Packing is pivotal. You want non-wrinkled items for every occasion in the smallest luggage possible, am I right? Let’s revisit the most basic—and most useful—packing rules.
These may seem like common sense actions, but these fundamental packing strategies bare repeating every traveler should know.
1. Always make a list of items you need during your travel & select the outfits before packing (Eliminates unnecessary clothing) – Use your destinations season/weather as a guide. I am not one to plan ahead, but it would really be so much better if I did – I have a friend who schedules out her outfits and it’s brilliant.
2. Roll (don’t fold) your clothes it occupies less space and better to avoid wrinkles – bonus: I am a fan of small hand steamers to fix all of my clothes on the go.
3. Know your airline’s baggage-fee policy. Figuring out the airlines’ tricky and befuddling baggage-fee policies is key to any budget-minded packing strategy. While most airlines permit travelers to check at least one bag on international flights, the majority of U.S. carriers charge big bucks for bags checked on domestic flights.
4. Follow the 3-1-1 rule. Get familiar with the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) 3-1-1 rule for carry-on luggage. All liquids brought onto planes must be in 3.4-ounce bottles or smaller and inside a single, clear, quart-size zip-top bag. This isn’t as simple as it sounds. Foods such as peanut butter, pudding, mashed potatoes, and icing are classified as gels. Mascara, lip gloss, and aerosol items are also classified as liquids or gels. But keep in mind that liquid prescription medication is exempt. (Read more on that on The TSA Blog.)
5. Use your personal item wisely. Personally, I try to keep it light when I travel (carry-on only + 1 big purse that holds my laptop, smaller purse, etc). It’s standard for airlines to permit each traveler to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item onboard planes. This personal item is subject to specific size requirements (these vary by airline)
6. Layer and/or pack dual wear garments. This advice is twofold: Wear layers and pack in layers. First, your on-the-road wardrobe should feature plenty of layers, which will help you jetset through multiple climates in style and comfort. Second, the items in your bag should be packed in neat layers for easy screening. According to the TSA, “Pack items in layers (shoes one layer, clothes one layer, electronics one layer, etc.)”
7. Never check essential items. It’s terribly important to keep your valuable and essential belongings in your carry-on bag, not in your checked luggage. Your passport, identification, money, credit cards, jewelry, electronics, keys, and other valuables should always be brought onto the plane with you. We probably don’t need to tell you why you need to keep your passport and wallet on your person. But if the airline loses your luggage (or if a TSA agent gets sticky fingers), you’ll regret stowing your expensive watch in a checked bag.
8. Tech chargers and or special plugs: DON’T forget everything you need for your tech, especially your PHONE & CAMERA – Keep the memories ALIVE!
Carrie A. Mitchell is the founder of L’Aventure Travel, the host of the Suitcase Sojourn Podcast, and author of the children’s travel book “To Be We”. Carrie is a global travel and hospitality expert who works with publications, brands and entertainment outlets on a number of travel related projects, from marketing consulting to editorial coverage to hosting & producing content for the web, TV and podcasts. She is always seeking to learn from people and places around the world, and share through her cultural exploration (40+ countries and counting)