Well I finally took the finger out of my ass and started packing for Europe. Since I leave on Thursday I figured it might be smart to move my earthly possessions into a heinously awesome Tommy Hilfiger orange pack of luggage.
Truthfully there is so much win within this bag… I’m 6’3″ and I can almost cram
myself a couple of midgets in it. It weighs less than 4 lbs. with nothing in it. It’s big, it expands, has secret compartments, and is a rolling hotel room. It’s its absolutely obnoxiously heinous.
And when I say heinous — its University of Tennessee orange. And this guy hates Tennessee.
I concur, my friend, but when you have the only orange suitcase… its pretty easy to spot out of a crowd.
And with that, I’m about to give you some tips on how you should handle your luggage situation. Now this is catered to the guys… because girls feel that need to pack every pair of shoes that they own.
I know one girl that went to Vegas and her bag fees cost 3x as much as the roundtrip ticket cost. That’s absurd. She went for 4 days and absolutely had to have 18 pairs of shoes. Are you fucking kidding me? I know that shoes are sex to women, but jesus h. — that’s four costume changes and two other pairs just for a fifth go-around. And that doesn’t even include the shoes on your feet while you are traveling.
This is why I am so very cognizant of how and what I pack. And its two pairs of shoes. A nice pair and a pair of running shoes to work out in. Pay attention: I wear the nice pair out when I’m walking and I wear the running shoes when I’m running.
Let that marinate for a bit.
But Alex, shoes make the outfit, they make everything else pop!
Slow your roll… no they don’t and you are stupid. That’s an extra bag of fees right off the bat — money that could be used for something more important. Take a page out of guys… yes, shoes do make the man — which is why I bring only one nice pair. Because a nice pair of shoes can be put into any wardrobe and it anchors the uniqueness. Girls don’t get that. You can make any outfit work to the shoe… you don’t need 100 shoes to make an outfit look different.
And, if I may be so blunt and so minimal… if you go out and are looking smoking hot, and the dude that you are trying to impress is focusing on your shoes, you found the gay.
I’m the alpha male — I’m looking at everything else, in order of importance — tits, eyes, ass (ed. note — in honor of Paul Johnson — because I definitely did forget this on the hierarchy and he called me on it), hair, lips and then personality. On the hierarchy of things to pine over, shoes are one rung above socks. But you don’t wear socks with your cute pumps, right? Yeah, exactly.
So keep the shoes at a minimum — guys can get away with one pair for the duration (but err on two pairs), women need no more than three pairs. Any more is excessive.
As mentioned, I have my business casuals and a pair of Adidas. Because all day i dream about sex too.
Anyway, I am about to implore something on you that just might be genius, so pay attention. When you pack for a trip of length, the goal is to pack lightly — believe it or not. And while we’re on the subject of believing it or not — I’m packing for 31 days and I will not do laundry even one time. And I will not pack more than one bag. And it won’t be overweight. So I won’t pay a single bag fee.
How, you ask? The Single Guy’s Disappearing Swag method, of course.
What the fuck is that, you ask? It’s a simple methodology that gets me all the way through the trip with a zero maintenance budget. It has five simple rules:
Rule #1: Pack only items that have multi-level functionality
Rule #2: Ziplock bags are your friend
Rule #3: Dress with layering in mind
Rule #4: Pack swag
Rule #5: Pack as much underwear and socks as you will need for the duration of the trip.
That’s it… everything you could ever want… lined out for you. I have employed this idea for every trip that I have ever been on — and I have never failed. Certainly a month will test its nature, but I believe in my system.
And, now, a breakdown:
Rule #1: Pack only items that have multi-level functionality. This is self-explanatory. Never pack for the weather that you hope will be there — pack for the realistic chance that you will be enduring climate change. It is the SUV’s fault. Blame it on them. You might have a favorite shirt that is conducive to 85 degrees and sunny, but you are going to the Carpathians in October. Wearing it means you will freeze your tits off. Rather than hoping for a chance to wear it once, opt for an article that can work at 40 degrees, rain or shine. And ALWAYS opt for not bringing a raincoat. If you need one, do like the Niagara Falls tourists do, buy a poncho for $1.
Rule #2: Ziplock bags are your friend. Ziplock bags are not just for your toiletries and other thingamebobs. They are also phenomenally good catch-alls. You should never pack extra bulk when all that you need is to carry accessories, etc. Belts, watches, whatevers… pack in them in a ziplock bag and put them inside of other things (to hide them — if they are of value. Truthfully, I carry on all of my belts — just to save the weight. Airport security probably think I’m a S&M freak, but that saves my bag weight. Also, call this caveat 2a: NEVER pack valuable stuff in your checked baggage. Keep it on your person at all times. Cameras, computers, whatever. Carry-on doesn’t have a weight limit. Remember that.
Rule #3: Dress with layering in mind. This is a piggyback from the first rule but it is important. You don’t know the climate you are about to embark on so come prepared for all seasons (unless you know its definitively summer or winter in that place). The tricky times are what I’m embarking on — the change in seasons. Scarves, mittens, pullovers; I’m even packing long johns… just in case.
Rule #4: Pack as much underwear and socks as you will need for the duration of the trip. Because clean socks and clean drawers are a sign of hygiene.
Rule #5: Pack swag. Now we are getting to the most important stuff… pack swag. And what I mean by swag is shit that you don’t care about losing, shit that you were given for free, uniforms from jobs long since gone… aka the stuff in the back of the closet that hasn’t seen the light of day in 10 years. You are going to a country that isn’t as sophisticated as the one you are leaving so “relics” to us might be hip and now to them. So don’t feel awkward about being out of fashion, because chances are, more often than not, you’ll fit right in.
Now the fun part: make yourself homeless-er as you travel. Only wear one pair of socks and one pair of underwear per day (unless you are mudding or have shat/pissed yourself) and promptly throw that pair of underwear and socks out. If you adhered to the rule, you would have packed your worst clothing and therefore everything should be expendable. If this is an issue for you, I suggest wearing the shittiest stuff you have first, get rid of it, and then as you continue through the trip perhaps you double up on underwear or something. Personally, I free ball if an issue arises and I’m short on underwear for some reason.
[*Thankfully I’ve never shit/pissed myself… but I did have a monsoon day once — whole outfit was done.]
And just like your underwear, I suggest that you wear ugly, horrible Christmas gifts from relatives and crap employment shirts while touristing, and leave any good stuff for the nighttime. Once again, wear the horrible once, and discard it. It’s serving a double purpose, threads for the day and exorcised from your conscience by night. I donate gently used clothing. It’s like International Goodwill. It makes you one with the locals also. That’s double dipping.
In fact, I have five horribly-fucking-ugly Ivy League Athletics polo shirts that I’ll be wearing for my travel days. And I’m going to flash game in them anyway. But they will be casualties of this war. They are on a suicide mission. I’m not bringing them back. I may give them to homeless people. That’d be a nice gesture. Homeless Ivy Leaguers. It’d piss of all the uppity shits.
So there you have it. Pack smart and plan on being lighter at the end of the trip. It’ll make you feel good too… all of that purgation.
49.7 lbs. — one month. Let’s do this.