Packing for the UK

We recently took a two-week trip to the UK, including London, Edinburgh, and Oxford. This was my first international trip in over ten years, so I want to write down a few lessons learned.

I took two bags: a Timbuk2 bag that converts between a suitcase and a bookbag, and a Tom Binh bag that converts between a shoulder bag and a bookbag. When I have both, the Timbuk2 is the bookbag and the other bag is the shoulder bag. This lets me walk around without rolling anything behind me.

Here's what was initially in the Timbuk2 bag:

  • 24 Clif Builder bars
  • 3 pairs of quick-dry clothes
  • 5" diameter sink stopper
  • Extra razors
  • Knit hat
  • Meditation cushion
  • Pajamas
  • Rain pants
  • Rick Steves clothesline
  • Rick Steves travel wash
  • Running stuff:
    • 4 Gu gel packets
    • Heart rate monitor
    • one tube of electrolyte pills
    • Pair of running clothes + running shoes
  • Toiletries bag

Here's what was initially in the Tom Binh bag:

  • 12 Clif Builder bars
  • Cable bag with:
  • inflatable neck pillow
  • Kindle
  • lozenges, small Advil container, Sudafed
  • magazine
  • Nalgene water bottle
  • noise cancelling headphones
  • journal
  • pens
  • rain jacket
  • Rick Steves umbrella
  • Two manila envelopes: "UPCOMING" and "TODAY" for printed out tickets to things
  • water cover for bag

At the end, here's what changed:

  • Carrying books and souvenirs
  • Carrying a second journal
  • Most of the Clif Builder bars were gone; the remainder were just in the Tom Binh bag
  • Dr. Bronner's soap for laundry; ran out of Rick Steves travel wash

My other lessons learned for next time are:

  • Consider not taking headphones
  • Consider packing enough to do laundry after seven days at a laundromat
  • Consider taking a USB-A to USB-C adapter to be able to charge when there's a USB-A port, e.g. on the plane
  • I don't sleep well with a neck pillow
  • Laundry doesn't dry in Scotland
  • Sink stopper was useless
  • Take an ultralight first-aid kit