A follow up to my travel essentials. This one is from The Hungry One, aka ‘Mr Technical’.

When we travel with hand luggage only for a weekend away, this is what always comes with him. He sometimes has to work when we’re away. He likes to prepare for contingencies. He likes his technology.

The stuff below his, but the words are mine. He would explain it in much more precise detail.

1) iPhone, iPad

These don’t just come  on their own. You can pick The Hungry One’s i-products out of a line up because they look like something Bruce Wayne would own. They’re sheathed in black kevlar cases made by Griffin. They’re ‘Independently tested and certified to meet conditions outlined in US Department of Defense MIL-STD-810 and UK Department of Defense Def-Stan 00-35’. They can withstand being lobbed off buildings, sandstorms and drenched in howling rain. If you drill into a young  child that a new toy needs to be taken care of, this is what happens.  These toys are well taken care of.

Griffin cases

2) A Crumpler Bag

The Complete Seed Messenger bag is what comes with him, every time we go away. It fits in the Ryan Air and Easy Jet hand luggage restrictions. It’s got a very sturdy adjustable strap. It’s got lots of compartments. It’s got velcro and clips for extra security. The main compartment holds 22 litres (or enough clothes and tech) to sustain him. The origin story of Crumpler, as a company is a great one. In 1992 Stuart Crumpler sat hunched over his grandmother’s old sewing machine in a shed in Ballarat, Australia. He was trying to get the machine to sew through a truck tarp, so he can make a bag strong enough to carry a slab of beer home on his bike. From there, a company that made great ‘man bags’ (and camera cases).

Crumpler Complete Seed

3) British Airways app

Beyond the Tripit and Tom Tom that I spoke about there’s one app The Hungry One likes. Whereas I prefer to have the security of a printed boarding pass, if we’re flying BA he likes to scoot through security  by flashing his phone. It also keeps track of his frequent flyer miles.

4) VMware View

The Hungry One works in virtual desktops.  By having VMware View installed on his iPad he can access email, instant messaging and secure applications without having to start up and logon to a laptop. It’s magical stuff (my words, not his).

5) Tea bags: Earl Grey and Green

Break in case of emergencies. We may not be English, but we do travel with teabags. I’m a lot more pleasant to be around after a cup of Earl Grey in the morning. He thrives on caffeine. If there’s no espresso, then green tea does the job (also, sneakily, lots of low cost airlines will give you a cup of hot water for free, whereas a cup of tea can be £3).

6) Cufflinks

It’s nice to have a reminder of time away. It’s nice if it’s small (particularly when you live in a little apartment).  For The Hungry One, his souvenirs are cuffllinks. It means every day when get gets dressed to go to work, he’s got a reminder of an adventure on his wrists. We take a pair with us because it’s easier to pull them out and show a shop assistant than scrape around for the word for ‘cufflink’ in Greek. These ones are doubly handy because they’ve got a compass in them (from  Zermatt- they remind us of how terribly we got lost on the slopes one day).

7) 32 gb USB stick

You never know when you’re going to need one. This USB stick is big, with more than 32Gb on it, but no larger than a texta (it’s also in a cover that’s apparently strong enough to survive being run over by a truck. We haven’t tested it- yet).  While we store all of our important documents (scans of passports, drivers licenses, birth certificates etc) on Dropbox, we also keep copies of them and our annual travel insurance policy on the USB which comes with us.

8 ) Lockable luggage strap

When we’re travelling a little further and take small hand luggage suitcases as well, we use these fierce and lockable straps to help keep the bags  closed ( we listen when they said during the flight, things may move in the overhead compartment). They’re  also very useful for tying bags together, locking things- and- tethering the bottom of twin beds together if you got the kids room and you’re cold in the middle of the night in the French Alps.

9) Multi zone charger- and a double adapter

Handy beyond belief. Goes from any region to any region. The double adapter is about to be supplanted by a triple, so you no longer have to make the Sophie’s Choice at night of whether to charge the phone , iPad or camera.

10) Keep Cup (with protein powder)

A Keep Cup plays a role beyond the smug feeling you get when you order a flat white out of a cup that won’t contribute to landfill. Most of the time when we travel we fill the bottom with a few scoops of protein powder, so it can function as a quick smoothie shaker for emergencies (I don’t call him The Hungry One for nothing).

11) Good adaptable walking shoes

In winter it’s a good pair of ankle boots that are smart enough to wear with black jeans and a nice shirt if we go out to dinner and sturdy enough to walk around a city in. In summer it’s a pair of loafers.

12) Merino wool tops/jumpers

Either black polo shirts for summer or grey/blue  jumpers for winter. The Merino wool breathes well and can be easily washed out in an emergency. As for the grey jumpers, that’s me. I like them. It’s also why The Hungry One looks the same in nearly every one of our travel shots.

Icebreaker polo shirts

12) Technical jacket

Bought while freezing in Berlin, in minus 18 C, the Carhartt jacket has been worth every penny. It’s as warm as one of those bloated puffy jackets. It’s got a detachable hood. It’s waterproof. It’s sporty, but not excessively so.  And it breathes. It gives ‘technical wear’ a good name.


13) A sports jacket

There are few places that you can’t get into these days wearing black jeans, a nice jumper or  black polo and a dark charcoal sports jacket.  If we’re going somewhere nice, he throws in a lightweight sports jacket, carefully rolled at the bottom of the bag, or wears it on the plane. It also a handy thing to have l if he needs to take a  video call in a hotel room.

14) Laundry bag

Nobody likes their dirty clothes mingling with their clean. A hotel laundry bag keeps the old stuff out of sight. It also makes it much easier unpacking when we come home. Anything in the laundry bags goes straight in the washing machine.

15) Passport and credit card

We learned about the passport the hard way (the fact that he’s there in that photo above, looking out over the Blue Lagoon in Iceland is a miracle in itself). Though if you ever do need to make it from Heathrow, to Borough and back in an hour and 17 minutes, his tips are; take the Heathrow Express and the tubes, jump down a few stairs and very nicely ask if you can skip to the head of the queues at security, as you’re just about to miss your plane and your wife. The passport wallet also contains an international drivers licence- it’s handy to keep it seperate to your regular drivers licence. It means if you get mugged, you’ll  can still have ID to rent a car. And then there’s a credit card or two.  That’s all you ever really need. There’s a very good chance wherever you’re going has shops.