By Jeff Siti I Illustrations by Michael Salvador
Finally, a quirky take on how to pack for a three-day trip. Now all we have to do is liberate North Korea and we can close the books on this sucker. Let the sun come on down and eat us ‘cause our mission, the point of our existence—whatever you thought it may have otherwise been—has officially been accomplished. With a few billion years to spare, too. And it only took us a few thousand years of civilization—not to mention wars, diseases, intolerance, Will Ferrell—but we made good time. And what’s better than making good time? All anyone ever wants to do is make good time. If you get somewhere, the first thing the oldest person there asks is whether or not you made good time. So yeah, as a matter of fact, old man, we made some damn good time. You wouldn’t have thought so either, would you? Being that we came in a hybrid and all, but you’d be surprised by how much power they have. They really do get moving. No, seriously, they do. They really do.
A few years ago, how to pack for a three-day trip would have been a much briefer ordeal, and easier too. Step one would have read something like, “Throw a bunch of shit in a bag and go to the airport,” and we could have all gone home early. But these ain’t the good old days, friend, as you probably know. It’s the future, and unlike our cavemen aunts and uncles, we’re needy. So let’s hurry this up and beat the traffic.
STEP 1: Find a small/medium sized bag with wheels. Preferably not black. If it’s black, it should have some defining features so it’s easier to spot. In this step, “find” means look in your closet.
STEP 2: Here’s what you need to pack.
1. Toiletries Bag: Some basics include toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, a small container of shampoo, a small container of conditioner (or a 2 in 1), sunscreen, band aids, Q-tips, deodorant, mouthwash, nail clippers, vitamins, and whatever other creams and lotions you wish to apply to your body.
2. Underwear: Three pairs of underwear, one for each day. And throw in one extra pair just in case. So make that FOUR.
3. Socks: The same applies here. Three pairs and then an extra one for good luck.
4. Pants/ shorts/long underwear: This will be strictly defined by your destination. If shooting in Maine in winter, bring two pairs of pants for each day and two pairs of long johns. If you’re going to a warm climate, one pair of pants and two or three pairs of shorts will work.
5. Shirts: No matter where you are going, have five shirts. However, the shirts could be tank tops—in that case you could fit a couple of emergency tops in there.
6. Tops: Obviously, bring enough to keep you warm: three sweaters, three long sleeve shirts and a big jacket if going to some cold miserable location. Even if you are on a shoot in Arizona in August, have a sweater or two for chilly nights (or for AC-crazed restaurants).
7. Bathing suit: Whenever possible, bring a bathing suit. Lots of hotels have hot tubs and swimming pools, even in Alaska.
8. Footwear: Sneakers, simple dress shoes, and then weather-appropriate shoes—from boots to sandals.
9. Dress wear: You never know what dinner arrangements will take place. Some may be above the on set working dress code. Ladies, bring a simple dress, skirt or dress pants. Men, bring along a sports jacket and some jeans with no holes and frays dragging behind you.
STEP 3: Do the spill check. The last thing you want is a bag covered in shampoo and moisturizer, so take the proper precautions. Any liquid, cream or paste should be secured in their containers, then placed into Ziplock bags. All sharp or flammable objects (i.e. lighters, Zippos, Leatherman, nail scissors, hair scissors, etc) need be placed in your check-in bag rather than your carry-on as they are verboten on planes. Remember most airlines won’t allow more than three ounces of liquid in your carry-on either.
STEP 4: Pack your carry-on (backpack, purse, laptop bag, or camera bag that fits in an overhead compartment). Generally speaking, this is where you should keep your most prized and valuable possessions.
1. Laptop and laptop charger: Remember when going through security that your laptop must go through the x-ray machine in its own security bin—don’t know why but just do it.
2. Phone and phone charger: Don’t try and pack light here by putting the charger into your check-in. Think about being left with only your carry-on bag. You’re going to need that charger.
3. Camera and camera charger: Even if you’re not the photographer, you may want to catch a couple of memorable moments. Consider bringing an extra memory card.
4. All credit cards, cash, and financial/security/identity/travel information: Don’t leave anything unattended. Check-in bags disappear frequently; don’t loose your money and US citizenship.
5. A pair of white socks: If it’s a long flight and if you think you might take your shoes off, do your neighbor a favor and bring a pair of clean socks.
6. Instant Miso Soup: Airplane food can be less than appetizing, and as of recent, pricey. Instant miso soup is great back up plan. All you need is to ask the flight attendant for a cup of hot water.
7. Passport: When you travel, you should always have your passport, and a second form of picture ID. Trust me. When you get interrogated on your way to an international destination, you’ll thank us for this tip.
STEP 5: That should cover the basics. Every airline has different policies and restrictions about baggage weight, so be sure to check with your company.
A FEW TIPS FOR THE FREQUENT FLYER PHOTOGRAPHER:
1. If you travel a lot, take advantage of airlines’ frequent flyer programs. It’s free to enroll, and once you’ve reached a certain number of miles you’ll be awarded with free business class upgrades and other front-of-the-line privileges.
2. Baggage overage trick: Tell the airline that you’re traveling with photo and video equipment. They may not have discounts for still photography but they usually do for video productions. Bring your business cards with you. This should be enough proof that you are “Media.”
3. America Express’ Platinum business card members have access to first class business lounges in every airports around the world. With certain torturous layovers, this could be well worth the $450 annual fee.
GET THE WHOLE SPRING 2010 ISSUE HERE.
Michael Salvador: www.michaelsalvador.carbonmade.com