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General Packing Tips
These tips are for traveling by air anywhere/anytime.
Click here for other tips.

Double check baggage restrictions.  Not only how many bags you can have, but what size and weight.  Don't forget that airlines have restrictions not only on checked luggage but carry-ons as well.

Planning on bringing lots of items back that you have purchased?  In the winter, consider wearing clothes that you had planned for a garage sale or good will and not returning with them.  Additionally, if your carrier allows 2 checked bags, pack one inside the other for 1 checked bag going out and 2 coming back (you could also purchase a duffle, etc. at your destination).

Is your trip going to restrict your use of bellmen, skycaps, etc?  Try lightening what you take by finding light luggage and consider leaving some items at home.  Two instances are many hotels have hair dryers and almost all have wake up service - leave the hair dryer and back up clock at home.

To further lighten and compact your luggage, don't take any extra protective cases or packaging. Use your clothing for the protection.  If you have something that may leak, use a sealable baggy as a vapor barrier between the item and your cushioning clothing.

Don't take your entire key chain on a trip - it adds weight and the opportunity for them to get lost.  Just take the house key and car key (if needed to get home).

When counting carry-ons, realize that sometimes large or oversized purses are counted as a carry-on in their own right.

If you plan on needing information from a guide book, don't take the whole thing, photocopy the pages you need to take.  This lightens your travel weight and you may have a better idea of the information than if you just glanced at the book before your trip.

If traveling through several different "language zones" consider an electronic translator or preparing a "commonly used phrase" sheet with each language before traveling rather than packing several translation books.

Think of alternate items you might take to lighten your load like: disposable razors are much lighter than electric or battery powered ones.

For the budget traveler (or person with special dietary restrictions) - evaluate: Will the benefits of carrying food/condiments/water (liquid), outweigh their weight?  Possibly a trip once you reach your destination to a grocery store, corner market, etc. would be a better option.

If you are traveling alone or with a group/tour of people who you don't know very well, including a photo of someone you love will be a light pick me up - a perfect uplift for if the "homesick" or "can't find what I'm looking for" bug bites you.

This Page Last Updated: May 18, 2015

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