It really does not matter where you are heading or with whom, but a quick, short checklist of “packing thoughts” may just help to take the stress out of preparations. We assume you have your flights and accommodations booked and the last thing on your to-do list before heading to the airport is to pack your luggage. If you follow the below tips, you’ll probably find that packing does not need to be a boring, stressful, agitating chore.
Most travelers by now should know the rules and regulations on liquids when traveling. However, occasionally some of you may still try to sneak some water passed security, or there just may still be some confusion regarding liquids. To make it simple, 100ml per item on carry-on luggage (the luggage you take with you on the plane) is what the limit is. This is valid Europe wide regulation and in almost all countries across the globe. It may be annoying, especially when it just comes down to a bottle of water, but rules are rules and the point is safety. The items (100ml) must be in a transparent bag (like a plastic ziplock bag). If you have any items larger than this or in non-transparent packaging, than put them in your check-in luggage if possible. Otherwise, avoid taking them with you.
There will most likely be a pharmacy close by, depending on where you are vacationing, however, it may be smart to take a small bag of the most necessary pills with you. By necessary we mean medicine that can accommodate a fever, headaches, upset stomach, etc. This way, as a just in case, you have it handy and ready with you. Especially if you are traveling with children make sure to be prepared in case they suddenly catch the flu or get an upset stomach. Keep in mind that laws differ from country to country. What may be an over the counter medicine in your home country may be prescription based in the country you are visiting. If you need too than pick up something prior to your departure. This also is valid for allergies or asthma-related illnesses.
We are not talking about name tags here. You don’t need to tell the whole world your name when traveling, what we mean are the luggage tags on your suitcase. Most suitcases these days come with luggage tags. Use them. You don’t need to worry about anyone copying your name, address or phone number. You never know what happens to your luggage especially on intercontinental flights and you sure don’t want to deal with lost luggage upon arrival. Having these details on your tags may make it easier in case it does happen.
Aside from using your luggage tags, be sure to know what the restrictions are. If you are checking in luggage and the airline policy is 23kg, then it is definitely going to be 23kg. Don’t expect the check-in agent to be friendly and pass the kilo or so without a penalty fee. Try to weigh your baggage before leaving to the airport to ensure you are within the given regulation of the airline you are traveling with. Should you not meet the requirements, you just may have to pay a hefty fee or have the hassle of unpacking and redistributing your personal belongings on the airport floor in front of everyone.
Depending on where you are going, what you are doing, and the length of your stay a maximum of two pairs for a few days should suffice. Otherwise, for longer journeys, three pairs are also acceptable. Just make sure to pack smart so as to use all the space in your luggage. Only bring what you really need and plan accordingly. You don’t want to get stuck wearing high heels when you actually planned to go hiking!
Even if you have checked-in luggage, try keeping cosmetics and personal hygiene items to a minimum. That doesn’t mean you should leave your deodorant at home, or your favorite perfume. However, unless your destination is a retreat in the desert or a remote island, you’ll probably be able to purchase shampoo, sun lotion, and other cosmetic items at your destination. Honestly, try using only what you really really need. Perhaps a face cream is sufficient without going for the makeup. This will also save you lots of luggage space and weight.
Remember to check plug types at your destination and have the right adapters at hand. You will probably be able to purchase these items at the airport as well, however, you’ll pay a pricey margin on top of what they cost at your local electronics dealer.
The best way to pack, depends on the types of clothes you have, yet one of the best ways to save space in your luggage is not only to utilize empty space, like stuffing your shoes with your socks, etc. but to roll all your clothes rather than stacking them. For one, it will reduce the number of wrinkles your clothes have after unpacking and we find that it saves an additional amount of space in your luggage. Give it a try with a few items and see what you think. Practice makes perfect.
On top of rolling your clothing, remember that packing lighter is smarter, especially if you plan on purchasing items at your destination. Whether shopping or holiday souvenirs. Having space in your luggage never hurts.
Breakables should be wrapped using clothing or bubble wrap and stuffed in between more clothing. The safest place to put these items is in the middle or just above the middle when your suitcase is standing vertically. This is where the least amount of impact occurs.
Lost luggage does not happen all too often these days, but it still does. Hence, reduce the risk and always keep your valuables with you at all times. Whether its cash, your notebook, phone, camera, a diamond ring, etc. Keep these items on you or with you at all times.
This is a great point especially when traveling with children or for you if you plan on traveling long distance. The majority of travelers will not have access to airport lounges with showers if your traveling long distance, so bringing a fresh pair of clothing along with you in your hand luggage or bag is recommendable. If you are able to change somewhere at your layover airport, you just may feel a bit fresher again, or in case you miss a flight, have to stay overnight, or your flight is delayed for whatever reason. For your kids, it may just be that they spill something or have an accident.
Check the weather forecast once or twice, but not religiously. Get a general feeling of what the weather will be at your location and pack accordingly. Meteorologists are good but may not always be spot on. Worst case plan in a small small budget for grabbing an additional sweater or t-shirt at your destination.
The last thing to remember is your essentials. Things like your phone, passport, credit card, and some cash, along with any tickets or confirmations you may need to print out or have on your mobile app.
These are a few tips to not only make packing less arduous but also less stressful. This way you’ll be able to pack with ease, with no hassles, and have what you need. What else do think belongs on this list or what else do you do when packing for your trip? We would love to hear from you below!