Before You Go
Following the easy packing tips below will make for quicker packing and greater chances of a problem-free trip.
1. Pack a smart carry-on. Pack a change of clothes, medicine, eyeglasses, toiletries and anything else you cannot live without in a carry-on in the event your luggage is lost or delayed.
2. Reduce wrinkling. Pack clothes in tissue paper and place in plastic bags.
3. Save space by rolling clothes rather than folding them. This also can decrease your chances of wrinkling.
4. Be realistic. Pack only what you need and leave the rest at home for another time. Those who travel frequently say to lay out everything you want to pack but then only pack half of it.
5. Pack extra underwear. This is the only time you can break the less is more rule.
6. Pack a couple of plastic bags. They don’t take up much space and are useful for separating wet or dirty clothing.
7. Pack toiletries in a plastic bag. Air pressure changes may cause breaks or leaking. Also keep in mind that bag handlers are not known for being gentle with your bags.
8. Think comfort. Take comfortable clothes that are easy to clean and care for. Pack comfortable shoes and only those that you have worn before. Traveling is not the time to break in new shoes.
9. Always pack a small umbrella – just in case.
10. Consider packing an empty lightweight and expandable bag. This will come in handy for purchases when it comes time to pack up and return home.
11. If traveling with a companion, exchange at least one outfit to pack in one another’s bag. This will come in handy if one bag is lost or delayed.
12. Choose lightweight luggage and bags with wheels. You never know how far you will have to carry your bags once you arrive at your destination.
13. Make a list of all items in checked bags. If your luggage is lost you will have an easier time making a claim.
14. Use luggage tags on all bags – carry on and checked – with your name and contact information.
15. Mark your bags with something unique (a red ribbon, a fun sticker). This will make it easier for you to identify and more difficult for someone else to mistake as theirs. This will also come in handy if you lose your bags and need to describe them to an agent.
16. Don’t leave your packing to the last minute. Packing in advance reduces your chances of forgetting items and allows you time to purchase those you still need.
17. Have fun! Packing should not be stressful. Consider it the first leg of your journey!