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In the Bag with Logan Lo

In the Bag is a series of interviews that dive into the streamlined packing habits of travelers we think you should know.
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There’s more to Logan Lo than meets the eye. A civilian intellectual property lawyer by day, at night he’s an inveterate insomniac—channeling waking hours writing in pursuit of a crackling story, be it in the crime thriller “The Men Made of Stone,” or in practical matters of the heart such as dating in an online world—dispensing accessible strategery in a no-nonsense fashion.

What type of trip is it?  A meeting of lawyers in Europe; I give lectures on narrow areas of intellectual property like moral rights and trademark dilution.

Destination? Malaga, Spain.

How many days? Three

Any travel buddies? Nope, just me by my lonesome.

Local weather is like… Chilly!

What’s the packing strategy? Light, but professional.

How many bags and suitcases? One garment bag plus a laptop bag that doubles as a camera case.

Are you checking in or carrying on? Carrying on. I never check bags unless I have to and, if the trip is for less than a week, I rarely have to. I like to get where I’m going fast without the hassle and wait of baggage check. Grab my things and go.

What’s in your carry-on? The usual stuff, but the one thing I carry that’s out of the ordinary is a high-gain antenna attached to a USB wireless adapter. I got it years ago when a lot of people left their Wi-Fi networks open so I could hop online and do work. I still carry it around since I never know if the hotel or café I’ll invariably be working in will have a good signal. The whole thing weighs about four ounces and will work with either my Mac or PC.

When you’re in the airport, what do you do? Going through Security–make sure my belt and everything in my pocket’s slipped into the front pocket of my garment bag, which I keep empty just for this purpose. Once I’m through security, I take everything out of that zipped pocket and put it right back where it belongs. At the terminal, I’m usually able to get a strong Wi-Fi signal with my rig and my computer so it’s work as usual.

Anything else you do before getting on a flight? Give my wife a call to let her know I’m about to take off.

Do you use any travels aids? Three pairs of earplugs–I can’t concentrate with distracting noise and tend to lose them easily.

What’s your travel splurge? Since I usually travel for work, my biggest travel splurge is a day to myself. When I was in Paris, I snuck off to London for a day via the Eurostar. When I was in Hong Kong, I took a flight to see my grandmother in Taiwan. As a (very) amateur photographer, it’s a good excuse to take shots of things I don’t get to see in the Big Apple.

Do you use any travel apps or checklists? I use Evernote and Remember The Milk for everything. I use Evernote to keep my travel notes in order and I use RTM to make sure that I don’t forget an important task or meeting.

The book you’re bringing is Whatever I’m reading at the moment on my tablet or phone. I use Google’s Play Books to keep what I’m reading synced between my Nook tablet and my Android phone, which is currently Paddywhacked by T.J. English.

Are you a prep packer or last-minute type? I have a checklist that I run through from Evernote so I’m pretty last-minute.

Never leave home without… a combo phone charger/flashlight that I keep in my pocket; it comes in a lot handier than you might imagine.

Any rituals or guilty pleasures you do? I tell myself that calories mean less abroad because of exchange rates and partake in local street food. I worked my way through several Berlin donner stands and Taipei skewer carts in the past.

Have you ever missed a flight? I was in a Florida airport flying home from a business trip and ran into an old friend from New York who had since moved to China. It was such a chance meeting that we both chatted longer than we expected.

Any tips for fellow travelers you find helpful? I bring my oldest clothes for hotel lounging so that when I’m ready to go home, I can just toss them in the trash for a bit less to carry. When I’m in a country where I don’t speak the language, I take pics of my hotel and street addresses with my camera phone. I can then show these to taxi drivers to help get me places. For that day to myself, I like to download MP3s of personal walking tours on my phone like Rick Steves and do some exploring.

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Logan travels with two bags. Here’s his go-to knapsack pictured, along with casual pieces from his packing strategy. The tee comes out during required situations.

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A few things that keep traveling sane: ear buds & plugs (for canceling out screaming babies and such), compact flashlight, USB WiFi antennae when staying connected is crucial, and sugar substitutes (not always available overseas) to maintain a trim figure.

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A compact garment bag (other piece of luggage) keeps freshly pressed jackets and shirts wrinkle-free for meetings.

For more on Logan, check out www.loganlo.com

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