The “What-If” Packing List

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Everyone packs for a trip differently. There are those who over-pack; those who under-pack; and even those who pre-pack bags months in advance. Now for me, I’m more of a “what-if” type of a packer. While the person who has pre-packed bags is more of a “business as usual” kind of person – like a banker friend of mine who has a bag for 3 day trips and 4 day trips stowed at all times – the “what if” packer is someone who tries to think about all of the possibilities of his impending trip, and packs accordingly. Now this does not mean that the “what-if” packer is an over packer, instead, he tends to pack lightly and only chooses items that are applicable for many situations. He cares not just about the overall itinerary, but also about what events could happen that may require additional or multi-purposed goods. For example: A week-long trip to Colorado for the “business as usual” person generally includes ski equipment, a puffy jacket, long socks and one or two evening outfits. For all intents and purposes, this is safe, reasonable, and fine for the cold. But while this might be ok, “the what-if” packer will always bring a bathing suit (mesh shorts that look like a bathing suit to be specific), no matter how cold.

Why you might ask? Well mesh shorts can be used for the gym and for a Jacuzzi session with new friends from the slopes. So while the business-as-usual person might have to scrounge for a suitable alternative, the “what-if” person is well toned and well prepared no matter what. And anyone who has ever seen Hot Tub Time Machine knows: always be prepared for Jacuzzis, they can do crazy things.

So you are probably wondering what the point of all this is. Well I have a trip to Los Angeles this week and with so many potential possibilities I wanted to give a little explanation of the method behind the madness of my packing list. For each segment of the blog, I will provide a portion of my itinerary, my packing list, and a little explanation. Here we go:

Check into hotel. Meet with colleagues for dinner and drinks. Retire for the evening.
Item to brings:
1 sports jacket
1 dress shirt
1 pair of dress shoes
1 latex

Hey! Get your mind out of the gutter. Not that type of latex.

As anyone who has read enough comic books knows, a latex suit is absolutely necessary for travel. With crime and bedbugs on the rise, you never know when you will be forced into action on short notice. Look at Spider-Man for instance. Regular guy travels to science laboratory, gets bit by a radioactive spider and is suddenly forced to run around fighting crime in nothing more than an ugly red cap and T-shirt. Result is embarrassment, injuries because of the poorly constructed T-shirt, and broken pride. With great power comes great responsibility, and with great responsibility comes a well constructed latex outfit. So when you are preparing for a trip, always remember to bring a well-fitting, preferably a silk blend (latex doesn’t breath) latex suit. It will serve you well. And hey, women dig protection. Just look at Andrew Garfield/Emma Stone, Christian Bale/ Anne Hathaway, Jeremy Renner/ Scarlett Johansson. All of these men wore latex, all got with a-listers. Case closed.

Wake up. Go the gym. Have breakfast. Important meeting
Items to Bring
1 pair of pajamas
1 pair of mesh shorts (of course)
1 Suit

Even though hotels carry the usual toothpaste, shampoo, and conditioner, we often forget to bring the most necessary toiletries with us on trips. Whether its contact lens solution, an allergy medication, or a drug to keep you mentally coherent; toiletries are the make-it or break-it items in your suitcase. Example you might ask? Claire Danes from Homeland.

She may not be what you call your average “business as usual” type packer, but she is certainly not a good “what-if” packer either. Season 1 Carrie always had packed a suit; always had her cell phone with her; but didn’t always carry her medication with her. What ends up happening? A mission goes badly, and boom! lands her in a hospital with no medication. She goes crazy. Reveals classified documents to her family, and gets fired.

So how do we average people who are not surrounded by explosions learn from this? Well, I bring Tic-Tacs. It may seem minor, and not the usual toiletry item, but you try not to freak out when you have bad breath before an important meeting. I would be color coding and pasting my slides all over the walls too. Trust me. Pack the tic-tacs.

Long flight home
Items to Bring
1 Laptop
Tic-Tacs (you never know who you will sit next to)
1 Paperback copy of Albert Brook’s “The Zombie Survival Guide”

Never a Kindle, always paperback.
While I don’t think a zombie apocalypse will happen any time soon (that is a bit too out of the ordinary even for me), it never hurts to have an entertaining book for long flights. Also, in the event of a Revolution type of apocalypse (power outage) having a paperback instead of an IPad, will keep you entertained and informed for days. So bring a book with you. It will save your life and keep you from boredom.

So there is my packing list for this week’s trip. Feel free to make up your own “what-if” styled packing list in the comments below. For today’s poll, which movie about travel is your favorite?

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Hot Tub Time Machine
Into the Wild
Little Miss Sunshine

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