Essentials

The items on this page are the ones I must absolutely have when I travel: the essentials. If I had to narrow my entire Travel Stack down to just a few items, these would be the ones that would make the cut.

  1. Aer Duffel Pack
  2. Apple Macbook Pro
  3. Bellroy 3 card case
  4. iPhone 7
  5. Apple AirPods
  6. Bose SoundLink Revolve wireless speaker
  7. Paul Smith passport cover
 
aer00014_duffelpack_34.jpg

Aer Duffel Pack

This is the bag I don't go anywhere without. I got this bag as a gift from my best friend Hoon, and I absolutely love it. It has great capacity to carry a week's worth of clothes, one or both of my laptops, a pair of shoes, along with my other essentials. There's pockets and sleeves for just about everything, including multiple laptop sleeves, a built-in ventilated shoe compartment, and more than four side pockets to store your documentation, cables, and other trinkets.

Even a year after carrying this bag around, I'm still discovering new ways to use this pack to store my travel gear. Also, it's undeniably stylish and very comfortable to wear, even with a heavy load. I don't think I'll be finding a better alternative for a long time.

Apple Macbook Pro

I tend to carry two Macbook Pros with me on a regular basis. The newest generation 13in is my Stack Overflow work machine, and the computer I spend my regular hours working. I like how slim and lightweight it is, and if I'm doing a shorter, weeklong trip, I'll sometimes only bring this one.

My previous generation 15in is my personal computer and what I use when I work on Bento. It's important that I keep the work I do for Stack and Bento as separate as I can, even if it's quite literally extra weight on my shoulders.

The biggest hassle here is the compatibility around cables and power. With the weirdness of USB-C and the hassle of bringing two rather bulky power packs with me, having just one would be ideal.

Bellroy 3 Card Case

I got this case for my iPhone 7 from a recommendation from my friend Matt. Before getting this case, I was living dangerously with a naked phone: no case, no screen protector. I think I just liked the look and slimness of a naked phone, but the thing I missed most was the utility of a wallet.

I have always loved wallet cases, and this is the best one I've come across by far. It holds three cards, so for me, that's my work badge, my go-to credit card, and a photo ID. What really makes the Bellroy case stand out for me is the hidden SIM card and pin holder. Before, I'd always carry around a small plastic bag and some paper clips for when I used pre-paid SIM cards, but now it's all-in-one. It's perfect for the digital nomadic life I'm living.

 

iPhone 7

I've been an iPhone loyalist since the beginning. The most notable thing about my phone is that I make sure it's unlocked so I can use prepaid SIMs anywhere I go and use it as a hotspot for my computer. Those features allow me to get LTE for my laptop pretty reliably wherever I go. Personal WiFi devices just don't cut it for me (yet).

 

Bose SoundLink Revolve

Durable, water-resistant, and powerful in its sound quality, this Bluetooth speaker is great for travel. I use it when I have friends over to set the mood, amplify my computer audio, and I can even use it to take my calls. My only reservation is that the Bluetooth can be a bit finicky, with my phone going in and out of range.

Apple AirPods

I absolutely love these. For one, one less wire for me to worry about. Second, they work great with all of my Apple products, almost magically connecting with what I'm focusing on. Lastly, enabling iCloud means I can keep track of where these are, even if I forget them somewhere (and I have). Protip: if you're looking for these, Is In Stock is how I found mine.

 

Paul Smith Passport Cover

I definitely splurged on this one. In addition to keeping my passport protected, it has several pockets for cards and currency I don't carry around in my phone case. Things like my Global Entry card, ATM card, foreign currencies, public transport cards, and printed tickets all go in here. It's a lot more manageable with this cover.