Don't Leave Anything Behind

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There are a few inevitable things in life: death, taxes and getting caught behind the slooooowest person in line for airport security.

Although you can’t control the lady in front of you with three children under four, a diaper bag, a stroller and six car seats, there are some quick tricks to get you through the checkpoint and on your way.  In the meantime, be patient with those moms and all the other casual travelers who take it slow, not everyone has it down to a science.

Use these ideas to speed up your next TSA screening (Transportation Security Administration) in the US. Other countries have differing standard practices, but these general tips will serve you well. Be sure to check out the website for international airlines, as some do not allow any liquids and others have no restriction on shampoo at all.

While Packing

screen shot of tsa.gov

While the TSA agents might not greet you with the warmth of your best friend, you should still get friendly with their website: TSA.gov.

The convenient search engine on the right side called “When I Fly Can I Bring My…?” will save you postage on mailing things to yourself or throwing away a precious souvenir. Often passengers contact airlines with questions about bringing this or that. Before calling or emailing your carrier, check the TSA website to see if the item in question is allowed. Then use the airline’s website for dimensions.

Be sure to lean on the site as a resource if you’re traveling with a pet, art or anything unusual.

As they scan your bags, the agents glance at the contents for anything alarming or dense. As simple as it sounds, pack neatly and there’s less to see. By coiling cords instead of wadding, they are easily identified. Same goes for neatly folding or rolling clothes as well as separating other irregular items.

If you’ve flown in the last 14 years, you know the 3-1-1 rule for liquids, etc.: 3.4oz per container, all in 1 quart-sized bag, 1 bag per passenger. Pack that little plastic bag on an outside pocket of your suitcase or backpack for easy access. Nothing makes me cringe like watching someone unzip their luggage and rifle through unmentionables to find that cursed ziplock.

If you travel with a laptop, keep it reachable. It needs its own bin for the scanner.

Before leaving home, double check that none of your everyday items are prohibited on the plane. Commonly confiscated items, like pocketknives, pepper spray and small tools, need to be unpacked. I recommend following TSA on Instagram to see all the wild things they find as well as their service dogs. Click to continue…

Don't Leave Anything Behind

Perfect your packing with our free carry on packing list.

Join our mailing list below to get your packing checklist and weekly packing tips sent straight to your inbox.



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Traveling can be expensive and stressful. Why not limit some of the stress and expense by choosing the right credit and debit cards for your journeys? Listen in as Fred and Jeremy discuss their travel debit and credit cards as well as the tips they use to save money on unnecessary international fees.

In This Episode

  • 01:58 Fred talks Thailand
  • 03:48 A racy review
  • 07:48 Power Trip’s point of view, publishing deadlines, and enemies
  • 14:59 Avoiding international transaction fees
  • 16:50 ATM fees – the double whammy!
  • 18:28 Tell your bank you’re traveling
  • 19:29 Noteworthy US debit cards
  • 23:45 Credit cards to travel with
  • 25:50 EMV (“chip and pin”) credit cards
  • 29:25 Final tips
  • 32:29 Word to the Wise

People On This Episode

Links from This Episode

Word to the Wise

  • Jeremy: Austin Kleon – great writer and artist who promotes the idea of showing and sharing your work to get it noticed; check out his blog, Tumblr, and books
  • Fred: P2K.co – A free app that sends items from your Pocket to your Kindle and compiles them for you

Win a $100 Tortuga Backpacks Gift Card

Every month we give away a $100 gift card to someone who subscribes to and reviews the podcast. Subscribers, ratings, and reviews are how the show gets ranked in podcast directories and found by more travelers. We appreciate your help spreading the word about Power Trip.

  1. Subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher, email, or your podcatcher of choice with our RSS feed.
  2. Leave a review in iTunes.
  3. Fill out this form after you’ve done both for a chance to win a gift card.

Feedback and Questions

If you have any feedback about the show or questions for us to answer on the air, email: podcast at tortuga backpacks dotcom.

I’ve seen a ton of great travel tips for stylish ladies – which is awesome – but what about us fellas? If I see another scruffy guy in zipper pants/shorts and hiking boots at the Eiffel Tower I’m gonna lose it. It doesn’t have to be that way, guys. You can look great on the road – even with a carry on!

Up your travel game with this dapper dude packing list full of essential grooming, wardrobe, and style tips to ensure that you’re the best dressed guy at your hostel.

Grooming

Looking good starts with basic grooming and hygiene, but that doesn’t mean you need to check a bag loaded with liquid goop or spend 45 minutes in the bathroom. You’re on vacation – so look as relaxed (and as good) as you feel in just minutes with a few alternative products.

Pomade is Way Better than “Gel”

Take care of your coif. If you don’t know what a “coif” is, it might be time to get rid of the spiked blonde tips. The best part about modern men’s haircare is that looking fresh has never been easier. You really only need one thing: a tin of pomade.

Hands down, my favorite pomade is Mr. Natty’s ($26). The wax base means it holds like a champ without tons of shine. That gives me the casual look I like without even using a comb. This pomade is the equivalent of your hair shrugging…but sexy.

Perfect for fades or pompadours, this utility hitter even doubles as beard wax if you’re a hirsute gentleman. It’s only thing my barber lets me buy. He yells a lot.

Pro Tip: Get a haircut right before your trip. Ask the barber what you should buy. They will get a little too excited. Click to continue…

Like any travelholic, I’m a sucker for listicles full of tips on how to pack lighter while traveling. Heck, we’ve even unveiled seven secrets to packing light right here on the Packsmith blog!

At the same time, what travelers actually do to get their packs down to just the right size is fairly unique to the individual. Even if these tips supposedly work for everyone, no two travelers end up packing the same.

At Packsmith, we’ve applied these tips to life by taking a look at the bags of real travelers, taking real trips, and what’s inside them, finding ways to simplify their suitcases. We don’t just want to tell you how to pack lighter while traveling abroad, we want to show you! Click to continue…

The Canton Fair is an enormous trade show that takes place in China every spring and fall. It is the largest trade fair in China and is an excellent place for sourcing and finding suppliers to make your products. Listen in as Fred and Jeremy interview a special guest who is an expert on sourcing. Together they discuss strategies for communicating with suppliers and other tips for having a successful Canton Fair experience.

In This Episode

  • 01:00 Jeremy’s Boston adventures
  • 05:08 Tortuga updates
  • 07:02 Fred’s Canton Fair plans
  • 09:02 Canton Fair: The Basics
  • 12:55 Communication struggles
  • 15:33 Canton Fair logistics – where to stay, how to get in, etc.
  • 18:40 What is a trading company?
  • 22:00 Meet “Tim”, an experienced sourcer
  • 23:03 Tim’s specific Canton Fair goals
  • 26:27 Do your research beforehand!
  • 29:38 Strategies to use when talking to suppliers
  • 32:14 Strategies to avoid
  • 39:31 How to stay in touch with Canton Fair contacts
  • 43:27 Evaluating factories on Alibaba
  • 46:22 Placing an order with Alibaba factories
  • 52:29 Word to the Wise

People On This Episode

Links from This Episode

Word to the Wise

  • Jeremy: Wild Tales by Damián Szifron – Nominated for best Foreign Language Film; collection of 6 short films about people who are extremely distressed and under a great deal of pressure
  • Fred: Dan Deacon on Tiny Desk Concert – A giant NPR dance party that’s sure to turn a gloomy day around

Win a $100 Tortuga Backpacks Gift Card

Every month we give away a $100 gift card to someone who subscribes to and reviews the podcast. Subscriptions, ratings, and reviews are helpful for getting the show ranked and discovered by other travelers. We appreciate your help spreading the word about Power Trip.

  1. Subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher, or your podcatcher of choice with our RSS feed.
  2. Leave a review in iTunes.
  3. Fill out this form after you’ve done both for a chance to win a gift card.

Feedback and Questions

If you have any feedback about the show or questions for us to answer on the air, email: podcast at tortuga backpacks dotcom.

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