I know you’re a good traveler but you know I do A LOT of it so maybe I’ll remember one or two things you might forget.

Flights over 3 hours

When flying overseas, bring your own pillow, water, and some food.  Maybe a sweater because it gets cold up there and they don’t always have enough blankets unless you’re in first.  I find a package of cookies, a few pieces of cheese, some dried fruit, and a couple of chocolate bars get me through the longest flight without the need to resort to eating the nasty food they try to feed you.

Here are other items I put in my carryon (besides a change of underwear, socks, and a shirt in case your checkins get lost or delayed):

Breath Mints


Eye Drops

Tooth Floss

Pain Reliever



Sleep Mask



Sanitizing Wipes


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While traveling, think of keeping your things in multiple safe locations:

1. Two secure pockets. Zippered/buttoned ideal. Close to front of your body. For wallet (see below for maximum contents), passport, boarding pass, small amount of cash. Keep boarding pass and passport safest.

2. A backpack or purse. For phone, cash

3. Carry-on bag. For cash, tablet

4. Hotel safe or front desk. For passport

5. Check-in bag. For remaining credit/debit cards, driver’s license and other ID.

6. Your phone and tablet should contain your credit/debit cards (Google Pay or Apple Pay), Passport (Mobile Passport App), photos of all other ID.

Passport / Drivers’ License

Never carry passport together with other ID.  You can leave your driver’s license or alternative ID in your check-on bag (backpack/purse while driving.)  In most countries your passport can be left in the safe at your hotel or at the front desk. Keep photos of your passport/ID including birrth certificate in your phone and tablet. Your passport may also be stored in your phone and tablet using the Mobile Passport app for use on return to US. Other countries may also offer Mobile Passport apps. This may not be enough to get you easily past passport control without your actual passport.

In the airport, keep your passport and boarding pass together and close to your person. Keep your phone in a backpack, purse or pocket when not in use.

Global Entry

If you join the US Global Entry program (other countries may offer similar) you may find reentry much easier.

If you lose everything

As long as you can get back to your home country, you should be able to talk your way in at passport control. The difficult part is getting the airlines to fly you home.

If you are using a “Mobile Passport” app you may be able to install it on a new phone or tablet which will help you gain reentry.

Credit Cards

Use Apple Pay or Google Pay to store all your credit/debit cards in your phone. This is safer than carrying them around. Then carry just one of them with you for convenience. The only things in my wallet are driver’s license, insurance card, and one credit/debit card. 

Packing Clothes

You don’t need much.  After all, everybody understands that if you’re traveling you’re entitled to wear the same clothes every day.  And there are laundromats in every city.

By alll means pack one or two nice sets of clothing but the rest can be the oldest most tattered things you have.  That way you can just throw them out, which leaves more room in your luggage for things you bring back.  Particularly underwear — pack the stuff that’s about worn out and leave it behind as you travel.


I find the most convenient thing is one carry on, one small roller, and one large roller.  The small roller, packed with clothes, is put inside the large one when you’re moving from place to place (unless you have limo service or assitance everywhere.)  Then the small roller can be used for side trips.


Blister Pads




Shampoo and Conditioner

Cotton Swabs


Face Cleanser

Face Scrub

First Aid (Band-Aids)


Insect Repellent

Lip Balm

Nail Clipper


Shave Cream


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Jet Lag

To me the key is to adapt to your destination time zone for three or four nights before you leave.  Traveling west to east you go to bed an hour or two earlier (and get up an hour or two earlier) each night for 3 or 4 nights.   East to West, go to bed later and sleep in.  Use melatonin each night to reset your biological clock.

For instance from L.A. to London, the time difference is 8 hours.  Let’s say you normally go to bed at 11pm and wake up at 7am.  That’s 7am and 2pm in London.  So 3 nights before you leave, go to bed at 10 and wake at 6.  2 nights before it’s 9-5.  The night before, go to bed at 8pm and get up at 4am.  Then get on a plane that leaves in late afternoon, take a melatonin when you take off, install earplugs and sleep mask, and go to sleep.  Do not wake up for the crummy meals.  Sleep as much as possible.  You’ll land in London mid-day.  Then the challenge is to stay up as late as possible.  Do not take a nap or you will never adapt to sleeping at night and being awake during the day. Go to bed around 11, take a melatonin and you’ll be fine.

By the way, melatonin is not widely available overseas so bring plenty with you.