Forums

Great cast on packing...I wish I had this knowledge six months ago when I was in the market for luggage. Your cast will make me revisit the market.

Any advice on packing suit jackets or sport coats?

Thanks a million for your wisdom!!!!

ctomasi's picture

Definitely good info in this one. I knew I could go 1-2 days in a carry-on, but Mark showed how to stretch it in to a week.

Now I just have to stop packing so many electronic gadgets for a business trip. Sure, laptop is essential. Does you also have a cell phone, PDA, MP3 player? I suppose those could go in the briefcase.

Dragoon, I believe there was a comment in the cast about wearing your sport coat rather than packing it.

kklogic's picture

I'm looking forward to listening to this tomorrow. My co-workers kid about "Big Mama" - their name for my suitcase. I'll be interested to see how this translates for women.

paulzag's picture

How can I get laundry done if I normally spend only one night per hotel room on a trip longer than 1 week?

My European business trips normally involve a different city every night, so I normally miss the hotel's dry cleaning schedule.

I guess I can catch up on a weekend if I get two nights in a row. But that's not always the case.

I've actually been visiting the forums since Monday to see if anybody had started a thread on this cast. I found it great.

Regards

Paul

stephenbooth_uk's picture

[quote="paulzag"]How can I get laundry done if I normally spend only one night per hotel room on a trip longer than 1 week?[/quote]

Many hotels (tend not to be the cheap as chips end of the market though) will send your clean laundry on to your next hotel if you're traveling. They may charge for the service. If you check in and hand over your laundry at reception early enough some will do an overnight laundry service so it's ready for the morning.

Call ahead and ask or speak to the concierge.

Stephen

jhack's picture

I've had hotels lose my laundry (for a few days - never forever) so I'm wary of putting the service into my "critical path."

John

davidleeheyman's picture

One thing I noticed with Mark's packing video is that he doesn't seem to take a suit. I travel more often with a suit than without one. Are the dry cleaning bags effective with the suit jacket?

HMac's picture

[quote="yosithezet"]One thing I noticed with Mark's packing video is that he doesn't seem to take a suit. I travel more often with a suit than without one. Are the dry cleaning bags effective with the suit jacket?[/quote]

Yes - somewhere along the various threads he recommended folding jackets like he does with shirts, and bagging 'em.

-Hugh

tbfee's picture

I'm not usually a tinfoil-hat type, but it should be noted here that traditional dry-cleaning processes use PERC (tetrachloroethelyne), a probable carcinogen that can affect the central nervous system.

This isn't ordinarily a problem for most folks (hey, I dry clean my clothes too) but retaining the plastic bag, especially enclosing it with your clothes in a nearly airtight suitcase, is too close for comfort for me. I think the bag is best placed in the trash, as soon as you get home from the drycleaner.

Most hotels these days have an iron and ironing board in the closet... use them, it's not that hard.

TomW's picture

[quote="tbfee"]I'm not usually a tinfoil-hat type, but it should be noted here that traditional dry-cleaning processes use PERC (tetrachloroethelyne), a probable carcinogen that can affect the central nervous system.

This isn't ordinarily a problem for most folks (hey, I dry clean my clothes too) but retaining the plastic bag, especially enclosing it with your clothes in a nearly airtight suitcase, is too close for comfort for me. I think the bag is best placed in the trash, as soon as you get home from the drycleaner.[/quote]

Funny you say that. I've been using a garbage bag instead. I'd say almost any kind of large plastic sheet or bag could work.

[quote]Most hotels these days have an iron and ironing board in the closet... use them, it's not that hard.[/quote]

Not hard, but not always practical either. Business travel tends to be a tight on time. That time spent ironing out hard wrinkles may require you to get less sleep, eat less than you should, or get less work done. None of these are things you should have to cut into in order to iron. Of, you could just look a mess or be late.

There's a big difference between a quick press-off or a steam-it-while-I'm-in-the-shower and trying to iron out serious wrinkles from being packed for a long flight. The plastic-wrap method cuts down on wrinkles a lot and can allow you a quick once-over with the iron instead of serious ironing.

Try a little consideration of other people. To use your phrasing, "It's not that hard." Your closing statement sounds like "I am so much better than you lazy non-tinfoil hat people because I am willing to iron when I travel." A better ending might have been to propose an equally wrinkle-reducing, less carcinogenic solution that's worked for you.

tbfee's picture

[quote="TomW"]

Try a little consideration of other people. To use your phrasing, "It's not that hard." Your closing statement sounds like "I am so much better than you lazy non-tinfoil hat people because I am willing to iron when I travel." A better ending might have been to propose an equally wrinkle-reducing, less carcinogenic solution that's worked for you.[/quote]

I'm sorry that my tone was inconsiderate. I chose words poorly. This was truly not my intention.

So, to rephrase: Here's an equally wrinkle-free, less carcinogenic solution that's worked for me:
I carefully pack pressed clothing, in the center of the bag. On my arrival, I hang everything, and spot iron where needed. I find this takes only a few minutes, easily done while catching the news on TV.

Usually my tinfoil hat comes through quite wrinkled; I smooth this out by hand as ironing renders it too hot to touch.

HMac's picture

[quote="tbfee"]Usually my tinfoil hat comes through quite wrinkled; I smooth this out by hand as ironing renders it too hot to touch.[/quote]

LOL :wink:

Nice!

-Hugh

refbruce's picture

The dry cleaning bags can pick up and release some PERC. If this is a concern, ordinary garbage bags are basically the same (blown polyethylene) and seem to work just as well for packing, based on my recent experiments. Airing dry cleaned clothes out can reduce exposure, and some folks who are "chemically sensitive" find this useful. This is something I do at least sometimes, as my wife finds the residual smells on dry-cleaned clothes to be bothersome.

I generally consider Consumer Reports to be reasonably balanced, and they have an article on the issues at http://www.greenerchoices.org/products.cfm?product=drycleaning&

There are some alternatives to PERC for dry cleaning, but they're hard to find and may be more expensive (and none are available in my area). You can ask around for people using supercritical CO2 and for people using a siloxane solvent (D5) approach. However the hazards of D5 are not well-established, and siloxanes have been linked with cancer. Supercritical CO2 has few health or direct environmental risks, but the conversion costs are high. http://www.findco2.com has a listing of at least some establishments using this for dry cleaning.

Changing dry cleaning methods may reduce one's risks and environmental footprints, but there are other areas (like improving home insulation and carpooling) that may have larger environmental impact reductions and personal risk reductions. That's a complex subject, which I'm happy to take off-line.

A recent EPA draft on PERC can be found at http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/cfm/iris/recordisplay.cfm?deid=192423 and this references other interesting documents.

mgshn's picture

[quote="paulzag"]How can I get laundry done if I normally spend only one night per hotel room on a trip longer than 1 week?[/quote]
I learned this trick from a friend who travels a month out of a single garment bag... Wash stuff in the room sink and roll in a towel to get most of the water out. (they have some pretty high tech towels that you can take with which do a great job) You can leverage that further if you limit yourself to two pair of socks and two (maybe three) sets of underware. Again, there are high tech versions that dry almose immediately.

This isn't a glamorous solution but it does get the job done and allows you to avoid checking your bag.

rwwh's picture

For another (reasonably compatible) view, with a radically different implementation:

http://getitdone.quickanddirtytips.com/wrinkle-free-clothes.aspx

and:

http://www.onebag.com/pack.html

jclishe's picture

Why don't you simply ask your dry cleaner to give you a couple of new bags that have never had clothes in them and thus are chemical free?

refbruce's picture

For those that haven't seen the story on this, see http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_10868311. A cheetah on the way to the Atlanta Zoo got loose in the baggage compartment. Fortunately, nobody (including the cheetah) was hurt.

Just another reason to not check luggage :-).