“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Whether it’s being out all day or making sure you’ve got the essentials to get you through lost luggage at an airport, it seems many people recommend having a good solid day-bag or back pack with you.
- Read other posts in my ‘travel companion’ series.
Capable of storing documents, wallet, medicine, passports, camera, computers or tablets, and many more daily essentials, the day-bag isn’t enough to just be a bag. It needs to be scalable and reliable. If needs to be comfortable (it could be on your shoulders for many hours at a time) and sturdy. If it’s waterproof it’ll be an added bonus, but at least shower proof should be a minimum to go for, yes?
It’s also worth noting that the bag is only as good as the packing, so this guide from some travel experts, and what they say about travelling light.
This guide on the Where’s Sharon website is worth reading, as I have, and covers aspects of size, material, compartments, best for men / women, etc.
“There are quite a few things to consider when picking what is the best backpack for travel for you. Something to keep in mind is that just because a pack was the best travel pack for your friend, doesn’t mean it will be the best one for you. Your needs and size will most probably be different so it is important to work it out for yourself.”
I’ve had many rucksacks as a student and since, and they are great when I’ve needed both arms / hands free like cycling or carrying other objects or shopping, but I generally don’t like rucksacks as they’re either pretty ugly or flimsy (I’ve had so a few where the stitching or shoulder straps, or both, have failed after a year or two of medium use).
I’ve been watching a few travel programmes and documentaries on TV recently, starting with the Monty Python star Michael Palin (Pole to Pole, Full Circle, etc.), who always has a small canvas shoulder bag with him. Another person who’s known for his should bag (all be it a fictitious character) is Jack Bauer (Keifer Sutherland) who totally rocks the look!
For these reasons I’m going for a shoulder back for day-to-day activities and travel. It seems the best option for me, giving me room for everything we’ll need for a day out (except for a change in clothes or anything more than light snacks). Luckily for me I kept a business card I picked up last year at a country fair for some bespoke, but affordable, travel accessories from Bonnies Bags – they’ve a good range of bags and I remember when I saw them thinking the quality of stitching and fabric looked sturdy enough to be a sound investment if ever I needed a new day sack of laptop bag.
I did a bit more searching and found London Troop Bags that are very similar to Bonnies Bags, but ever so slightly cheaper. I loved the look of the different bags, so ended up getting the Classic. So far I’m loving it: the multiple pockets are good for keeping everything in place, great zip, and feels really comfortable when wearing it, and it’s easy to find stuff inside when I need it quickly (like the camera or passport).
If anything I would change is seeing it in RL (real-life) first as it’s a little smaller than I wanted, and there’s the problem with ordering online!
But, and this is something I fully realise with this bag … it’s not big enough to be a ‘travel’ bag. It isn’t big enough to take everything that Sharon and others recommend to take the stuff (if you need to be sire you have stuff for when/if your luggage goes missing) like extra clothing, food and water, documents, gadgets plus chargers, books, medicine, etc.