The Trick To Building Your
On-The-Go Bag… For Less Than $20!

The Trick To Building
Your On-The-Go Bag…
For Less Than $20!

Written by Soul Witness
🕒 January 25, 2019

An on-the-go bag. Sometimes it can save your life.

However, building one can take some time and money… two things we all know are scarce for journalists. So here are a few easy ways to build your bag without breaking your budget.

As journalists, we’re never supposed to accept gifts, and we’re always expected to be prepared. Sometimes it’s difficult to do both, and, let’s be honest, we all know freebies are life—especially if you’re strapped for expendable income.

Something that I do is go to business expos on my time off. Yes, it’s a couple of hours on your off day, and it’s a few bucks to get in, but you can come out on top with all the giveaways you’ll receive!

In case you’ve never heard of them, a business expo, or showcase, is a chance for businesses to pull out all the stops and sell themselves to the public, AKA, their future clients. These are open to the public for a small admission fee.

Each business has a booth and often has at least one giveaway item.

At past expos I’ve gone to, I’ve gotten a sewing kit, headphones, mints, lotion, hand sanitizer, hair brushes, nail files, make up, pens, notepads, thermos-type travel mugs, and the list goes on. So, you spend the $5 to get in and get to take all of that home… I’d say it’s worth it!

Another perk of going to the expos—story gold. I’m not talking the “hey this business is having a ribbon cutting next week” type of story. I’m talking the “combat disabled veteran owned, built it on their backs from the ground up after battling suicidal thoughts” type of story. (Yes, I’m talking about someone I actually met at one of the expos.)

Each business owner is more than willing to tell you their story if you just ask while accepting their cards.

The environment is also more comforting to them. They are in the “driver’s seat” at this event. This makes it easier for them to open up to you. Plus, you don’t have your camera, which can also be intimidating. I know this life hack is about building your go-bag but you can also start building relationships while you’re there.

Now back to the bag…

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Another thing to keep an eye out for are sales. Sometimes the “dollar row” at a major retail store has just what you need!

Thankfully, a variety of chargers are more common now so they’re easier to find and less expensive. You can often find them on display as you’re checking out of the store.

Speaking of dollars, you can save a lot of them at dollar stores. The area I’m in has a store where everything is literally $1. Make up, $1. Cleaning supplies, $1. Dishes, $1. You catch my drift?

You can find a lot of things you need for just $1. Even chargers. Sometimes, there are other really cool things like attachment lenses for your phones. You can use those to get a different angle at your shoot, or take some unique photos for your social media pages.

Something else you can do, enlist your family and friends to be on the lookout for freebies for you too. Or, ask for some items for your birthday or special holidays.

Side note: Other than toiletries, extra make up and chargers, you may want to include things like non-perishable items like protein bars, a towel, blankets, and a change of clothes, (hey, you never know).

I always go with the “it’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it” philosophy.

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