2 weeks before departure

Make sure your luggage is up to the task. A medium sized ‘four wheel spinner’ for checked bags and a smaller than average four wheel spinner carry on is recommended. Marshalls and AAA have good deals. Look for double zips, medium quality or better zips, 2 zipper pulls (one on each end) and a large outer pocket on the rollie. NEVER buy black. 95% of all bags are black and yours will be hard to find.

It’s also helpful to buy 4 word locks. A word lock is the same as the 3number luggage lock except is has 4 letters and therefore is 10 times harder to break. Make sure they are TSA compliant (can be opened by TSA) and order 4 locks from Amazon. Locks are useless against hardened thieves who will just cut the bag open, but they do deter workers who in 5 seconds open your bag and pilfer a couple of high value items inside. A word lock will deter them enough to skip your bag and move on to the next one.

Your carry-on bag should have two parts. The larger rollie that you may need to check at some points like a hotel valet, and a smaller knapsack no larger than a purse that can be used for day excursions.

Buy small gifts and bring many many business cards.

  • Expect to receive gifts when you are leaving
  • Be prepared to give small gifts to your hosts and others who have helped you in unexpected ways
  • Expect the people to whom you give gifts not to open them in your presence unless you request they do so

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