Today I wanted to do something fun. And I'm a little nosey when it comes to things like this, so I thought I'd share my nosiness with you all as well.

I'm always super curious about what people can't leave home without, particularly as a freelancer. We tend to carry things that the average person probably wouldn't consider a necessity as part of their packing list.

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I reached out to a few freelancers I know pretty well to find out exactly what they pack in their suitcase to see if it was the same as I what I take with me when I travel.

Here's all the gory details, starting with my own travel packing items.

A Freelancers Suitcase – What's Inside?

Here's what you'll find in my suitcase when I'm travelling:

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  • Macbook Air (cannot live without this!)
  • iPad (for reading and responding to emails)
  • iPhone
  • Journal (for jotting ideas down, I like to physically do this)
  • Universal power adaptor


These are the items I ALWAYS pack, no matter where I'm going. My business travels with me, which is why I always have these tools along for the ride. I don't have an SLR camera, I just my iPhone for that. I'm all about carrying light things, and the less things hanging off me, the less I'm a target for being robbed – although that's never happened to anyone I know, it pays to be aware of these things when travelling.

Ok, now let's get to the good stuff; what do other's pack?

Carlo from Next Stop Who Knows:

“The items (apart from passport and money) that I never leave without these days are quite simply my laptop and my smartphone. If I had to choose just two, then those are top of the list.

With running an online business for the past few years, my priorities are making sure that I can continue managing my business from wherever I'm heading to.

This might be a night away locally or a few months backpacking.

Once I have my two favourite gadgets by my side, I know I'm ready to rock.

Because I'm a gadget geek, I also like to have following with me:

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  • Kindle
  • SLR camera
  • GoPro video camera
  • Tablet (depending on whether I think I'll use it or not)

Having my “techy” items by my side is all I need to keep the demons at bay. I like to stay connected with whats going on. This can be a little much for some people while travelling, but each to their own I suppose.

I don't worry too much about what clothes to bring when going on a trip, as those items can be easily picked up along the way.

Like most freelancers, having the ability to pack a bag and work remotely is an incredible sense of freedom.”

Liz from Location Rebel:

“Increasingly, I find myself not wanting to leave home on trips without my iPad. It used to be simply because I go stir crazy on planes and having an iPad means I can have a book and a few games to entertain me on flights. But now with all of the new apps that are out, especially for tools I love using online, my iPad has quickly become a (really) mobile work station.

Of course having 3-5 books on my iPad is great, but now I'm increasingly loading it up with business apps.

In the past I used to travel, especially on shorter trips, with both my iPad and laptop, which can be kind of a pain, especially when trying to travel light.

But, on my last few trips, like a weekend in New York City and a cruise to Bermuda, I rolled with just the iPad. At first, I was worried I'd miss out on something important, but I had zero problems. Add in my wireless keyboard and it's a great mobile workstation.”

Florence from Next Stop Who Knows:

“As a freelance writer who has been travelling for just over a year, there are a number of different things that I cannot leave home without. First and foremost is my MacBook Air, as it is literally like a piece of me at this stage! I live on my MacBook and use it to write, work, stay in touch with family and friends, and even watch TV and movies.

It's important to keep up to date with emails while on the road and my Galaxy Note 2 allows me to do just do that. I also use it as a camera and music player so it’s most definitely something that I could NEVER leave home without!

I'm always paranoid about losing files and photos so I always carry a hard-drive that has a large storage capacity, and use it to back up my stuff daily.

Headphones with a mic is another NEED for me as they allow me to do carry out Skype calls without having to worry about noises that may be going on around me. Plus, I’m music mad and my headphones allow me to listen to my favourite songs after a hard days work on the laptop.

I recently bought a (quite expensive) universal power adapter that allows me to plug in my electronics in any country in the world. I love it because it has a USB connection, it allows me to charge two things at once and also acts as a surge protector for any sudden surges of power.”

Russell Smith, Freelance Writer:

“I travel very light when I go anywhere… Absolute must haves are of course my laptop (is that even necessary to say?). I can't leave home without it because I have to work – I make my money online.

I also always carry a few little packets of Chinese tea. I really do take it everywhere. It's perfect to guarantee a good cup no matter where I end up… at the end of a long journey or relaxing in the hotel, there is nothing like kicking back with my favourite Chinese tea. I love either Taiwanese high mountain Wulong or a Fujian red tea, loose leaf, not bags.”

Freelancing is a such a great lifestyle and when you travel, it's amazing how many other freelancer's you encounter and just how similar their requirements are in terms of ‘can't leave home without' items.

What do you take with you on a trip? Leave your can't live without items in the comments below!

Lise Cartwright
Lise Cartwright

Founder of Hustle & Groove and your creative business strategist. If you want to get notified of new posts just like the ones you see here, then make sure you join the awesome H & G community — Join Now!

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