Travel Week: Packing the Travel Desk

What's in my bag.

For long trips, one of them most important but often last-packed items is the travel desk. Since I am going to be on the move, going from meeting-to-meeting, event-to-event and hotel-to-hotel, I need to come prepared with a good assortment of writing tools and paper, all tucked into an easy-to-use carrying case or bag. So, in an effort to help me choose the right supplies for 16-hour flights, road trips and hotels with Chinese-only TV, I present you with a challenge.

Tell me your must-have travel office supplies (maybe something from the Jet Pens catalog?) and you could win a $25 gift certificate from Jet Pens to use to purchase your perfect travel kit.

(The rules: you must leave a comment here on, not on Tumblr, Twitter or Facebook. You must leave a comment by Saturday at midnight CST. You must leave an email address in order for me to contact you if you win. Winner will be contacted on Sunday, April 8, 2012. Winner will be selected using Random Number Generator. Thanks for entering!)

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  1. My must have travel desk? I zentangle, journal, and am an obsessive list maker.
    Pigma Micron 02 (Black)
    Magnatank 07 (Black)
    Pentel Energel 07 (Purple)I LOVE this color.

    Other Writing Supplies:
    Sharpie Ultra-fine and Fine (Black and my Color of the Day)
    Pentel Cool Lines Mechanical Pencil 07
    Sharpie Highlighter(Purple)

    Pentalic Journal (Get them at Hobby Lobby for $2.50 they are about the size of my palm)
    El Cheapo Flip-top notebooks for tearing off.
    My Contact cards
    Tiny Post-its

    Folding scissors
    Tape (the precut, little rectangles from Scotch. Great for travel. I often stick the whole stack to the inside of a notebook)

  2. Must have travel office supplies include a roll up pencil/pen case, a field notes steno book and a good selection of pens and pencils.

  3. I think my most important tool is my fountain pen. Second are some stamps.
    I can’t imagine what great things you will find among your travels!

  4. Right now, it’s my Rhodia A5 notepad, my small moleskin (to do’s), my large moleskin (journal). Then the line up of my Scheaffer Flat top Lifetime Nib, TWSBI Diamond 540, and Sailor 1911 Midsize. That way I don’t have to carry ink with me. These pens do the carrying for me.

  5. To begin with, I have this lovely pencil case I got from a friend a few years back that is large enough to hold a lot of office supplies. When traveling, I tend to be on vacation, so I don’t need my full range of office supplies. I do, however, take many pens — usually colored pens to annotate my planner with all of my fun vacation doings. πŸ™‚

  6. Too much fits into my Tom Bihn bag, but I’ve got a Moleskin daily diary and a small pencil case that seem to go with me on every trip.

  7. I usually have the following in my envelope-wrap pencil case:

    – Mechanical pencil (fat, pink, Pilot with the soft grip)
    – Lead
    – Regular HB pencil (if I’ll be drawing)
    – Ball point pen (cheap, clear body plastic variety from Japan that are the best!)
    – White out tape
    – foldable, small ruler or small ruler
    – Scissors (On my list, I would love one of the pen style varieties)
    – Highlighter (I buy the refillable ones)
    – Small Tombo eraser (tube that you click to release)
    – A few colored pens (the Uni-ball Signo Bits are my favorite)
    – Sometimes an exacto knife, but I wouldn’t recommend taking this on a plane πŸ™‚

  8. Ooooh this is a fun question!! I am going to be travelling at the beginning of September and last night I was trying to sleep but all I could think was “what will I take with me???” Yes… I may be a little early on the planning.. But I came up with the Lihit Lab Teffa Pen Case (book style), filled with a Pilot Hi-Tec C Coleto, and a couple Uni-ball Signo DXs, and a Pentel GraphGear pencil + Staedtler eraser. Last but not least, I’d like to stuff all these into the IL Slim Bag-in-Bag (along with my cell phone/iPod and chargers so I won’t lose anything). I love being organized when travelling because it makes everything go smoothly. Love the giveaway – thanks for the chance to win πŸ™‚

  9. I’d definitely have to say my travel desk includes all my favorite supplies: My Waterman’s 32A, a bottle of J. Herbin Cacao du Bresil (professional and personal), a pad of ivory G. Lalo Verge de France with matching envelopes, a pad of Rhodia paper – or an Apica notebook, and my Pelikan m205 ballpoint – just in case I get hand outs on low-quality paper. Throw all those things into my Hartmann attache with a good supply of stamps, and I’m ready for whichever writing challenges the world has in store for me!

  10. I always take with me a couple of airplane-safe pens (pilot precise v5 rt is my current favorite), mechanical pencils, lead refills, eraser, and highlighter. Add to that a couple of notebooks, and I’m good to go for awhile.

  11. My must-have is the Coleto Multi 5-color pen with apple green, cherry red, violet, aqua blue, and brown. I had to get two (one for my desk and one for my purse) because I depend on it for eveything. And, yes, I got them from πŸ™‚ I always carry a black Pilot RT Precise needle-tip. too. Between those pens and my index cards (in an index card wallet) I’m ready for anything!

  12. What a fun challenge! Generally, I like a great pen (or 3), a wire bound notebook, a pair of scissors and something to put it in. Here are my Jet Pen picks:

    To start with, I think a bag organizer like this Bag in Bag form Jet Pens would be great: Slips easily into briefcase/purse/carry-on and keep you organized.

    These PenCut scissors are compact & would be useful for opening packages, trimming loose threads, etc.

    The Kokuyo Edge Title Notebooks look handy for keeping notes organized by title or date

    And finally, I’m a sucker for a Sarasa pen. Not fancy, but smooth to write with and the push clip is a must:

  13. I would fill my roll pen case with my two Coletos (with pencil and eraser components), Kaweco Sport, few spare cartridges, two small binder clips, a collapsible stapler and whiteout. In addition, I will bring a travel-size notebook with me (Clairfontaine Unlimited or a Pelle).
    Thank you for the opportunity and bon voyage!

  14. A travel desk is a tricky thing to pack. I’d try to keep things minimal and would take a few Palomino Blackwing 602 pencils and a couple of 0.5 Jetstream pens, one in blue and one in red. A Mitsubishi Boxy eraser and a KUM automatic long point sharpener rounds things out before I pack up a good work notebook like the Maruman Mnemosyne Inspiration notebook. In the end, it ends up being a small pencil case and a notebook!

  15. If I bring nothing else, I bring a ball point pen. Something bold, black, and readily available anywhere. It’s sturdy, it won’t leak, and when I inevitably leave it on an airplane or in a hotel, I’m not heartbroken. Plus, one never knows when one will need to perform an emergency tracheotomy, if I remember my TV Tropes correctly.

    I can always find something to write on, be it a napkin or my arm. Having something to write with is more important.

  16. I try to keep it light when I travel, so my Pilot Decimo in Champagne Pink comes with me. One travel fountain pen such as a Stipula Passporto or Kaweco Sport. One notebook that is small for taking notes. Finally, I take my iPad (although I never use it on trips).

  17. A hardcover notebook that flips back completely, a thin, waterproof black fineliner (for those weird moments where you stand in the rain and decides to write something down instead of finding shelter), and an assortment of coloured gel pens to decorate πŸ™‚

  18. I’m leaving tomorrow for a short trip and I’m taking a Sharpie pen, a Jetstream, a Pilot Plumix, a Preppy highlighter, a Field Notes pencil and a Lamy. I like to have different kinds. For paper, a Claire Fontaine notebook, a Field Notes, and a little Rhodia. Thanks for the chance to win a prize!

  19. I always carry the following:
    Old school bullet pencil with graphite stick
    Slendy eraser
    Case pocket knife
    Zebra SL-F1
    Field Notes pocket notebook
    And lately I have fallen in love with the Muji Hex pen.

  20. Oh dear – this is a good question. I usually have my Lamy Safari, at least two Staedtler H pencils, a Sharpie extra fine point, a Pink Pearl or Epure eraser, a pack of post-it notes and/or a handful of index cards. And I’ve been field testing a Rhodia pad and a spiral Bienfang Note/Sketch book, I can’t decide which works better for my use.

  21. I always have to have a sketchbook, a pencil, a pen, and an eraser with me when I leave the house. Lately, I’ve been using a Rhodia Pad for my sketching/writing needs – and keeping a little folder of them or pasting them on the off pages of a “real” sketchbook for safe keeping later (A6, unlined or dotgrid), one of the uniball e-knock stick erasers, a rotring leadholder (with a fill depending on the mood of the week), and my faber-castell basic fountain pen (a gift that makes me want to draw more).

    And sometimes more, but that is just because I have a problem. A good one. πŸ˜‰

  22. I have a Marlen fountain pen and a moleskine notebook. That’s my lean travel desk. For longer excursions, I have my LWA member’s pouch filled with various pens and a brass pencil sharpener. I keep my pencils in a separate wooden puzzle box that I bought off ebay.

  23. A good messenger bag is helpful. But my Elan field book & a black Pilot Precise rolling ball pen will cover most appointments.

  24. it is all about the postage stamps, postcards and pretty tapes.
    (oh, and don’t forget your address book!)

    jetpens has the doughnut tape dispensers that i have been looking for. the fabric tapes are too cool.

    have a super trip and thank you for the giveaway.

  25. I tend to take several pens and notebooks in different cases just in case one of them gets lost. I do keep scissors and a glue stick with me (although I guess I’d have to give up the scissors if I flew).

  26. My must haves:
    -pencil box (nice and sturdy so pencils won’t break)
    -a couple of nice art pencils (I like faber-castell 9000 in 2B-4B)
    -a couple of pilot hi-tec-c (typically one black, blue, red, and green)
    -my everyday pencil: pentel p205
    -pilot precise v5
    -cheap ballpoint in case someone needs to borrow a pen
    -staedtler mars block eraser
    -muji cahier

  27. My only absolute must have are my favorite pens (Pilot G2s .5 mm–I know, so fat!). Nice to haves are a small Rhodia grid-lined pad (my must-have for list making!) and a small lined notebook for cataloging good eats, finds, etc.

    Oh and stamps, for sending postcards!

  28. I have to have a notebook and pouch stuffed full of goodies. I rarely leave home without a mechanical pencil, click eraser, and several pen options. I generally bring one or two ballpoints, a few colored gel pens and maybe a fountain pen or two. If I am carrying a big bag, I’ll overstuff it with more pens than I could ever use in one day. πŸ™‚ It makes me happy to have options.

  29. I hate losing things and try to pack minimally when I travel, so I usually just bring along my favorite cheap-o pens, the Bic Write-Bros blue ball points. I don’t buy souvenirs but I send family and friends postcards from my travels, so that means including my Moleskine address book. I also have a Moleskine mini notebook to write anything from how to say “hello,” to directions, to observations and funny stories. Love it!

  30. I work in the high school debate community, so I need to be both mobile and prepared with supplies. I usually carry an assortment of pens and pencils ranging from my Pilot G2s in a range of colors (they are a favorite of the debate community) all the way to my Parker capped roller-ball and Cross Tech3. As for paper I tend to carry at least a few small notebooks. I carry the small Moleskine Cashier for quick notes and lists, a pocket sized Moleskine for more substantial writing on the go. I also carry a large Cashier as my daily writing notebook, but on a long trip I will also bring my large hardcover Moleskine. I also bring a small thesaurus and a copy of The Elements of Style by Strunk and White to aid with writing on the go. I will usuall also carry a pencil sharpener, a small assortment of paper and binder clips, and a jump drive.
    depending on the situation I will carry other things, like legal pads or notebooks specific to a task, but those are my base supplies.

  31. A travel kit should contain:
    – A good pen,I use a Lamy Safari, bold point
    – A pen for use in difficult situations such as with wet paper, the Tombow Air Press is optimal

    – A pencil, preferably with Shaker system, mine is
    Pilot Rocky 2020, the H1010 The Shaker is a good substitute,
    – Stabilo fineliners in various colors
    – and other things: eraser,ruller,scissors, and a notebooks in two options of size,
    a small for notes and a larg for drawings,writings,etc.
    But keep a expectative of buy local itens.Discovery new things is an atraction of

  32. The ultimate travel set, for me, includes 4-5 of my favorite fountain pens with varying nibs for any purpose. Different ink in each for notes, sketches and annotations. 3 bottles of Private Reserve ink, black, blue, & red for most refillable applications. A plastic tube holds them upright and seals to prevent spills. Banded moleskin for the pocket, composition notebook for notes, letter size sheets for correspondence. Mechanical pencils in .5,.7,& .9 by pentel. Typeface hook ruler frome Pacific Arc.

  33. For me the ideal travel kit includes the Sharbo X CB8, a Sharbo X Refill Organizer Case well stocked with .4 mm gel refills, and a large dot grid Rhodia Webnotebook. Throw it all in a Nomadic Day Backpack, and I’d be set.

  34. I have a couple of atypical items in tow, beyond the usual supplies. I carry a box or two of crayons (new, unused) for random distribution. I also buy pens in bulk and attach them to cash gratuities in restaurants. Surgical tape is useful for a multitude of things and is more portable than duct tape. And a box cutter always comes in handy.

  35. Road trip? Must have: My G2 set (all four extra fine point colors); my Field Notes pocket notebook, my Staedtler pens (all 20 pens have to go, sorry, never know when some colorful discourse is necessary. My Moleskine journal and/or composition book. Oh, must have my Alvin DM-05 mechanical pencil, Pentel P-205, and finally, my Pentel Graphgear 500 and 1000. Oh, and the newest member(s) of the family, the Uniball Signo DX 0.38mm set of pens. Excessive? Oh well! πŸ™‚

  36. I love your site, and I love this question! I have traveled mostly in rural, undeveloped areas, where it is hard to find writing utensils or journals of any kind. So I always take 2 lined journals–preferably banded to keep them from getting destroyed during adventures–and at least 5 low-maintenance leak-resistant pens. My favorite at the moment is Marvy LePen (any/all colors). I also like to bring a cheapo memo pad to jot down details like place names and recommendations of places to visit/eat/stay from people I meet along the way.

  37. I just got back from a trip. (No problems with fountain pens on the plane BTW!) I took a Lamy Vista 1.1 mm, TWSBI Diamond 530 w/ 1.1 mm stub, and a Stipula Passaporto. For paper I just took my Rhodia Pocket Webbie.

  38. OH MAN! Just found this blog and super happy. Been aching to make a JetPen order, but I’m on the no-money student budget.

  39. My EDC when on the go:
    Midori mesh pencil bag [Something to change your lifestyle]
    Namiki Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pens (one M and one F)
    Pilot Petit1 mini fountain pen (from Jetpens)
    Ito-ya matte gray pencil w/Alvin Dux glass inkwell pencil sharpener
    Levenger leather portable bottled ink carrier w/ink
    Moleskine large journal w/rubber band made from a bicycle inner tube
    Midori Traveler’s Notebook
    Brass ruler
    Levenger 3×5 notecards and bomber jacket shirt pocket briefcase
    Zig Memory System Millenium pens
    Graphgear 1000 pencils in 0.7 and 0.5 mm
    Fine point and King Size Sharpies
    Liquid Paper Correction Pen
    Bone folder
    Papermate Black Pearl eraser
    Memorex 16GB flashdrive
    Card reader for iPad
    Postcard stamps (U.S. and international)
    Fieldnotes memo book (indigo)
    Letterwriter’s Alliance document pouch
    all in an Arnald day bag by …Property Of

  40. -Kaweco Sport fountain pen
    -Pilot Prera fountain pen
    -Pilot Petit fountain pen (All of them can fit in my pocket!)
    -Black Sharpie
    -Gerber Dime multi tool
    -Staples pocket notebooks
    -Moleskine pocket notebook
    -Maruman Covernote
    -Any kind of tape (preferably duct tape)


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