Now that it’s August, it is now or never to hit the road and make your summer memorable with a vacation. As such, it’s perfect timing for the second installment of our on-going series on “best travel tips on the internet”. After nailing the booking process, the next thing you need are these 9 packing tips to make the most out of the little space you have in your suitcase or backpack.
1. Check your airline baggage policy
First off, before you start packing anything, research all the fees and other disagreements your airline hides in its baggage policies. Don’t think all companies will let you check one bag free. It is often but not ALWAYS the case, especially on domestic flights.
2. Choose flashy suitcases!
Ok, please don’t call the fashion police! ‘Flashy’ could be a little overstated. But a good travel tip is to have suitcases and bags than can be easily identified at the baggage claim. Unusual patterns and colors might not be fashionable but are extremely helpful when every suitcase on the claim belt is a small black suitcase with wheels.
3. Organize your power chords
Nothing is more annoying than tangled cords. Phone chargers and earphones just seem to have a thing for one another!
First, you want to store all your cords in one place with a label. This will help you know right away which ones you forgot to pack. Second, learn the art of handling cords so they stay untangled. Check out this insightful DIY by Life Hacker. It’s a life saver.
4. Re-purpose old containers
What you want to do is to keep all relevant articles together but organized. Old eyewear cases are perfect to store those dreaded cords we talked about. TicTac boxes are more than useful for many little things like bobby pins. Re-purpose unused medication boxes for your small jewelries like earrings and necklaces. Also, Packing tip 101: pack your lotion, perfume and such products in TSA-approved small containers. Regardless of the options you choose, be sure to chase any excess air out of your containers.
5. Roll your clothes up
One of the most useful yet surprising packing tips you will find online is to roll and not fold clothes. It will prevent clothes from wrinkling and will save you considerable packing space. Practice and master this technique. You will need it soon enough.
6. Seal those shoes
Here is a packing tip that will give you an excuse to bring a shower cap along with you. You can use it to prevent shoe soles from dirtying your clothes. Some people rely instead on plastic grocery bags, which is OK. It might not be the most aesthetic thing to do but is it practical. Keep reading, you will see why soon enough.
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7. Keep grocery bags with you
You could have asked what for, but we sort of gave it away already, right? Well, here are other reasons to keep plastic grocery bags with you: wet clothes, and liquid items. Swimsuits might still be all soaked when it’s time to move and liquid products are permanent menaces for your precious clothes. A plastic bag can seal their openings tight. See how, we’ll wait!
8. Pack fragile items in the middle
A good packing tip often overlooked is to always put your fragile items such as glassware and fragrances in the middle of the suitcase. You want to use those extra comfy sweaters as cushions for your prized possessions. Another “safe” place is the inside of your shoes. Your sneakers, designed to be comfortable for your feet, can be easily hacked into protective cases for your small items.
9. Pack extra sheets
This packing tip is foremost for backpackers and roadtrippers. Your OCD will thank you when you end up in a sketchy hotel room or on a strange couch. Choose a sheet not too heavy that it takes all your packing space but good enough to cover you or your cot.
With these packing tips in mind you are ready for a TSA packing certification (if only the agency gave one). However, what they give are other travel tips to make your journey through airports (and beyond) as smooth as possible. You can read them here. Bottom line is that the most effective packing tips to follow are those that will save you time and space. We hope these come handy for your next travel.
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