Get a Free Carry On Packing List

Perfect your packing with our free carry on packing list.

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



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

Note: We always advocate using a travel backpack with zippers, not a hiking backpack with drawstrings. However, a fellow traveler recently asked us, “How do I lock a backpack without zippers?” This post is our answer.

Even a backpack with zippers isn’t 100% theft-proof. If your bag doesn’t have zippers, you’re not at that much of a disadvantage.

Locks can be picked, zippers can be pried open, and bags can be slashed.

A determined thief with enough time can usually get to your stuff.

The key is to limit his opportunities and to not be the easiest mark. Be harder to rob than the next person. Thieves look for the path of least resistance. Give them that resistance.

Buying a backpack with lockable zippers is ideal. Normal zippers are fine and can be “locked,” but zippers designed to be locked are better. When the loops for the lock are on the sliders, instead of on the pulls (see below), the zippers can’t be pulled apart making them less accessible to thieves.

Lockable zippers on backpack

Lockable zippers on the Tortuga Travel Backpack

Let’s start with the common sense advice.

Find out how to lock up your bag…

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.

Many travelers have the noble intention of packing less but most find it difficult, if not impossible.

Have you found yourself in this scenario? You lay out everything you want to bring on your trip. Then you try to fit it into your luggage. No dice.

Breaking away from what you think you need is tough. “Pack less” isn’t actionable enough advice.

Below are 11 easy-to-implement tips to pare down your packing list.

1. Get Rid of Half

When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.

This advice sounds like a copout, but it’s actually helpful.

Sometimes the simplest, most obvious solution is the best one.

I find this advice especially helpful when packing more than one of an item like t-shirts, socks, or underwear. You can usually get by with fewer of these redundant items. Plus, if you follow the next bullet point, no one will notice that you’ve worn the same shirt three times.

Get the rest of the tips…

On the walk back from dinner, it started to rain. We ducked under an overhang to wait it out.

Ten minutes later, it was still raining. Harder than before.

Now the winding, narrow streets of Old Town Prague were flooded.

Oh well, we’ll just rough it. Run through the ankle-deep water until we can get back to our hostel. Then I can take a hot shower and hang my clothes to dry.

Great plan. Until, after running a half dozen blocks, we realized we were lost. And out of breath. And still wet.

After a series of trial and error sprints through twisted alleyways, we finally got our bearings and made it back indoors. Completely waterlogged.

As travelers, we encounter every kind of weather from sweltering heat to freezing cold to torrential downpours. Sometimes on the same day.

Packing light won’t allow us to bring ideal gear for every one of these situations. Yet, walking around in wet socks is super gross.

Pareto’s Law says that in a given situation, 80% of the effects result from 20% of the causes. In this article, we’ll outline the 10% of gear that can provide 90% of your rain protection.

Find out what to pack to stay dry

110111112113114115116117118119120121122123124125126FirstLast