What’s in My Backpack?



I am currently traveling around Italy and having an amazing time! 🙂 I’m always interested in what people pack for trips because it gives me ideas for things I would typically forget, and it helps me figure out what I actually need since I tend to over pack. I did get some products from my 10 Essential Travel Accessories post that helped my pack my suitcase (the eBags packing cubes are AMAZING and I don’t know how I’ve never used them before), and I thought I would do a post on what I take in my backpack to carry on for flights and when I’m out sightseeing, so hopefully it will help other people pack. Just a head’s up, I mostly pack photography gear. No surprise there 😉

Fjallraven backpack

What people pack for trips

Yes, that is a Viking ship keychain from Sweden on my backpack 😉 

Ever wonder why my blog is named Philly with a Fjallraven? Because I take my Fjallraven backpack EVERYWHERE. I’ve featured it in a few posts already (you can read the story behind my Fjallraven here), and it’s in my photo on the sidebar because I love it so much. It looks small, but you can fit a surprising amount inside! And it’s ergonomically designed, so it isn’t uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. Amazon carries them now in all different colors and you can find them here.

Cameras, film, and batteries

what people pack for trips

I packed three different types of cameras, four rolls of film, two packs of Instax film, and an extra battery for my digital camera. Yep, that’s a lot of stuff. I’m used to carrying around all my gear so it doesn’t bother me, and I probably won’t carry all three cameras around when I’m out sightseeing. But I just couldn’t leave them all at home! 🙂

Chargers and power bank

what people pack for trips

I have chargers for my digital camera, phone, laptop, and iPod, and I also have a Necktek power bank in case my phone or camera dies when I’m out sightseeing (which has happened on more than one occasion). The Necktek power bank is a little heavier than I was expecting, but it works great! I also found this leather cord holder than keeps everything organized and rolls up to save space. I can’t remember where I originally got this one, but you can find a black leather one here and a light pink one here.

what people pack for trips 

Dell laptop

What people pack for trips

I desperately needed to upgrade my laptop a few months ago and I prefer PCs to Macs, so I got a Dell XPS 13.3 inch during a Black Friday sale and I LOVE it. It doesn’t have much storage space, which I need for all my photos, so I do have some external hard drives, but other than that it’s perfect for me! It’s light and thin, it’s very fast, and the battery life is incredible. I went from having 5 minutes of battery life on my old laptop (no joke) to 9+ hours of battery life. If you’re a PC person looking for a new laptop, I highly suggest getting the Dell XPS.


what people pack for trips

Shout out to used book stores for cheap books!

I am a book nerd, and like I said on my About Me page, I love old, classic books. It can take me a while to get used to the language of older books so it can sometimes take me a long time to finish them (I recently finished Middlemarch, and you don’t even want to know how long that took), so I like to use vacations to get a lot of reading done. The long flights to and from Europe and all the train rides around Italy are perfect for getting some reading done!

Water bottle

what people pack for trips

The only thing with my Fjallraven that I’m not a big fan of is the small water bottle pockets. Thankfully, I found this water bottle at Walmart that fits perfectly! (Amazon also carries the same Manna Water Bottles if you’re interested). With the liquid rules at airports, I always keep my water bottle empty and then fill it up when I’m past security.

I’ll also usually have a granola bar or two for hunger emergencies, and I always have gum to chew for flying. I hope this post helped with packing for your next trip! If you’ll be traveling soon, comment below with where you’re going! 🙂 I’ll have photos from Italy up when I get back!

Blog, Photography, Travel, Travel Tips

  1. Ro says:

    I should look into getting this backpack! It looks so comfortable and seems to be able to fit quite a lot! When I go exploring, it’s best for me to have something hands free and light so that I can carry what I need without feeling like I’m bending my back to carry it. Loved seeing this post and seeing what you carry in it! I also love this bag!!

  2. Amanda Tran says:

    Ohhhh I get the name of your blog now!! Haha! I don’t think I’ve seen the Fjallraven bags around before but will definitely look into one now. Thanks for the packing suggestions.

  3. Anna says:

    I love the Instax fuji, but for me, the photos are too small.. And the big Instax is just too big.. Looking for an alternative.. Water is must have of course!

    • Julia says:

      Yes the photos are pretty small, so I would love to hear if you find a camera that takes photos in a better size!

  4. Cassandra says:

    Whoa, when I saw your backpack, I knew it was relatively large.. but I had no idea that it was that big and spacious! The fact that you’re able to carry 3 cameras and a laptop in there is crazy! Ever since you told me that the backpack is designed ergonomically for your back, I’ve been contemplating on buying one for my boyfriend and I!

  5. Abby says:

    3 cameras. Hmm, maybe I need to upgrade. I’m still running around with just my phone and a run-of-the-mill camera. The pink leather cord holder looks perfect! Added to my list of must haves.
    P.S. – I was just in Rome for a few days till the 2nd of May. 😉

  6. I love those backpacks they are so cute and trendy didn’t realize they hold so much! I love reading about what other people pack! I just got back from Italy too!

  7. Caitlin says:

    Such a great read! These are definitely things I couldn’t live without on a trip!

  8. Sarah says:

    Wow! I’m actually amazed you get all that in your gorgeous backpack. I’d never come across that one before but I’m so going to have to look into getting myself one.

  9. Jen Ruiz says:

    What a great way to honor your backpack–the name makes sense now! Haha and no better place to figure out Olde English than on a long train or bus ride! Great list!

  10. C-Ludik says:

    While traveling, your backpack is your home. What will you carry around in your home depends on few things, mainly your experience, because after few trips you can see what you use and what can you go without. On mine, I have additionally a Swiss knife (nowhere without it !), a diary (try to write down so you don’t forget your adventures) and an ebook 🙂

  11. Anisa says:

    I love that thing you got to put your cords in! I definitely need to be more organized there. I also always make sure I have snacks, you never know when you will need them.

  12. Kristen says:

    I’m all about a well packed bag! Thanks for sharing ✨

  13. Jordan says:

    Wait I LOVE your leather cord holder!! What a great idea – I may need to grab one of those for our next travels 🙂

  14. I did always wonder why it was called that, haha!
    Love seeing what was in your bag! And love that you bring 3 cameras ?❤

  15. Staci says:

    Julia – I LOVE that charger holder!! I’ve been looking for something similar and haven’t found any that I like, THANK YOU!!!

  16. Carole Thomas says:

    I was excited when you said you were traveling to Italy. My granddaughter, Jordan Thomas, works on staff at ECU with the Art Student Incentives Program. She lives in Certaldo Alto, a small village where ECU has a “sister” school. She is home now and will be going back to Italy in September. I am anxious to see your pictures. I always enjoy hearing about Italy and you will certainly give a different view. Your blog is always interesting. Happy Summer to you!!!

  17. Stephanie says:

    I always love seeing what other photographers carry!

  18. We are visiting Italy and Spain in October so I was very interested in your post. That cord holder is a great idea so I will be checking that out. Happy travels!

  19. Your blog wouldn’t be complete without this blog post 😉 I have a Fjallraven too; I got it whilst vacationing in Berlin last summer! I love how practical and durable it is, though I haven’t used it as a school backpack because I’m worried about what carrying around a laptop all the time would do to it. But my current backpack has just recently broke, so I might be using my Fjallraven for school! I agree with you about the water bottle pockets; I usually just stick my water bottle in the main compartment. // Your leather cord holder is amazing // Do you have a favourite secondhand bookstore in Philly? -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    • Julia says:

      The Fjallraven has worked great for my laptop so it might work for you! I can’t remember the name, but there’s a good bookstore on the corner of Pine and 11th!

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