Packing 101: Essential Tips For Travelers

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

From packing your bags to dealing with security officers at airport checkpoints, your luggage can be the source of a lot of stress. We’ve all come across the same luggage struggles. We cant fit our fourth pair of shoes or our live eels in our carry-on and we become so overwhelmed with all of the nonsense it takes to travel. NO MORE. Groundbreaking advice has just made it's way across your screen. 

Packing Issue #1: Forgetting something essential

By essential, I don’t mean yet another pair of shoes or the latest issue of Cosmopolitan for the long flight ahead. Okay, that was hard to say, but it’s true. I’m talking about your passport, travel documents, and other essential items that we detailed in one of my previous articles. Sort them out in advance, and take photos of what you can so you have them handy on your phone; things like your booking details are critical. Let’s say you forget your toothbrush or headphones. Essential Yes. Life altering? Not really. Don’t sweat the small stuff. You can buy those things at the airport or a convenience store once you land. Making a checklist of items weeks before you go away, sounds extra but is so helpful.  Tick off each thing when you have successfully packed them into your luggage.

Packing Issue #2: Running out of luggage space

Focus on packing the essentials first. Then you can fit extra items into your suitcases. What seems always to be forgotten is the fun finds you bring back. You will probably buy a few souvenirs while you’re away, so make sure you leave room for any new possessions. Still, if you do run out of space and you have removed all but one pair of shoes from your bags, you can still do something about it. Larger items, such as shipping skis for a winter vacation, can be sent on ahead through reputable carrier services. The same goes for your souvenirs. It’s a little extra but can be extremely helpful. I almost bought a whole lighting fixture when I was in Europe but had no way of getting it back. I found out about these services a little too late, unfortunately. Now I’m sharing my experience to make you all the wiser. You know your packing style. Invest in larger luggage, despite the extra expense for carrying it on the plane if that makes the most sense to you. 

Packing Issue #3: An item is confiscated at the check-in counter

You shouldn’t be taking anything illegal with you anyway. Once, there was a professor who had his human skull traveling with him (weird), and that was confiscated. So please leave your remains at the door if you don’t want to get stuck at the counter answering questions for ages. Still, the craziest of items get confiscated, such as jars of Marmite bottles of perfume, and skulls (apparently) so you should find out what is and isn’t allowed through security before you leave for your holiday. If something is confiscated - say goodbye to your nice packing - it is usually destroyed by the security officer. You may be able to argue your cause. If this isn’t possible, you will have to let go of your prized or weird possession and take solace in the fact your bags are a little lighter at least.

Don’t let your packing woes ruin your trip. If you have any other tips for other readers - perhaps an overzealous security officer confiscated your jar of peanut butter, or your bags burst when you were on the way to the airport - please let them know what you did about it, enlightening us with your traveler’s wisdom in the comments below.

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