Remember when you used to be able to check luggage for free on airplanes? Neither do I, but when I was a kid you could take up to 2 bags for free which was more than reasonable for most trips. Of course this was before budget airlines, and tickets were more expensive. Then it went down to just your first checked bag free, and nowadays you don’t even get that unless you’ve paid for a premium ticket. We’re all about budget travel here, so what is a wanderer to do? We suggest using the Never Check Expandable Backpack from Timbuk2, and then use a Shein discount code to save on the essentials you need to fill it with.
Shein Discount Code
Okay I know I’ve extolled the virtues of Shein on this website before, but I’m going to do it again! You really, really can’t beat their prices, especially when you make use of one of their many discount codes. Odds are if you are heading out on a trip that there are at least a few items that you need to get or replace for your wardrobe. Heading somewhere warm and sunny? You’ll need a good hat, some sunglasses, and a bathing suit. Somewhere that can get chilly? You’ll want a knit hat, a good pair of gloves, maybe a scarf, and a couple of warm layers.
For budget packing in terms of both dollars and space, I recommend taking a few mix and match items that can be combined into many outfits. Stick to basic neutral colours and solids rather than crazy prints. You can do a lot with a couple of pairs of pants, a couple of tops, and some layers and accessories for a week long trip. You won’t have to schlep around a giant suitcase, nor pay to have it checked with the airline, and you won’t end up bringing a bunch of outfits that you never end up wearing. I have definitely been guilty of that in the past! And of course, bring lots of socks and underwear.
The Never Check Expandable Backpack
This is technically a ‘laptop bag’, but you can wear it as a backpack and it can hold a ton of stuff. This is my new favourite travel must-have. It’s awesome! It does fit a 15″ laptop if you will be bringing that with you. If you are travelling for fun and adventure, I personally recommend leaving the laptop at home. You’ll still have your smartphone to be able to check in and upload to social media, the laptop can stay at home. However if you will be working remotely while travelling, the Never Check Expandable Backpack will keep your laptop safe with a padded space for it and waterproof zippers and material. It has outer flat pockets that are great for storing items that you will need to access quickly and easily (passport, boarding passes, etc) and even without using the expansion many reviewers rave about the generous space of the inner compartment. It will fit easily into any overhead bin, or you can stow it under the seat in front of you in it’s un-expanded form.
With a total volume of 24.5L and weighing in at just 2.6lbs, this is hands down the best travel backpack out there. Now, it is a little on the expensive side at $199. If you travel a lot though look at it this way, the money you save on checked baggage will quickly add up and carrying a bag on your back is way more comfortable than dragging a suitcase. That’s another thing that I see come up over and over again in reviews of the Never Check Expandable Backpack: the bag is well balanced and the padded straps make it very easy on the shoulders even when it’s fully packed.
Other Expandable Travel Items
Now the Never Check Expandable Backpack does have a side pocket for a regular water bottle, and if you will be travelling somewhere hot you may want to invest in a Yeti or similar bottle that will keep your water cool all day. However the drawback is that they are somewhat bulky, which is why one of my favourite travel accessories is a collapsible water bottle that I can fill up once I go through security at the airport. When not in use, it tucks neatly into a pocket on the bag, takes up almost no space, and weighs next to nothing.
I like to keep my single-use plastics to a minimum as well, so I also travel with a collapsible cutlery set of a fork, knife, and spoon. Take care before you purchase that the set is TSA-approved, since you will be carrying it on. That way if I get some take-out which I do very often while travelling I don’t need to use and dispose of any plastic utensils. They don’t fold down, but I also bring a set of reusable chopsticks with me.