Consider This — Foam Insulation Padding and Canvas Bags

20150929_223510

I’m glad to say this little travel trick I came up on my own.

Your luggage is going to take beating after you leave it at baggage drop-off. Like cows at a slaughter house, you don’t want to see what it goes through. If you plan on buying bottles of booze or something that can break, you can put in-between your smelly clothes. I find that’s really cumbersome and problematic.

What I do is pack foam insulation in my suitcase. What you see above is made for air conditioner wall units. It adds no weight or room and is a simple solution.  The best part — it’s mega-cheap to buy at Home Depot ($1 for two squares, $2 for a thick strip) and you cut to fit your needs. You can also use acoustic insulation, so find your local musician and rip if off the walls of his home studio. Add in some big rubber bands and you have peace of mind for your fragiles.

The other simple travel trick I’d like to share is the many canvas bags you have lying around. If you go to an arts and crafts fair, a fourth of the stands will feature screen printed canvas bags sold by some tattooed hipster chick.

20150929_223300

I bring one canvas bag as seen above and use it as a shoe bag. Then I’ll put that bag in my everyday shoulder bag when I’m sightseeing, shopping or what have you. If my bag gets too full from purchases, I have the canvas bag as a back-up. Again, it adds no room or weight

 

How To Pack Like a Man and a Woman — Shirts, Pants and Jackets Edition

20150929_223228

You are seeing four long sleeve shirts, four pants (two jeans, one khaki, one linen), three t-shirts, one sports jacket, one swim truck and one scarf in a 19″ x 13″ x 4″ large packing cube. Boom! Mic drop!

You too can accomplish this amazing feat in packing. As with my post about t-shirts, undies and socks, there’s no universal correct way in folding and packing. If you are use to one way, try looking into alternatives.

Here’s how I did my packing. The ultimate goal was to maximize space, while realizing clothes will get wrinkled. Mankind can only accomplish so much.

For the shirts, I did a modification from the below video from a Hong Kong tailor. He basically shows you how shirts are packed and shipped flat. At the end, instead of folding, I just rolled from the bottom.

I’ve looked at many pants and jeans folding videos, and what they fail to show is that come in different fabrics and styles. There’s not much give especially with my hard selvidge jeans, so I just do a tight roll. Jeans will take up the most space in your suitcase.

Finally, the sportscoat or jacket, like shirts, will wrinkle no matter how careful you roll. I’m bringing two, so I’ll wear one on the plane, the other I’ll pack. The turning inside and threading one sleeve into another is legit.

How To Pack Like A Man And A Woman — T-Shirts, Undies and Socks Edition

002

If I had a ten commandments of travel packing, the first one would be “Thou shalt not pack more than ten pieces of either t-shirts, undies or pairs of socks.” The second would be “Thou shalt not pack a full suitcase when leaving.”

It’s simple math. If you’re going away for seven nights, bring seven of each. If you’re going way for 16 nights, bring half of that number, so eight items each. Fourteen = 7 of each. Twelve or 11 nights = 6 of each.

Those Tide sink packets will save up a lot of room in your luggage. Bed, Bath and Beyond, drug stores and Amazon sells them. Just finding room for drying in the hotel or where ever you are staying will take some creative maneuvering.

Since I’m maxing out for a month, I’ll be packing nine and wearing the tenth on the plane. It’s packing cubes to the rescue. If you’re a cheap ass, the compression/space saving bags are okay. I still bring one to separate the dirty from clean.

For folding , packing and maximizing space, I turn your attention to helpful internet videos. If you’re comfortable with how you pack, just give these a look and give it a try. You might, you know, learn something new! Just avoid anything that says “Hacks” or “The Way You’ve Been (fill in the blank) Is All Wrong”. I want to punch those arrogant clickbait articles in the face.

To rewind, I use to work with an ex-army ranger (think Christopher Meloni in Wet Hot American Summer), so he taught me the t-shirt folding technique. It makes a huge difference in packing for both sexes. The video below has been viewed 1.7 million times so it’s legit, obviously.

The only drawback is if it’s a graphic t-shirt, it’s hard to tell which is which.

For socks, it’s common sense to stick them into your shoes. If you don’t do that already, you might want to re-examine your life. I just roll them up. The roll up and folder over technique works just as fine, I just think they unnecessarily stretch out your socks.  A simple tight roll works just the same in my estimation.

The undies, I do a hybrid of folding into a triangle from the leg holes, then in thirds and roll from there. I’m not uploading pictures of my boxers, so just do your own research.

The end result is that I fitted nine boxers, six t-shirts and four socks into a 14″x 10″ x 3″ medium sized cube. Isn’t that much better than below?

cb7

 

Anthony Bourdain’s Planned Bourdain Market Sounds Like Bullshit

anthony bourdainOfficial word came today in the New York Times about the long-rumored food market from Anthony Bourdian. Get your eyeballs ready … it will be called Bourdain Market. Start rolling those eyes as much as you can.

“Think of an Asian night market,” he said. “Eating and drinking at midnight.”

Twice in the article he mentioned authenticity. “I’m particularly concerned with the atmospherics, the authenticity, the smell and feel and sound of the place.”

You know who also says something like that? Theme parks in Orlando.

For a person who hosts the most popular travel show on TV, you’d think he would encourage people to get on a plane to find authenticity. People need discover their own version of “authenticity” instead of from a celeb chef who’s out to make big bucks. Get ready t0 pay $15-$20 for soup.

The whole point of having a great food when traveling is the locals and surroundings. At this place, you’re going to be next to tourists and the brunch-core crowd with strollers.

When I’m in Spain next months, I’m going to be eating in bars in centuries old surrounding. At this place, we’ll get to look over the water to New Jersey or onto the West Side Highway. I’m sure it will be fascinating.

You know where you can get great authentic ramen? Japan

You know where you can great Hong Kong street food? Hong Kong

The chicken and rice he boasts about in Singapore? Yeah, Singapore.

As a lot of the commenters pointed out in the story, you can just hop on the no. 7 subway and head into Queens for foods made by cooks from all parts of the world.

I love your show, Tony, but you’re not any different from the Food Network shills you loathe.

 

 

 

How To Pack Like a Man — Toiletries and Drugs Edition

002

T-minus four days until I head out for the month. Time to pack, but in actually, I already started packing when I last traveled in April. Whaaaaaaaat? Yeah.

When I unpack for my last trip, I refill or replace what I need for the next trip. I store my dopp kit and when I’m heading out again, it’s already packed. Boom … like a boss!

For the guys, here’s a checklist of what you need. Break it down in terms of it in terms of parts of your body:

toothbrush capTeeth:

  • travel-size toothpaste. Since I’m gone for a month, I’m taking two. With toothpaste, you don’t need a big glob that covers the whole brush like you see in commercials. You just need a dime-size amount.
  • toothbrush with cap. Pack a new one. If you see a dentist twice a year, you’ll always get a new one. Just use a cap, not those long plastic cases. They are bulky, inflexible and take up too much space.
  • floss
  • mouthwash powder or Listerine strips

Hands:

  • hand sanitizer — I’ve read the stories about Purell not doing anything. I know, they just make my hands smell nice.
  • hand cream
  • nail clippers

Shave:

  • new razor with holder — those travel electric razors are shit.
  • mini shave brush
  • shaving oil or cream — those gel canisters are a huge waste. A small brush with Kiehl’s travel size cream will save space and give you a better shave. You don’t even have to bring the whole tube. You can squeeze some into a small travel jar.
  • Nick stick
  • small scissors — for noise hairs and to combat unibrow.

Read More »

Travel Prep for Africa — Mefloquine for Malaria If You Please

002

One of the aspects of traveling that is rarely discussed is if you are healthy enough to endure the rigors of 6+ hour flights, hours of walking, eating local, drinking tap water and any unforeseen circumstances. That’s why I saw my doctor to see if I need shots and meds.

When I went to China, I looked on the Centers for Disease Control website about straying away from the major cities, which I planned to do. Yellow fever was a slight risk, but not enough to get shots. For South Africa, the CDC states this:

All travelers  You should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination. Some vaccines may also be required for travel.

Most travelers  Get travel vaccines and medicines because there is a risk of these diseases in the country you are visiting. Hepatitis A  — CDC recommends this vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in South Africa, regardless of where you are eating or staying.   

Some travelers  Ask your doctor what vaccines and medicines you need based on where you are going, how long you are staying, what you will be doing, and if you are traveling from a country other than the US. Malaria — When traveling in South Africa, you should avoid mosquito bites to prevent malaria. You may need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria, depending on your travel plans, such as where you are going, when you are traveling, and if you are spending a lot of time outdoors or sleeping outside. Talk to your doctor about how you can prevent malaria while traveling. 

Read More »

Consider This — It’s Gotta Be the Shoes … Camper Shoes

shoes

The most important decision on what to pack for a trip is what you put on your feet. You’re going to be walking two or three times more than you do on a normal day. You want something comfortable, durable, easy to pack and won’t cause an international incident when going through security.

If you want to go the sneaker or trainer route, I say go for it. Chucks, New Balance, Nikes, Reeboks — all will suit you well on the cobblestone streets of Europe.

For myself, it’s Camper shoes out of Catalan. Besides being stylish and sometimes funky looking with bold designs and bright colors, they can take a beating. Sometimes, it will cost you more to be cheap because you keep on having to buy the cheap stuff over and over again. That’s why I stay away from factory outlet stores and all Aldo stores. Those Aldo shoes will probably explode on the way home from the store.

Made in Spain, they are pricey in the $150-$225 range, but they will last you for years and won’t be out of style. Take my Campers that I’ll be taking with me on my future trip. I bought both three years ago and are in great shape. The brown ones are built like a sneaker but don’t look your typical athletic shoe. The black ones are light-weight but sturdy for the night time. Best of all, they are comfortable.

Read More »