Make a Packing List
You’ll have more piece of mind if you keep a checklist of what you are packing. It will eliminate any worries about having left anything behind. Once you’ve packed and zipped up your baggage, you can be confident of what’s inside, without having to open them and rummage through to check for an item.
Mark Your Checked Luggage!
There are so many luggage sets of the same or similar color, so it’s a great idea to mark yours in some distinctive way so that it will stand out and be easier to identify picking out from the luggage carousel. Mark your luggage with a colored strip of tape, stickers, or tied shoelaces or ribbon so it is easily recognizable.
Be aware that some airlines are cracking down on “smart luggage” that uses GPS technology, as the lithium-ion batteries it uses can be a fire hazard. Although there have not been any reported cases of fires caused by lithium batteries from these equipped suitcases, airlines are concerned about their safety. “Smart luggage’ includes an I.D. “chip” that stores the owner’s personal contact information, flight info and enables tracking the luggage using GPS technology, amongst other features.
Rolling Your Clothes
Rolling your clothes seems to be the best way to go to maximize the amount of clothing you can pack. Done properly, it will also minimize wrinkles. Rolling can be a little difficult for bulky puffy items like vests, coats, and sweaters, so you may have to fold these items flat.
Follow the 3-1-1 Rule
All liquids brought on to the plane in your handbag and/or carry-on luggage must fit in a 3.4 oz bottle, inside a clear quart-size sealable bag. Mascara, lip gloss, toothpaste and aerosol items are all classified as gels. Foods such as peanut butter, pudding and icing also fall into this category, however liquid prescription medication is exempt. Failure to follow this simple rule will cost you holding up the line plus having your items confiscated.
Your Carry-on Bag
Many of us bring gifts when we travel. While wrapping them is allowed, it’s not encouraged. Airport personnel may unwrap them if they need to check what you’re carrying. Make your life easier by packing all your liquids and gels in your checked luggage. This includes bottles of wine, liquor or beer, so long as you are within your allowed personal limits. Otherwise, you must conform to the 3-1-1 rule as outlined above. It’s good to include at least one extra change of clothes, in the event your checked bag is delayed.
Never Check Essential Items
Always keep your most important and essential items with you in your carry-on luggage. Your passport, id, jewelry, electronics, meds, and any other valuable items should always be kept with you on the plane. Airlines work hard to keep all checked luggage ending up in the right location, but we all know someone who has had their luggage delayed or even lost completely!
Often, we are traveling from one climate to another and dressing in layers makes it easy to remove or add as needed for temperature changes. You will want to wear stylish and yet comfortable clothes that allow for extended sitting and stretching on your flight. Packing in layers also makes it easier for your bag to be scanned by airport security and keeps you moving along to your destination quickly.
Your Personal Item Allowance
Airlines usually allow one personal item, and one carry-on bag to be brought on board at no charge. Don’t waste your personal item on a small purse. Bring a larger bag that you can fit more items in. You can stow it under the seat in front of you and keep anything you need for the flight close and handy.