I never thought I was special. Or that anyone would care about basic stuff like what I travel with. But over the years enough guys have asked me this question to merit writing about it. So today I will tell you what I travel with.
My life of constant travel and sex isn’t necessarily as wild and careful as some people might expect. I’m actually pretty organized and I plan out most moves well in advance. I even book my hotels days or weeks before I travel somewhere new. That way I already know where I’m going when I arrive. So I can at least act like I know.
In recent years I have always had a sort of “home base” set up somewhere. Usually wherever I can get a long term visa and the rent isn’t too expensive. So I’ve had condos in places like Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City for months or years at a time. This gives me a place to leave excess stuff without throwing it away. It’s an added expense but for me it is more than worth it.
Low points and high balls
I didn’t always do that sort of thing though. When I first gave up on the rat race in America and hit the road at the age of 19 I had nothing more than an army surplus duffle bag to call my own. I jammed a bunch of clothes and a laptop in there and lived like that for quite a while.
At my lowest point I was getting $3 back alley blowjobs in Colombia and my bag was wet and filled with dirty gross clothes. I remember that my Air Jordan’s smelled so bad I actually threw them out of a hostel window. That was a wake up call.
Eventually I figured out a way to make money and keep up my lifestyle. And now I stand before you a more complete man. Still very far from perfect, but getting along in my own way. Today I dress for success, stay in nice condos and 5 star hotels, and fuck a slightly better range of prostitute. Here’s what I carry while I do it.
- A carry on roller bag
- Six collared shirts
- Five pairs of slacks
- One t-shirt
- One pair of gym pants
- Ten pairs of boxers
- Ten pairs of socks
- A smartphone with Bluetooth keyboard
- Several bank cards
- $1000 USD emergency cash
- Passport and driver’s license
- Toothbrush, tongue scraper, deodorant
The roller bag was pretty expensive. I find you get what you pay for here though. So I bought a nice Gucci bag a few years ago. Sure people might be more likely to steal it. But I think it would be a lot easier to find if they did. Besides, I never let it out of my sight except for when it’s in the overhead bin. I also think that people tend to treat you better in hotels and cabs when you show up with nice stuff. Plus this thing will last me a lifetime.
You’ll notice I chose a roller bag and not a suitcase or duffle. Roller bags are easier to carry and require minimal effort. No backpacks either! I’m done with the days of back aches and sweaty armpits. Man invented the wheel for a reason!
You’ll also notice that it is a carry on. No checking in bags for me unless I am doing a long international flight on a very good airline like Korean Air or ANA. I wouldn’t dream of checking a bag in on the Saigon to Can Tho bus or even an Air X flight across Southeast Asia.
What’s inside the bag?
When it comes to clothes you already know I dress for success. So my stuff is pretty nice. I’ve learned to fold it nicely so that it all fits compactly in the bag without bulging out the sides. I hang it up when I arrive somewhere and usually don’t need to iron.
I always wear sock. Socks are one of the best inventions after the wheel. They keep your feet clean and keep your shoes from stinking. I wear socks and you should too.
I get my laundry done either at a cleaner or right through the hotel or condo. Most nice hotels and condos offer this service. It’s quick and easy. They normally come get your clothes right from your room. A day or two later they’re cleaned and pressed in the closet! I always miss this when I visit America.
I keep a t-shirt just in case I want to exercise or climb up a hill or something. Same thing with the gym pants. In truth, neither gets much use at all. I have relied on these when stuck in third world street floods though. I couldn’t risk destroying my nicer clothes in the poopy water rolling through downtown Bangkok.
I use a modern smartphone with bluetooth capabilities. The phone is fast with a good processor and lots of memory. I carry a cheap light bluetooth keyboard that runs off of a battery. I can turn my phone sideways or connect it to a television and then use it like a laptop. That’s actually how I am writing this post!
I have four bank cards. One for my Thai bank account that I rarely use. And the other three for checking accounts from America. I spread my money around so I never get stuck relying on one single card that gets lost, stolen, or frozen. “Overnight mail” doesn’t really apply when I’m in Myanmar or Cambodia. So I can’t risk my life waiting on someone to send me something. That’s why I always keep $1000 in cold hard cash too. Just in case.
The passport and driver’s license are a no brainer. You need a passport to travel. The driver’s license can work as an ID card in some cases. And if you want to rent or drive a car in some countries you need to produce a license from your home country.
Finally there are the real basics. A toothbrush, a tongue scraper and deodorant. I actually don’t carry toothpaste, mouthwash or shampoo. I either get that stuff from my hotel or just buy it at a convenience store when I arrive. Why lug around a bottle of Listerine when I can get a small bottle at the 7 Eleven for 10 Baht?
That’s it. Does it sound like a lot or a little? If you travel much tell me how it compares to your bug out bag. Do you think I could improve my carry? After years on the road I think I have things more or less figured out when it comes to gear and packing. But I am always willing to improve if possible.