Skill - Packing and other tips for twelve day, 20,000 mile trip with only carry-on luggage

I am not sure I have a lot to offer on this topic that is not readily available elsewhere on the web, but there are some unique considerations applicable to spending 4 of the 12 days on an aircraft carrier that might be interesting to others. The keys: pack inside shoes that you carry and make as many garments as possible due "double duty" (such as work out in t-shirts that you wore the day prior as an undershirt. I don't bring all of these items on every trip (some are just for working on aircraft carriers). This list is not an exhaustive inventory of everything I bring, just the major items.

Inventory of items in my luggage (not including the clothes I wore for the plane flight)

  • 4 pairs of underwear and black socks for coveralls (I could have brought NWU, but the inspection team wore coveralls so I chose to wear the same)
  • Coveralls
  • Spare dark colored trousers for the C-2A flight (lots of chances to get dirty)
  • Clothing in case it got cold (due to high intensity air conditioning on carriers)
    • medium weight long underwear, thin so I could roll it tightly and reduce space
    • Navy blue jacket (I brought as carry on, only needed on the C-2A when it got really cold)
    • light weight gloves
  • Three workout t-shirts (two mesh coolmax and one normal coolmax)
  • Two pairs of shorts for running
  • Patagonia Dragonfly pullover (I use this one specifically because it is so thin and packs so small)
  • One pair of shorts for transits to/from heads from my stateroom (a robe is too bulky for a trip like this)
  • Slippers (I use them to pad around hotel rooms because I broke a toe in 1989 and vowed never make the mistake of walking around the house/hotel without slippers again)
  • Two pairs of running socks (useful for working out or inside black socks for my steel toed, low rise boots)
  • Toiletries (could be considered overkill since most hotels have them and you can buy them on the ship, but they take up very little space)
    • three disposable razors (I typically only get three to four days of use out of each one)
    • tiny, travel size mouthwash, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, shaving cream, hand lotion (dual purpose: useful to combat post shave razor burn and dry hands). I am considering getting "backpacker" type shaving cream that comes in little tabs, like page tabbing, colored, "post-it" notes.
  • Spare towel (backpacker type, I have only used once aboard ship, but it is very small, about the size of a bar of soap)
  • Shower shoes
  • Normal cords for: charing laptop, iPad charger, iPod touch, spare ethernet cable, headphones, and USB cable (don't forget voltage converters 
  • Travel alarm clock (very skinny, prevents me from having to spend any time learning how to use the one the hotels provide). I probably could use my Blackberry, but it is not always possible to find an outlet close to the bed to charge it at night).
  • Laptop (I do not bring my NMCI laptop to go overseas)
  • iPad and keyboard (even though I have yet to really use the keyboard)
  • Dress Khakis inside dry cleaner bag (reduces wrinkling), belt, and insignia
  • Two pairs of shoes (steel toed boots and corfams). I wore my running shoes on the plane and used them as my "street" shoes. I pack my shoes in plastic grocery bags to keep them from getting other clothes dirty. I also pack as much as I can fit inside the shoes (typically this is three pairs of socks or two t-shirts, or a combination of the two)
  • iPad
  • iPod touch with a new load of podcasts
  • Garrison cap
  • Spare glasses (I normally wear contacs)
  • Noise canceling headphones
  • Small sleeve for an in-flight pillow. Instead of a pillow, I put a Patagonia Regulator R-1 pullover inside it (rolls very small so it fits in my backpack easily). I bring this any time I am not traveling with a civilian jacket (which is what I normally use as an in-flight pillow if I can roll it up small enough, not possible with all my jackets)
  • Travel size laundry detergent to do laundry (needed to do twice on the trip, once on the ship and the second time the night before flying back home). I typically do laundry the night before I fly back home just in case I hit a travel snag and have to spend an extra night in transit.
  • Three to five dollars in quarters for hotel laundry rooms

Things You Might Not Know

  • At San Diego's airport (and a few others), you get to go in the first class ticket holder security screening line if you travel in uniform.
  • I will soon post my travel packing checklist
  • Even if you are in boarding group 4 (or a "C" on Southwest Airlines), you still have a good chance of being able to find space in the overhead bins, but you have to be ready to store your bag in the first bin you see that has room as you are making your way to your seat).
  • To reduce the odds of getting to the airport late (and make me less stressed about it), I normally create a timetable of activities I have do to to get to the airport gate. I start from the gate arrival time I want and work backwards. For my recent flight from San Diego to Newport News, my timetable looked like this:
    • Flight departs - 1115
    • Flight boards - 1045
    • Arrive at airport screening area - 0945 (I allow 45 - 60 minutes for this)
    • Turn in rental car - 0900
    • Depart Coronado for rental car drop off - 0830
    • Spend time working at CNAP - 0800 - 0830
    • Check out of hotel room - 0730
    • Shower - 0700
    • Transit from gym back to hotel room - 0630
    • Workout 0530 - 0630
    • Finish packing 0500 - 0530
    • Get up - 0500
  • For your home town, you need to know (I write it down and keep it in my travel packing checklist) the standard rush hour and non-rush hour times for getting to the airport and I add some extra time to park and travel from the parking area to the security screening area.



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