Summer is upon us, and with the warm weather comes the urge to get away. Whether for a weekend or a month, packing is always a headache. Following just a few simple packing tips for air travel will take the worry out of packing so you can just enjoy your vacation.
1. Avoid paying big bucks for checked bags. Always, yes, always check your airline’s baggage policy. Many airlines charge for every single bag you check, so the best thing to do, if you can, is get luggage down to a carry-on bag and a personal item. Just be aware of the weight and dimension limits for every item—so you limit airline super-fees.
2. Packing for carry-on alone. If you’re aiming to keep your belongings in one carry-on, probably the most useful and economic purchase you can make is vacuum sealable clothes bags. These space savers will squish down bulky items, like sweatshirts, jackets and other clothes—and optimize your luggage space. And just in case, call your hotel to make sure they can supply you with an iron when you arrive.
3. Roll your clothes. Don’t fold clothes—roll them up by simply folding them in half and make sure you create tight cylinders. This will allow you to fit much more in your bag and provide a flat surface for the rest of your items.
4. Take the nightmare out of packing shoes. Shoes, believe it or not, can become helpful luggage cubes if packed right! Cover shoe bottoms with a shower cap so they stay in place—and they don’t touch your layer of rolled, clean clothes underneath. You can stuff socks, chargers, batteries, nail polishes, etc., inside the shoes so they stay put.
5. Keep shirt collars stiff and wrinkle free. Just roll a belt and position it inside the collar. It might take up more room, but it’s worth it if you’re on a tight schedule and need a fresh outfit when you arrive at your destination. You can even throw a dryer sheet in your luggage to keep clothes smelling fresh after a long flight.
6. Avoid container confiscation. Since airlines have strict fluid container restrictions, small containers are a must. Full-size containers waste room anyway. Drug stores sell value packs of travel-size containers you can fill with toiletries, shampoos and such. Also, weekly pill containers are great for packing jewelry. They keep chain necklaces from tangling and earrings from getting lost. A Tic Tac container can be a great storage place for bobby pins.
7. Pack toiletries in a plastic bag. Airlines often require it, but it’s more important in avoiding any leakage onto clothes, which could result in excessive hotel dry cleaning costs. Simply wrap the open bottle with plastic wrap and secure with a rubber band or even a hair tie and then screw the top on. This makes it much easier to place your containers in nooks and crannies without having to worry about ruining the rest of your belongings.
Enjoy your trip!