Travel. The idea of packing and airport logistics can be terrifying to many people, let alone spending hours in a confined space, hurling through the air at 35,000 feet. Admittedly, customs, immigration, language barriers and the fear of the unknown can certainly be intimidating. I am here to tell you it doesn't have to be a nightmare. Sure things happen, you can't control every little thing, every day, and this includes travel arrangements. You simply need to be prepared and at ease. Anxiety only causes more drama than we humans already receive on a day to day basis. It's not about the chaos, it's how you personally deal with the unexpected events unfolding in front of you.
By the time 2017 is over, I will have circled the globe, crisscrossing paths, a number of times. Yes, there were many hours spent working/ napping/ wandering various airports, but I was prepared for these minor annoyances. It's all part of the adventure. With that said, I am a firm believer in carry on luggage. I also do not covet wheeled bags. In my opinion, they add extra weight and hold you down when time is of the essence. Standard Luggage has been my answer. I LOVE my Standard bag and it loves me. Granted, everyone's travel plans are a bit different and there is no one size fits all answer to traveling the globe. I am older than most nomads out there, so my take on what to pack will be a world's different than that of a 24 year old. Additionally, unlike many professed nomads, I work for a living, this just happens to include travel. Therefore, I need to pack acceptable work outfits, which can go from a corporate meeting in China to a trade show in London. You most likely won't have this challenge, which only leaves you more room to play with.
Currently in the highlands of Mexico, I will be packing for a trip which will last the next 90 days. Yes, 3 months worth of clothing I am going to fit into a bag which converts into a backpack. Temperatures will range from 80 during the day to possible sleet and snow while in the mountains of Colorado and Yellowstone National Park, back to high 70's whilst in Portugal with more heat and rain while in Hangzhou. Ready?....here we go:
In your main bag, you should have some internal pockets with zippers, I use these for my undergarments, bringing 7 pairs of comfortable underwear and one basic non wire bra. I have a thing for belts and have one which I love. It is leather and heavy, this goes around the inside of the luggage, around the clothing. One pair of jeans, simple straight style which can be rolled up or not. Three pairs of shorts of varying lengths, 3 short sleeve shirts, 9 tank tops (which can double as nightwear or camisoles), 5 long sleeve shirts which includes a button down and a fleece. Keeping it casual, yet still elegant, 2 dresses and 2 skirts. Comfortable walking shoes are a must as well as go to sandals with a lower heel, but still business friendly. Soft and pleasant sleeping pants, which would be appropriate to be seen in public with ...because you just never know what crazy event may come your way at 2 am. Socks of course, I like the lower ankle length ones in a lightweight wool, bringing about 5 pair which I stuff into my shoes. Due to the extreme in temperatures, a down jacket, and always a few light weight scarves which can be used for a variety of reasons, including cultural coverage and warmth. Lastly your toiletry bag, which should be small and lightweight. Toothpaste, toothbrush, minimal makeup, brush, and what ever hair gunk you use to handle your tresses, in a small travel container. I also add an all natural bug spray because of my allergies as well as allergy tabs and ibuprofen. All this fits into a bag which ideally turns into a backpack for ease of transport, but also has colorful handles to carry from customs through immigration.
What to wear? Many of my flights last over 40 hours of travel time. Comfort and layering are ideal. This goes hand in hand with what do you place in your additional personal carry on item, which many airlines allow you to bring on board. My go -to travel outfit: leggings, tank top, long sleeve shirt, converse shoes, light socks, longer style, unlined, rain coat. Though I like my leather laptop bag, any small bag with a few zippered pockets work well. Inside this I have my laptop, a cashmere throw ( great for warmth, pillow, blanket, shawl), silk pillow case, and travel pillow. I also include a small bag with extra underwear, extra shirt and my bathers, which for me includes a top and shorts which both can be worn alone or together and are made of quick dry materials. Keep in mind, my Standard Luggage also has a laptop compartment, so I may also carry my MacBook inside my official luggage or in my extra carry on personal item. Always be prepared to have to check your carry on luggage. Many carriers will only allow one bag in the cabin or may decide at the last minute, you need to check your bag. This is the reason for having a change of clothes always with me, just in case luggage is lost or delayed, you can always change and can always at least visit the hotel pool or beach while waiting for your clothing to re -appear.
There are a few additions I place in one of these two bags, which include: metal water bottle for refilling when available, sunglasses and my readers, a book and a few magazines. I understand many folks like reading on a kindle type of device, but I am old fashioned and want to flip pages and feel the paper under my fingers. Speaking of which, I always bring a journal and love my Nomatic Calendar. My phone is always backed up with lots of music, and is international ready. Headphones of course, to drown out crying babies and to facilitate watching movies on long hauls. Airplanes are filthy! Bringing a pair of flip flops allows for more comfort in moving through the cabin and gives your tootsies a chance to breath during long flights. These also come in handy on the beach and in various showers where the floors may be a bit sketchy. I am a huge fan of the brand Havaianas. Folks may look at you funny, but I do yoga in my limited space during flights to keep the blood flowing, as well as keep a small bottle of lotion for dry hands. Don't forget your various chargers and the country of choice converter, so that you can power these devices upon arrival. I also always pack an AUX cable and car lighter charger...so one can enjoy music while renting a vehicle which may or may not be blue tooth savvy. Protein bars, gum, trail mix...are all good options to keep hunger at bay. From past experience, I also always pack a few plastic bags, which pack down really tiny and are good for wet swim suits, shoes, dirty laundry, or a last minute purchase. You just never know.
Adventure awaits! Spin a globe and pick a spot at random or have some due diligence and research. Whichever way you choose, travel will enhance your view of the world and of who you are. Exploring our incredible planet is by far your best education. Have no fear, go embrace the world and all it has to offer. Have questions? With over 40 years of travel experience, I am happy to help. Attached is a check off list for your travel needs based on my recommendations above. Adjust for your age and travel location accordingly.
Give me a shout @accordingtouna.