Confessions of an IT conference traveller (part 1 of 6)

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:

split roller by dakine.

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).

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This entry was posted in Entertainment, July 2010, Life Hacks and tagged , , , , by Chris Heilmann. Bookmark the permalink.
Chris Heilmann

About Chris Heilmann

Christian Heilmann is a geek and hacker by heart. He’s been a professional web developer for about eleven years and worked his way through several agencies up to Yahoo where he delivered Yahoo Maps Europe and Yahoo Answers. He’s written two and contributed to three books on JavaScript, web development and accessibility, lead distributed teams as a manager and made them work with one another and released dozens of online articles and hundreds of blog posts in the last few years. He’s been nominated standards champion of the year 2008 by .net magazine in the UK and currently sports the fashionable job title “International Developer Evangelist” spending his time going from conference to conference and university to university to speak and train people on systems provided by Yahoo and other web companies that want to make this web thing work well for everybody.

9 thoughts on “Confessions of an IT conference traveller (part 1 of 6)

  1. Pingback: How to not look like your mom packed your bags

  2. Pingback: Wait till I come! » Webstylemag – my trip into non-technical blogging

  3. 5 Pages with barely any content to the page is annoying. If I didn’t like Chris I wouldn’t have clicked through. I like him less now. I doubt I will make it to part 6 if the format remains the same.

  4. Critiquing an article like this in the comment section is tacky. You don’t like the format? Don’t change the format, Christian. The format is genius. Goddam genius.

  5. @Matthew: and critiquing a comment critiquing an article like this is?

    @Ara: By format I mean the layout across 5 pages to artificially increase page view count. Additionally the HTML structure of the site is such that Readability (basis for Safari Reader feature) cannot find the following pages of content to put this on one page for me either.

  6. Pingback: Confessions of an IT conference traveller (part 2 of 6)

  7. Pingback: Confessions of an IT conference traveller (part 3 of 6)

  8. Pingback: Confessions of an IT conference traveller (part 4 of 6)

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