Leaving on a Jet Plane? Follow These Packing Tips Every Traveler Should Know
Getting ready for a vacation or a business trip can be stressful. You need to make sure you have everything you need, but you don’t want to overpack and pay the pricey airline baggage fees. Follow these strategies for stress-free packing – whether you're going away for a weekend or a week.
- Create a packing list - Worried you are going to forget something? Start a list, days before departure, so you have time to purchase any additional items you might need. Having a list guarantees you won't forget to bring something important.
- Don't fold...roll! - Many travel experts recommend rolling your clothing rather than folding. Not only do tightly rolled clothes take up less space, but they are also less likely to get wrinkled.
- Know your carrier's baggage policy – Every airline, with the exception of Southwest Airlines, charges a fee for checked luggage. Policies can vary based on ticket price or destination (domestic vs. International). To avoid surprises, check the policy before you pack, make sure your bag(s) meet the size requirement, and if possible, put them on a scale to ensure you are under the maximum allowable weight.
- Check the size requirement for carry-on baggage – Every traveler is entitled to one carry-on bag and one personal item. The size requirement for the personal item varies by carrier, but generally speaking, a purse, backpack, or laptop case is allowed to be brought onboard.
- Remember the 3-1-1 rule – The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) restricts the number of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes you can place in your carry-on luggage. Only travel-sized containers – a maximum of 3.4 ounces (100ml) per item – are allowed onboard the aircraft. Bergman Kelly shampoo, conditioner, two-in-one, and body wash are packaged in convenient one-ounce tubes, so they are a must-have for frequent, and not-so-frequent fliers alike! Don't forget to place all of your carry-on liquids in a quart-size Ziploc plastic bag.
- Try and pack light – The less weight in your bags, the better. Many hotels have self-service washer/dryers or offer laundry and dry-cleaning services, so you can take fewer outfits and launder as needed. Choose neutral colored pants, shorts, or skirts that can work with different shirts or jackets. Bring items that can be used for the day, and jazzed up for the night. Going to be in multiple climates? Layer! No matter how much you are obsessed with shoes, limit yourself to three pair – one casual, one dress, and one pair of sneakers.
- Never check essential items – Always keep valuable and personal items close to you – never put them into your checked baggage. Your passport, wallet, credit cards, medication, jewelry, and electronics should always go into one of your carry-on pieces. If you have space, put a lightweight, spare outfit, socks and underwear in your carry-on, just in case your checked luggage ends up in a different destination. It's always better to be safe than sorry.
Have a safe – and enjoyable – trip!