A wise man once said, “Take 1/2 the Clothes and Twice the Money.” I wonder if that wise man is now regretting his own advice as he makes his way down to the South Pole. Regardless, my friend and fellow T-Bird Alum Lee’s words have been with me since I started Part II of my MBA in Travel and Tourism in 2009.
When I first set out on Part I of the MBA Tour, I had no idea what I was doing. Arriving at Dubai Airport, I looked like the Arab Elle Woods carrying these two bags, plus a backpack, plus a roller.
From Dubai it was off to Mexico then Czech Republic with these dead weight Samsonites (as reliable as they are) holding me down. I still remember trying to get on the London Underground when the door shut on Mr. Samsonite and I thought he would be gone forever.
Today, I take it personally when I have to check bags and always try to avoid the suspecting stares from those behind the ticket counter as they try to convince me otherwise. For me, carrying on has less to do with fees and more to do with pride that comes from a bag well packed.
I’ve narrowed down my travel checklist of what I must bring which has reduced my luggage to the following:
Still not the lightest traveler to ever do it but it does give me the space to throw in that extra shirt for the Roxbury.
While nobody has asked me, “What do you pack when you travel,” I’ll use the blogger’s creative license to pretend that someone has. This list hasn’t changed much over the years and is kept in my darling Blackberry so I can erase each thing off the list whether I’m packing to leave or making sure I didn’t forget anything while on the road.
Here it is:
Passport + cover
Money bag (coins): all those loose bills/coins not worth being converted.
VIP lounge pass + airline award card: E.g., your Citi Exec Card, your Ink club card.
Booking credit card: Mongolian airport made me show the card I used to purchase my ticket. I didn’t have it so that was a hassle.
Debit card: Charles Schwab, you know who it is! No fees internationally.
Passport photos: For all those visa issues.
Money Clip: I prefer my gunmetal money clip. I can feel it in my pocket and haven’t been robbed yet, except by taxi drivers.
SIM card: AT&T Unlimited International Data SIM if using local card while living abroad.
Keys: You may need these when you come back.
Business cards: If you don’t have a business card for that random billionaire you meet, you may look foolish, especially in Asia.
Laptop + charger + case: I spell each out because laptop with no charger is like Instagram with no filter.
LG G3: Blackberry’s camera sucks and doesn’t support Spotify.
Blackberry: Love this damn thing.
USB charger (2) + wire (2): 2 of each are necessary because one always breaks and I have too many devices.
Jambox + Charger: Watch out for the TSA.
Camera + waterband + case + cleaning kit: The infamous creeper cam.
Camera: The real camera.
Extension cord: I used to bring an extension court that was 6 feet long because hostels never have plugs and hotels didn’t have them in convenient locations. Puzzled looks by fellow travelers subsided when they started using it.
Headphones + case: Shure headphones only, not those crappy Beats.
External hard drive: What’s worse than running out of space?
Memory card converter: In case you meet someone that takes a bunch of pics and you no longer believe they will send them to you when they get home.
Power Adapter: Multi-prong power adapter has replaced extension cord.
TRX Ropes: Gotta stay swoll ya’ll.
Portable charger: That Blackberry is my lifeline so I bring the quick power charger so I can keep up with my 2 BBM contacts.
Eye cover: TUMI from Delta is the best.
Cologne: I prefer my Bvlgari from my Emirates flight.
Camelbak + hands free: For those hangover days when you don’t feel like sitting up to drink water.
Toothpaste + floss
Pen: I keep my Park Hyatt Sydney pen with me at all times so I can fill out the immigration card with chicken scratch (they never check the info) and get out quick.
Advil: See Camelbak.
Prilosec: See Camelbak.
Cyrpo: Can’t mess with food poisoning anymore.
Toiletries bag: I actually write down toiletries bag so I pack the bag itself.
1-2 pair of Jeans
1 white v-neck and one other t-shirt: Wear it over and over again.
3 Going out shirts: Never know when that urge to visit the Roxbury calls.
Dry fit long sleeve
Dry fit short sleeve
Travel pants: The best pajamas in the world, the Givenchy pajamas from Singapore Airlines is what I wear on all flights and to some business meetings.
As far as twice the money goes, I’m still working on that.