The Technique of Travel
Posted 11 June 2015 - 01:45 AM
I was cured of any interest in travelling during my student years by having to live out of a suitcase -- and lug said suitcase around to whichever town I had found myself a student job in the twice yearly semester breaks. I also lived out of a suitcase when writing my various thesis. I seem to always be in this or that town and had to make do with whatever environment I was in, and these environments never, ever had a good lamp for you to study by. I still had to study and pass exams. So for years I had a good fluorescent lamp in my suitcase. Today, I travel occasionally for my business, and I find it a chore. A whole lot of trouble. For me, the greatest luxury is idleness, going nowhere instead of going here and there. The only thing that would make me endure travelling is revenue.
The fact remains that people travel a lot. Some thoughts on business travel:
1. Bring only one jacket, and wear it on board. Jackets are ideal to travel with because the various pockets let you stow currencies and documents and passport. It also keeps you warm in chilly cabins. You can have the cabin crew hang up your jacket somewhere if you do not need it. The alternative to wearing the jacket is keeping it in the suitcase where it will come out crushed and crumpled.
2. I only have the shoe I am wearing.
3. For many, the suit/jacket they bring along is mission critical, so they choose not to surrender it to the hotel's laundry service for pressing, in case it does not come back in time or is misplaced. So you will have to get the wrinkles out of it yourself. Which you won't have to do if you wore it on board.
4. I have a small handheld digital scale I use to weigh my bags with. It helps in optimising the distribution of weight between check-in luggage and carry on.
5. Unlike the jacket, it is best to keep the suit trousers in the suitcase.
6. I would be wary of bringing along shirts with French cuffs. I like the stuff I use to be functional in and of themselves, instead of requiring external accessories like cufflinks (easily misplaced or forgotten) to work.
7. For the above reason I also prefer trousers with side adjusters. They do not require an external accessory by the name of a belt to work. Also, the buckles in side adjusters go through airport security with no problems, unlike belts.
Now for your thoughts.
Posted 11 June 2015 - 02:16 AM
The weakness of this suitcase is the wheels. Some suitcases have each rubber wheel mounted to a steel ball bearing. Not this one. It has held up well, and the Muji ones do not have ball bearings either, but I would look closely at the wheels before buying a suitcase.
Posted 11 June 2015 - 05:24 AM
I have the exact same suitcase, I think. Is it Eminent? There's a video out there of it in a series of stress tests and it comes off in the top two or three. Agree that is is incredibly good and good value.
I find it hard to travel with one pair of shoes. I often want one 'dress' and one casual. On my current trip to New York for example (typing this from Times Square), I have one pair desert boots, one pair slippers and just bought a pair of flyknits.
The thing that does take up a huge amount of space is trousers. I think the way to go is wear the jeans, pack a 'dress' pair and that's it. Add a pair of shorts if the weather allows.
I also like to pack knit ties because they don't wrinkle. I wear knits in general, anyway.
Packing for cold weather is a whole other ballgame of course. I like to wear a cardigan, usually shawl collar, and pack one crewneck sweater; maximum two. Critical also to pack appropriate trousers, so corduroy, flannels etc. Let the Uniqlo Heattech and wool socks do the rest.
Posted 11 June 2015 - 10:43 AM
Posted 11 June 2015 - 12:42 PM
I bought this maximally large suitcase from Hanifa (Masjid India). It was RM350 or thereabouts. It works great! It's quite high quality.
Posted 11 June 2015 - 08:18 PM
Some really good insights.
I'll add that for multi-week trips, I'm a fan of plastic shoe trees. Cedar is too damned heavy.
I also also have Muji's travel house slippers rather than actual flip flops. Again, lighter, and easier to stuff into your hand carry as they come with a travel pouch.
Also in my bag:
- Travel sized bottle of mouth wash;
- Face wipes;
- Spare undershirt/ socks.
My mug gets pretty oily over the course of the day hence the wipes, and the rest make me feel like a million bucks before heading out for after-work dinner/drinks or hopping back onto the flight home if I'm on a day trip.
Posted 11 June 2015 - 11:36 PM
And as far as gym shoes go, New Balance Minimus Zero Road shoes are a godsend. They pack very well, and they look pretty good as casual shoes too (at least I think the first gen range is). Of course, one may need to get used to forefoot strikes, in the first place.
I also have the same habit of overpacking, but it is mostly limited to additional underwear. And maybe an extra t-shirt. And maybe an extra pair of pants.
Posted 11 June 2015 - 11:37 PM
I have a phobia of underpacking. On my recent trip, I brought 2 suits - a fused number in the garment bag and the FC worn on the plane, with jeans and oxfords. My garment bag also housed 5 pre-ironed shirts and my suit trousers. A bunch of t-shirts, undies, toiletries and stuff went into another bag. I packed ngam-ngam 20kg for the flight, and to my horror, my flight only allowed 15. Had to improvise.
Posted 11 June 2015 - 11:48 PM
I find something like this indispensable. You loop it around the handle of your bag and lift with the plastic handle, which then displays the weight. Bought at Hanifa for almost no money, I think maybe RM25. The device itself weighs almost nothing.
Posted 13 June 2015 - 12:37 AM
Posted 13 June 2015 - 10:33 AM
In garment bag
Any creases the jacket gets from being in the garment bag will disappear if given sufficient time to hang. But I never have several days for a jacket to hang when travelling.
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