Post Academic

The Semi-Post Academic Road Warrior Guide: Packing for MLA

Posted in First Person by Arnold Pan on December 2, 2010
Tags: , ,

I had to get in on what Caroline’s been writing about regarding traveling, so we’ll get back to the “Interviews You Don’t Want to Have” series later.  Rest assured, the best — or would that be worst? — is yet to come.  But packing is part of what makes the whole MLA experience so nervewracking.  Below, I’m getting into the pros and cons and insane thinking that goes into preparing to travel to MLA.

"Luggage belt Bangkok" by Hajime NAKANO (Creative Commons license)

Check-in and Carry on?: It’s never happened to me, but I’m always in fear of losing check-in luggage for the first time, which I always presume would be at the worst time.  I think having your suit shipped off somewhere else the one time you need it in any given year would probably qualify as being a worst time.  So what about a back-up plan, taking some kind of formal outfit on board with you, just in case?  There’s nothing wrong with that, right?  Except it’s a pain to lug half of your earthly possessions with you across the country.  And now, who knows what luggage you have to pay for and what’s gratis on any particular airline?

In my mind, it’s a coin flip.  If you don’t mind carrying more luggage and risk having your junk — literally and figuratively — handled, why not be prepared for the worst case scenario?  If you prefer traveling relatively light and don’t sweat the unlikely possibility that everything will go wrong, just check your baggage in.  In case something does happen, it’s not like you’re flying into the wilderness, since you can pick up an emergency suit or tie or dress shoes.  After all, there’s probably more or less the same Macy’s stuff wherever you go.

What (not) to wear or bring to MLA, below the fold…