JohnnyjetThis month’s guest post of “5 things I always pack” is from John E. DiScala, otherwise known as Johnny Jet. His site has been one of my go-to travel resource sites for close to a decade now. Johnny travels around 150,000 miles and visits over 20 countries each year. He and his website have been featured over 1,800 times in magazines and newspapers and on all the major TV networks.


I always pack:  In no particular order, mind you …

1. My wardrobe essentials:

– A bathing suit because you never know when the occasion may arise.
– A sports jacket to look smart.  sev jacket
– If I wear sneakers I bring dress shoes or vice versa.  A reversible belt (brown and black).  I’m also keen on the ScotteVest SeV jackets—they have multiple pockets (like 18-52 depending on the model) so you can hide your valuables.

2. My work gear:

My Toshiba Portege A600 laptop, with a 3M privacy shield (so no one can read what I’m typing) and a Sprint wireless card so log on to the airport domestically from anywhere (I rent it for cheap from

3. Ear plugs and an eye mask

Ear plugs block the noise on a plane or in a noisy hotel room. I don’t like the cheap scratchy eye masks that the airlines pass out; instead, spend $10 or less and buy a fluffy one that will make you look silly but feel fresh. I have one from Lewis N. Clark.

travel journal4. Travel Journal

The moment I take my seat, I write down my destination, the date, the airline, the type of plane, seat number, the listed departure time, the actual departure time, flight time and miles. I know it’s kind of Rainman-esque of me, but I used to do it back when I was afraid to fly, to focus my mind on something else. But now it helps me with my story details.

I also jot down what I did, where I ate, how much I spent, transportation modes, weather. And on the last page, I put stamps of all the countries I visited (see the picture here). I get my journal from Graphic Image or Barney’s New York.

5. A box of chocolates…

…for either the gate agent and/or the flight attendants. They can make or break your flight.

John DiScala’s has been named “one of the top best money-saving web sites for travel” by Budget Travel Magazine, while  the L.A. Times calls it “one of the top 10 essential travel resources on the internet.” Every week, Johnny hosts a “travel website of the week” for several radio stations around the country, he writes weekly for and he has written for USAToday, The Boston Herald, LAX Magazine and Coast Magazine.  Sign up today for Johnny Jet’s free weekly travel newsletter at