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  1. #1
    Forum Member DeBru's Avatar
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    Teen is Traveling to Taiwan

    Please help!

    My 18 year old is headed to Taiwan for 6 weeks (from the end of March to the beginning of May) and we are having a tough time figuring out which bag to bring... and wondering if it’s time to get a Hero’s Journey.
    Most of her trip will be on Delta, with a short leg on China Air so there is a 7kg weight limit. She will be coming home on her own and we prefer to not check anything if possible.

    She’s generally a pretty light packer and can manage 3-5 days of clothes in her SA. The problem is she will be doing a variety of things, from hiking to volunteering (slightly dressy clothes required). And she will have to bring a laptop, as part of her job requires a wired internet connection. She will have weekly access to a washer and will be line drying. She will wear heavier stuff on the plane.

    Packing list:
    Closed toe dress shoes, house shoes, Tevas for hiking on the beach
    7 pairs of socks, 7 pairs of underwear, 2 bras, PJs, swimsuit, linen travel towel
    ExOfficio pants, Columbia shorts, denim shorts, 3 lightweight skirts, light cardigan
    2 lightweight dresses, 3 dressy T-shirt’s, 3 hiking T-shirts, 2 lightweight scarves
    Laptop, phone, cords, battery, power brick
    Toiletries and snacks

    I have considered getting a Stowaway or the NFTD for a personal item to be carried in addition to her SA, but that still wouldn’t come close to the overall capacity of the HsJ. We do also own a WF and a BB, but she doesn’t like flat packing and I don’t know how well she would do living out of a BB (in a shared dorm room) for that length of time. We did test pack into her dad’s 34L GR2, but we fell a bit short on space, and dang that thing was HEAVY.

    All suggestions are welcome, as well as any light weight laptop recommendations, since I’m keeping my MacBook Pro here with me.

    Thanks for taking the time to read all of this!
    current EDC- Black Ballistic Travel Cubelet with an Orange 152 COW. I have MANY pouches... My goal is 1 in every color EEK! 好的朋友

  2. #2
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    You've tried 34L and were 'a bit short on space' - any idea how much in volume?

    Perhaps an A30 for the bulk of the items (backpack carry through the airports) - it works well for living out of in the shared dorm if she uses some packing cubes... and a Pilot (another 13L) with shoulder strap/hand carry as the personal item (all electronics, toiletries, misc stuff).
    Include one of the Packing Cube backpacks in the A30 (or a similar packable pack like the LL Bean Stowaway) - that would take care of casual hiking around too...

    My MacBook Air is very lightweight, but not the cheapest of options...

    Best of luck and let us know what you end up with.

  3. #3
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    For what it is worth, even though the BB is only 2L larger than the GR2, I had much more success packing the BB than the BB. With some packing cubes I don’t think there is an issue living out of it either. I usually use it alongside my MB and find it easy to manage.

    As to the laptop, MacBook Air have dropped a bit in price lately and seem to do well for those who have them. I don’t know what she’d be using the laptop for, but it could be worth looking into something like an iPad Pro as well. I downsized a year ago to just my iPad and phone and it works great for me.
    Boots, Bags, and Beer. (And Coffee)

  4. #4
    Forum Member DeBru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    You've tried 34L and were 'a bit short on space' - any idea how much in volume?

    Perhaps an A30 for the bulk of the items (backpack carry through the airports) - it works well for living out of in the shared dorm if she uses some packing cubes... and a Pilot (another 13L) with shoulder strap/hand carry as the personal item (all electronics, toiletries, misc stuff).
    Include one of the Packing Cube backpacks in the A30 (or a similar packable pack like the LL Bean Stowaway) - that would take care of casual hiking around too...

    My MacBook Air is very lightweight, but not the cheapest of options...

    Best of luck and let us know what you end up with.
    Thanks! That is kind of what I was leaning towards, and having someone confirm it really helps.
    current EDC- Black Ballistic Travel Cubelet with an Orange 152 COW. I have MANY pouches... My goal is 1 in every color EEK! 好的朋友

  5. #5
    Forum Member DeBru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DubbySmurf View Post
    For what it is worth, even though the BB is only 2L larger than the GR2, I had much more success packing the BB than the BB. With some packing cubes I don’t think there is an issue living out of it either. I usually use it alongside my MB and find it easy to manage.

    As to the laptop, MacBook Air have dropped a bit in price lately and seem to do well for those who have them. I don’t know what she’d be using the laptop for, but it could be worth looking into something like an iPad Pro as well. I downsized a year ago to just my iPad and phone and it works great for me.
    Thanks for the insight... she can fit everything into the BB, but it sadly exceeds China Air’s weight limit and I don’t want her to have to mess with that when she is traveling without her occasionally appropriately pushy mama Wink

    She is teaching English online to Chinese children and the company she works for requires a laptop with a wired internet connection, otherwise she would totally use an iPad. We are hoping the company eventually allows for tablets to be used.
    current EDC- Black Ballistic Travel Cubelet with an Orange 152 COW. I have MANY pouches... My goal is 1 in every color EEK! 好的朋友

  6. #6
    Forum Member DeBru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    My MacBook Air is very lightweight, but not the cheapest of options...

    Best of luck and let us know what you end up with.
    She found a refurbished 11” MacBook Air for less than half the price of a new one, it works beautifully and no worries about her carrying expensive tech. We also got a beautiful, almost new A30 off of EBay. And we “might” have a rather large order coming from the Mothership of stuff to test pack... although I will attempt to divert attention if questioned in person about this. I will add the results to the thread.

    Anybody know how to temporarily disable the front door camera so the UPS guy can leave a box without alerting my husband?
    current EDC- Black Ballistic Travel Cubelet with an Orange 152 COW. I have MANY pouches... My goal is 1 in every color EEK! 好的朋友

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeBru View Post
    Anybody know how to temporarily disable the front door camera so the UPS guy can leave a box without alerting my husband?
    A piece of tape. Cool

  8. #8
    Forum Member Duggy'sMom's Avatar
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    Hi. What do you mean by "house shoes"?

    In Taiwan, as in much of Asia, people do not wear shoes inside. They wear slippers. You can leave the "house shoes" behind and pick up a cheap pair of slippers there that she can leave behind.

    I also would recommend +1 on the bra. Just my own two cents.

    Will she be in Taipei? Major city? Countryside?

  9. #9
    Forum Member DeBru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duggy'sMom View Post
    Hi. What do you mean by "house shoes"?

    In Taiwan, as in much of Asia, people do not wear shoes inside. They wear slippers. You can leave the "house shoes" behind and pick up a cheap pair of slippers there that she can leave behind.

    I also would recommend +1 on the bra. Just my own two cents.

    Will she be in Taipei? Major city? Countryside?
    House shoes = slippers, that’s what we call them in my neck of the woods Smilie She has a pair that she’s kind of attached to, but I will definitely pass your tip on! She has learned to appreciate the collective wisdom on this forum.

    She will be in Kaohsiung most of the time, with a few weekend trips by train to visit other friends in Taipei and a Hualien tour. And we are surprising her with a week in Tokyo on the way home.
    current EDC- Black Ballistic Travel Cubelet with an Orange 152 COW. I have MANY pouches... My goal is 1 in every color EEK! 好的朋友

  10. #10
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    I second the Packing Cube Backpacks or the Aether Packing Cubes for organization and a Daylight Backpack inside the main luggage to use as a Packing Cube Backpack while traveling and as an EDC backpack at the destination.

    I have never been without my S19 for bus, train or plane travel ever since I got it, some years ago.

    However, on my last trip, I decided to use the LSB as personal item (inspired by the forum travelers who used the Pop Tote) which meant, no S19 but I used the Daylight Backpack as a Packing Cube Backpack when I realized I was short one Packing Cube Backpack.

    I was anxious and was sure I would miss my S19 at the first outing. But, the Daylight Backpack is fantastic, so easy to pack, lightweight and nicely secure. I was the first to be surprised that it could do everything that the S19 does, I just had to adjust to one external pocket instead of 3, which I did by using the o-rings to clip my accessories inside the main compartment or the front pocket.

    A soft top layer, a scarf and the empty and folded LSB provided the back cushion which I was concerned I would miss.

    That packing experience showed me that newer TB items and fabrics have expended the ability for minimalist and versatile packing.

  11. #11
    Forum Member fredlet's Avatar
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    A30! Pack a shoulder bag (the sidekick) inside it and carry a DLBP as her personal item.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  12. #12
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    Back in the mid-1980’s I lived in Kaohsiung for two years. It was a great experience. I hope she enjoys her trip.
    Synapse 19, Travel Tray, PCSB, Daylight Briefcase, all in Dyneema, Side Effect and pouchmania

  13. #13
    Forum Member Duggy'sMom's Avatar
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    I'd also point out that Taiwan is a great place to shop. Lots of things are much cheaper there than in the USA.

    She will want to build in some space for her inevitable purchases.

    Don't get me started on shopping in Tokyo!

  14. #14
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    I feel that shopping finds and souvenirs are better handled in a checked bag.

    The exception being small pieces of clothing, accessories and a skein or two of yarn.

    If the checked bag is delayed, the items are, hopefully, not essential and the airline can be given an incentive to reunite the bag with its owner when presented with the receipts of all the purchases, which should be kept in the personal item.

    Note that it is based on experience with both mega haul packing (pre-Tom Bihn Bags), smart and organized packing with Tom Bihn Cordura and Travel Ballistic Bags then, ultra minimalist and weight sensitive packing with Tom Bihn Halcyon Luggage and Accessories.


    There is also the opportunity to ship, one of a kind items, especially fragile ones, which is now a common service provided by vendors in high touristic areas.

    If one masters the local language, using the country's post office is probably cheaper.

    The latter two ideas were seen on travel shows, more experienced travelers might chime in and consider that very risky.
    Last edited by backpack; 01-17-2018 at 10:45 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeBru View Post
    Anybody know how to temporarily disable the front door camera so the UPS guy can leave a box without alerting my husband?
    there's always the option to have the shipment held at a UPS store, if you've got one nearby! i did that a few times around the holidays due to a rash of package thefts and it didn't require any extra charge. just took a minute on the UPS site to set up.

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