Sunday, October 14, 2012

Tools of the Wander

There are a few things a Vagabond should never be without. We've already discussed the importance of a travel guide, but there are a few other items that I never travel without.

1. Luggage- They’re big, they’re heavy, and even though they usually have wheels, they can still be a pain to cart everywhere. What’s worse, their size can fool you into thinking that any extra space after packing needs to be filled, prompting you to pack something else you don’t need. Condense your possessions into a backpack for a more flexible, less cumbersome trip. You’d be surprised how much they can hold, and provided you meet certain size requirements, backpacks can also help you avoid the headaches of checking your bags.
I, personally, never travel with more than I can pack into a carry-on luggage and I only purchase a specific form of suitcase. The dimensions are usually 29 in. H x 18 in. W x 10 in. D. Never black... ever. Finally, the wheels must be able to rotate a full 360.

2. Camera- Lots of sites recommend bringing professional-grade SLRs (usually whatever model is new the month the article is published). Unless you’re a professional photographer or photojournalist and you make your living using a camera, you really don’t need a big fancy piece of equipment weighing you down. Pocket digital camera are very affordable these days, are portable, and literally fit into nearly every pocket. Plus the newer ones take really fantastic pictures.

3. Neck Pillow- As a vagabond, you'll never know where you may be forced to sleep ;) Still, there are alternatives to relying on the official neck pillow. Even rolling the soft sweater you brought along can be a suitable substitute. Now, some people do swear by these, and so if you really feel like this item is nonnegotiable, I suggest an inflatable model that can be neatly folded and tucked away when not needed.

4. Journal- This may sound so cliche, but I've found that recording one's thoughts while traveling to be a great read later in life. You'll be surprised what will cross your thoughts while out experiencing the world. When I'm on the road, my thoughts and feelings still flow better with pen and paper. 

Add to this list a travel guide and you'll have the 5 key tools of a wander. 

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