Wednesday, May 16, 2007

What's in your bag?

Leading the life of a traveling sales man had led me to highly optimizing my luggage on business trips. The cardinal rule is – “Never Check Anything In” - unless you can absolutely help it. Though this goes out of the window if traveling from the UK or USA with the BAA's strict adherence to one piece of carry on baggage only. Though for some reason you can shop till you drop and bring all of that on the plane with you...

It turns out with careful planning and bringing two bags on board you can easily travel for 5 days. This is how I do it:

Laptop Bag – I try to keep this as light as possible

1. Laptop
2. iPod
3. Paper Notebook and pen
4. Travel Documents
5. Keys - I always find placing them in here means I am not scrambling for them when I get home
6. Noise canceling headphones – essential on flights. I put them on as soon as I get on the plane and then only remove them when we land. The difference is huge – airplane noise is one of the major contributors to jet lag and weariness
7. Magazine – usually Top Gear, wired or PC-PRO
8. Business cards
9. Mouse
10. Novel

Weight – about 5kg

Four wheel roll along – brilliant for airports as it makes it so much easier to push along than two wheeled flight cases. So the contents are:

1. 1 x Suit
2. Work shirts x number of days I will be in the office plus a couple of ties – I like to have these pre-folded by my local laundry
3. 1 x trousers
4. Pants and Socks x number of travel days
5. 1 x gym kit (t-shirt, shorts/swims, trainers, sports socks)
6. Laptop power supply
7. Two pin power adapter
8. Phone charger
9. Cuff links – I leave these in my suitcase at all times
10. A couple of casual/polo shirts
11. + one leather jacket and pullover if it is cold
12. + one puffa jacket, one hat, gloves and scarf if it is really cold
13. Wash bag – Shaving foam, toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, hair product, cologne – all packed in a clear plastic bag and all containers less than 100ml
14.Canon compact camera

Weight – about 10kg without a jacket
I also always carry a few essential travel items upon my person and wallet:

1. Currency - $200 in fifties, 100 Euros, 500 AED and about $100 of the local currency of wherever I am going (the US and Euro's can be lifesavers)
2. E-Gate card – the best thing I thing the Dubai authorities have ever introduced for whizzing through immigration at Dubai airport
3. Skywards Gold Card
4. Emirates Citibank Card – for all those extra Skywards miles
5. A middle east issued American Express corporate card – for emergencies and to escape to the Marharbra lunge in Dubai airport (The Emirates ones are over crowded in the mornings)
6. UAE driving license
7. Allianz Insurance card
8. Company Identification


So there you have it – as long as my iPod is loaded with some good play lists and pod casts, and maybe the odd DVD in my notebook, I am typically happy for the whole week and for any short to long haul flights I have to make. I look back when I made my first trip to South Africa I ended up bringing a large bag to check in – then after waiting an hour to collect it at both Johannesburg and Dubai airports I swore never to let this happen again.

I am now ready for the next month of travel which will see me go to Greece, Egypt, South Africa and Russia.

5 comments:

ashish said...

May be all travelers share the same reqs but the list couldn't be closer to what I take. Yeah, instead of iPod I take my creative Zen, I stopped carrying my digital camera with me anymore but the rest, gosh you have been traveling mate.

Aaron said...

Hi Ashish - I am sure most frequent travellers needs are the same. It however took me a little while to work it all out. Now if I get back to from a trip and an item I brought with me did not get used - it is unlikely to come again. Examples would be - PSP, Nintendo DS-Lite, deck of cards and even sun tan lotion!

SilkRoad said...

Hi Aaron - Your list is one that people beginning to become travelers can take and spend a few days for a shopping / membership application trip! I recently tried the e-Gate pass. It's great and I've written an article to promote it

Aaron said...

Hi Silkroad - I must agree with you E-Gate is the single best thing I won as a Dubai resident who travels a lot. It has saved me countless hours of queuing.

latajadhav@gmail.com said...

I must agree with you E-Gate is the single best thing I won as a Dubai resident who travels a lot. It has saved me countless hours of queuing.