As a travel journalist, I often feel I've hit the career jackpot. I travel as often as my passport allows — 28 countries and counting! — and I’m able to tell the stories of the cultures and wonders I see along the way. Most of my life is spent migrating from plane to train to hotel to apartment, on repeat. Transitioning through makeshift homes, managing deadlines across timezones, and attempting to appear more professional than jet-lagged for interviews and reviews means I have to be strategic about my calendar — and, perhaps even more so, about packing.
While I’d love for my entire previous New York City wardrobe to fit in my backpack, lightweight, makeshift staples and smart technology pieces reign on my priority list. As anyone who travels full-time or even part-time will tell you, airline baggage fees add up when you’re in constant flux, making what you choose to lug around fall into two strict categories: necessary or excessive.
If you’re heading out on a long trek overseas or considering a digital nomad lifestyle, take it from these seasoned travel writers who have earned enough miles to know what’s essential for travel.