Packing your suitcase
Personally I have a few smaller two day trip cases and one very clever Dakine rolling bag. This one is really cool because of its structure:
In the pre-travel phase I keep socks in the compartment 1 and underwear in 2. In between (3) goes my gym kit (shoes, shorts, swimming trunks) and the wash bag. In the main compartment (4) I put T-Shirts, Polos and trousers (and gifts and swag for conferences if applicable). In between the upper and downer half go the ironed shirts so I don’t have to fold them.
During the trip I put all socks and underwear together in compartment 1 and put the ones that need washing inside a cloth bag in compartment 2. T-Shirts and Polos I wore I roll up and put on one side of the main compartment.
That way when I get home after a trip I take out the bag and the rolled-up garments for washing and keep the rest in.
My personal calculation is thus:
- a pair of socks and underwear for each day + 2 spares
- a T-shirt for each day and polos/shirts for the days of the conference (also think that you need to wear the T-shirt in the gym if that is possible)
A general great idea is to go “onion style”. Instead of big jumpers bring zip-up hoodies and a jacket for over them. This allows you to add and discard layers as needed.
The same applies for trousers. For travelling I really like cargo pants with side pockets for all kind of stuff. These are especially useful when they have detachable leg bottoms so you can instantly convert them to shorts to dazzle the natives on arrival in a hot country with the astounding tan of a North European (with me being ginger this normally results in people squinting).
Do not count your travel clothes into your packing plan. Travel, especially long haul, public transport and airports are specifically designed to gradually but inevitably turn your clothes into something you want to arrange into a little pile and set fire to on arrival. I’ve had:
- A flight attendant spill a whole cognac on me that was meant for my seat neighbour (that was fun at customs)
- A kid throw up on me (and the mother kept feeding it things although it amazingly managed to repeat the feat 5 times in a 6 hour flight)
- My seat neighbours complimentary chocolate find its way on my chair whilst I slept which resulted in a trail of brown on my trousers (that was also a trip where my luggage got delayed – Murphy you bastard).
So be prepared to change when you arrive (more on that in another article of this series).