Monday, June 27, 2016

Tips to make packing your suitcase a snap

Even if you love where you live, everyone needs time away occasionally.  For many travelers, packing is the least favorite part of taking a trip. Of course, making a list—and referring to it often—can help assure that you remember the important items, but here are some tips to make sure everything you want to take actually fits in your suitcase.

First, take the smallest size suitcase that works for the length trip you’re going on. If you’re flying and can fit everything into a carry-on bag, you’ll avoid extra fees and save time by not having to wait to claim a checked bag on arrival.

To conserve packable space, wear the bulkiest items you’ll need at your destination such as boots or a heavy coat. Don’t try to cram these into your suitcase because these add weight as well as take up too much space.
As you begin to pack, place heavy or odd-sized items like shoes, hair dryer, or mask and fins (going snorkeling?) on the bottom. Stuff socks and underwear into shoes and crevices. Some people like to use special packing folders for shirts to keep them clean and help prevent wrinkles.  Two-gallon zipper bags can also be used to hold items like multiple pairs of socks or underwear. Before sealing, compress all the air out, and you’ll be surprised at how much space is saved.

Then place long items like pants or dresses across the bag. Fold jackets facedown, placing arms on top. Fold excess length back in a criss-cross pattern, alternating directions. Some people put tissue paper between layers to protect fancy clothing and lessen the chance of wrinkling. Knit or polyester items such as t-shirts or sleepwear can be rolled up and placed on top or along the sides of the bag.
Tuck belts, jewelry bag, hair brush, and other small items into empty niches.  Finally, use the straps on your suitcase to hold items in place. If you’re only taking a carry-on bag, keep in mind that liquids and sharp items are not allowed through security, and you’ll be limited to the amounts that fit in your quart-sized baggie. Consider using solids for make-up remover, perfume, and deodorant.

In addition to your carry-on luggage, remember that you are also allowed a purse, backpack, or tote bag. I usually take a sturdy shoulder bag that contains everything I’ll need while on the flight, so I don’t have to scavenge through my carry-on after it is stored in the overhead bin.
I also try to leave some free space in the suitcase when departing on a trip, so there’s room to bring home any purchases I make. By planning ahead, you’ll be able to take what you need and keep it organized while you travel.

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