The Bald Traveler

Helping Geeks in their Travel Endeavors

Things To Do When You Can’t Travel To Get Prepared For Your Next Trip

When your travel plans get disrupted due to personal, work, or even pandemics which prevent you from traveling you can start to get into a funk. Especially if you are like us and love to travel and look forward to having a new adventure to explore.

But you should take the downtime and use it to prepare for your next trip and make it that much better. Today we’re going to provide you some tips on what you can do to prepare and hopefully make you start looking forward to your next trip again.

Get Physically Ready

One of the things with travelling is that you walk a lot. And if you are like us you think you are prepared, but we often find ourselves not really prepared. My wife has set herself a limit to ensure that she is able to make it the entire trip but Jonathan and I tend to go, go, go and then end up hitting a wall and sometimes making my wife push to exceed her limits.

When we went to Japan Jonathan and I had multiple days where we walked more then 15 miles and a few days were we walked over 26 miles in a day. We were good about spacing those long days with rest periods, but we still walked for months before our trip to prepare our legs.

During our recent San Diego trip Jonathan and I walked less then in Japan but by Thursday our legs were killing us because we had been stuck at home. Since then I have started to pick up my walking trying to walk a few miles every day to get ready for our next trip. As the weather starts to cool here in Phoenix I will start getting Sue to walk also to start building her up.

Another thing I am looking at is getting a folding bike so that I can ride it to work and get used to riding a non road bike. My main form of exercise is riding a road bike, but I also want to be able to rent a bike while travelling to cut down on the walking and I need to get comfortable riding in a more upright position for miles.

Get New Traveling Gear

Now is the time to research and get some new travelling gear. But when you get it you need to use it and get used to it so you know how to use it while traveling. Don’t just buy it and put it away. Get it out and get comfortable with it. Also go through the gear you have and figure out what you really need and use.

Some of the gear I’ve purchased is a new backpacking pack with a photo pocket as I’m trying to consolidate from a carryon and a photo backpack for my next trip. I’ve also bought a new flatter international travel adapter to save room. A packable coffee system by Pakt, which I’ll do a review on soon. Some travel towels, ground cloths, and toiletry supplies, and a water purification system that is very compact.

Some things that I’m looking at is a travel tripod, although I don’t use tripods alot while traveling. And I’m also working on getting my drone license and getting a small drone to take with me while traveling.

Optimize Your Travel Gear

You should always be optimizing your travel gear and determining what you really need. Especially if you are adding new gear into it. For me I’ve broken this down into the following categories that I continually go through, now more then ever, but I do this before and after each trip.

For each item and each category I ask myself the following questions. I then determine if I need to keep it in my travel bag.

Travel Bag

  • Did the bag work well for the trip?
  • Did I have enough room or was there to much room?
  • If it rained did the bag keep everything dry? Did I have trouble putting on the rain cover quickly?

For travel bags I try to have 3 sizes:

  • A larger one I can pull behind me or wear on my back that holds everything I need for a week or longer trip. This is usually 55+ Litres of capacity or a carry on rolling suitcase.

These are my two choices for larger bags:

The Frenweh from Wandrd I’m hoping will become my new go to bag for future trips as I like to carry my bag on my back and have my hands free.–2/x/10969828#/

The normal suitcase I like to travel with especially for business trips is this one from EBags. I have both the carry on and checked version of the bag depending on my trip length for work. I took both to Japan and they worked well. The Checked bag was simply for bringing souvenirs back and was stored as soon as we got to Japan.

A travel bag between 21 and 35L for weekend trips of up to 4 days that can also hold my computer and photo gear.

My current go to bag for shorter trips is the Wandrd Prvke in the 21L size which is a bit small but the 31L wasn’t available at the time. I have the Photo bundle which I use to keep my gear safe. This bag is water resistant and roll down top allows me to expand the bag for longer trips and make it more compact for shorter trips.

  • A packable daypack and or sling bag for carrying essentials while I’m out exploring.

For a daypack I use the Amazon Basics foldable backpack, and my wife uses a Travelon foldable backpack. I like these as they don’t take up a lot of space and I can throw it in a cargo pants pocket, but when I need a backpack I can simply open it up and go.

For a sling bag I’m currently using a Peak Design everyday sling in the 3L size to store my Gopro and camera gear during the day. I also have a camera capture clip on it to hold my main camera. I plan to switch the the Frenweh chest pouch as my sling when that pack comes in.


This is an area that always seems to grow when traveling. We want to get away but stay connected. These are the questions that I ask when I go through my electronics:

  • Did I actually use this during my last few trips?
  • Is the weight worth bringing it with me?
  • Can I buy it locally if I need it?

I for instance no longer bring extra disposable batteries, if I need batteries for something I’ll go to a store and buy them. I also limit the number of rechargeable batteries I carry to no more then 3 per device.

I’ve also recently switched from bringing my laptop with me to bringing an Ipad Pro as this cuts down the weight and size and I can do everything I need on it including editing videos. I also am working on cutting down my camera gear. I have many GoPros and a DJI Osmo Pocket, along with a Canon M50 with multiple lenses. I’m going to start using my Phone taking video on longer trips and leaving my Osmo Pocket at home. I will also start to limit the number of lenses I take with my M50 to save space.

I’ve also started buying larger capacity power bricks so that I can just bring one brick per person and it will charge multiple devices or camera batteries while stuffed in my day pack. I do still bring a separate Eggtronic Powerbar with me as I can charge all my portables from it wirelessly.


I’ve started to look at my clothing, I’m buying more Merino Wool items especially shirts as they naturally absorb odors and I can wear them many times before washing them. I am also moving towards convertible pants so that I don’t need to pack both pants and shorts. Most of the clothes I’m getting are in black so that they hide accidents better and I can wear them for multiple days before washing them. I also try to get clothes that are multi-use, both comfortable and capable of being worn in fancier places should I decide to go somewhere nice.

For shoes I am starting to move to minimalist shoes and sandals so that they take up less space. I’ve bought multiple Sandals and Shoes from Xero Shoes. Going Minimalist is not for everyone as the reduced padding means you need to walk more in them to get your feet used to walking longer distances without the normal padding.


I’ve not done a lot here as I’ve always had a fairly minimalist design, but I have moved over to using bar soap when I travel and bringing a bar with me so I can always clean up when I need to. I also have bought a travel towel and washcloth that I can hang outside my bag to dry. For the most part I only bring what I need and I use a flat toiletry bag to save space.

Plan your next trip

Lastly since you have the time, plan your next trip to make it extra special. I recommend reading our trip planning guides to help you out.

When you can’t travel it can put you in a funk but take the time and make your next trip that much better.


The Bald Traveler

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