Suitcase Packing Expert, c’est moi?
Last december I was invited to be on a national television show (CTV’s The Social) to teach the shows hosts how to pack a suitcase. In short, it was a lot of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience (despite feeling like a bit green for tv and sounding like a bit a bumbling goofball). Actually I loved everything about it, from flying out to Toronto to being my quirky self on the show. But the part I loved most was just before I was about to go on… I was backstage in my little green eating cantaloupe and asking the show producer how she first heard of me. Her answer was the best I’ve ever heard.
“I was just Google-ing ‘packing experts’ and I came across your name…”
So with that new jump in my step I went on to fumble my way through the show… no I’m kidding, I did alright, ha. I don’t like talking too much about myself and what makes me an expert (which I understand is important, society likes to see framed papers on the wall or at least ‘cool’ street credit like playing playing bass for a popular band) but once we got past that and into the straight packing facts, I was golden! That’s where I hit my stride. Less self talk and more nerd talk is what I always say. The point is, I actually do know my stuff and I really am here to lead this new suitcase packing style revolution! So who will join me?
Here are a couple pics from a magazine spread that I was asked to write… I called this shot the How To Pack Starting Point. (The First image above has the final packing pic on the right)
Talk soon. (And PIN away all you Pinterest friends and fans :)
Don’t forget to check out the book for more tips on packing!
It’s family time, and whether you are going home for Christmas or any other time of the year, you may want to bring back with you a favorite bottle of wine you just can’t get at home. Maybe you’ve spent a year as an Au pair in Southern France or you’ve escaped from the North American winters with a fall jaunt to Argentina? The point is, there’s plenty of great wine from all over the world that needs to be shared with the ones you love… and yes that includes you bringing it home for yourself! So sometimes you just have to put it in your suitcase to get it home. Oh but what about Duty free shopping? Well it just doesn’t cut it when you have traveled and tasted your favorite wine, bottled strait from the source and need to get it home. Whatever the case, here are a few tips to help ensure your bottle gets home safely… despite the airport baggage handlers best efforts. Oh and Obviously it’s never ideal to put wine into your checked luggage but just to let you know, I have successfully ported wine this way a few times… (hmmm, there’s got to be some sort of clever joke involving ‘port’ and wine here right? I’ve got nothing, but feel free to let me know if you’ve got one….)
Here are my step by step tips for packing wine into a suitcase:
1. Most importantly, find a good wine worth taking back with you.
2: Find the most bulky and padded item in your suitcase, like a hoody or a sweater.
3: Wrap the bottle with it, taking special care to add extra padding around the neck, i.e. if you use a hoody, use the hood to wrap a few times around the bottle’s neck as it’s most vulnerable there.
4. Place the bottle into the middle of your suitcase (length-wise and bottle-bottom facing the suitcases’ side with wheels) to ensure it has the maximum amount of protection from all sides. By packing it in this way, when the bag is upright, so is the wine, and even if the bottle settles down a little closer to the wheels side, it’s still resting on the thickess and strongest part of the bottle.
5. In my bag, I have a mesh pocket on the top flap filled with my socks and underwear so this provides a nice padding for the top-side of the bottle…. So it works for me but just be aware of how your bag constructed; if you have to bury it down a little more, then do it. Again, make sure to protect it from ALL SIDES.
And there you have it, you should be all good to go now… but of course you can still be more cautious by first putting the bottle into a sealed plastic bag… then maybe another larger bag over that… but then I feel that if the bottle is going to break, a plastic bag isn’t going to hold up against sharp broken glass anyway… so live a little, take a risk and start packing that wine into your suitcase anyway! Safe travels my friends.
Oh and enjoy the wine!
…responsibly of course :D
Holiday travels can scare anyone. Hordes or people all trying to get somewhere at the same time and all with an extra sense of urgency. Combine this with the fact that for many of these people, it’s the only time of the year in which they travel… ie. Travel noobs clogging up the system :P
These holiday travel tips will be fairly obvious advice to most of you, but you’d be surprised how much you can forget in the rush of the holiday season! Here are a few reminders for those of you in this scenario:
1. Give yourself more time than you think… in each and every part of pre-travel!
2. Pack earlier in the day, not the night before.
3. Get to the airport hours before, not an hour before.
4. Do your research, know what you can and can’t bring with you as well as weight restrictions for baggage.
5. Don’t forget your passport if you are crossing countries.
6. Don’t forget to pack your gifts and presents!
OK so while we’re on holiday travel tips as well as talking about presents and gifts…
I’ll be very brief. You have friends and I have books. And you’ll want to impress your friends with your choice of gifts for them right? Perfect, cause I’ve got you covered. I’m not even kidding. (While tooting my own horn at the same time) The book, How To Pack Like A Rock Star, is the perfect gift for your friends as it combines those laugh out loud moments along side the “Holy crap, this is such great practical advice! What an amazing gift giver you are!” and “Best. Friend. Ever!” comments.
But order now so you’ll be sure to get it before Christmas!!! PS you can’t buy this book in stores. Oh and why not, for a little more incentive for ya I’ll add a holiday promo code : XMAS to make the book an even $15 bucks for the holiday season. I’d love to share the book with you, will you share it with your friends? Hope so!
Hope the basic holiday travel tips helped a little but for those of you wanting more, don’t worry, ‘How to safely pack a bottle of wine in your suitcase’ is coming soon! Also did you catch how I photoshopped the book into the image above, (my attempt at subliminal messaging, making travel synonymous with How To Pack…!).
As always, feel free to Email me with any questions or inquiries!
Shaun – firstname.lastname@example.org
(If you have any difficulties with the checkout, PLEASE email me at email@example.com and I’ll help you out! Or if you feel more comfortable buying from Amazon, then please click here! Amazon.com or Amazon.ca)
The title, How To Pack Like A Rock Star was meant to be fairly self-explanatory and obvious, but how did you interpret it? Did you read it as, how to pack like a ‘rockstar’ (as in, a slang reference to something being done in the best possible manner or to “describe something good”). Or did you interpret a little more straight-up as it reads, ‘Rock Star’ (as in “Someone who is in a popular rock band”)? That space, or lack of space between the two words, makes a big difference to me. So how did you interpret it?
(thanks urban dictionary for these)
The truth is, there is no wrong answer and both ways are right. Officially I was referring to the musicians in the book who contributed their expertise (so the Rock Stars), but in saying that, I also fully intended and expected for more people to see it the other (rockstar) way… because it is after all (in my opinion!) a far superior way in which to pack. So then why am I saying this now? To remind you and me of one key point: You don’t have to be a musician to pack like a pro!
I was reminded again of this when professional soccer player Matt Watson of the Vancouver Whitecaps sent me a picture of his suitcase packed with pure class and elegance. Its obvious, and yet I still forget that Pro athletes can travel just as much as musicians, so doesn’t it makes sense for them to be pro-packers as well? Don’t be confused, I’m not saying that it makes sense for all athletes to ‘support Green Bay football’ (Get it? “pro-Packers”. Sports joke. Hilarious, I know…) but what I am saying is that there are a lot of other professions that travel for work. So athletes, musicians, business people, travellers and vacationers alike, let this be a good reminder to all of us that we can all be rockstars within our travels. And as much as I really dislike the use of the word and term ‘rockstar’ (true story), I think it’s fine if you use it in this setting… cause after all, we are reproducing the methods brought forth by true rock stars!
So yes, the Rock Star (aka ‘Rockstar’) pack method is expanding to the world of athletics, thanks to Mr Watson. Will you be the one to rise up in your world? Keep in touch if you do :)
I just got back from a 10 day vacation with my family and it was amazing, BUT for a moment there, before we left and as I was packing my suitcase, I felt as though I forgot how to pack for that length of time?! Or worse yet, I could barely remember my own rules to packing! Sure it’s been a little slower of a year musically for me and sure I haven’t been touring as much but I’m almost embarrassed about my packing skills feeling so rusty! To be honest with you, I even had to go back and reference my own book to review my packing checklist!
This is sad for me… but lucky for you, because it’s made me realize that more people need a chance to brush up on their own packing skills for their own vacations or upcoming getaways and so in order to help you in your journey I though I’d put on an End of Summer Sale! I’ve lowered the price of the book to $17.99 (plus shipping still unfortunately… unless you live in Vancouver and wanna meet up :P )
OK ok, in reality it’s not that I forgot how to pack, but more that I got a little caught up in trying to take pictures of a new pack that I forgot what to pack and most importantly, where I was traveling to! I was heading off to Hawaii! I had no need for multiple pairs of jeans, multiple dress shirts, etc… just a couple pairs of swim trunks, a few v-neck shirts and a couple tank tops and I woulda been set… but the picture looked cooler with all the rest so I left it in there. Ha. Right before I left my home, I did unload the items in the top picture with an ‘X’.
Let this be a good reminder,
Have a look at the weather report for your destination, and pack accordingly!
SO basic, yet SO easy to forget :P
PS. this is my list (from the book…)
Or too literally in this case.
I was recently at the Vancouver International Airport (or YVR in airport speak) flying out on tour and I saw some great art work that I thought I should share with you. It’s also quite fitting and sooo close to being exactly what I’ve been talking about for years now with How To Pack Like A Rock Star. I call this, (and I hope the artist did too!) How To Pack A Rock… and no, I won’t be writing a book about this one, most likely because it’s now so obvious just how to do it; Find a nice rock, drill a couple holes on top, screw in a handle, put on the baggage tags and take it over to special baggage to get it x-rayed…
Ok, obviously this is a joke, but just like this cool display at YVR, packing your suitcase can also be a form of art! So don’t forget to have fun with simple tasks in life! Stop taking menial tasks so seriously and start putting the right side of your brain to task! Better yet, instead of getting a new brain-teaser-type app and staring into yet another computer screen, try re-organizing your cupboards or closet. Do it by color then test your memory by trying to recall how many blue shirts you have or how many colors over from the right is your red shirt?! I think you’ll feel much better solving smaller tasks like this in real life than killing 5 minutes in the Matrix… but then this is coming from a guy who writes about suitcase packing so… Compromise? Maybe enjoy the game first, then use it practically in your home, ha!
I say all this for only one reason, to encourage you to go out and appreciate art, support art, and find ways to enjoy creating it yourself! I can’t explain to you how much I’ve enjoyed creating How To Pack and the conversations I’ve been able to have with people I may not have normally encountered and it’s all because of this quirky little BOOK. I encourage you to stop saying “No one will care if I make something or not…” if you are passionate about it then do it, make it, create it, and I’m POSITIVE there’s someone out there that will appreciate what you’ve done!
If you need inspirations first, no problem, there’s plenty out there, try starting by perusing the pages of Kickstarter, it’s a great place to check out cool art projects and a place to maybe even start supporting people and their passions! If you need extra help or advice, then you should check out my fave blogger (I call him my buddy despite the fact I’ve never met him in person… but he’s just that great!), Seth Godin. Or even better yet, try to get involved in your own local art scene? All I’m saying is GET OUT THERE AND HAVE SOME (or CREATE some) FUN!
Let me know what you’re passionate about and working on!
Just wanted to let you know that I’ve added a bunch of photos of my suitcase from one of my last tours down to LA and back with my friend Steph MacPherson. You’ll notice that there isn’t much change in the look of the pack because I’m only moving the position of one item each day… well three including my underwear and socks that live in the mesh pocket above. And in general, a reminder, when you take a shirt out to wear, place the other one up on top of the stack as its easier to place it back in from there. This is also assuming you haven’t sweat through it and it doesn’t stink and you are ok with putting it back with the other ‘actually clean’ clothes!
Anyway, have a look at the different days, become mesmerized by all the different and revolving bedsheets or duvets colors from city to city, hotel to hotel.
Side note. You know you’ve been touring too long when you can recognize which hotel it is by the color or pattern of it’s bedcovers…
PPS. I’ve add all the photos to the ‘sent in’ section of the site, check them out here and let me know what you think! Email me your pictures too!
It answers all of life’s tough questions, GUARANTEED*!