Luggage and Packing

   If you speak outside your locality, then that means you travel to do it. Here are a few travel ideas:

   I buy Briggs & Riley luggage because it's the most smartly-designed stuff I could find at a price for mere mortals. I pay a lot, but if anything ever breaks, they'll repair it free. This is a lifetime guarantee... my lifetime, not the luggage's. So the luggage can get reincarnated several times.

   Buy the largest clothing bag that is allowed as carry-on luggage. Then buy their big gear bag, which is also carry-on. I try to never check luggage (a trick I learned from Susan Henderson.) If you do, you not only have to wait for it to come out (often a 20-30 minute delay) but if they lose it, then it can take a day or two to catch up. Wanna wear the same underwear & socks tomorrow? Just let them lose your luggage, and you will.

   My gear bag contains everything I need to work on the road indefinitely… computer, camera, external hard drives, cables, reading material, etc. Fully-loaded, it's about 35 pounds. I sit it on top of my clothing bag so I can pull both with one arm. Obviously, the two together are heavy. For awhile, I was creating a really nasty case of tendonitis. But then I discovered two things: pull the bags with your elbow slightly bent, rather than straight out. The weight is then taken by your bicep, not your elbow joint. Walking this way through an airport or whatever is a really good bicep workout. When you get a really good burn going in one arm, switch to the other arm... you never have to stop.

   As for packing the luggage, try this:

   This post may seem a bit strange, but I'm posting it because lots of people have asked about my travel methods (I travel a lot.) So here's how I pack my suitcase: My reading material goes in the outside zipper of the lid. The inner pocket of the lid is reserved for my tea bags.

   Packing of the main body of my bag begins with my running shoes, heels to the bottom (in standing position) of the bag. A small vitamin bottle goes into the toe of each running shoe; two small bottles go into each ankle. The rest of the bottles go beside the shoes, after I've laid down a layer of socks. Vitamins are essential, IMO, if we hope to thrive beset by the everyday pressures of modern life. In order to pack compactly, I fill up to the level of the tops of my shoes with socks, underwear, and running gear.

   Next comes pants... Clasp the top of the pants so they are not wider than the mouth if the suitcase (so you don't get double layers of cloth on one side.) Then double them over until they're all the way in. For me (I'm 6-3) that means about 2-1/3 lengths of the suitcase.


   Then fold your jacket(s) and lay them on top. Finally, put your toiletries in... the dry stuff at the back and the wet package at the top front so you can get it out easily at security... you don't even need to look because you know exactly where to reach.


   And when you zip up the bag, pull both zippers to the middle so you don't have to remember which side you zipped to. (The zippers of the outer lid where I store my reading material disregard this rule because there's a clear front/back... they're always at the front... and they would make the bag slightly harder to get in overhead bins on airplanes if I put them in the middle of that zipper.)

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