Andy Van Slaars

Andy Van Slaars

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Travel Gear

Since starting my role at Cengage Learning, I’ve done a fair amount of travel. Mostly short flights to the same handful of office location and a few conferences thrown in there, but even for short distances, it means many nights in hotels and having to remain productive while in airports, hotel rooms, and while camping out in offices where I don’t have a dedicated workspace.

I thought it would be worth capturing some of the gear I use to make travel as painless as possible.

The backpack

I prefer not to check luggage if I can help it, and my work trips are short enough that there’s never a need to check a large bag. When I started traveling frequently, I would use my laptop backpack and a standard, carry-on size roller bag. As many of my flights are in the morning, I end up grabbing coffee at the airport before my flight. I quickly realized that it would be far easier to have both hands free as I grab coffee and manage the receipt and my wallet while trying to get out of the way of the folks behind me in line. To that end, I landed on the Osprey Ozone Duplex 65 Travel Pack. The pack is two pieces, a laptop backpack and a duffel bag. The duffel clips onto the backpack, essentially becoming an oversized backpack. It holds plenty of stuff and compresses pretty well for shorter trips. The laptop portion of the bag is not my ideal laptop bag, but it’s perfectly fine for trips like this and the trade-off is worth it for me.

Packing cubes

I’ve only had TSA go through my bags a couple times, but when it’s happened, they’ve wrecked my careful organization and I’ve had to repack everything in the airport. Packing cubes have made packing and keeping my bag organized so much easier, and when TSA inevitably goes through my bag again, it should go much better since everything will be nice and compartmentalized. I use various sizes of Osprey packing cubes, but any packing cubes will do.

Tech pouch

There’s a lot of gear to charge, adapters to connect various devices, dongles because… USB-C. I travel with a fair number of charging blocks, cables, adapters and various small gadgets. I use the Peak Design tech pouch for this and it’s fantastic! The attention to detail in Peak Design products is second to none, and this thing is no exception.

I have more to list here, I’ll continue to add to the list as I find time