- Saves you time – I never have to wait at an airport for 30-40 minutes to wait for my bag to come off the carousel. Given how much I travel, I am pretty sure that this saved time amounts to months of my life
- Is more secure – no-one can steal from your bag if you have it with you. You don’t have to worry about the notorious baggage handlers at Jo-burg airport or the dodgy guys on top of the mountain bus in India or about a sketchy Colombian taxi driver taking off with your bags in the trunk
- Creates more options – with a tiny bag I can take the bus, the tube, or walk to my hotel. I am not forced to rely on an expensive taxi. Also, I never end up staying a hostel I don’t really like the look of because I don’t want to have to carry my luggage any further
So, the final few things in my bag……
I was robbed at gunpoint years ago when backpacking in Colombia. The first thing the robbers did was look down the front of my trousers for the ubiquitous money belt that all backpackers seem to wear. And then they looked for the hanging pouch thing the rest of the backpackers wear around their neck. I had neither! I have met plenty of tourists who have also had their money belts razored off in busy places (especially train and bus stations).
- One-third I keep in my bra in this very helpful stash pocket from Eagle Creek
- One-third I keep somewhere in my pack – and yes I realise this means leaving it in the hostel/hotel etc where someone may steal it, but it is also plausible that you will be robbed when you are out and it is always good to have a back up
- The final third, I carry in a leg holster under my trousers (normally around the calf, but sometimes around the thigh if I am wearing capris). In the event that I am wearing shorter shorts, then I just keep everything in my zipped pocket. I bought my leg holster from amazon, but now eagle creek make them too.
I am fortunately blessed with three passports (being a proud citizen of my two adopted countries – France and UK), so I keep two passports on me in my leg holster and one in my bag. I also have my day to day money in my pocket for casual muggers and daily transactions (Always have money for muggers!!!!!). I never carry paper copies of the passports and itineraries as I have never had anyone object to be shown a copy them on my phone (this goes for police officers too when asking for ID). For some more ideas which might suit you better on where to hide your stash, check out this blog
- Protein bars/cereal bars – I hate being hungry so i tend to always have some food on me
- Ziplock bags! – see above, as it is really handy at breakfast buffets to make a sandwich and through it in the ziplock to take with you for lunch. you can rinse and re-use
- A small water bottle which I empty prior to security and refill afterwards. I carry a salomon soft flask for this but any type will do. I am contemplating buying a Grayl water filter when these launch, so I can stop wasting plastic when I travel