Could you cram 10 days of clothes and supplies into a carry-on? Few fly more frequently than pilots and flight attendants, so read on to learn how they choose what to pack, how to organize items in their luggage, and what tasks they perform on the road (hint: many bring laundry soap).
Many of the hints in this New York Times article should be familiar to you. Select clothes that can be worn during the day and evening, preferably made of fast-drying 50-50 cotton-poly blends, minimize the pairs of shoes, and roll your clothes (with no wrinkles) before packing.
Some of the hints, however, might not be as well known. Many pilots pack food in ziplock bags, since they often arrive at airports before restaurants open. We always carry Clif Bar Minis for quick energy when we’re tempted by airport fast food, and Vapur water containers that we refill at water fountains once past security screening.
One issue that was briefly mentioned in the Times article is the challenge of packing electronics, especially those with different chargers. We address this with the following tactics:
- Leverage smartphone capabilities to replace other gadgets. Our iPhones negate the need to carry media players, GPS devices, point-and-shoot cameras, Flip-style camcorders, gaming systems, netbooks, even laptops for leisure trips, and books and magazines.
- Use a universal charging system, like the Solio Universal Hybrid Solar Charger with iGo tips for each device.
- Carry a carry-on/daypack combo, such as the Osprey Meridian Wheeled Convertible or the Eagle Creek Switchback Max Wheeled Travel Pack. Pack all your electronics in the daypack, so if you board a regional jet with small overhead compartments and are forced to gate-check your carry-on, you can at least keep your electronics with you. REI carries these packs among loads of other travel goodies.
How do you pack light, especially with electronics? Please share your tips in the comments.