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Packing Tips
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When considering what to use for carry-ons or extra bags in the vehicle, prepare for the worst and choose fully closing, sturdy, items. Sudden movement is not always unavoidable, and one should expect some shifting during transit. Open totes, light plastic and paper are invitations to scattered personal items that take away from your time to enjoy the trip.

Place all liquids that you will be traveling with (shampoo, mouthwash, etc.) in small plastic containers - many products can be purchased in "travel size". There is no need to carry the extra weight of full size bottles, nor for them to take up extra packing space. Place anything that may leak into individual zip-lock bags (snack size pinch bags are your target). With this done, if anything breaks or a lid comes unscrewed, it won't ruin your trip. There is nothing quite like a suitcase with an open bottle of fingernail polish or shampoo/conditioner in it.

Unpack as soon as you arrive at your destination. This heads off additional wrinkles and allows you to see if anything did not survive the trip and will need to be replaced. It also creates a sense of accomplishment and anchors you - you will have moved in.

If traveling to outdoor destinations in the summer (hot temperatures), choose light colors. Even though cotton doesn't travel well as a rule (lots of wrinkles), it is better for these kinds of trips.

If you are traveling on a trip, such as a bus tour, that includes many moves of the suitcase, make sure you can handle your own baggage easily. Even if your trip is supposed to accommodate baggage handling, one never knows how things may end up.

If you can't get everything into a light weight bag, pack more than one.  On a bus tour this is great: use only #1 bag early, pull #2 for the "switch over night", then use bag #2, repeat as necessary.

With packing light, consider if you are packing items that can be used for more than one item, such as dental floss that could be used as thread in a sewing kit, etc.

We all occasionally need new luggage/bags.  When shopping, take the weight of the empty bag into consideration.  Because of this, most folks are opting for fabric.  Beware, just because it's not hard-side, doesn't mean it's light.  Choose sturdy fabrics with strong zippers to last longer than many "bargain bags". Don't forget the closable vs. open consideration either.

Try to keep away from logo bags of any type - but especially for laptop cases.  They indicate not only what may be in the bag, but also the level of affluence of the traveler.

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Airport Security

With tightened airport security, several items that one would normally carry on for a trip should now be included in the "buy when I get settled" list.  They include: nail clippers/file, tweezers, silverware of any kind - even plastic (for that "airport orange or apple", etc.), etc.  This goes doubly for items you carry with you all the time that tend to be overlooked when preparing for a trip like pocket knives, mace, personal handgun, etc.

After 9/11, all luggage may be opened and checked after you "check" it for security reasons in facilities open to the public.  Because of this, do not use any locks that aren't Transportation Security Administration - accepted locks.  If you use an off brand, your bag may be damaged in unlocking, or even held.

Zippered bag locking alternative:  Instead of using a lock, use a twist tie or safety pin to make sure the bag doesn't come open in flight.  We should all know not to put anything valuable in checked luggage anyway.

To reduce the possibility your bag will be checked during airline travel, don't pack too many books or documents stacked together - they can look suspicious in x-rays.  Also wrapped gifts and some food items may be checked.

If you forget and happen to have something with you at the airport (such as mace, etc.), and it's confiscated by a security screener, it will not retrievable later.  Though if someone has come to see you off, it may be possible to hand it to them rather than lose it forever. Never argue with the TSA screener about these type of things.

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Most Gregath trips restrict luggage amount: We are traveling for a purpose and lots of luggage and bags can get in the way of enjoying travel that has been purchased. This is one reason bellman service and bus driver luggage tips are not included in most packages. A Gregath traveler should expect to be their own porter - unless otherwise arranged or notified.

If you wish to pack light, first off, choose one neutral color to be the backbone the contents of your suitcase.

If neutrals are not your tones, try picking 2 colors that go together to build your wardrobe from.

Once you have chosen a base color(s), choose separates to go on your trip rather than complete ensembles that don't interchange well. Regardless of the temperatures you plan for, when packing light, a tip about what you take is: if it doesn't interchange with everything you are taking, leave it at home.

When choosing your clothing, try for at least one outfit that you can wear basic for very warm temperatures and then layer to accommodate harsher temperatures and wind. Perhaps a light sleeveless dress or shirt and pants, then layer with vest, sweater, heavier shirt weights, blazer or sport coat, tunic, etc. You should do this because one can never guarantee the weather where you are traveling and even a walk from the curb into the building can be bitter in brisk wind or temperatures 20-40 degrees below what you were expecting.

It is always a good idea to have at least one pair of comfortable shoes with you when you travel. To reduce your packing, take only shoes that will, again, go with everything you pack. In case of problems it is always a good idea to have at least two pairs of shoes with you. Rainstorms and broken heels can happen and if you have a back up, time won't be wasted in searching for a shoe store. Many people choose to wear the comfortable shoes for the actual travel time and take a few different types of shoes, i. e. boots, sandals, flats, dress, etc.

When choosing what kind of clothing to travel with, one should also take the object of the trip into consideration. If you are going to do research, pack clothing you feel good in (especially when sitting). When sightseeing, comfortable shoes are one of the most important items. If attending a "function" take into consideration what the clothes you wish to take will look like when they arrive and how long (or what cost) it will take to make them presentable. With today's fashions, one can achieve most any look with easy to pack clothing and minimum fuss upon arrival.

If you decide to pack clothes that are susceptible to wrinkles, one way to head some of them off is to roll your clothes instead of folding them when. When packing using plastic bags (from dry cleaners) or tissue paper between your clothes, as well as between any folds will help if you fold your clothes.

If packing for a "night out" or if you have sequins or beads in the suitcase, pack with plastic (dry cleaning bags are great) or tissue between the folds and other clothing. This will protect the garment from itself as well as protecting everything else from the garment.

Planning on shopping or making lots of research copies but worried about luggage allowance? This tip is not for all, but consider packing with a "wear and leave" plan: Once you've worn it, leave it instead of repacking it. This has been done with minimal expense and great success by shopping charity second-hand stores by some travelers.

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This Page Last Updated: May 18, 2015

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