Friday, July 23, 2010

Packing for Jets and The Lonely Island VLOG Ep.4

When it comes time for this step, many of you may be pulling your hair out trying to figure out how to pack for year or more of life in Japan. Well, I hope this post helps.

First, the rules are subject to change and vary depending on country, so please use this as a rule of thumb.

Currently we are allowed Two Check-in Bags, One Carry-on bag and a Carry-on personal item (which is along the lines of a purse, laptop bag, backpack, etc.).  Essentially you're allowed to have 4 "items".

The Two Check-in Bags can not be more than 50lbs, unless you want to incur the penalties for packing too much. Then your Carry-on bag has to fit certain dimensions, which you can find out what those are through your airline. In general, any wheeled luggage that is sized for Carry-on should fit those dimensions.

Here is what I did, because the trick to packing for JET is knowing what you need and when you need it. When you arrive to Tokyo with the multitudes of confused, jet-lagged JETs, all of you will be pushed to the bus boarding area with your luggage. You will be given a ticket prior to departure for Tokyo, which you write your Contracting Organization's address on. The reason for this is because you'll have to say "Bye" to one or both of your Check-in Bags, this is up to you which one or if both will be meeting you in your new home.

Because you will have to send one of your checked bags to your Contracting Organization, you'll have to designate what bag you'll need the most, because this checked bag will be staying with you and going to the Keio Plaza Hotel in Tokyo.

This is what I did:

The Above picture are of the Two Check-in Bags I will be bringing.

I purchased large Duffle Bags as my Checked Luggage for a number of reasons. 
1- to save space in my new apartment.
2- to allow me to put more items in the bag in terms of weight. Since the duffle bags are mostly heavy duty cloth, it isn't nearly as heavy as other suitcases.

To protect my clothes and other items from weather and dirt, I used space-saver bags. These vacuum sealed my clothes and allowed me to put more items in one of the duffle bags. Keep in mind, Space Savers only save you space so it will still weigh the same. One of the Bags contain my clothes and necessary electronics and the other bag contains winter clothes, shoes, and other stuff. I will be sending the bag of winter clothes and such to my contracting organizations. I will be bringing the other bag with me, because it has my clothes but also I have gifts in there for my new bosses.

This is my carry-on bag and my back pack.

Now, I plan on using only the carry-on bag for the clothes I will need for Pre-departure Orientation and Tokyo Orientation. I've packed my two suits, 5 days worth of undergarments, two shorts, one pair of jeans, three t-shirts, two polos, and 4 under shirts. So, I intend to live out of this suitcase for the next 4 days until I'm settled in my home at Hokkaido. In my backpack I will carry my laptop, Bose QC15 Noise Canceling Headphones, Bose Sounddock Portable, necessary files, camera, and a few other items.

To wrap up and summarize, my two Checked Bags are solely to carry items I will need for life in Japan, but not necessarily immediately or during the first 4 days of travel. My two Carry-On items are things I felt I needed with me at all times and clothes for the first 4 days of travel.

Well, good luck and here is The Lonely Island VLOG EP4

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