I have a big adventure to Cuba this coming January, and a few shorter business trips before then. I'm preparing for them right now.
I embrace the "dry run" school of thought for packing. It's my belief that we cannot conceptualize everything we need (and just as importantly, don't need) without physically trying things out first.
My preliminary kit for Cuba includes:
- Lowepro ProTactic 350 AW backpack
- Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera with E-M5 backup
- Fujifilm X20 fixed lens camera
- Apple MacBook Pro 13" laptop with Retina Display
- Lexar Workflow 256 GB SSD external drive
- Western Digital My Passport Wireless 1 TB external drive
- Olympus 12-40mm, 75mm, 9mm lenses
- Apple iPad mini with Retina Display
- Walking Man Shoulder Bag (packed in suitcase and available for light excursions)
- A handful of accessories including batteries, memory cards, etc.
That bag is packed now. I carry it back and forth to work everyday, and it will accompany me on two business trips between now and Cuba.
During that time, I will determine if the backpack is too heavy, if there's gear that I'm not using, are their additional lenses I should add, and am I self-sufficient?
I could not answer those questions properly the night before the flight to Havana.
I need to know now.
And that's how I prepare for travel.