Like a lot of us, you too may find it difficult to pack properly when flying, whether it is for a three day getaway or a month long trip. If you want to travel comfortably, you have to pack smartly. A lot of us tend to keep stuffing our bags thinking we may need one or the other pair of clothes or other items; but then realize that we don't need them when we actually go on our trips, and end up not using even one of those just-in-case items we packed. Moreover, due to the heavy airport security nowadays, you should be packing in a specific manner to avoid unnecessary delays. So what goes into packing smart? Here are some very essential packing tips to guide you.
How to Pack when Traveling on Airlines
✈ Before you start packing find out what you are allowed to carry on a flight and what you are not. You don't want to go to the airport and then be denied carrying some very important items.
✈ Pack light. There's nothing worse than having to lug around your bags, say if your flight has been delayed.
✈ Leave a little room in your suitcase. Don't pack it to a point where you have to sit on it to close it. If you happen to be checked at the airport and the security personnel messes with your luggage, you should be able to quickly put your things back in the bag without having to wrap everything neatly so that it fits. Also, should you decide to bring back something, there should be place in your bag to accommodate it.
✈ Any traveler will tell you that a suitcase tends to seem bigger if your clothes are rolled up rather than folded and placed in them. Rolling clothes within clothes is also a good idea to save space while packing.
✈ Use your shoes as additional storage areas. Put in small bottles (thoroughly sealed) of say your perfumes or other toiletries in them to save some space. Place other fragile items within rolled clothes to cushion them.
✈ Depending on the kind of trip you are going for, choose your clothes wisely. For instance, a sarong can be a skirt and a dress. A cargo pant can be zipped apart into a pair of shorts. A jacket can keep you warm and protect you from the rain at the same time.
✈ Carry clothes that will go well with each other. This gives you greater options in mixing and matching and reduces the necessity to carry too many clothes. If you know you are not going to be attending any special occasions, don't unnecessarily carry heavy clothes. Just like clothes, keep shoes to a minimum. One pair of walking shoes along with a pair or two of flip-flops should ideally be enough for a holiday.
✈ Keep only one set of 'just-in-case' items. There is no sense in having clothes as backup for clothes that are already a backup.
✈ Clothes and shoes that you need, but are heavy and will add to the weight of your luggage should be worn while traveling. These large clothes also serve as good storage spaces so that your passport, tickets, keys, etc. all fit into them easily.
✈ When you are traveling, make sure that the toiletries and other essentials you carry are also travel-sized. There is no room for that huge bottle of shampoo you intend to carry just for a week. Stick to sachets or specifically designed travel packs for such items.
✈ Electronic items such as hair dryers, hair irons, clothes irons, etc. add to the weight of your bag. If possible, avoid carrying them. Iron your clothes in advance and pack them, and use the hair dryers and other items that hotels usually provide.
✈ Due to airline travel restrictions it is important that you pack toiletries that you plan to carry in your hand luggage in a clear, sealable plastic bag. Also keep these at an accessible point in your hand luggage for easy checking.
✈ If possible, use a suitcase with dividers, or create divisions in your suitcase by using cardboard. This way you can categorize a variety of items that will be easily accessible when traveling and throughout your trip.
✈ Be prepared for flight delays, particularly if you are traveling for long hours. Keep a set of essentials at hand so that you can brush or change if you need to.
✈ Separate valuable items into multiple bags and among friends and family traveling with you, so that in case you happen to lose one bag at the airport, you don't lose all your valuables. Alternately, if one of you loses one set of valuables, the remainder will be intact.
✈ On your return journey, if possible, discard or donate the clothes you used there. This is a good way of avoiding bringing back unnecessary stuff.
✈ If you intend to bring back gifts for someone, do not wrap them in advance. Again, in case you happen to get stopped for a security check, the security personnel shouldn't have to waste time on unwrapping your gifts and checking each one of them; and of course, wasting your effort at having them packed.
Follow these simple tips and you will travel light, and comfortably too, whether it is a business trip or a holiday. The idea is to enjoy your trip, not worry about how you will carry everything around. Have a great time!