Monday, November 16, 2009

Kitting out

I’m a notoriously light packer when I travel.  Not only that, but it takes me no time at all to complete packing.  For instance, on a standard four day business trip I’ll have my carry-on and laptop bag packed in under 10 minutes and waiting at the door.  Some of it is due to repetition.  Some is due to  organization.  Most, in my mind, is due to the kit that I have.

In my laptop bag goes my MP3 player, my 17” laptop (obviously) and it’s power brick, the USB cables for my phone and MP3 player, a wall plug to USB plug adapter, and my ebook reader.  Occasionally I need to pack a second laptop (13" tablet) and power brick so my laptop bag has to have pretty good capacity.  For planning, I always have all of these things sitting in the same spots on my desk.  When it comes time to pack, the repetition kicks in and I just grab the different things one after the other.

In my carry-on bag I always have a small shoe cleaning kit, a deck of playing cards, an international power adapter/transform kit (if required), and my toiletries.  Business clothes are easy to pack.  Count the days on the trip and pack close to that amount of dress shirts, socks and underwear and a pair of pants.  The key here is that you travel as you dress for work.  In my case, dress pants and shirt are my travel attire.  This affords me a second pair of pants and a shirt that can be worn both inbound and outbound.  Occasionally I’ll pack some gym clothes, but they do quickly add bulk to your bag.

Of all the things in my carry-on that have traditionally taken the most time to pack are the toiletries.  I’ve pretty much nailed this to a science now though.  In a bag goes the electric razor (which eliminates shaving cream from my liquids and gels quota), a toothbrush and other sundry dried goods.  I always keep a TSA approved bag (ask for two when you go through security next time) in my carry-on.  I pack it up with whatever is needed for the trip and place it in the outer pocket of my carry-on bag.  All told, this is will take about 2 minutes for me to complete.

I almost always pack exactly the same so I’ve got a pattern down.  I have set things up on my desk and in my bathroom so that I can quickly grab the needed items and convert them from home-useable to travel compatible.

If I was traveling twice a year I’d probably not bother with any of these things.  Since I do it multiple times per month I don’t want the hassle of spending a lot of time or the risk of forgetting something.  I certainly don’t want to be spending two hours packing a checked bag the night before a trip.  It’s all about speed and efficiency for me.  With my current routine I can wake in the morning one hour before I need to leave my place, do my morning ablutions, start packing, check emails and still make it out of the house on time.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The rationale

After a number of years of very frequent flying all over the world I’ve decided that I should take some time to write down my thoughts.  I’ve already been blogging for a number of years over at Coding in an Igloo so this is nothing new to me.  I’m not sure how frequent I’ll be updating this site, but I’m going to try to at least comment on each trip that I take.

Being that I’m based out of YEG, I’m going to write about it, and the upcoming changes that we’re going to see at it in the future.  I’m also going to take some time to write about the other airports that I go through, but mostly so that I have a written memory of things at them, instead of in depth critiques.

I’ll also take the time to write up some trip reports.  My friends ask me about the travel portion of those journeys enough that I’m guessing some other people might get something from it too.

Being that I’m a certified business/first class junkie, I’m going to write mostly about Air Canada and the Star Alliance products.  While I’ve used WestJet in the past, they don’t meet my current transborder and international travel needs.  The result; this is quite possibly the last time that you’ll see them mentioned here.

As the blog is named From the Lounge, I’m also going to write up a lot of info on the Maple Leaf Lounge system as well as those other’s that I get into with my Star Alliance Gold card.

I have some confirmed travel (short haul) coming in the next couple of weeks that includes a very nice hotel stay (wait for the trip report).  I’m also working on confirming at least two significant international trips along with one transborder trip that I might just turn into a mileage run.