Packing Do’s and Don’ts

The time has come! You’ve booked your vacation, picked your excursions, read every guide book, and now it’s time to decide what to take with you when you go! Choosing what to pack for a trip can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be if you’re aware of common packing mistakes and how to avoid them. We’ve compiled a list of 7 Do’s and Don’ts when preparing for that ultimate vacation.

1. DON’T pack too much
Packing too much usually leads to extra airline luggage fees and greater opportunities for transportation hassles. Keep things simple by laying out everything you want to bring with you on the bed or the floor, then cut it in half. It’s hard to say no to that extra pair of pants or shoes, but you’ll thank yourself later when you have space to bring home that amazing souvenir. In many cases, you can also buy what you need at your destination.

2. DO pack a change of clothes in your carry-on
You don’t want to be stranded at your destination with lost luggage and nothing to change into. If the worst does happen, having an extra pair of clothes means that you’ll be okay for a day or two while you sort things out. An extra outfit also means having a back-up in case of a mid-transit accident involving spilled drinks or food.

3. DON’T bring too many shoes
A good pair of sneakers that are already broken-in, a casual pair of flip-flops or sandals, and one formal pair of shoes are all you really need for any destination unless you’re planning to climb Mount Everest or attend a party in Monte Carlo. Wrap your shoes in a plastic bag so as not to get the rest of your clothes soiled. Then, pack your shoes at the bottom of your bag or by the wheels to help with weight distribution. Bad footwear can bring your trip to a sudden, painful end. If it isn’t comfortable to wear at home, it won’t be comfortable abroad!

4. DO roll your clothes instead of folding them
Roll each of your clothes on the long edge instead of folding them. This will help prevent unsightly wrinkles and weird creases from forming. Packing tubes (found on Amazon, at Walmart, or many other retail stores) are also a great way to organize your belongings and conserve space.

5. DON’T forget TSA guidelines for carry-on liquids
3-1-1 liquids rule. 3.4-ounce (100ml) bottle or less (by volume); 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring.

Declare larger liquids. Medications, baby formula and food, and breast milk are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding three ounces and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint. Officers may need to open these items to conduct additional screening.

6. DO research your destination’s climate
Research your destination’s climate, taking into account the time of year you’ll be visiting, to make sure you only bring the necessary items. Right before you go, double check the weather forecast to help you avoid any nasty surprises.

7. DON’T forget to have a copy of vital documents
This means your passports, health insurance cards, credit cards, driver’s licenses, etc. If any of these items go missing or are stolen during travel, having a copy makes it a lot easier to replace them and ensures that you aren’t stranded without documentation.

Photos are taken in person or provided by the supplier except where credited.

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