Becoming an excellent planner is the key to having a splendid time wherever you go. I happen to be a horrible planner. The times I’ve tried to plan, things have changed so drastically. Since then I’ve just given up. As a result, I’m an excellent packer because I tend to bring things that accommodate unexpected occurrences. In other words, I pack for adventure.
Research – Naturally, you’ll need to consider the climate. For example, if it’s hot and muggy, you’ll need more breathable and light clothes (shorts, t-shirts, etc)
Wearing on your flight
Dress shoes, a button down, dress pants, a belt, and a coat/blazer are all things that would otherwise reduce your available space.
You will want to get a local sim card with essential apps installed (Currency Exchange, Google Maps, Google Translator, Whatsapp, Wechat, Viber, Line, Specific Language Study App), Music (have various genres but make sure you have relaxing sounds such as Rainstorms, Ocean Waves Crashing Etc) , Photos of Passport Info, Screen Shots of Points of Interest and Hotel Address, Including a screenshot of directions from airport to your hotel for the taxi (When you arrive at the airport, you may not have Wifi access)
Wallet (of course)
Many people will try and dress as comfortably as possible. They will wear pajamas, sweat pants, track suits etc. This is a mistake. You want to dress in “business casual” for the following reasons;
1) If you have any hope of getting an upgrade (assuming you don’t have the miles), it’s going to be because you look like you belong there. Walk up to the ticket agent smiling with your eyes and greet her/him politely. Create a mini conversation ending with “Is there any way you can work your magic and get me a more comfortable seat”? I have found that when you ask the agents in this way, it’s almost flattering to them and they are somewhat challenged to help you. If you were the charming rogue you should be, you will get a better seat (no chance on discount airlines, it’s not in their power at all).
Keep in mind, the airline does NOT want people who look like they just rolled out of bed in their upper class seats. When you dress with class, people treat you differently, especially in the airport. In addition when I have a particularly long layover, I will go and stay in the Admirals Lounge (50 bucks for a visit or you can get a membership that will give you access all over the world) and if you are dressed well and run game, ask for some free drink tickets (I always get these). Start asking for “comps”. (With Wifi, drinks, snacks, quiet comfortable seats, the lounge is one of the biggest reliefs you can experience when you travel and deserves it’s on separate post)
Do the exact same smiling eyes routine with the stewardess when you walk onto the plane. Remember, people are hustling by her/him and not even looking in their direction, airline staff HATE travelers, when you are polite and pleasant, it goes a LONG way with them. I have had them give me a TON of extra bottles at no charge when flying in economy and all because I ran game and was pleasant.
Also, while the trend of having hot stewardesses in the U.S. is long gone, on international flights and foreign airlines, the trend seems to be almost a requirement to have attractive employees.
2) You will be running into a lot of cute girls in the airport, some of whom may be going to your destination. Here is a perfect example of what I mean. Dressing nicely will automatically display higher value and build attraction since many people, including the girl you might meet, are dressed so casually.
3) Pajamas and sandals take up a lot less space in your baggage so dressing nice gives you more room for other items in your packing list.
- Leather Murse
- Carry on bag with DOPP kitt
The Leather “Murse”
It has to say “Person of Status”.
For the same reasons listed above, having a good looking satchel to carry your laptop and other electronics (packing list for this below) will help get you perks (perhaps an upgrade, or drink tickets if you go into the Admirals Lounge). It is also can hold the odd extra clothing item or towel. If you don’t want to spend a lot, you can pick one up for under 100 bucks on Amazon that would retail for well over 200 such as a Kenneth Cole (The one I have)
Inside the satchel
- Passport and Visa
With photo copies and extra passport photos. (It’s tempting to keep this on you but don’t. Keep it in this bag. When going through security etc use it and put it back in the bag. This will avoid losing it. When you have to fill out the entry cards just go to the screen shot on your phone)
Emergency Fund of U.S. Dollars will go a long way ( Minimum $200, this should get you by a couple days so you can sort things out if you lose your Credit Card or ATM/Debit)
With music (Pandora won’t work outside many countries. Spotify does however)
- Speakers for laptop
Gotta set the mood
- Tooth Brush
And a small Toothpaste and Floss (small size)
Long flights can make your mouth taste bad, going to the lavatory and brushing your teeth can make you feel great. Getting rid of airline food that’s stuck between your teeth is even better.
- Small Deodorant
You don’t want to have to go rifling through the overhead bin to get to your carryon just to freshen up.
- Sleep Mask
For flights and some hotels, this can be great. Chances are also likely your sleeping schedule will be screwed up so sleeping during the day may happen.
- Ear Plugs
The plane has crying babies and White people complaining about 1st world problems and shopping.
Let the Rainstorm from you iPhone begin as you recline in your seat.
- Extra Vneck T-shirt
Something you can wear casually
- 1 pair Shorts/Pants (weather pertaining)
Something that matches your Vneck T Shirt
Cool necklace, Watch/Bracelet, Ring (Though you aren’t allowed to wear these all at once)
- 1 Hat
Something that’s you, Fedora, Old boy/Golf hat, NO baseball caps
The Carry on bag
This bag says “Wealthy Gringo who should be approached”. When flying you don’t want to look like a dirty backpacker. If you have any hope of getting a free upgrade, it’s because you look like you belong there. This bag should complement the “business casual” look you have going.
Inside The Carry On
(This bag should be packed with the contingency that you may have your main suitcase lost or delayed)
- Paperwork – Having a couple copies of your passport in different places can never hurt
- Kindle Reader/Ipad – You’re going to want to have a lot of media stored for killing time. Movies, Music, etc. can make flights much more tolerable
- 1 pair jeans (In case your main bag is delayed or lost you have a fresh pair)
- 1 pair board shorts – For exercise/swimming/grappling
- 1 Button down – You gotta be able to go out on that date you pipelined after you land
- 1 pair boxers
- 1 pair athletic socks
- 1 pair dress socks
- Athletic shoes – You need to be able to train
- Sandals/Shower shoes – Not having these to throw on quickly to go down the hall or meet someone at the pool is a real nuisance.
- 1 Towel – As per The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy, your towel is one of your greatest tools;
“A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value – you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to- hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you – daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.”
…with the DOPP Kit (inside your carry on!)
- Hygene Accessories (travel size)
- 1 Classy Razor (plus cartridges)
- Good Smelling Shower Gel (travel size)
- 2 in 1 Shampoo Conditioner (travel size)
- Extra Strength Alka Seltzer
- Sleeping pills
- Immodium (or similar upset stomach meds)
- Facial lotion
- Q tips
- Nail clippers
- Beard Trimmer
- Condoms (a lot)
- Shaving cream
The Main Bag (Suitcase)
- 1 TSA approved lock
I can’t stress this enough, when you travel outside the U.S. you will have people going through your luggage trying to quickly pilfer anything they can. Get this lock and hang onto it.
- 1 Sturdy suitcase
One that doesn’t advertise “Wealthy Gringo who should be robbed” Remember, buying cheap is buying expensive. Be willing to pay for something that’s going to last you or you’ll be replacing it while on the road. A good suitcase is invaluable. As mentioned above, outside the U.S. people will try and steal your things. If you travel with a Louis Vuitton trunk, it may end up lost. When you are leaving the airport, you don’t want a bunch of attention being drawn to your main piece of luggage.
Inside the suitcase
Things you can’t bring in your carry on:
- Multi Tool or Swiss Army Knife – You will need this in the future, trust me.
- Small scissors – Gotta trim the nose hairs
- 3 pairs of quality designer jeans
- 6-8 going out shirts (V Necks/Designer Tees, Dress Shirt Button downs)
- 1 pair of dress slacks or suit pants
- 1 White Linen Blazer of Freedom, Black Blazer of Destruction, or Grey Blazer of Aloofness
- Socks and Boxers (I go commando but wear them to lounge around in the hotel)
- 3 Pairs of Swim trunks/can double as gym shorts
- 3-4 Wife beaters or Athletic Gym Tee Shirts
- 1 Large bottle of preferred body wash (tapped close with a strip of black electrical tape)
- 1 Large bottle of 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner (also tapped closed)
Notice, there seems to be plenty of room leftover in your main bag. That is for two things:
- You have to bring destination specific items, and
- You need room to bring things back with you
Having the proper packing list is tantamount to having a good time. Few things are more frustrating than trying to track down a specific item in a foreign country when you don’t speak the language. Then again, sounds like an adventure!