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Do you love to travel and, more importantly, talk about travel? Have you ever helped someone else plan a trip? Are you the go-to source of travel info for your friends?

Then we want you to join our team as a Concierge. You’ll help fellow travelers choose the right gear and ensure they have a great trip.

But first, a bit of information about us.

Why Tortuga Backpacks?

We are a small, fast-growing company that’s just starting to hit its stride. We had the idea for Tortuga on a backpacking trip in 2009. After experiencing the shortcomings of travel backpacks first hand, we’ve been obsessed with fixing them ever since. We’re solving real problems, not just selling stuff.

Tortuga has been named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s 100 Brilliant Companies and nominated for Carryology’s Best Carry On Award. Our first product was a hit, and we are about to release two more. Next year will be a big one for us. Will you be a part of it?

Our customers are awesome. They are world travelers who share their trips and write glowing reviews.

We’re posting this opportunity here and not on a job board because we hope our next team member will come from within our community or via referral. Keep reading to learn more about the role and to see if you’re a good fit.

You Might Be a Good Fit If…

You are empathetic. Anyone can reply to a customer with a generic, pre-written email. You care about the problem and won’t stop until it’s fixed. You will be the customer’s advocate. Can you stay positive when dealing with a tough customer? We’ve found that a considered, honest response will defuse most situations.

You love travel. You haven’t been everywhere (yet) but you want to go. Your passion for travel should be infectious, even through email or Facebook. Customers identify with us because we’re passionate travel junkies, not a faceless corporation.

You take initiative. You should have a bias for action both in working with customers and in creating new projects. Have a good idea? Let’s do it. No presentations, multiple approvals, or layers of management required.

You’re a great writer. Your job is to provide clear, concise, and helpful answers via email. Good writing is crucial. We’ll be reading your application closely.

You double check. Dealing with customers’ orders (and money) carries a lot of responsibility. You don’t take that lightly. You check and double check everything to avoid mistakes that will create more work.

You think in systems. At Tortuga, we build systems and document them to make our jobs easier. We use Standard Operating Procedures so that the business is reliant on a system, not on any one person. If you like making checklists, you’re in the right place.

You want to learn. You should be comfortable acknowledging mistakes, getting feedback, and asking for help. Unlike most people, you embrace a challenge and want to improve every day.

Your Responsibilities

You will be the Concierge helping travelers take amazing trips. That’s our mission. On a daily basis, you will:

  • Answer questions via email and social media about our products and occasionally provide packing and travel advice.
  • Edit the FAQ and product pages so that customers can get answers without having to send an email.
  • Manage our social media accounts and Team Tortuga site.
  • Be one of the faces of the business online. Contribute to off-site discussions about Tortuga by being helpful, not sales-y.
  • Document how you work so that your tasks can be delegated or improved in the future.
  • Look for trends in customer feedback to help us improve existing products and create new ones.
  • Build and nurture a community of like-minded travelers. This is an upcoming project that you will own.

Why This Role?

The Concierge will start as an hourly position working 10-20 hours per week at $18/hour.

You can work from anywhere. You control your own hours but will be expected to respond to customers daily during US business hours. Living in North or South America is ideal.

If all goes well, your role and responsibilities will increase.

We will provide Standard Operating Procedures and screencasts for your most common tasks. You’ll be encouraged to document your processes and to automate your most repetitive tasks. You will be free to focus on helping customers and creatively solving problems, not typing the same answers over and over.

Do Not Apply If…

  • You are not interested in customer service. We have great customers and 1-2 hours of email-based work needed per day. You will have plenty of time for other projects. However, you will be answering customer emails. If you aren’t interested in helping people, don’t apply.
  • You like working at a big company. We are a small business. There is no HR department. There are no layers of management. If you need something done, you do it.

How to Apply

  • Send an email to
  • Make the subject line “Concierge [Your Name]”
  • Write 3-5 paragraphs about:
    • Who you are
    • What relevant experience you have
    • Why you are a good fit for the Concierge role
    • Why you want to work with Tortuga Backpacks

If you have any questions, contact us. If you know anyone who would be a good fit for this role, please forward this post to him/her.

We look forward to reading everyone’s applications and to welcoming a new member to the team.

For those of us running our own online businesses, like Tortuga Backpacks, location independence is (relatively) easy.

With my laptop and a WiFi connection, I’ve worked from London for a month, taken a workcation to Mexico, and am now headed back in Guangzhou, China for two weeks.

Even if you wouldn’t use your freedom to travel constantly, having the option to travel when and for how long you want to is empowering.

What if you don’t own a business? What if your employer doesn’t allow for remote work? We’re here to help.

You can find plenty of information online about finding work at your destination. You can work at a hostel, teach English, or be a tour guide.

Not everyone wants to do this kind of work. Some travelers want to start a business or have more control over their schedule. Some travelers want to advance in their current field while working remotely. If you want something more than the typical low-paid, local job, this post is for you.

Want to stay in your current job? Negotiate a remote work assignment with your current employer by using the scripts in The 4-Hour Workweek.

Ready to go freelance or to find a job with a company that values working remotely? Keep reading.

Click to continue…

Don't Leave Anything Behind

Perfect your packing with our free carry on packing list.

Join our mailing list below to get your packing checklist and weekly packing tips sent straight to your inbox.

Spam is the worst, so we won't send you any.

Ever heard of a bug out bag? Or a go bag?

As defined by Wikipedia:

A bug-out bag is a portable kit that contains the items one would require to survive for seventy-two hours when evacuating from a disaster.

But out bags are popular with disaster response personnel, survivalists, and those anticipating a zombie apocalypse.

What does a bug out bag have to do with travel? This list doesn’t resemble a packing list.

Fleeing from a natural disaster doesn’t sound like a fun trip. Eating MREs doesn’t qualify as a culinary experience.

You may not need a small bag packed in case of emergency. Do you have one packed in case of a last-minute trip? You don’t need to be disaster ready, but are you travel ready?

Today’s post will outline what to keep in your travel bug out bag. You don’t need to unpack or re-pack from scratch every time you leave town. Keep your travel-only gear in your bag so you’re almost ready to go at any moment.


You probably don’t have a capsule wardrobe packed away in your travel bag to be worn only on the road.

Do you have any clothes that you primarily wear on the road?

Good candidates are merino wool t-shirts, any clothing made of “performance” fabrics, a rain jacket, a down jacket, travel jeans, or a wool buff.

Every item that stays packed in your bag is one less thing you need to pack and one less thing you might forget.

Click to continue…

Steve Jobs wore his trademark black turtleneck.

President Obama keeps his wardrobe simple to avoid decision fatigue.

“You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits,” he said. “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”

Forbes even made a list of celebrities who always dress the same.

What can we learn from the idiosyncrasies of the rich and famous?

You don’t want a closet with dozens of the same outfit. You aren’t Superman.

We can learn to keep our wardrobes simple, especially when we’re traveling.

Building a capsule wardrobe will pare down your packing list.

In today’s post, we’ll discuss what a capsule wardrobe is, look at some examples, and build one that will work for any length of trip.

Click to continue…

Everything I needed for the weekend was packed in my Tortuga, but I still had room left over.

Of course I ended up filling up that room with more stuff. Not because I needed it but because I could.

Have you ever left for a trip with lots of unused space in your backpack? Neither have I.

Constraints are helpful when packing. Otherwise, you’ll pack based on how much space you have, not how much stuff you need.

For longer trips, using a carry-on-sized bag is a good way limit how much you bring. Packing carry-on-only is a big adjustment for most people.

But not every trip is a multi-week, international adventure. In fact, most trips are short.

When we surveyed our customers, you told us that you take 2-3 times more domestic trips than international trips per year. Most of those domestic trips are for less than a week.

How long is your average domestic trip?

Short, domestic trips require a different bag than the maximum-sized-carry-on Tortuga Backpack with all its bells and whistles.

For example, two weeks ago, I spent 5 days in Los Angeles with Jeremy shooting new pictures and videos for the website. Last weekend, I spent 4 days in Washington state working alongside other travel entrepreneurs.

I didn’t need a Tortuga’s worth of stuff on either trip.

Introducing the Tortuga Air

Instead, I carried the Tortuga Air. We created the Air based on your feedback about shorter trips. The Air is ideally suited to trips of less than a week: overnight, a long weekend, or a short business trip.

I’ve acclimated to packing in the smaller Air and now prefer it for most trips. Next month, I’ll be documenting a two-week trip to China carrying just the Air.

The Tortuga Air is the perfect bag for most trips. When you hop on a plane for a few days in New York. When you jump in the car for a road trip up the coast. When you need a bag that works equally well on a plane and in the office.

We started with how the Air would be used and built it around these use cases.

Tortuga Air main compartment

The Air is both smaller and lighter than the Tortuga. It’s laid out like a suitcase with a clamshell opening, a divided main compartment, and an expansion zipper. Like the Tortuga, the Air has locking zippers, a pocket for your computer, and specialized pockets for all your small stuff.

For more pictures and info, keep reading.

Tortuga Air Pre-Sale

The Tortuga Air is now available for pre-sale here.

Before placing an order, please read the rest of this post for details about the pre-sale.

If you’re unsure which bag is best for you, compare the Air to the Tortuga on the comparison page.


You have dibs on the first shipment of Tortuga Air backpacks.

Place your pre-order by Monday, October 6th, 2014 to guarantee yourself a bag from the first shipment.


When you place a pre-order, you will be charged immediately, not when your bag ships. The pre-order will work much like Kickstarter. You pay up front, we order the bags, then you get your bag.

Manufacturing and Delivery

We will place an order with our supplier on October 6th. Manufacturing will be completed by December then the bags will be shipped to our warehouse in the US. From there, we will ship your bag to you.

We plan to deliver Tortuga Air pre-orders in January 2015.

Manufacturing, quality control, shipping, and warehousing are complicated. Delays may occur. For that reason, we don’t recommend placing a pre-order if you need your Air by a very specific date.

The January batch should include enough bags to fulfill orders beyond the pre-sale. Placing a pre-order by October 6th is the only way to guarantee that you will get a bag in the first shipment.

You can order an Air from the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, or New Zealand. Standard shipping rates and rules will apply.

If you have any questions, please email us.


The Tortuga Air is now available for pre-order. Place your order by October 6th to guarantee a bag from the first batch. We expect to deliver pre-orders in January 2015.

Please note that you will be charged when you order, not when your bag ships. If you don’t mind paying up front and not getting your bag until January, pre-order now. Otherwise, keep an eye out for the January in-stock announcement.