10 Best Backpack For Travel On Plane

Updated on: June 2021

Best Backpack For Travel On Plane in 2021

BusyBags - Travel Activity Bag for Kids - Boys & Girls Bags - Hours of Quiet Activities - Clear Durable Backpack - Keep Kids Busy on Planes and Cars (Purple)

BusyBags - Travel Activity Bag for Kids - Boys & Girls Bags - Hours of Quiet Activities - Clear Durable Backpack - Keep Kids Busy on Planes and Cars (Purple)
BESTSELLER NO. 1 in 2021

Matein Carry on Backpack, Extra Large Travel Backpack Expandable Flight Approved Weekender Bag for Men and Women, Water Resistant Lightweight Daypack for Airplane 40L, Black

Matein Carry on Backpack, Extra Large Travel Backpack Expandable Flight Approved Weekender Bag for Men and Women, Water Resistant Lightweight Daypack for Airplane 40L, Black
BESTSELLER NO. 2 in 2021
  • EXPANDABLE and LARGE CAPACITY: Extra large backpack with expandable feature give you more packing capacity. Unzip to expand 40L storage can easily hold packing cubes, toiletry bag, make-up bag, outfits, camera bag and gear, snacks, etc. Standard carry on size travel backpack fits overhead and under seat, is ideal for frequent flyer, weekend traveler, or occasional vacationer. This versatile luggage backpack also meets airline carry-on requirements, for airlines such as Easy Jet, Spirit, Jet Blue,
  • CONVERTIBLE DESIGN: Hideaway shoulder straps disconnect easily and store away in zippered back panel, transform the bag in carry-on duffel or briefcase style and give it a minimalist look and a more flexible carrying experience. A luggage strap designed on back allows backpack fit on luggage / suitcase, slide over the luggage upright handle tube for easier carry on international travel or cruise
  • EASY TO CARRY: The luggage backpack is light to carry due to its adjustable shoulder straps, comfortable air-mesh ventilated back panel. Two padded grab handles are set both on top and side of the travel backpack, make it easy to take the bag from an overhead bin.
  • Built for travel: one organizer compartment for little gear. 4 external compression straps keeps contents from sloshing around and are useful to get an inch or two more of Vertical space Also reduced stress on the zippers. The large inside pocket has internal compression elastic straps as well. The padded straps include a sternum strap that can be adjusted upward or downward, set to go across your chest, distribute the weight from your shoulder
  • DURABLE and LIFETIME : Made of water resistant lightweight polyester and lockable zipper heads. Survived different temperatures. With study zippers and decent stitching, this large travel backpack won't show any defects when on the go, ensure you have a unforgettable weekend getaway, international flight

AmazonBasics Slim Carry On Laptop Travel Overnight Backpack - Blue

AmazonBasics Slim Carry On Laptop Travel Overnight Backpack - Blue
BESTSELLER NO. 3 in 2021
  • Slim backpack with comfortable fully vented and well-padded back panel; ideal for overnight trips; stylish Blue color
  • Dedicated laptop sleeve and top-load, fleece-lined tablet pocket for transporting electronics
  • Front storage pocket keeps smaller items neatly organized and easy to access
  • Zippered side-mounted water-bottle pocket (there when you need it, out of the way when you don’t)
  • Low-profile top and side grab handles; vertical and horizontal luggage-handle pass-thru panels for convenient transport

Asenlin 17.3inch Travel Laptop Backpack, 40L Flight Approved Resistant Carry On Luggage for Men Women College School, Business Gift Large Daypack Weekender Casual Hiking Outdoor Computer Bag-Black

Asenlin 17.3inch Travel Laptop Backpack, 40L Flight Approved Resistant Carry On Luggage for Men Women College School, Business Gift Large Daypack Weekender Casual Hiking Outdoor Computer Bag-Black
BESTSELLER NO. 4 in 2021
  • Carry and Travel: The large backpack carries 3 custom-made storage bags, which can improve your travel quality. The overall size meets the size standards of the aircraft, and the portable zipper opening facilitates you to quickly pass the airport security check.It has built-in elastic bands to keep your clothes from falling out.
  • Size and Material: The travel backpack dimensions 18.5 * 12.5 * 9.5 inches and comes with a special pocket that can hold a 17inch laptop.The backpack can be fixed on the trunk pole and can also be carried by hand; it uses water-resistant high quality polyester Oxford cloth material and explosion-proof zipper.
  • Application: travel, carry-on, weekend travel, Cross-border tourism, overnight, Move out of old house, suitcase, the shrink strap with it is convenient for you to compress without carrying luggage, into a smaller backpack.
  • Structure: main duffel bag + 3 storage bags + laptop special bag + front small bag + water bottle / umbrella bag mouth + hidden shoulder strap design + front panel night travel reflective safety strip
  • Upgrade and Reinforcement: This model has been upgraded many times. We have used multiple materials for multiple tests to ensure that the quality is strong. We have strengthened the parts that are easy to crack and adjusted the center of gravity in size.Make it more portable for a long time, and refer to the actual experience in the design of details to optimize, reliable and ensure long-term use.

AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack - Navy Blue

AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack - Navy Blue
BESTSELLER NO. 5 in 2021
  • Carry-on travel backpack with internal, zippered laptop sleeve; ultra-flexible and lightweight; made of durable polyester
  • Main compartment with zippered mesh space, optional midway shelf, and internal/external compression straps
  • Front pocket and front-top pocket for easy access to documents and travel liquids; main upper packing compartment with organizer, expandable storage space tuck-away ID pocket
  • Padded shoulder straps disconnect easily and store away in zippered back pocket; removable sternum strap, waist belt, and shoulder strap; well-placed exterior handles
  • Main compartment measures 5.5 by 13 to 14 by 21.5 inches (LxWxH); main upper packing compartment measures 3 to 5 by 13 to 14 by 21.5 inches (LxWxH); full-expansion zipper creates 10% more packing space

Travel Laptop Backpack, Business Anti Theft Slim Durable Laptops Backpack with USB Charging Port, Water Resistant College School Computer Bag Gifts for Men & Women Fits 15.6 Inch Notebook, Grey

Travel Laptop Backpack, Business Anti Theft Slim Durable Laptops Backpack with USB Charging Port, Water Resistant College School Computer Bag Gifts for Men & Women Fits 15.6 Inch Notebook, Grey
BESTSELLER NO. 6 in 2021
  • ★LOTS OF STORAGE SPACE&POCKETS: One separate laptop compartment hold 15.6 Inch Laptop as well as 15 Inch,14 Inch and 13 Inch Macbook/Laptop. One spacious packing compartment roomy for daily necessities,tech electronics accessories. Front compartment with many pockets, pen pockets and key fob hook, make your items organized and easier to find
  • ★COMFY&STURDY: Comfortable airflow back design with thick but soft multi-panel ventilated padding, gives you maximum back support. Breathable and adjustable shoulder straps relieve the stress of shoulder. Foam padded top handle for a long time carry on
  • ★FUNCTIONAL&SAFE: A luggage strap allows backpack fit on luggage/suitcase, slide over the luggage upright handle tube for easier carrying. With a hidden anti theft pocket on the back protect your valuable items from thieves. Well made for international airplane travel and day trip as a travel gift for men
  • ★USB PORT DESIGN: With built in USB charger outside and built in charging cable inside,this usb backpack offers you a more convenient way to charge your phone while walking. It's a great tech gift for him from wife, daughter and son. Please noted that this backpack doesn't power itself, usb charging port only offers an easy access to charge
  • ★DURABLE MATERIAL&SOLID: Made of Water Resistant and Durable Polyester Fabric with metal zippers. Ensure a secure & long-lasting usage everyday & weekend.Serve you well as professional office work bag,slim USB charging bagpack,college high school big student backpack for boys,girls,teens,adults

Travel Laptop Backpack,Extra Large Anti Theft College School Backpack for Men and Women with USB Charging Port,Water Resistant Big Business Computer Backpack Bag Fit 17 Inch Laptop and Notebook,Black

Travel Laptop Backpack,Extra Large Anti Theft College School Backpack for Men and Women with USB Charging Port,Water Resistant Big Business Computer Backpack Bag Fit 17 Inch Laptop and Notebook,Black
BESTSELLER NO. 7 in 2021
  • ✈LOTS OF STORAGE SPACE&POCKETS- Men travel backpack design with more than 20 independent pockets for large storage and organization for small items. 3 spacious main multi compartments with many hidden pockets can accommodate lots of stuffs like college supplies, travel accessories, clothes, stationery, notebook, Mesh pockets at side for water bottle and compact umbrella make your items organized and easier to find.Ideal book bag backpack for high school boys perfectly.
  • ✈DIMENSION & DURABLE MATERIAL - Size of extra large college backpack:12.6 *7.8*19.6(inches), perfect to throw under your seat on an airplane when you are traveling or on business trip.Separate padded laptop compartment fits most 13, 14, 15, 15.6, 16, 17, and up to 17.3 inch laptop/Ipad/Computer.The business computer backpack made from high quality polyester fabric shockproof with high density nylon lining for better TEAR & WATER RESISTANT and heavy duty backpack.
  • ✈ANTI-THEFT& SAFE - Included a THEFT PROOF COMBINATION LOCK & DURABLE MENTAL ZIPPERS,protects wallet and other items inside from thief and offers a private space.So you never have to worry about someone stealing your laptop, ipad, business file, homework and anything value, keep you a nice peace of mind. Durable metal zippers close and open smoothly, ensure a secure and long-lasting usage everyday or weekend.
  • ✈USB CHARGING PORT & NIGHT LIGHT REFLECTIVE - With built in USB charger outside and built in charging cable inside,this usb backpack offers you a more convenient way to charge your phone while walking. Please noted that this backpack doesn't include the power bank itself, usb charging port only offers an easy access to charge.NIGHT LIGHT REFLECTIVE design on the front of the backpack will keep all the users safe when use the backpack in the night or dark area.
  • ✈BREATHABLE & COMFORTABLE - Padded and breathable mesh back panel of this computer rucksack design help for the air convection, ventilation and heat elimination. Comfortable wide breathable mesh shoulder straps with plentiful sponge pad help relieve the stress from your shoulder. Both sides of the shoulder strap with lanyard design, can hang sunglasses and other small pendants.Premium bookbags for men also school backpack for teen boys. And it is a Ideal gifts for men women.

Kenneth Cole Reaction Women's Chelsea Chevron Quilted 15-Inch Laptop & Tablet Fashion Travel Backpack, Black, One Size

Kenneth Cole Reaction Women's Chelsea Chevron Quilted 15-Inch Laptop & Tablet Fashion Travel Backpack, Black, One Size
BESTSELLER NO. 8 in 2021
  • organized compartments: padded tech pocket fits most laptops with up to a 15 inch screen. Separate padded pocket is compatible with most tablets. Front exterior features a zipper pocket for easy access to frequently needed items and a zip around pocket with an extensive organizer. Rear padded compartment features room for a laptop or additional room for business essentials.
  • hands-free hauling: the rear exterior features padded shoulder straps for maximum comfort while on the move. Rear of the bag features a trolley strap that fits over most luggage upright handles for hands-free carrying. Dual side exterior open top beverage/ holster pockets. Convenient, easy to carry, top grab handle for use when needed.
  • fine finishes: stylish chevron quilted polyester Twill Exterior. Interior also features a fully-lined tear-resistant lining to stand up to daily use. Features self-repairing zippers designed for long-lasting use.
  • product Specifications: overall size: 16. 0” H x 10. 0” W x 7. 5” d. Computer compartment Dimensions: 15. 25” H x 10. 0” W x 1. 75” d. Weight: 2. 15 lbs. Compatible with most tablets and fits most laptops with up to a 15-inch screen.
  • buy with confidence: backed by a manufacturer lifetime limited. The perfect 15-inch computer backpack to keep your business essentials organized while on the go.

Large Travel Backpack,TSA Durable Water Resistant Outdoor Laptop Backpack for Men Women with USB Charging Port,Stylish College School Computer Bookbag Fits 17Inch Notebook,Camo

Large Travel Backpack,TSA Durable Water Resistant Outdoor Laptop Backpack for Men Women with USB Charging Port,Stylish College School Computer Bookbag Fits 17Inch Notebook,Camo
BESTSELLER NO. 9 in 2021
  • EXTRA LARGE & CLASSIFIED: Size: 14.8"*10.5"*19.3"(L*W*H). 45 Liters. Large capacity backpack with 20+ compartments and a padded sleeve for your 17inch Laptop/Computers/Notebook. Generous main compartments and Premium organizer with multiple pockets and key fob allow you to keep all of your gear secure and organized, offer a separate space for your clothes,shoes,cell phone,iPhone,iPad,passport,pen,keys,wallet,watch,charger baby,binders,books,folders,small stuff. Mesh water bottle pockets at side
  • TSA FRIENDLY & FUNCTIONAL: Simply unfolds freely 90-180 degree, keeping above and below the laptop section clear,quickly allows to go through the checkpoint security and keep all items tidy. A luggage strap allows backpack fit on luggage/suitcase, slide over the luggage upright handle tube for easier carrying. Well made for day trip. Ideal for daily use at school, work, shopping, weekend getaway, occasional travel, hiking, camping,overnight trips
  • COMFORTABLE & PRACTICAL: Ergonomically Contoured Shoulder Straps with plentiful sponge pad and adjustable side compression straps help relieve the stress from your shoulder during long commutes. Padded Back Panel with Airflow Ventilation Technology for added support and comfort. Both shoulder straps with lanyard design for hanging sunglasses and other small pendants. Premium School Bookbags for students to back to school/graduation. Practical Thanksgiving/Christmas gift/present for men and women
  • USB CHARGING PORT & HEADPHONES HOLE: The usb backpack with built in USB charger outside and built in charging cable inside,offers you a more convenient way to charge your phone while walking. Interior dedicated padded pocket and extension strap for holding your charger and fixing your usb cable.(Please noted that this backpack doesn't power itself, usb charging port only offers an easy access to charge.) Headphone Jack allows you to listen to your favorite music on the go hands-free
  • DURABLE MATERIAL & MULTIPURPOSE: Made of Durable Polyester Fabric and Smooth Double-Zippers for a secure and long-lasting usage everyday/weekend. A rugged handle with steel cable on the top for easy carrying. Side compression straps keep the versatile stylish backpack at whatever size you requires. Great School Travel backpack for men and women for hiking, camping, traveling, also a perfect school bag/college bookbag for boys, girls, teens, adults, big students, high school students

Hap Tim Laptop Backpack, Travel Backpack for Women,Work Backpack (7651-BG)

Hap Tim Laptop Backpack, Travel Backpack for Women,Work Backpack (7651-BG)
BESTSELLER NO. 10 in 2021
  • 【Good Laptop Protection】Keeping your notebook computer/ laptop safe is a must, this backpack laptop bag has durable water resistant exterior, its largest compartment features a well-padded all around sleeve that can hold different size laptops up to 15.6 inches. Lots of smart storage, stands up nicely on its own, easy to to fasten onto other luggage.
  • 【Lots of Pockets & Lightweight】Perfect for daily work or air travel,Fits underneath an airplane seat nicely.Lots of pockets and compartments with easy access to each, Very roomy in the bag and you can fit all related cords, chargers and still a lot of room for other stuffs . So it is perfect for moms when traveling with a little toddler.
  • 【"dr. style" bag & Large Opening】This bag has many quick access exterior pockets and large top opening for easily checking what's inside, also it has a headphone/ cable pass-through which offering an convenient way for charging smart phone or listen to music on-the-go. Could be a nice school backpack also.
  • 【Shock-Absorbing Straps and Back Padding Provide Maximum Comfort】This computer backpack's shock-absorbing shoulder straps and thick padding on the back help ease the burden of a full bag load. Their wide and simple design give the bag a spartan look.
  • 【100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE】We offer 30 days free return and exchange, 90 days quality warranty. If you have any question, Please do not hesitate to contact us.

Review: Eric Horvath Nature Tours North Peru Trip

An account of a far-from-pleasant two week birding trip in northern (non coastal, alas) Peru.

(1) Even before that, it is necessary to establish a distinction between those who like to watch birds and "birders." I am interested in human behavior and in the behavior of other species, too. "Birders", in contrast, are primarily interested in identifying a species, checking it off their trip list and (preferably) life list of birds seen/identified and moving on to another bird (species). On a bird trip, I am happiest watching a bird go about the business of living. I consider that I am a "bird watcher" and that many "birders" are not. On one of the Dry Tortuga Islands on an earlier trip led by Eric Horvath I remember being fascinated watching a Merlin tear up and consume an Ovenbird, while the birders glanced at it, pronounced "Merlin," and began looking for a next bird.

Not quite as numerous as "birders" are "SOBs" - spouses of birders. There are single birders and some couples in which both parties are ardent birders, but there are also a substantial number of spouses who are along for the walk(s), willing to look at colorful new birds should some come in view, but mostly along because their partner wants to bird. "SOBs" retreat to vehicles earlier than the birders, or as a birding trip day or week goes on to stay back (if possible, in hotels, or in the vehicles by which a group moves from place to place).

As I have already indicated, I consider myself a bird-watcher, though others might regard me as an SOB.

(2) Speaking of my mother, a third-generation Danish-Minnesotan, she raised me to regard punctuality as a moral imperative. My culture considers making others wait for one disrespectful and reprehensible. I try very, very hard never to be late for any appointment I have made and do not like to be kept waiting.

(3) This trip was my fourteenth birding trip of five-plus night, seventh Latin American birding trip, and fourth trip led by Eric Horvath, an Oregonian with a BS in zoology who did not complete a graduate degree. When I say that the North Peru was the worst birding trip I've been on and that I saw fewer birds for shorter time, I do have bases for comparison. Of possible relevance is that the four Horvath-led tours were all under the auspices of the Oregon Nature Conservancy, and the longer two had a convivial Oregon Nature Conservancy employee, Charlie Quinn, who was very good at spotting and identifying birds along, driving a second van and probably doing more to make the trips pleasant than I noticed at the time.

(4) I am not particularly patient. Keelung, my partner is.

(5) I like to walk. Walking 4-8 miles a day is no problem for me (at least below 2000 meters in altitude any way!) My back and legs balk at standing in one place for more than about ten minutes.

(6) I like quiet, particularly out "in nature."

(7) I wanted to see the major Northern Peruvian archeological sites, Chan Chan and Chavín, and thought we were going to the Peruvian North Coast, not into the Andes. (I consider that I've "done" the Andes, both in Perú and in Ecuador and my body does not adjust particularly well to high altitudes.) I will stipulate that before paying money to go on the tour, I should have insisted on receiving and reviewing a detailed itinerary. (The only one we received, along with a 36-page bird checklist, was a list of hotel names and telephone numbers.)


Frustrations began before getting off the ground. We were scheduled on a 6 AM American Airlines flight from San Francisco to Miami with a three-hour layover before the Miami-Lima one. When we arrived as required at 5 AM at SFO, the estimated departure time had been moved back to 8. Around 7 is was moved back to 10. I don't know if or when it finally flew to Miami. We were rebooked through Los Angeles, losing my business-class international seat, while the ratio of international to intranational air time changed from one-to-one to eight-to-one.

Not only did we arrive in Lima hours later than scheduled, but cramped into coach for 8.5 hours when I was supposed to be in business class.

The queue for Peruvian immigration in the Lima airport just around midnight consumed another 1.5 hours, followed by a half-hour taxi ride to Miraflores.

When finally we reached the hotel at 2 AM, we were informed that (1), despite our reservations, there was no rooms available with two beds and (2) we would be leaving to go back to the airport at 6 AM. Even before seeing Eric I was tired and frustrated, not only at American Airlines, but at him for not making sure our requested room arrangement was waiting for us and for not staying somewhere close to the airport.

I met the other two paying members of the group, an Oregon couple I will call Oink and Ooie, en route back to the airport, where Eric's wife and daughter had arrived on a red-eye flight through Miami. We had breakfast in the airport and then flew to Cajamarca.

After a grueling trip to Cumbe Maya, allegedly a pre-Inka site, though predominantly a birding site. After some more jolting in the van, we visited the niches in a sandstone cliff called Ventillas (windows), where I became sick.

The group returned to Cajamarca for lunch. I went back to the hotel and missed the afternoon excursion to the hot springs. (The group did not go to the room that the last Inka emperor, Atahualpa, had filled with gold to ransom himself from the conquistadors, who tried and strangled him after they had the ransom.)

I was taken aback to hear Eric say "No one got sick," and pointed out that I had. I see this as an early indication of insensitivity to what was going on. Remember, this is a group with only four paying members.

After that, the trip continued to consist of early departures and late arrivals, Except for some brief roadside stops, the birding stops went on long after the other Horvaths, Ooie, and I quit and returned to the van, and often after Keelung had also.

The uxorious Ooie may have been perfectly happy to wait hours each day for Oink and Eric. Keelung wanted to get to the night's lodgings before dark to settle in. Keelung and I paid as much as Oink and Ooie, and Eric never once indicated awareness that there was anything amiss with three of four or even four of four members of the group waiting (cumulatively for many hours).

The road down and up the "grand canyon" or Perú, the Marañón is rough and narrow with huge dropoffs. Passage on it is regularly blocked by derrumbes (landslides--a word providing occasions to demonstrate that I can roll my r's).

About three-quarters of the way up to Leyembamba, a road crew was dynamiting cliffisde onto the road. "Hysterical" is the only possible description for Eric's behavior in the van. Rather than doing anything to calm our anxieties, he went on an extended rant that makes the "mad scenes" in Bellini operas seem mild in comparison. He wanted to turn around and go back to the bottom, the town of Balsas, which the guide book describes having extremely questionable accommodations ("what might pass as 'a room'"). Everyone else remained calm and willing, if necessary, to spend the night in the van at an elevation of 10,000 feet rather than go down and then back up the next day.

The mad scene at the derrumbe showed not just a lack of calming leadership but lack of even a modicum of common sense. In contrast, Keelung extrapolated the progress at clearing the road and predicted that it would be passable at 6PM. That turned out to be almost the exact time that the caterpillar drove across (and then spent another ten minutes cleaning up remaining debris).

We spent three nights at the new bungalows at the Estacion Biolgica Lechucita Bgotona, on the Bra Patricia Reserve, which enabled me to skip pre-breakfast birding. On the last full day there (the eleventh of the trip), I was frustrated at the low ratio of time watching birds to time standing hoping something would appear (see #5 in the preface). I estimated that I was seeing birds for about one second out of every three minutes of standing around. (I forbade thinking about including the hours of rough roads in the denominator!) Oink and Keelung are better at spotting (finding) the birds than I am, but I greatly doubt that except at the hummingbird feeders their ratio could have been above a second out of each minute of standing.

I was also fed up with Eric and Oink (mostly Eric) playing recordings to try to lure "target birds" out (see #6 in the preface). Territorial birds respond to what sounds like intruders to their territory, which means that the birders have a better chance of glimpsing them. I find the repetition of recordings (and even without any response, Eric was not inhibited by concern about literally upsetting the birds by more than half a dozen iterations) noxious, as well as harmful to the birds. They are distracted from getting food or rest, and the instinctive emotional responses probably shorten their lives.

I felt that between the vast stretches of time in the van and standing around, I was not getting enough exercise on the trip, and set off down the road (suitably sunscreened, but not carrying water or rain cover). I went at least a couple of miles (5 km?).

The next day, between Jaen and Olmos, just over the continental divide (finally, at least on the Pacific slope, rather than on drainage to/through the Amazon), I again tired of standing around torturing and/or waiting for birds and walked up. I had my most extended conversation with Peruvians other than our two drivers. They were walking home, carrying things and/or pushing a bicycle. They all told me that if I wanted to see birds, I should go down and west.

I was fetched by the second-string driver who said that it was time to go. When I got back to the group, Eric said that the driver had gone to get me on his own initiative and that there was nothing to do in Olmos. I decided to go down the dirt road (avoiding the bumpy ride) to the highway. It was about 4 PM. I decided to leave my jacket in the van, but carried water.

I saw both the supposed "target birds" for the stop (two of the flycatcher, at least half a dozen of the local variety of Inca finches) on the way. The young Peruvians with whom I had talked were right.

I thought I'd be overtaken before getting to the highway, but wasn't. I decided that if it rained, I'd get wet and headed down the highway. According to the road markers, I went another 3.5 km on the highway before being picked up.

By arriving late in Olmos and leaving early, Eric made sure that no one could find out if there was anything in Olmos.

At the end of dinner (I've failed to mention that Eric and Oink went through the bird checklist almost every dinner; Keelung kept his own and ceased to participate, having his own irritations with the two of them and their field manners), Eric designated getting out at 5 AM the next morning.

I asked for a firm departure time. Leaving the Choctmal Lodge (where we did not have electricity, because the power plant in Chachapoyas had some broken belt and Eric had a less extended "mad scene" flailing for alternatives that did not exist) was supposed to be at 6:30 AM. Instead of leaving on time, Eric took Oink off to show him something and we did not leave until almost 7. He designated a 9 AM departure from Abra Patricia and was the last to arrive at the van, so that we left at 9:30.

The target bird that morning was an adult male Marvelous Spatuletail. We had seen juvenile males with their extravagant (mot-mot-like) tales. After climbing up a trail that was alternately mud and loose rocks, we waited for more than an hour before I gave up. The only bird I saw on the way up other than domestic chickens was one black vulture in the sky. Oink and Ooie did get brief glimpses at the target bird. Then we had lunch back by the bird feeders at which we again saw juvenile male Marvelous Spatuletails.

There are 1300 some birds documented in Perú, and I totally fail to appreciate spending three hours (and some difficult climbing up and down) to see a better example of one of them. (Actually, this would be abhorrent even to hardcore birders eager to increase the number of species seen!)

I did not want to get up at 5 AM and wait for him again. Eric claimed that those who went birding that morning left at 5:15. However, he had not communicated that bags were going to be put on top of the van later, so that after being careful to get ready and out without waking me, Keelung had to knock on the door so that I could open it for him to put the bags back. And for our real departure from Jaen, the four paying members of the group were also waiting in the hotel lobby for him.

I said that my purpose in asking was not recrimination but to decide the time at which to set the alarm clock, but he could not (would not) give me a firm departure time. He reiterated that the best time to see birds was at dawn. Vital as it was to get to the birds when they were waking up, coffee for Oink and Mrs. Horvath was more important. We could not leave before they got their coffee, so he could not give a firm departure time.

The White-Winged Guan (a wattled bird that looks like a small black turkey) has been reintroduced into Quebrada Limón, an hour and a half drive northeast of Olmos (70 of the 90 minutes on rough unpaved road). The White-Winged Guan is also found at the Chaparri Conservation Reserve that is east of Chiclayo on a paved road. (That is, instead of being trapped in Olmos or along for that rough ride, I could have gone to some site near Chiclayo while those who wanted to look for the semi-wild guan did so. I've seen genuinely wild guans and I've seen other kinds of birds that have been born/raised in captivity and released.)

If the Olmos hotel (where, incidentally, we were not expected, so that rooms had to be made up after we got there, which was after sunset) had had a swimming pool, I would have stayed and been picked up on the way back through Olmos before driving to Chiclayo.

As it was, there was another extended wait by 3 of 4 (and 6 of 7) in the van for Oink and Eric to deign to let us depart).

On the final full day (before a 5 AM departure for the Chiclayo airport followed by a 16-hour layover in Lima), the usual 3 of 4 did not want to get up early and go birding with Oink and Eric.

The driver had caught the cold Oink had had earlier. It might be too much for Eric to consider not going birding just because three-fourths of his group did not want to go, but to force the sick driver to get up at 5 AM, knowing that he would have a six-hour drive after the end of the day's outings strikes me as profoundly inhumane.

For repeated failure to consider the majority of group members I blame Eric, not Oink. Oink wanted to bird and apparently Ooie was Oink's doting enabler. I do think that Oink is culpable for what I regard as the abuse of the driver, Juvenal, on the last morning in Chiclayo.

After my Olmos demand for a firm departure time, even the oblivious/insensitive leader (Eric) was aware that I was very resentful at being kept waiting. He said he would return to pick up those who stayed back (three-fourths of the group) at about noon. I don't know when Oink got his coffee in the morning and the group of one paying group member left, but they had not returned at 12:30 PM, at which point we set out by taxi to the Museum of the Lords of Sipán.

When we returned, I left a note for Eric asking him to put our boarding passes, reimbursement for the Sipán Museum entrance fees, and modest amounts for lunch and dinner that day and the last one (when he was going birding somewhere north of the Lima airport) at the front desk. We made our own arrangements to get to the Chiclayo airport and to eat, and felt much relieved not to have any further group participation.


Had I known that the trip was going to be almost entirely in the Andes and not go to either of the capitals of major north Peruvian pre-Inka civilizations (see #7 in the preface), I would not have gone on it. I have to accept responsibility for accepting the vagueness about where we were going, but I do not think that a reasonable, even moderately competent tour leader continues day after day to stay out with one member of the group while the others have to wait in a van.

On previous Latin American birding trips, the leaders (who have all been natives of the country we were visiting) would return to those waiting when (or very soon after) a majority voted with their feet not to continue at a location. On a Panama birding trip that had 13 members, I was in the happy position of usually being the swing "vote." (That is, if I turned back, there would be only six going forward.)

Never, ever, ever before have I had to wait for the leader of a birding group, either at the start or at the close of a day of travel and/or birding (see #2 in the preface). Nor have I previously been on a birding trip in which the leader persists in birding at a stopping place with 1/4th or 0/4ths of the group.

I saw some rare, endemic birds and a few birds that I could actually watch (some flycatchers, including a torrent tyrannulet that I watched for a long time; orioles, and the usual immobile trogons), but I can without any reservation say that I saw fewer birds and fewer kinds of birds on this trip, even though it was longer (both in days and in hours in the field) than any of the previous ones. I think that Eric is good at spotting and ad identifying birds, though he has not spent much time birding North Peru and I think knows less where the birds are than the native leaders of the other Latin American birding trips on which I've gone. It seems to me that the birds of the northern Peruvian Andes are particularly reclusive. I mean even the jays (the "green jay" which looks yellow to me) are reclusive!

I think that over time Eric has become less sensitive to the needs of his customers other than the hardest-core ones - in this instance, one. He has become like a teacher who pitches exclusively to his favorite student, not caring about the boredom or perplexity of the rest of the class (birding group).

If you are willing to get up very early, have 16+ hour days day after day after day, never tire of waiting for birds, are able to avoid getting sick (throughout the trip, I wondered what would happen if anyone got sever diarrhea, as US visitors to South America regularly do!), perhaps you might consider an Eric Horvath Nature Tour. I have no doubt that Oink was happy having own guide(s) to himself.

Although I was a returning customer (I think we had been on more previous trips with him than Oink and Ooie, and Keelung had been with them on his Amazonian Perú/Macchu Picchu one in addition to the three intranational ones I'd enjoyed), and, as I have written paid as much as Oink for the dubious pleasure of being on this trip, I felt that I was subsidizing the Eric and Oink birding trip that went beyond trying my patience to outright abuse of the native driver (whom I thought was ill-treated/exploited in other ways during the trip - and I am sure that rather consideration for his getting home, the reason he was relinquished before taking us to the Chiclayo airport was to avoid paying for his room and board for our last night in Chiclayo).

We (not just I!) were so frustrated by Eric's "leadership" of the North Perú trip, his (mis)treatment of customers, local people and even local birds makes it is certain that it will be the last Eric Horvath Nature Tour for either of us. I think that it has alienated me from any birding trip in the future and very nearly destroyed my interest in watching birds (remember the distinction between "birding" and actually watching birds from the start of this long posting!). So, perhaps, it can be considered a cure for any interest in going on birding trips: hence my title.

The bottom line is that I 'shoulda stood in bed' -- or at least home, and certainly should not have signed up for a trip without an itinerary that would have told me that this was not where I wanted to go in northern Peru.

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