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Hi all!  I've spent the last two years traveling monthly for work, and spent the first year forgetting at least one essential item.  I created a super generic packing list.  Most of these items are pretty obvious, but I know especially in high anxiety situations, I'm more likely to overlook things.  Anyway, thought I would share the list I've been using for interviews in case someone else would find it useful!

Electronics: 
- Laptop
- Laptop Charger
- Headphones 
- Cell phone charger

Clothing: 
- Suit 
- Blouse
- Back up interview outfit
- X outfits for X days away
- Pajamas (Especially if you're staying with grad students or sharing a room!) 
- Undergarments 
- Socks 
- Professional shoes 

Basics: 
- Toothbrush 
- Toothpaste 
- Floss 
- Deodorant 
- Makeup bag 

Travel Size Versions of:
- Shampoo
- Facewash 
- Moisturizer
- Lotion

In my purse: 
- Wallet
- Passport 
- Driver's License
- Emergency Cash
- Travel Binder including Plane/Train Ticket Printed, Hotel information, Itinerary
- Padfolio with Resume/CV, recent abstracts of POIs work (as well as notepad for list of questions to ask at interview, write notes about program, etc.)
- Lint roller 
- Tide Pen 
- Nail File/Polish 
- Granola Bar 

The last step is remembering to grab my suitcase on the way to the airport! ;)

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Great list. During the last couple years of grad school, I was travelling quite a lot, so I just bought an extra copy of all the "basics" that just stayed in my suitcase. I also had a mini supply of travel size items at home (went to CVS and bought like 5 of everything I needed) so that I can just grab what I needed/refill etc.

Another useful trick that helps me save paper is to forgo the travel binder and get PDFs of all of my travel docs onto my Dropbox, then offline-sync them so I can access them on my phone without an internet connection. I used to always print everything but realised I never touched that file during most of my trips (but then I could use them to prepare the expense reports). My contingency against cell phone not working (battery dead?) is to have a single page with all the flight, hotel, etc. confirmation numbers.

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The only thing I would add to that list is a book. I have a book that I only read when I travel, so it gives me something to look forward to, especially on long flights.  I hardly ever bring an academic book, but something in the more popular novel category (Michael Crichton is my go to author). Mass market paperbacks are small enough and give you something to take your mind off the travel/interviews/work for just a little while.

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1 hour ago, khigh said:

The only thing I would add to that list is a book. I have a book that I only read when I travel, so it gives me something to look forward to, especially on long flights.  I hardly ever bring an academic book, but something in the more popular novel category (Michael Crichton is my go to author). Mass market paperbacks are small enough and give you something to take your mind off the travel/interviews/work for just a little while.

I purchased a Amazon Fire tablet for this. I have e-books that I only read when traveling as well as shows I only watch while traveling (download the show from Amazon Prime Video and/or Netflix). I like the tablet because it's lighter and thinner/easier to pack than a book, and it means I can have access to multiple books and shows without adding to my packing list and then I can read/watch whatever I happen to be in the mood for.

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I use my Kindle when traveling to read for pleasure. It's awesome.

The only thing I'd add is that I keep a prepacked, 1 quart bag of toiletries on hand at all times so I literally just have to throw that into the suitcase and I know that the toiletries is taken care of in the TSA-approved way. It's made my life way easier. 

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I've cut my list down a lot my last year for travel. 

Laptop/iPad takes care of digital needs. iPad has both work study snd pleasure reading  

If I'm going to be giving a talk, I have two small bags that go in my briefcase- one with adapters, a spare USB drive and my laser pointer, the other with chalk and dry erase markers. 

I also do the "go bag" for toiletries, and refill when I get home rather than when I need to leave.

For clothes, I do two jackets and jeans, with some wrinkle free oxfords and a tie  versatile, comfortable, and can wear for several extra days  if I need to without it looking bad. After 38 hours of  combined flight delays one tripl this rocketed up my list of importance!

I do digital for all my travel documents, personally, as its one less thing to have to bring and keep track of.

The other thing I've found really nice to have is a good spill-and-leak proof coffe cup. I fill it up as soon as I'm through security and keep it with me all trip. I can also fill it up throughout the day wherever I am.

 

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6 minutes ago, butwhyisallthecoffeegone said:

I also pack workout clothes and running shoes, as well as hair products, lotion, and chap stick. I'm vain about my hair and skin, what can i say? 

I don't know that workout clothes are necessary for interview visits... Personally, I am trying my best to pack as lightly as possible. But yes, lotion and chap stick are a must!

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@patakaRunning shorts and a t shirt allow me to blow off steam, explore the campus, and don't take up a ton of room in your bag. Also, keeps you fresh for your interview :)

Edited by butwhyisallthecoffeegone
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