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The Pre-Flight Checklist

In retrospect, I should have been much better about my checklist. I had forgotten some things which would have made my life significantly more comfortable. Having a printed checklist, and laying out all of my things before packing them into my bags would have been the smart thing to do.

Here was my checklist, stored mostly mentally:

  • Passport
  • Immunization records
  • Wallet
  • Camera
  • Camera battery charger
  • Laptop
  • Laptop charger
  • USB cable to charge my phone from my laptop
  • Pocket notebook + pen (for writing notes or communicating with locals via pictionary)
  • Cash
  • Headphones
  • Business Cards
  • Written addresses and contact phone numbers
  • Travel insurance ID cards
  • Printed details of my travel insurance
  • Photocopy of passport stored in separate luggage
  • Toiletries
  • Medications – with instructions
  • Towel
  • Shirts
  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Pants
  • Swimming suit
  • Pajamas
  • Extra pair of glasses
  • USB thumb drive
  • All my prototype and manufacturing materials
  • Spare change of clothes in carry on
  • Photos of girlfriend/wife, kids, pets, job, anything important that might come up when chatting with people or just to look at when you miss them.

A note on the neck pillows that look like toilet seats: I never see experienced travelers with them. It doesn’t happen. There must be a reason for it, and I bet it’s that they really aren’t that good, and they’re a pain to carry around.

All essentials went in my carry on luggage. Anything that would be difficult to replace, even including some of my prototype parts. If my checked bag was lost, I didn’t want it to be the end of the world for me, and from past experience, having a change of clothes in case of baggage delay is handy. However, I split some of my resources so that if my backpack were lost or stolen, I’d still have some things that would help me get back on my feet (spare cash, photocopy of passport, credit card).

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