Making a List and Checking it Twice
Planning a trip or vacation takes preparation if you want your trip to be stress free and a simple, a packing list can make all the difference in how your vacation gets started. The sinking feeling of realizing as you’re walking down the boarding ramp that you forgot to pack your medications can cause tremendous strain on your nerves, not to mention the trouble and expense of getting a family member or trusted friend to overnight them to your destination. Using a packing check list can really save you a lot of time, worry, inconvenience, and expense when it comes to traveling.
But, equally important in getting your trip off to a good, smooth, fee or loss free start is knowing what NOT to pack in your suitcase. Below is a list of ten things you should not pack in your suitcase or carry-on bags:
What NOT To Pack:
- Bottles of Liquor or Wine – If you are considering packing a bottle or bottles of an alcoholic beverage(s) in a carry-on bag or in your checked luggage just don’t, this is something you never want do as either scenario will have unhappy results. Any alcohol in your carry-on bags will be promptly confiscated by security and in a checked bag is in serious danger of getting broken and damaging or ruining the other contents in your bag. You can ship fragile items ahead to your destination and can do the same for your return flight home if you are bringing back souvenir wine or alcohol.
- Valuables – If you are taking valuable items such as expensive jewelry, camera, or other items that are expensive or irreplaceable make sure you put them in your carry on bag. Most airlines do not permit valuables in checked luggage; they will not replace or reimburse you for expensive jewelry or other valuable items if your bag gets lost.
- Heavy Containers of Shampoo, lotions, or conditioners – These items take up a lot of space in your bag and will significantly add to the weight of it. Unless it is a prescription shampoo or lotion, purchase your toiletry needs once you arrive and utilize the extra space and weight for things you can’t do without.
- Electronic Devices – It is best to pack any electronic devices in your carry-on bags, but if you must pack them in your luggage for some reason be certain to tag them with an I.D. of some sort, even taping a card with your name, and phone number in case they get lost. Write down the serial numbers of any electronic devices you are traveling with so you can have proof of identification when trying to retrieve them from lost and found.
- Excess Credit Cards and Cash – Leave your credit card information with a trusted friend or family member at home in case they should get lost or stolen and only carry two. If you are traveling alone keep one in your wallet and another in a separate secure location such as a zippered pocket of a jacket or carry on bag. If traveling with your spouse or a friend have them keep the other card with them. Make a note of your credit card numbers and a contact number for the issuing company or bank and place it in your checked luggage or carry on bag in case they should get lost or stolen. Don’t carry large amounts of cash, withdraw it as needed.
- Pack Only Clothing You Will Wear/Need – If you’re not going on an extended stay and pack wisely you might be able to get away with packing your clothes in a carry-on bag, saving yourself the $50.00 to $100.00 fee airlines are charging these days for checked bags. If not color coordinate your selections so everything is mix and match and only pack clothes that are needed for your itinerary. Check the weather forecast of your destination and pack accordingly. If you need a heavy coat wear or carry it on board.
- Keep Shoes to a Minimum – Shoes are typically heavy and dirty on the soles, wear the heavier shoes you need on board your flight and pack the lighter ones wrapped in a thin plastic bag (like you get from the grocery store). Unless you have a specific need two pairs of shoes should do, one pair for dressing up and one pair of comfortable walking shoes.
- Check With TSA Guidelines of Your Airport – Before packing your bags you should check with TSA at both your departing airport and your returning flight airport so you don’t pack any items that are not permitted by TSA. Items confiscated by TSA are typically not returnable, so be sure to check before packing.
- Share a Large Bag – If you are traveling with another or have a family and can’t fit all your necessities in your carry on bags try sharing a larger size bag. You can save money on baggage fees and still take your carry-ons for free.
- Book and Magazines – Unless you have plenty of space in your carry on purchase them when you arrive at your destination or better yet download your reading material onto your computer or other electronic devices.