Eight Summer Packing Tips: How to Bring Less and Enjoy Your Trip More

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One: Choose Your Bag

When you used to check a bag, size didn’t really Foto17matter but it’s important to meet your airline’s size requirements when choosing a carry-on bag.  Most 22” roll aboard bags should qualify but it pays to double check with your airline.  Some leading manufacturers include Rimowa, Tumi, and Samsonite.

(If you’re still not ready to take the plunge to carry-on only, here’s what you don’t want to put into your checked luggage: anything you can’t afford to lose or be without for an extended period at your destination such as medications and valuables.)

Two: Include an Overflow Bag

Inside the zippered pocket of my roll aboard is a small, 18×18 nylon bag with a zipper and hard bottom that folds completely flat and takes up virtually no space when not in use.  It often comes in handy, in other instances it saves the day.  Recently, when going from one hotel to another by car, I threw my laundry bag and toiletries in it, which made packing my bag much easier.  In instances where I’ve ended up flying home with more than I’ve left with, I would check the roll aboard and carry the overflow bag onto the aircraft.

Three: Use a Checkpoint Friendly Carry-on Bag

The number of laptop computers left behind at security checkpoints in the United States alone is estimated to be over 11,000 per year.  With a checkpoint friendly bag, the laptop never leaves its compartment when going through the x-ray machine.  Even though I have TSA PreCheck, I still use a Tumi T-Pass Business Class Brief Pack (in common parlance, a backpack).

Four: Pack to Dress in Layers

Relatively few travelers show up at a destination with clothing for the variety of weather conditions they will actually encounter.  It’s easier than ever to check the weather forecast at a destination but keep in mind that forecasts are generally only considered accurate for the ensuing 48 hours.  Packing items that can be worn together in layers will keep the total number of articles of clothing low as will selecting colors that work well together (jackets, slacks, skirts, etc.).

Five: Always be Packed Ready for a Trip

Instead of packing and unpacking toiletries, chargers, cables, and other items you regularly take with you, keep a separate set of these items just for trips.  This way, you’ll know exactly how much space to allocate for these items since they remain a constant for each trip.

Six: Take Disposable Items Along

In order to make room for purchases acquired in the course of a trip, I always pack a few items I consider to be at “end-of-life” or somewhat disposable (such as a shirt that is showing signs of wear) which could be left behind if the need arose.

Seven: Send Stuff Ahead

Several times in the past year, I shipped a box of clean clothes to the hotel that was in the middle of my itinerary.  I enclosed a return label in the box and sent home my laundry and managed to complete the entire trip without having to check a bag. (With today’s sometimes exorbitant fees for checked baggage,, shipping items could also save considerable expense.)

Eight: Roll and Fold

Packing is a very personal thing as a quick look at x-ray images at an airport security checkpoint reveals.  One of the biggest questions that arises is whether one should roll or fold (the answer, by the way, is that it depends based on what you are packing and how much room you have but I’ve found it’s usually a combination of both).

If you start to follow our packing tips, you’ll find you’ll have less excess baggage to worry about and, more importantly, no reason to stop at the baggage carousel.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)


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