You’re going on a trip. But before you go, you need to pack.
This is a blog about how to pack for a trip. If you’re going on a short trip, I suggest packing light. Pack only the things you will use every day, and leave everything else at home. If you’re going on a longer trip, you should also bring other things.
But first, let’s talk about the bag itself. What kind of bag should you bring? The best bag is small enough to fit under the seat in front of you but large enough to fit all your belongings inside. While this may sound contradictory, it is possible to find such bags. A backpack or duffle bag works well…
The first thing to do before packing for a trip is to make a list of where you are going, what you will be doing, and how long you’ll be gone. This will give you a good idea of the types of clothing and other items you’ll need to bring with you.
Packing for a weekend getaway is much different than packing for a week-long vacation or a month abroad. If your trip is longer than a few days, make sure you have enough clothes and toiletries to last your whole trip.
You should also consider how many suitcases and bags to pack for your trip. For long trips, one suitcase may not be enough. It’s especially important to think about how much luggage you can carry on your own when traveling by train or bus.
If you plan to bring expensive electronics like laptops, tablets, cameras and cell phones on your trip, make sure they are packed securely so they don’t break in transit. You may also want to consider insuring these items before leaving home in case they are lost or stolen while away from home.
Some flights allow passengers to bring pets on board with them as carry-on luggage; however, this can vary by airline and type of animal so it’s important that you check with all
When traveling by air, one of the most important things that you can do is to pack your suitcase properly. A poorly-packed suitcase can be a nightmare, and it can ruin an otherwise enjoyable trip. It’s very important to make sure that you carry on your luggage, when possible. Carrying on your bags will ensure that they are not damaged or lost during the flight. You will also save money by avoiding checked bag fees.
Here are some tips for packing efficiently:
Use a large duffel bag to carry all of your clothes in. This will help to keep them organized and it will prevent wrinkles.
Wrap small items in clothing so they don’t get lost at the bottom of your bag. Things like jewelry and medicines should be stored this way so they are easy to find and access.
Pack large items such as boots or shoes first so that you can fit other items around them.
Layer shirts and pants for maximum efficiency and space savings. This will also prevent wrinkles from occurring when you move things around in your luggage during your trip.
Meet the most common traveling companion: your carry-on bag. This bag should be your constant companion on every trip, from a quick weekend getaway to a monthlong backpacking excursion. Your carry-on bag is the place for all of your absolute must-have items – your laptop or tablet, phone, camera, medications and passport/wallet – as well as comfort items like snacks, a change of clothes, books and entertainment.
Take care of yourself on the plane by bringing everything you need for a comfortable flight. A neck pillow and blanket are great ways to ensure you can sleep through or at least relax during long flights. Nothing ruins a vacation faster than getting off a 13-hour flight feeling exhausted and pain in places you didn’t know could hurt. A neck pillow is even more important if you’re stuck in the middle seat – try out an inflatable version that packs flat when not in use, or opt for a U-shaped design that provides maximum comfort while taking up little space in your bag. A lightweight blanket will keep you warm without adding too much weight to your luggage, as most airlines only allow blankets if they’re smaller than 17 inches by 12 inches when folded.
If you’re prone to motion sickness or just want to avoid ear pressure
I’m going to a hacker convention in Las Vegas next week, and I’m going to take one of the red-eye flights there. This means I’ll spend a total of about 24 hours in the air and in airports on the way there, and another 24 hours on the way back.
In that time I’ll need to sleep and shower, so I’ll need a change of clothes, toiletries, and maybe a book or two. How much will all this weigh? How much does it cost me to carry an extra pound of cargo?
The real questions are:
What’s the least amount of stuff I can bring with me?
How much will it cost me if I bring more than that amount?
I had a bad experience with this early on. I went to London for the first time when I was 21. The first day, I arrived in Heathrow at about 6:30 in the morning. When I walked out of the airport, everything was shut down, except for one shop that sold overpriced bottled water and candy bars.
I’d assumed that since it was London there’d be a newspaper stand where I could pick up a coffee and a croissant and read the paper. I was expecting New York or Paris, not a ghost town.
I ended up spending my entire first day wandering around Hyde Park, reading the same two-day-old newspaper over and over again. It took me several hours to realize that London shuts down on Sunday morning. And it took me several more years after that to stop making the same mistake everywhere I went.
My solution is to carry all my local currency separately from my passport and credit cards, so that when I arrive somewhere new I can grab what I need without digging through my bag.
You will probably never see a pilot carry a bag onto the plane when you fly. It’s not that they’re going somewhere without their bags, it’s just that they are allowed to check them for free. This means it is possible to find one-way fares that are cheaper than the baggage fees on round-trip flights.
In some cases, this can make it cheaper to book two one-way tickets instead of a round-trip. Of course, this only works if you are flying with an airline that allows free checked bags for their employees.
On my most recent flight, I was able to find a $49 one-way ticket from Chicago to Dallas on American Airlines. The ticket cost less than the baggage fee for my round-trip on United ($25 each way). This meant I could get two tickets for less than my original price, and arrive at my destination with no checked bags.