What I packed – Photographer – Europe – 2019

Check out my Amazon page for gear that I personally use and products similar to those I pack on my travels (many of which are listed below).

For this Eurotrip, we had planned to visit many cities and countries but doing so by the most efficient and cost effective of options. To do so, we took many flights with Ryanair and well, if you have flown with Ryanair, you can barely carry anything on those flights without having to pay for it.

With the restrictions of Ryanair as our template, I had to leave behind my goto bags – Wandrd PRVKE 21 and the North Face Basecamp Duffel – S. I traded those in for this Swissgear Travel Tote and that was it. The size restriction is (40cm x 20cm x 25cm).

With that being said, I had to sacrifice a few things but as a Photographer, it’s hard to leave things behind in case you need it. I did put Photography gear as priority and in the end, I brought less clothes and did more laundry. If you actually look at all my photos of me during the trip, it just looks like one long day since I wear the same things in all the photos.

For this trip, we had to deal with many temperatures going from 0°C to a high of 31°C. This is not an ideal situation for the limited space but I somehow made it work.

Wearing onto Plane

-Lululemon Tights – these tights are amazing because they are super lightweight but also feature pockets!

-Tank top

-Sports bra

-Hoodie

-Sneakers

-Socks

-Rain jacket

 

Swiss Gear Bag

-Passport International Drivers License

-Money – EU, GBP, DKK, SEK

-USB – 64GB

-D750 28mm

-Batteries – 2

-Nikon charger

-Mogics – power bar

-Phone charging cable + plug

-Samsung T5 SSD external + cable

-Card reader + cable

-Macbook Book Air

-Mac Charger

-Astrolapin

-Memory cards x 10

-Eyedrops – Rohto 40

-Glasses + case

Packable purse

Packable bag

-Powerbank

-Toothbrush

-Toothpaste bites (great for reducing liquids as well)

-Contacts

-Contact solution x3 travel size

-Tweezers

-Nail clippers

-Razor

-Laundry soap sheets

-Underwear x6

-Socks x3

-1 sports bra

-PJ’s (1 shorts + 1 shirt)

-1 shorts

-1 t-shirts

-2 tanks

-1 tights

-1 longsleeve

– 1 swim bottoms

-Strepsils

-Tiger Balm

-Sanitary items

 

Bag Review – Victorinox VX Touring Wheeled 2-in-1 carry-on

For my safari adventure in Africa, I left my North Face Basecamp Duffel behind and replaced it with the Victorinox VX Touring Wheeled 2-in-1 carry-on as my main luggage. I am a firm believer in only bringing what you can carry and vice versa. Since my trip to Southeast Asia back in 2015, I have not checked in luggage and have packed carry-on only. I wanted to test the waters with this hybrid bag for this trip.

Check out my Amazon page for gear that I personally use and products similar to those I pack on my travels (many of which are listed below).

Initial Impressions

The Victorinox VX Touring Wheeled 2-in-1 carry-on is a structured carry-on luggage with a durable fabric and zippers that have a watertight seal. There are 4 compression straps and an expansive zipper. The front of the bag features a padded laptop compartment and the main portion of the bag unzips and rolls down like a backpacker’s backpack revealing the full space. There are 2 mesh storage pockets inside and a strap inside.

This has 2 wheels and a mono handle if you wanted to tow the luggage around however if one wants to carry it like a backpack, you can. Unzipping the back of the luggage, there are detachable backpack straps and the zipper flap must be rolled down and tucked into before you can use it. There is also a zipper below that houses a wheel cover so the wheels won’t make contact with your clothing as you carry it.

I would say I am an avid traveller and pack as minimal as possible. My first impressions while trying to pack the Victorinox bag, I compared to my usual carry-on bag – The North Face – Basecamp Duffel – Small.

The Victorinox bag has more structure than the duffel with the ability to roll the bag around instead of just carrying it. Both bags have handles around the bag so you can carry it in multiple ways. Both are water repellant with sturdy zippers and compression straps. The Victorinox features a large mesh pocket on the roll down side and an inside side mesh pocket. The North Face only has a mesh pocket on the flap. The North Face bag is much more malleable and able to pack more in ensuring all the space is utilized. The Victorinox has more structure and features a large roll down cover that opens to show the entire compartment to help pack.

Initially looking at the Victorinox I noticed it has less capacity due to the fact that the luggage has a stowaway handle, which retracts, into the bag leaving a large portion in the middle of the storage compartment obsolete for actual packing space. Trying to tetris style pack the Victorinox I found was more difficult depending on how you position say a compartment bag or a sleeping bag because you would need to layer them in around the monopole section and also so it doesn’t become lumpy once closed. What I did find very helpful is that the flap opens all the way revealing the packing space and when done packing, it folds back over and the zippers zip very smoothly. The plus from this bag is that there is an expansion zipper if you need to carry more. There are compression straps to minimize the size but once again, if things are not packed properly, the section that the compressions straps are not present look really bulky.

The Victorinox is built as part roll luggage, part backpack, the back of the luggage is a firm structure that is quite wide and even if the main compartment is not full, there is no way to squish it any further. A Victorinox TSA combination lock is also included. The 2 wheels of the bag are solid with curb caps to protect the bag when rolling. With the 2 large wheels built in the way it is, it allows the bag to be longer to carry more than a 4 wheeler luggage but also stay compliant with carry-on size. While carrying the Victorinox bag with another backpack, the size becomes prominent. The bag features adjustable sternum straps nonetheless with the large dimension of the bag without a waist strap; it becomes cumbersome to carry for long periods of time.

As a normal roll luggage, it is perfectly fine for general use. As a backpack, it has a lot to learn from a more dedicated duffel backpack.

Field Testing

Travelling to Africa, my friends and myself decided to check in our luggage because we had many layovers and didn’t want to deal with our bags every step of our trip. The Victorinox proved to be a good bag to be used for this type of travel. We did On The Go Tours, which is a budget overland tour meaning we would be packing our luggage into the truck at every campsite, but easily enough can take it to our tents if we wanted.

Having the 2 wheels and monopod handle proved to be smooth sailing through the airports and wherever we needed to go with it. The size of the bag is considered carry on so it was lightweight and very easy to zip through. The truck we used had a luggage compartment that was about chest level and with the 2 wheels, I was able to put the bag in and pull it out no problem. Top handle and side handle made this even easier.

Some people would keep their luggage in the truck luggage compartment and prep for the next day. I took my luggage into my tent every night because it easy to handle and small enough that I had adequate space in my tent to do so. The plus of this bag compared to my North Face duffel is the way the bag opens. The bag zips all the way to the bottom where the flap can fold over and reveal all the inner contents of the bag that the duffel would need to remove the inner contents to do so. Having compartment bags inside definitely helped with the daily organization.  

Even after the duration of my trip, I had no problem zipping the bag back up without using the expansion zipper. The only downside I personally didn’t like from a aesthetic prospective is that when it is packed and compression straps used, the area where the compression straps are not, the bag looks really frumpy making it look larger than it actually is. The actual pattern of the bag and the orange compression hooks made the bag very easy to recognize when picking up my luggage from the carousel. Overall, the bag proved to be very useful and convenient for this trip. If you need to live out of a suitcase/luggage for a trip, this will do just fine. I think my travel style is slightly more agile and streamline that being able to carry everything on my body is key.

What I packed – Photographer – Africa – 2017

Check out my Amazon page for gear that I personally use and products similar to those I pack on my travels (many of which are listed below).

As a photographer, my priorities for travelling always have been photography first. This time around for a safari adventure in Africa, I left my North Face Basecamp Duffel behind and replaced it with the Victorinox VX Touring Wheeled 2-in-1 carry-on as my main luggage. I used the PRVKE bag by WANDRD as my personal camera bag. I am still not a big fan of wheeled luggage but this hybrid wheeled duffel bag was an interesting one to test out. Follow the link to see my review on the Victorinox VX Touring Wheeled 2-in-1 carry-on.

Going to South Africa and going on a safari – less is more. On the safari, you are travelling with a medium size group of people and a laptop is more of an inconvenience than anything else. Unfortunately, my 120mm Twin Lense film camera had to be left at home (especially with an addition of a sleeping bag). Africa can be hot but when the sun goes down, the temperature dips. Black & Blue clothing attract tsetse flies so avoid wearing those colours. Northern parts of Africa are quite conservative so be aware that tights/leggings & revealing tank tops won’t do in the city or small villages (shoulders and knees should be covered). While on safari, you can wear whatever you feel like but in terms of colour, stick to neutrals so you can blend into the environment. White will only get dirty so the colours you should try to stick to are greys, greens, browns. In terms of fabrics, dry-fit and light linens are ideal and layering is key (I hate layering). We were given opportunity during our trip to do our own laundry and hang it to dry.

*We were given slightly wrong information in terms of what we needed to pack. Our friend had previously done Northern Africa, which encompasses more Muslims thus more conservative. Southern Africa is not as conservative meaning shorts and tank tops are the more appropriate attire. Marked in BOLD are clothing or items that weren’t needed or I didn’t use and also important information.

 

Africa Packing List

14 days

Wearing onto Plane

1 pair of pants (Uniqlo Easy Legging Pants)

1 tank+sports bra

1 hoodie

1 sneakers

1 pair of socks

1 pair of underwear

 

PRVKE 21 (personal bag – camera bag)

1 Nikon D750

1 28mm lense

1 150-500mm lense – Wish I had the 50-500mm for more versatility BUT highly recommended a lense of 300mm+ for game drives or a teleconvertor

4 Nikon batteries

1 Nikon charger

1 GoPro

3 GoPro batteries

1 GoPro charger

1 Earphones

1 Mogics – travel adaptor power bar – MAKE SURE TO HAVE THE APPROPRIATE OUTLETS (Type D, M, N & G – 3 prongs – flat and also circle)

USB cables (external USB 3.0 & MicroUSB)

Gnarboxnot needed

Astrolapin

Memory cards (5 64GB & 6 128GB SD cards)

Eyedrops (Rohto 40a from Japan is my preference – menthol) Good to have eyedrops for those safari game drives

Flashlight / Headlamp – Needed for camping at night

Rainjacket

Tilly hat

Passport

Currency – USD/ Euro

Wallet

Money Belt

Malaria Pills

Lozenges

Water bottle – Collapsible Waterbottle from MEC

Wet wipes / Toilet Paper

Nuun – electrolyte tablets

 

Victorinox VX Touring Wheeled 2-in-1 carry-on (my carry-on/check-in bag)

Deflated balls + ball pump (2 reg size vball and soccer ball + 1 mini soccer ball – to give to locals)

1 Toothbrush

1 pairs of Contacts + 3 single use

1.5 travel size Solution – Clear Care

2 in 1 shampoo

1 Body wash

1 Lotion

1 Tigerbalm

1 tweezers

1 nail clippers

5 pairs of socks (I wore flip flops majority of the time. Used shoes twice for bushwalks and for God’s Window stairs)

3 sports bra

1 bra (didn’t use)

9 pairs of underwear (if doing laundry regularly, not that many needed)

4 light weight pants (2 elephant pants – leaving 1 behind)

5 tanks

2 shirt (only 1 used)

PJ’s (1 shirt, 1 shorts) (didn’t need – showered and wore what I would wear the following day to bed)

1 button-up (didn’t need)

2 Long sleeve (only 1 needed)

1 buff (not needed – can be used as a headband)

1 small towel (used for pillow on top of clothing compartment bag)

1 pack towel (micro fiber quick drying is clutch)

1 Matador packable backpack

Bug spray – try to purchase from the country you are going to as the chemicals are targeted to local insects

Sunscreen

Rope & Clothing pins – on safari you will have opportunity to do your own laundry

1 selfie stick (also use as a monopod) (did not use)

1 flip flops

1 MEC  Sleeping Bag (needed for safari)

 

 

 

What I packed – Backpacking Photographer – Southeast Asia – 2015

Check out my Amazon page for gear that I personally use and products similar to those I pack on my travels (many of which are listed below).

Backpacking is the way to go especially when travelling Southeast Asia. To make it a quick and easier way of getting in and out of airports, backpacking without checking in any bags is the most ideal. For my 25 day adventure this is what I packed.

Mind you, I am a photographer and my priorities for travelling always have the photography aspect ahead of everything else which meant sacrificing clothing and other material goods for all my computer and camera gear. All in all, I did a good job if I say so myself for packing and still have space to to return home with tons of goodies.

I have also included some comments beside items that I brought which in the end, were not needed or they were a MUST.

This is a good list to read through if you are also curious to see what gear I use to shoot during my travels.

THIS IS WHAT I PACKED:

 

Wearing on plane

1 pair of tights

1 t-shirt (you need at least one top that is “modest” to wear at temples to cover up.

1 hoodie

1 pair of sneakers

1 bra

1 pair of underwear

1 pair of socks

 

In Camera rucksack backpack (personal bag):

1 set of headphones

1-2 pens/pencil

Travel documents

Passport – extra passport photos – money (CAD/USD)

Memory cards (6-8 – 64GB SD cards)

USB Cables – USB 3.0 / USB 2.0 / Micro / Card reader

4 nikon DSLR batteries

3 GoPro batteries

Nikon D610

28mm 1.8

50mm 1.8

Outex waterproof system

TLR – Walzflex

6 rolls of 120mm film

Bag rain cover

Chargers – USB / Nikon / GoPro / Macbook

Macbook Air

Selfie stick

My travel buddy – Astrolapin

Glasses case/contact case

2TB external (WD Passport)

umbrella –  Didn’t really need except for Hanoi & Koh Samui when it rained (but I didn’t even use it)

 

In Duffel bag – 42L North Face Basecamp Duffel (my carry-on bag):

Power bar & Plug convertor – Amazing to bring a power bar to charge everything at once

Combination lock – For hostel locker use

Drugs/Pills – malaria / diarrhea / cough / electrolyte

Baby powder – helps with being less sticky in humid areas and great for shoes after the jungle to remove odors

Tiger balm / topical antibiotic – Best thing to bring! Best for bug bites

Shampoo / body wash / contact solution /contact lenses – sterilizing solution like Clear Care solution doesn’t exist in SEA – bring more!

Feminine hygiene products – tampons / pads – Depending on where you are, it might be hard to find tampons

Razor – It might also be hard to find razors in some areas

Roll of toilet paper – LIFESAVER in Cambodia & Lao!

Powerbars (emergency food)

Mosquito bracelet / DEET – DEET IS A NECESSITY!

Water shoes – DIDN’T NEED

Flip flops – Everyone wears flip flops / crocs or croc like material footwear

Flats – DIDN’T NEED

3 pairs of socks

7 pairs of underwear

2 sports bra

3 bikini tops – 2/3 reversible – DIDN’T NEED ALL 3 – BUT threw out 1 pair

3 bikini bottoms – Threw out 1 pair

2 pairs of jean shorts

1 pair of volleyball shorts

2 pairs of shorts

1 PJ shirt

6 tops – 5 tanks / 1 dressy

1 long sleeve – only needed longsleeve for jungle

Foldable towel

Foldable blanket – didn’t use but should’ve used in jungle

Foldable backpack – GREAT FOR DAY USE!

Drybag – great for island hopping and jungle

GoPro accessories