This post first appeared on Nero’s Notes.

Regular readers, or listeners to 1857, will know that I do like a bag. Briefcases, messengers, backpacks and holdalls, I’ve an ample sufficiency of bags for days on the road.

Why so many?

I need so many, as one never knows what peculiar circumstance may arise when I head out on the road. (That’s what I tell myself anyway.)

Rome

By the time this publishes, I will, all being well, be in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. Mrs L and I are mixing business and pleasure for a long weekend in the Eternal City.

Four nights, five days, a mix of business and pleasure.

This trip is almost custom built for one of my travel setups. Hand luggage only, changing flights in Athens, I’m not trusting my t-shirts to the hold.

  1. Away Carry On Spinner.
  2. Briefcase / Messenger depending on nature of business

However (Look! A peculiar circumstance!) – Mrs L has a bad back. She is not going to enjoy the two flights that will deliver us to Rome, nor the interval between them. I’m keen to spare her the need to manoeuvre luggage.

Mrs L would probably have a similar setup to mine for a trip of this duration.

Plan

The new plan (to cover both of us) is:

  1. Away Carry On Spinner
  2. Away Holdall
  3. Kensington Backpack
  4. Small ladies hand bag / purse.

The thinking is that the holdall fits atop the spinner, I can heft the backpack on my shoulders, leaving Mrs L with just the handbag.

In packing terms – this makes for constraints. And I love a constraint. (Stop thinking that!)

Rather than bemoan how few things I can take, I’m leaning into a more minimalist approach. I’ll spare you the undies count and wash bag.

My Backpack

On the road

Kensington Ultrabook Backpack K62591

Tickets, bits of paper, travel ephemera, a kindle for Mrs L.

Tech.

10.5 iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard.
iPhone X
Apple Watch Series 3
Anker IQ something or other wall charger (4 ports)
Lightning cables and Apple Watch cable
Kodak 10400mAh Power Bank (not pictured)

I could live without the iPad, but I prefer it for reading, and in case I need to do any emergency work. The phone is capable, but it’s just a lot smaller. The perfect minimal tech carry when on the road?

Stationery

Moleskine City Journal – Rome
Moleskine Roller Pen
Penco Hold Fast Stapler

On the road tech

This is as minimal as I can go. I packed a pencil case, then put it aside. Out and about, I’ll have the city journal and the pen clipped to it and that’s it. I intend to record details. Sean is going to come through Rome, and I’d like to be accurate. We have a few scheduled events, a tour, a couple of lunches, and of course a Rugby match, but we also have plenty of time set aside for strolling around, searching for the perfect coffee.

Should disaster strike (my standard excuse for carrying seven pens and twelve pencils), I’ll buy another pen. It’s Rome, not the Arctic tundra. The stapler is for scrapbooking. Travelling, receipts, tickets, cards all make great keepsakes. So each morning, I’ll staple in mementoes of the previous day.

The Match

On Saturday, I, a Scot, will take my wife, an Italian, to see the Six Nations match between Scotland and Italy. I did that before, in Edinburgh, and Italy thrashed us. I hope Scotland does better on the road.

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