On the go – quick tips on packing, etc



  • clothes for the amount of time you will be “in-country” remembering that stuff like pants are reusable. If you are likely to be urban adventuring and therefore might go somewhere formal, a dress and pumps for the ladies and a pair of loafers and a blue blazer for the gents will usually cover it. If going somewhere cold, boots and a coat. And so forth.
  • A pair of shoes
  • A raincoat
  • spare glasses or contacts
  • med alert bracelet or emergency card
  • swim suit (if applicable)
  • a tie (if applicable)
  • money – American and local (I avoid credit cards, traveler’s checks, checks, etc)
  • needed medications
  • a discreet camera or cell phone
  • trade goods (small and non-perishable)
  • a small first aid kit
  • NEEDED business/pleasure items – materials for that meeting, sales samples, formal wear or uniform, tickets to show, copy of score…but Keep It Simple Stupid. Take flash drives instead of computers and bulky notebooks, take minimum number of samples, buy your tickets on site if possible, etc.
  • CHECK FAA and DHS and airport sites for a list of things you can and cannot carry. Then just DON’T pack any of the forbidden items. Okay? Common sense but people will argue and they will get inconvenienced if not arrested. Try not to wear steel-toed or steel shanked shoes or boots.


Try not to pack: 

FAA or security prohibited goods – and look this up, websites exist to tell you what security at airposrts and in the places you are visiting forbid…drugs in Singapore are a death sentence and a crossbow in California or North Carolina is ten years in prison. 


  • unneeded drugs
  • liquids/perishable foods
  • unneeded valuables
  • jewelry
  • sharp objects
  • tools
  • sex toys
  • Mother’s only silver bracelet
  • pictures of naked people
  • things that are going to beep in the metal detector
  • bulky electronics 

The idea is to go light and to have a minimum amount of things to have lost or stolen from you. 

In motion:

At the airport/port 

  • eat
  • check your email, make your calls – if possible use publicly available resources to do this as the more people who see that laptop or cell phone the more likely it is to be stolen.
  • use the bathroom
  • check your maps, reservations, and so on here
  • keep your bags in sight, place straps around ankles or put your feet on themselves
  • keep valuables out of sight and in secure inside, zippered pockets of clothes or luggage
  • be quiet, be courteous
  • obey all posted rules
  • ask questions only of information personnel, bothering clerks, security, and so on can only lead to trouble
  • unlace your shoes, remove bulky clothes, watches, jewelry, or steel-toed boots/shoes before reaching security check points, it’s a good idea to keep stuff like that packed until needed anyway. 

At the airport/cruise ship security check point: 

  • take off your shoes
  • have your laptop easily accessible
  • do not carry perishable foods, wines, etc
  • have your ID, passport, and tickets in your hands
  • do not ask too many questions
  • do what you are asked to do
  • co-operate if searched

 Things to take to hospital: 

  • minimum clothing
  • slip on shoes
  • hoody or light jacket
  • money for vending machines
  • papers- ID, files
  • prescriptions
  • cell phone (if allowed)
  • book 

Don’t take 

  • perishable foods
  • caffiene or tobacco
  • flowers (other patients may be allergic)
  • valuables 

Things to take to jail or mental hospital 

  • minimum clothing
  • phone cards
  • slip on shoes
  • hoody or light jacket
  • money for vending machines
  • papers- ID, files
  • prescriptions
  • book
  • chocolate, granola bars
  • books (if allowed)
  • cigarettes (as trade) 

Don’t take 

  • perishable foods
  • caffiene
  • flowers (other people may be allergic)
  • valuables
  • belts
  • watches 
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