When I started travelling regularly to Switzerland for work, I put together my go bag of accessories. What’s in the bag has changed over past few years, so here’s an update on what I’m packing.
As before, I decided to put together a go bag which contains duplicates of all my cables and chargers. I keep these in my go bag all the time and never get them mixed up with the ones I keep connected in my studio.
I know it’s a luxury to have two of every cable and charger, but knowing when I pick up my bag that it contains everything I need is both reassuring and a (small) time saver.
The XD Design Bobby Original Anti-Theft laptop backpack I bought last time didn’t age well and the vinyl at the base frayed horribly. Rather than shell out for the Peak Design backpack I’d promised myself, this time I went for a RiutBag backpack which I’ve been very pleased with. It’s comfortable to carry, roomy, and has plenty of protection for my gear. I also bought their set of two zipped cable bags for £15.00.
I’m still buying Anker cables and am trying as hard as I can to standardise everything on USB-C.
The Anker cable I bought for my previous go bag to charge my iPhone directly from my laptop hasn’t failed me yet. Seriously, Anker make the best cables around.
I still only use Micro USB to charge my vape, but this 3-in-1 cable comes in handy for Lightning and USB-C too. Honestly, I hate Micro USB connectors. I can’t count how many devices I’ve had to discard because their Micro USB connector failed. When I buy my next vape mod, I want that to use USB-C too.
Although I don’t use it often, it’s handy to carry an HDMI cable for connecting to hotel room TVs. This inexpensive cable from AmazonBasics is all that I need for connecting my laptop to a TV (via a USB-C Hub.)
The Anker 7-in-1 Premium USB-C hub I carry in my go bag is still the one I bought when I bought my first USB-C powered MacBook Pro. That version is no longer available, but Anker have replaced it with a nicer, more rounded version which is also more powerful at 100W power delivery.
I wrote last time that I don’t mind no name brands as long as they do their job. Well, the third-party USB-C power adapter/charger I bought didn’t do its job. It blew itself up and blew fuses across the whole hotel, so now I carry an Anker 60W charger which is light, small, and has two USB-C ports.
When I upgraded to my most recent MacBook Pro, I wanted a power bank which is powerful to fully recharge the laptop at least once. My previous Anker power bank was fine for phones but not my laptop, so I replaced it with a more powerful 45W version. This thing is heavy and pricey, but worth the cost and weight. It even came with a 60w charger which I use to charge my iPads at home.
What else is in my bag? The usual suspects:
I upgraded my 2019 MacBook Pro 13" after only one year. Not because there was a problem with its often troublesome butterfly mechanism keyboard, but because I wanted extra battery life and performance. Boy was this laptop worth the upgrade. The new Magic keyboard is better to type on and the battery life is astonishing. Performance is also better, even though my 2019 laptop had 32Gb RAM and this has only 16Gb. Will I upgrade again to whatever M1X or M2 comes next? Probably, as I now work predominantly on my laptop.
My phone upgrades have been much more frequent in recent years as I’ve paid for my phones on Apple’s upgrade programme. I went from a XS Max to an 11 Pro Max, to a 12 Pro Max. My phone is beautifully blue and I matched it with Apple’s leather case. Sadly, I couldn’t use the upgrade programme during the pandemic, so instead bought my 12 Pro Max outright. Seeing what they’ve changed for the new 13 Pro Max, I won’t be updating my phone again this year.
My 2019 AirPods are still going strong and battery life seems not to have deteriorated. That’s probably why I haven’t been tempted to update to a pair of AirPods Pro.
I bought a pair of Bowers & Wilkins P5 wired headphones before spending a couple of years in Australia. While I was there, I upgraded them to the wireless version which is still in my go bag. Those headphones aren’t available now, but B&W have replaced them with a PX5 version. At £180, they’re much cheaper than Apple’s AirPods Max and they sound great. They even come in blue to match my iPhone.
Two and bit years on from my last go bag, the bag has changed and although most of the items I carried then would still be working today, almost all of them have been replaced and upgraded. I still recommend carrying duplicates of cables and chargers, buying Apple for the big ticket items and Anker for almost everything else.