What should I pack? Should I check in a bag, what if it’s over the limit? How big is a carry on bag? How many days should I pack for? What if the weather is wrong?
Don’t worry. Breathe. You’ve got this.
Okay, real talk, packing is probably the most stressful part of traveling. You’ve got to worry about if you have enough underwear, if you have both matching socks, how much your check in baggage weighs to make sure you avoid that costly extra charge, and a million other things are going through your head at the same time. Especially if you’re going for a long period of time in another country. I’ve got all the tips for you to have a stress free traveling experience.
1. Time Management
You should always pack bags at least a week or two in advance so you don’t have to worry over the night before. If you forget something, chances are you’ll probably remember it during the course of the next week, at least you’re at home to pack it.
2. Check In Luggage
Check with whichever airlines you’re flying with in advanced. Some airline allow two carry on bags, some allow a personal and a carry on. It’s just best to check before you go to the airport so you’re familiar with what your limit is. Now, most airlines have around a 50 pound check in luggage limit. If you go over those 50 pounds, you pay. And it’s not just a ten or even twenty bucks, we’re talking up around a hundred. Yeah. So in order to insure you’re not racking up the bill, invest yourself in a pocket luggage scale. You hook it to the handle of your luggage and when you pull up on it it will tell you how much it weighs so you can be certain that you won’t be charged that outrageous overcharge.
3. Carry On Bags
Like I said in the last step, check with whichever airline you’re flying with. Different airlines have different regulations. My advise is if you’ve got something super heavy and it’s in your check in bag, you might want to transfer it on over to your carry on. You should probably pack at least one day’s worth of clothes in case your actual checked in back gets lost or delayed. Now, in carry on bags you have certain regulations you have to follow such as no liquid in bottles over 3.4 ounces. Which means that any bottle of shampoo or soap you have has to be in the travel size bottles. Major stores such as Walmart and Target sell convenient bottles already that size, but sometimes that can run into bucks. If you know you’re traveling for more than a week, you can always go to a corner store at your destination and buy all the shampoo and soap you need without having to worry about the hassle of the mini sized ones. If you choose to put those bottles in your check in bag, you can, just remember that 50 pound limit we talked about. The size of your carry on bag also has a certain set of regulations it must abide by. The largest size carry on you are allowed is 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches.
4. Packing Clothes
If you don’t know how to tuck and fold tightly, you better start learning now. I suggest you go on YouTube and watch some packing videos of how people stuff their socks into their socks or wrap their t shirts all together. There’s a whole system to it. It’s really useful once you get the hang of some certain techniques. If you’re a person who has to stay organized for every day of the week or you have little ones that you need to plan outfits ahead of time, use Ziploc baggies. Fold and roll your clothes into a large Ziploc bag, compress the air, and there you have it. You can also choose to label the back accordingly to the weekday or family member who will be using it.
5. Packing Accessories
If you are someone who needs accessories such as necklaces or bracelets, you know the struggle of trying to untangle them all once you get to your destination. An easy lifehack to fix that problem is to use straws. I know what you’re thinking, straws? Alright, bear with me. Insert your necklace chains into the straws and then hook them around. That way instead of getting bunched up and in knots through travel, they will stay securely in the straw until you plan on wearing them next. Also, use a pill box to contain small items such as rings or earrings.
6. Random Tips
If you’re running out of room in that carry on, try putting things such as socks and hygiene items in your shoes that way you waste no space and have more room. Use contact lens cases for makeup, pour some of the product in each side and there you have just enough for your quick trip without having to carry around the whole big bottle of it with you. Don’t forget your phone chargers and accessories such as headphones. In case your phone dies and you can’t charge it, think about bringing a book for long flights to keep your mind occupied.
7. Going Abroad
As well as checking the airline’s regulations, maybe you should check the country’s information, too. If you are traveling outside of the US, you of course need the correct paperwork for traveling. Especially if you’re traveling with minors. Some countries require double the paperwork on minors so be mindful of that. Also, think about what kind of country you’re going to. Are you going to need to bring a certain type of item that they don’t have? Like toilet paper. A quick Google search of the country will probably tell you all that you need to know on traveling there. Also, it’s a good idea to research the country’s airline regulations. In some countries you aren’t allowed to use your cell phones in flight, in other countries you can’t use headphones in your device while landing. Overall, it’s best if you just do as much research on your specific country as you can so you feel more comfortable about traveling.
Those are a few tips that make my traveling experience a bit easier. Now, if you’re like me and procrastinate on packing until the night before, that’s another story. Maybe make a checklist and check it a few times before being sure that you have everything. Night before packing is just a stressful way of doing something already pretty stressful, but I’ve admittedly done it. I don’t have much advice for you, just hope for the best and remember to pack your underwear.