Preparing for a trip can be a lot of work, and you may end up being focused on other activities before departure that you leave little time for getting ready. Making sure you have everything you need is critical, and by packing like a pro, you can minimize any hassle or worry. Consider these helpful tips before getting ready for your next trip and remember to always check the airline’s baggage rules:
1. Start with the right bag
Lugging around an old and bulky suitcase is an easy way to make for a miserable trip. Broken wheels, zippers or straps can be a disaster and having too little or too much space doesn’t do you much good either.
2. Opt for carry-on baggage only
Whenever possible, you should avoid checking in a bag. Even if you’re traveling for a week it is still possible to only bring a carry-on, and again this starts with the right bag and the right packing. Rigid suitcases can be difficult to fit into an overhead compartment, but softer material can be a little more flexible. Then, with your smaller personal item, you can likely bring everything you need on your trip without checking in any baggage. Consider using a collapsible tote bag as your personal item and pack a smaller purse inside it. Then when you are out and about at your destination you can keep the collapsible tote inside your purse to serve as a reusable shopping or grocery bag.
3. Small packing steps
If you are not going on an impromptu trip and have a week or more before leaving go ahead and take out your luggage and start dropping in items for your trip (take into consideration your itinerary, weather and comfort) every day so it is not as daunting as packing everything the day before and increasing the chance of forgetting something. A day or two before leaving review the items you gathered and take out or add anything you may need to finalize your packing.
4. Dress in layers
Prepare a travel “uniform” ahead of time so you can be comfortable in the airport, on the plane and getting to and from your destination and set it out the day before you leave. Layering a shawl, cardigan, light jacket and the right shoes is smart for staying comfortable during a trip. Getting too hot or too cold can make a flight feel miserable. Always remember to check the weather at your destination to wear appropriate clothing and pack accordingly.
5. Select the right shoes
Shoes take up a lot of space in your bag. You can try stuffing them with socks and small items to be more efficient, but it’s best to select no more than two pairs of shoes for your trip if possible. When it comes to the day of your flight, opt for shoes that are comfortable and easy to put on and take off. Katie Stanton, the Vice President of Global Media for Twitter told Fortune that she likes to wear her running shoes for comfort and for unexpected sprints through airports.
6. Consolidate toiletries
Instead of running to the store to buy travel shampoo and other items all the time if you don’t want to use the hotel’s products, try reusing travel-sized bottles and containers by filling them with your favorite products (and it’s great for the environment!). Always store liquids in a separate bag to avoid any messy mishaps.
7. Bring your own feminine care products
It’s best to leave nothing to chance when it comes to feeling fresh and relaxed since some international destinations may not have as many options when it comes to feminine products.
8. Prepare digital devices for downtime
Load up your smartphone, tablet, e-reader or laptop with
any apps, games, audiobooks, podcasts, TV shows or movies to keep you distracted just in case there is extra downtime while waiting at airports or on planes. Don’t forget to bring headphones, chargers and an adapter (if you are traveling internationally).
9. Consider Global Entry or TSA Pre&check®
Applying for these programs may be a worthy investment. This way, you can breeze through even the most crowded airports and minimize stress and anxiety about missing flights or losing precious time.
10. Stay healthy and hydrated
Flying coast to coast or internationally can throw off your body clock in a big way. In the days leading up to your trip check health notices for your destination, consult with your physician, get plenty of sleep, eat well and stay hydrated. Buy a bottled water or a sports drink after you get through security and bring it on the plane. Avoiding getting sick before, during or after your trip is a chief concern.
Contact your travel insurance provider for further assistance.