USB, Mini USB)
  • 2 chargers (Apple 60W MagSafe Power Adapter, generic USB adapter)
  • 1 book (BOLD)
  • 1 MoleSkine notebook (to write down ideas on the go)
  • 2 pens (multi-color pen, highlighter)
  • 3 memory sticks (USB flash drive 8GB: for DJing, microSD card 8GB: for GoPro, microSD adaptive SD card: for GoPro)
  • 1 pair of earplugs (A lifesaver during transportation)
  • 6 tops (4 t-shirts, 1 shirt, 1 hoodie).
  • 3 bottoms (1 swimsuit,1 pair of running shorts, 1 pair of jeans)
  • 1 belt
  • 4 pieces of underwear (I expect to was my clothes every 4 days)
  • 1 pair of socks (never had to wear it so far)
  • 1 pair of Crocs Beach Line Flip (Say what you want about Crocs, they know comfortable footwear.)
  • 1 stick of deodorant
  • 1 pair of $10 sunglasses (I’ll lose them anyway)
  • 1 hat
  • 2 plastic zipper bags (to put medicine and important documents in)
  • 1 toothbrush

It’s been 48 days since I left Tokyo, and so far I’ve had no problems. Anything I needed that wasn’t in the pack (e.g. towel, razor, earbuds), I bought in Thailand.
Turns out you don’t need to pack everything before you go, because basic human needs are universal.

I'm on Twitter @shoinwolfe if you ever want to talk.

Shoin Wolfe

Hi I'm @shoinwolfe. I design and code digital products during the day, and DJ around Tokyo at night.

read more