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werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
edited May 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I just started a job as a consultant traveling back and forth to my client's site each week, and wanted to tap the hive mind for any hints, tips, or general advice about transitioning to the lifestyle.

I've got the basics like my miles account set up, a solid new laptop bag (Timbuk2 Blogger 2.0) on the way, and my wardrobe is mobile and easily packable, but beyond that I'm not really sure what I could look at to make life more convenient.

I'm pretty sure lugging around luggage is more hassle than it's worth, but I'm not sure what to look for in terms of a wheeled bag that's big enough to pack dress shirts and pants into with minimal wrinkleage but small enough to gate check.

Storage isn't an issue, since I have an apartment that's mine as long as I'm at the site, so there might be something to just lugging everything down there and keeping all my clothes there and dry cleaning in town, with only minimal carry ons for whatever I need on the weekend.

I'm also buying a small mountain of used books on the cheap to pass the travel time, which is especially useful since free wifi seems to be verboten in airports these days.

So HA, what glaringly obvious things am I missing and what secrets can you impart?

werehippy on


  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    most hotel rooms have irons. don't worry about wrinkled dress shirts and learn to iron your clothes before you put them on instead.

    Dunadan019 on
  • Limp mooseLimp moose Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Get a kindle. They are awesome and lighten the book load considerably.

    Make sure you have a good ipod/mp3 player for all the travel.

    Maybe some noise cancelling head phones to help you sleep.

    As far as wardrobe moving they make rolly garmet bags. Try google for one. We get them issued in the navy but they do exsist.

    other than that it sounds like you have things in order.

    Limp moose on
  • AurinAurin Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Limp moose wrote: »
    Get a kindle. They are awesome and lighten the book load considerably.

    Make sure you have a good ipod/mp3 player for all the travel.

    Maybe some noise cancelling head phones to help you sleep.

    As far as wardrobe moving they make rolly garmet bags. Try google for one. We get them issued in the navy but they do exsist.

    other than that it sounds like you have things in order.

    Or get a Nook, buy some more memory for it, and read away, WHILE listening to MP3's through the Nook. ;)

    Aurin on
  • useless4useless4 Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Ok I have traveled for seven years to 30ish countries. I have stayed in a hut.

    Here is what I learned the hard way:
    1. Your bag idea looks strong.

    When I first started traveling I broke down and dropped $150 on a backpack from Brookhaven and immediately regretted spending that much. However it was the single greatest thing ever. It looks like it's brand new still and has outlived four laptops, a dozen suitcases and a war zone.

    So getting the right bag (and that one looks like a winner) is the absolute best foundation.

    2. Suitcases : They will die horribly. Get lost. Get stolen. They are a afterthought.

    3. Noise canceling headphones: The Bose are priceless and amazing and the best ones on the market and they last about a year traveling. They are not designed for ruggedness. I have switched to a pair of Panasonic RP HC500 and they are tank built. They also have the added ability to work WITHOUT a battery as a traditional pair of headphones. The Bose do not. Being stuck in africa without batteries in a hut really kills the day.

    4. Identify your laptop needs now... If you actually need it for work get something you are happy with performance wise, if you just use it for games or porn don't go overkill and realize this motto : Ruggedness, Battery life, Performance in that order. For example : I literally destroyed my first powerbook and macbook pro 15 inches because they are not well designed for world travel. The 12" powerbook and the 13" macbook unibody? AWESOME because they are smaller, lighter and can take mad abuse.

    5. If you are bouncing from trip to trip, make sure you have enough music. I recommend an iPod classic because of hd size.

    6. BOOKS: JUST SAY NO. Ebook reader all the way. Books are heavy. Books stack up after you read them. We are mobile , be ninja. One ebook.

    7. Get a watch. Most kids today don't wear them, you want one trust me. I suggest something from Invicta like the Speedway.

    I stopped traveling last year, if I had to do it over for work (domestically) this is what I would carry:

    Brenthaven Backpack
    iPad 64gb 3g
    Panasonic Noise canceling headphones
    1 book for take off and landings (changed out each trip)

    This is what I had when I ended traveling last year:
    a DS
    a PSP
    a Sony Ereader
    a Macbook
    a Book
    chargers for all the above
    ipod classic

    So you can see how technology is making it nice and easy to slim down! Things like multiple chargers gets stupid after awhile. Try to get things that use usb charging only!

    One last word: go wrinkle free for clothing it helps so much. I don't know how you dress but if you need business casual button down dress shirts I can't recommend the Nordstrom's Traveler line high enough.

    useless4 on
  • werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Much appreciated for all the opinions.

    The general consensus seems to be I've got my shit fairly together, though I should drop the old style bookage for an ereader, which I might very well do once I burn through my current backlog.

    I'm absolutely interested in any more ideas people have, especial on specific products (those panasonic headphones look fantastic for example), but even a basic gut check that I seem to have the right idea is great.

    werehippy on
  • Limp mooseLimp moose Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I cannot comment on the quality of the pansonic head phones (they sound wonderful.) But i can say I just purchased a sony pair of noise cancelling headphones (mdr-nc22) I travel the world on a navy ship. My stateroom is next to one of the main propulsion plants. When it goes to full power you can barely hold a conversation in my room. The noise cancelling headphones actually cancel all the noise. They are also like the panisonic ones and work like normal headphones when the battery dies. They were about 10$ more than the bose.

    If you are going to be flying alot I also recommend one of those neck pillows from brokestone (or any other airport shop.) They make you look like a wuss but oh man I sleep so much better with those things.

    A run down of what I carry in my bag when I am traveling.

    Sony cybershot digital camera. 12 megapixel point and shoot. Rugged as fuck can take up to 7.5gs in a jet aircraft and still work. Also cheap less than $100 incase you lose it. (its tiny.)

    Amazon kindle. Works in every country I have been to except india. Light weight and I can read the new york times every day.

    Iphone 3gs. International wifi is just about everywhere in asia. I pretty much leave it in airplane mode outside of japan and just cruise for wifi to skype and email. The 16gb hd is filled with music. This also somewhat eliminates the need for a laptop which I have started leaving on the ship and not carting around with me.

    A watch. Every pilot in my squadron has a timex iron man. EM radiation from the ship, water, fire, jet fuel, none of these things can harm these watches. The band will desintigrate before the watch skips a second. Also they are like 40 bucks. Easy to adjust for multiple time zone crosses. If you want something that looks a bit classier for buisness wear well then there are a million options. If you want something that will last longer than you do this is that watch.

    The afore mentioned headphones. Sony.

    A camelbak nalgene waterbottle. There is a lot of choice when it comes to water bottles but I find it is always nice to have one. I won the camelbak one or I would probably just use some cheap thing.

    When doing the long flights I also take the neck pillow.

    For bags I have 2 that I use above all else.

    One is a leather messanger bag I got in a japanese department store. It is rugged as hell and looks alot like indiana jones bag from the movies. Carries everything but a laptop, although it would carry a 12 inch or smaller one. It also can hold 2 changes of clothes if it needed to. Not as bulky as some of the ones i have seen online. Normally If I am on liberty somewhere overnight I just take this and nothing else. If I am going to be gone for longer than a day or 2 I also take this

    a targus 17inch laptop back pack. It is also very rugged and survived about 3 laptops. When the laptops are in the backpack they are safe. Great bag. Very sturdy. Holds a ton. Has comfortable straps. Lots of pockets.

    Also always have a few pens and some paper. (its just a good idea.)

    Limp moose on
  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    The secret for de-wrinkling stuff is usually coathanger and hang it in the bathroom with the hot tap running for 20 minutes (take a shower!)

    Blake T on
  • Roland_tHTGRoland_tHTG Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Internet on the cell phone you can tether your laptop to.

    Roland_tHTG on
    roland even though you are just living life until ragnarok

    us mortals have to deal
  • OrestusOrestus Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    How long is your flight each week (an hour? 5 hours?) and where to where (airports). You can do alot to increase your frequent flyer miles benefit depending on your circumstances.

    I'm assuming this is domestic travel, I could give a ton of tips on int'l frequent travel, long haul especially, but most probably wouldn't be applicable to domestic.

    Orestus on
  • useless4useless4 Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    If you are not paying, make sure you get fully refundable, changeable tickets .
    Couple reasons:

    You will build miles quicker in a secret way. You goal here is to get invited to the super duper invite-only level. United for example has Global Services, which doesn't have a mileage goal - it's solely based on your dollar level. It's like 1k but better - no baggage fees and no cost free tickets (you just pay the 10 dollar by-law airport fee)

    Also, full fund tickets give you power against being bumped off a flight and priority on being bumped up to business or first class on oversold flights. When I was traveling I hadn't flown coach that entire time and I flew first class on a business fare maybe 75% of the time.

    Make friends with the flight attendants and ticket people if it's a regular route. This goes a long long way.

    Same with hotels if you start staying in them vice the apartment.

    If you have a weak stomach something amazingly uncomfortable will happen. You will get accustomed to any food but what you eat regularly at home. I used to only get sick AFTER I got home (this was international travel mostly however when I visit texas for extended time I still get sick coming home)

    Lines at airports:
    Get to be ninja. If you aren't going straight to work from the plane wear comfortable layers, but follow these rules: By the time you get to the security line have EVERYTHING in your bag already, laptop ready to be pulled out (bags like the brenthaven make this damn simple with the laptop pouch)...

    Wear slip on/slip off shoes like Merrils . Don't have a belt on. Watch is in the bag (remember get a good watch!)
    Wallet is in the bag already. So is the cell phone. Just have drivers license in back pocket, ticket in hand when you get to the xray machines.

    1. Grab two of the tubs, keep them stacked and put them on the table before the convayer.
    2. Kick off your shoes and put them in top tub, take the top tub only and throw it on the belt.
    3. Put the backpack directly on the belt with the opening facing away from the machine, pulling your laptop out as you do
    4. put the laptop in the remaining tub and send it thru.

    On the opposite side you slide the shoes on , grab your backpack then your laptop and you're good to go. Remember to put your watch on and pull your cellphone out at this point.

    useless4 on
  • Akilae729Akilae729 Registered User
    edited May 2010
    Podcasts are going to be your best friend.

    During the summers I put in about 20 hours a week driving and split my time between multiple apartments. All I really listen to are podcasts. I've got enough that I like so I can have new ones everyday and it's always something new. (Smod, Savage Love, NBC Nightly News, Car Talk, I Love Movies, This American Life, Wall Street Journal, Moth, KEXP, etc.)

    Even with 40Gb on my iPod I can get bored with my own music.

    Also, it looks like you've got your shit together. Simplify down what you take with you as much as possible. Last summer I did the same situation and my load out for the week in my Palmdale apartment was work clothes, MacBook, iPod, Book or two, and some running shoes. Working out was always a great way to pass time.

    Akilae729 on
  • Eggplant WizardEggplant Wizard Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    If you're doing rental cars, be sure to join Club Gold or the equivalent. You don't want to have to mess around at the counter, and you're more likely to get upgraded for free to a much nicer car.

    Eggplant Wizard on
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