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Travel Packing Tips

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Packing correctly for your trip is as important as making sure you confirm your reservations.  If you pack well, your trip will be much more enjoyable than if you pack in a hurry and forget essential items.  Packing too quickly can also result in heavy bags with far too many things packed into them.  Nearly every airline now charges an “over weight limit” fee for luggage that is too heavy.  Packing correctly can help you have a more enjoyable and less expensive trip.

Roll With the Changes

Many seasoned travelers agree that rolling is a far better way to pack clothing than folding it.  Rolled clothing takes up far less space and is not as likely to develop deep wrinkles.  For longer trips or to save space, rolling your clothing is the easiest solution for your packing needs. 

Make a List (and Check it twice)

Having a packing list will help you ensure you have all of your essentials and that you are not missing anything vital.  You should start with your list as much as a month before your trip, so that you can add things as they occur to you.  It will also be easier to purchase any items you may need if you know you need them earlier than the night before you plan to leave.  A packing list offers a fail-safe for your packing; you will not forget anything important.

Everybody has Baggage

Airlines have begun charging fees for baggage and the fee schedules can be atrociously tough to understand.  Most airlines allow each ticketed passenger one suitcase on international flights, but domestic flights often charge fees even for a single checked bag.  These fees range anywhere between $25 and $100, depending on the carrier; knowing whether you have to pay additional fees can play a big role in your desire to save as much space as possible in your luggage.

Following the Rules

Since September 11, 2001, the rules regarding the liquids allowed aboard an airplane have changed drastically.  You are no longer allowed to bring full-sized personal care items such as gel deodorant or mouthwash on board in your carry-on.  All liquids must be contained in bottles that are 3.4 ounces or less, and they have to be packed into a clear zippered storage bag.  While liquid medications are typically exempt from these rules, foods such as mashed potatoes and pudding are also considered liquids and the TSA’s rules apply.  Take the time to examine the list of liquids that are governed by TSA rules and ensure your carry-on meets their regulations.

Make the Most of Your Carry-On

By packing everything you need into a backpack or other suitable carry-on bag, you will avoid excess baggage fees and the possibility that your luggage will be lost.  If you are a woman, do not waste your carry-on allowance with a purse; for men, a briefcase is also a waste of your carry-on allowance.  Use the largest possible bag for your carry-on and pack everything you will need for your trip into it.

What do you do when packing for a trip?


  1. I always have a packing list, which gives me piece of mind. Especially the night before a trip, I am not tossing and turning trying not to forget something.

    1. That is very smart Paris. I never pack the day of the trip unless it is just for one day.

  2. I started using packing cubes which are great and keep things organized!

    1. I need to check those out, thanks Robin!