Traveling Light

If you’re like me and keep a travel journal for your trips, you must already know the curious “problem” we face before the trip even begins - deciding which items to bring. It’s a well-known dilemma among stationery lovers, so much so that we make a joke out of how stationery is the first thing we pack and unpack for travel.

I like to think that I’ve pared down my supplies to a minimum, but the truth is I know I can do better. I have a tendency of bringing things with me “just in case I need them,” and if I’m honest, I rarely end up reaching for anything from that pile. So when the time came to pack for my work trip in Vancouver, I decided to challenge myself and truly consolidate as much as I could - including the non-stationery essentials.


Work Backpack


For my work needs, I’ll be carrying this Everlane backpack. This backpack has been coming with me on my daily commute to work for a while now. Its compact size allows me to place it comfortably on my lap when I’m on public transportation, and I have no doubts it’ll function just as well for travel purposes.

The contents of the backpack will include:

  • Work laptop

  • Olive Traveler’s Notebook as a wallet, planner and travel journal (more on this topic later in the post)

  • Small pen pouch with the essential pens, washi samples and glue

  • Tech case that’s sturdy enough to house an external battery, portable photo printer and phone/laptop chargers

  • The Superior Labor pouch for miscellaneous items

  • Passport/ID and AirPods

I have a full day of work in Vancouver and then some, so having everything in this portable backpack will definitely be convenient.


Travel Carry-on


For my luggage, I chose the trusty engineer bag from The Superior Labor that I have owned since late 2017. The canvas on the bag has softened with age, which means it will easily expand to fit what I need.

The contents of this bag will include:

  • All of my outfits (work and casual) in packing cubes

  • Toiletries

  • The Superior Labor x Baum-kuchen cotton bag petite

Traveling in the summertime luckily means I’m able to lighten the load on my clothes. The cotton bag from BK can also be folded into an extremely slim profile.

I’ll only be carrying this bag in transit. My plan is to carry it crossbody to spread the weight across using the adjustable shoulder strap.


Day Off Carry


For the weekend, I’ll opt for the TSLxBK cotton bag petite that I’ll pack inside the TSL engineer bag as shown above.

The contents inside the bag will include:

  • Olive Traveler’s Notebook

  • Delfonics utility pouch

  • Small pen pouch

  • The Superior Labor pouch for miscellaneous items

I mentioned earlier that I would be using my TN as a wallet, planner and a travel journal. I managed to combine all of these functions into one by incorporating key elements inside the notebook.


My traveler’s notebook has been customized with pockets through Baum-kuchen’s Truly Yours service. In the card slots on the left side, I’ll keep a couple of Kitta washi sets for convenience as well as my credit card. I’m leaving the innermost pocket empty on purpose because I know that I’ll most likely fill it up with receipts, business cards, and other ephemera.


The secretarial pocket on the right side will continue to house my vision board and the writing board from Traveler’s Company. Additionally, I’ll be using the BK dashboard as a planner. Since my trip is only a few days long, I’m going to lay out the entire week on one dashboard and keep it in the same pocket for reference.


Finally for the travel journal portion, I’m bringing the handmade journal from Momo. This journal has a mix of vellum and other beautiful Japanese papers in it, which will make travel journaling even more enjoyable. I’ve decorated the cover and some of the pages already to start, and I can’t wait to fill it up with memories.


If this setup works well over the rest of the week, then I will probably keep it the same for additional trips later in the year. Only allowing myself a limited amount of room to carry my things has helped me reevaluate what is truly essential. I hope that this post was helpful for you to get to know how I pack for trips, and inspired you to travel with a lighter load!

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