October 13, 2011

i'm a sucker for articles about packing tips.

unfortunately, they usually suck.

further, most of them are written by rank amateur travelers. perhaps the most egregious offenders here are “mens interest” magazines. i realize that their raison d’etre is to pimp stupid stuff. (e.g.: dopp kits) we’ll get to dopp kits later, but first it’s likely worth laying out a few ground rules. if you’re allegedly a jet setter, a fashionista, someone for whom style is of primary importance, you should really be on your own private jet. what? you didn’t renew your NetJets membership for this year or your pilot is on holiday? well that’s truly unfortunate, you’re going to have suffer along with us, the masses.

now, let’s come back to that concept of the dopp kit. this is the first sign of a clue-fucked fashionista article. dear author, where the hell have you been for the last 8 years? how on earth did you miss the whole 3-1-1 thing? what? you’re checking luggage? move along amateur. there are two kinds of luggage; carry-on and lost. if you can’t fit your kit into your reasonable allocation of the overhead bin and under the seat in front of you, you have no business wasting my time with a packing article.

luggage

if you recommend a hard sided case on wheels and you’re not european and checking that thing (or like a coworker of mine from south america and you’ve been forced to hermetically seal it in one of those saran wrap winder machines at the airport) this is a sign your article is worthless. every time i see some asshat trying to wedge one of these things into an overhead bin i engage in a small mental escape where this thing slides back and knocks them unconscious so they can free up space for folks who have more practical perspectives on sharing the precious space that is the overhead bin. hard sided luggage is for sensitive equipment and belongs in the hold. only poseurs and idiots (but i repeat myself) bring that shit on as carry-on. compressibility and the size are key purchasing criterion here. if you’re on a regular sized jet and you can’t fit your bag in with the small side visible, you’ve fucked up. do us all a favor get something that is durable, squishy and fits in the small dimension. oh, and be come less precious about the contents of your luggage.

it doesn’t have to be expensive, but if you’re traveling a lot, durable luggage with quality handles and shoulder straps are a huge plus. personally, i’m not a huge fan of the tag-along (it’s tough to run to the next flight with them), but they certainly have their place and sized appropriately i can appreciate the appeal. lots of dangling straps and such will be guaranteed to wrap around every protrusion you run across. pull those massive open loops closed a bit. please. how about including a little something in packing articles that has people cutting off or pulling in all of the protrusions apt to catch on whatever isn’t sanded smooth on their luggage?

3-1-1

it’s just reality of the situation in our fear addled country, suck it up and get a durable baggie. put it in an outside pocket and make it readily accessible. if you have meds, do us all a favor and make sure they’re clearly marked and packaged appropriately. the TSA folks will get hung up on the dumbest stuff and we all have to wait for you. your designer dopp kit is not going to impress anyone and it doesn’t work for the TSA folks. don’t subject us to some photo spread of dopp kits. life sucks at times. i know ziplocs aren’t fashionable but we need you to keep your fabulous ass moving. lose the dopp kit.

make peace with the iron in the hotel

seriously, your stuff’s going to get wrinkled, use the time you spend in the hotel in the AM to iron your stuff. if you’re stuck traveling with a suit, hang it up immediately in the bathroom and figure out the steamer option on that iron. btw, if you’re endorsing carrying along a steamer in your luggage, your article sucks.

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