Packing well for a trip may be one of the most difficult tasks for any infrequent traveler. However, this is one area where frequent fliers excel. Here are some of their best tips for you to copy:
Make your luggage stand out
Simply adding a brightly colored ribbon to your black-like-everyone-elses bag won't cut it in the long term. Far too easily torn off by baggage handling systems, it may not be there when you arrive, which would make you sheepishly stand around for much longer at the baggage carousel.
That, and everyone else probably had the same idea anyway.
Keep your electronics neat
By making sure all your eletronic gadgets are in one single layer, you're better set to zip through security. When laptops, cameras, and other gadgets are jumbled up, the X-ray image becomes quite difficult to interpret, and you'll end up having your bag manually checked. If you're looking to speed things up even more, it may be worth investing in a TSA Approved laptop bag as well.
Bring your own blanket and disinfectant
Airplane tray tables don't get cleaned very often. And neither to the blankets and pillows they supply for free on longer haul flights.
So, they get pretty grubby and since it's easy enough to catch a bug while cooped up in a small space with 400 of your new traveling friends, it pays to bring your own disinfectant and maybe even a blanket (or buy one, as some airlines are now offering blankets and pillows for purchase). In an aircraft, nothing besides the galley and lavatories gets cleaned before it looks dirty.
Pack free samples of toiletries
With just a quarter gallon of packing space for liquids (1 liter for the metric types), there's precious little room for shampoo, moisturizer, and after shave. To get around this, you can pack in single use trial packs for short trips, and these you can even get for free from quite a few places. Ask about samples when you buy toiletries in department stores, or go online at one of these sites and either get samples shipped, or included with your order:
Check your bag for sharp items before leaving home
Especially if you often travel by car or train with the same luggage you use when flying, it's easy to pack sharp items like a pocket knife or nail scissors by mistake when preparing for a flight. If you carefully look through the bag while packing, you won't lose these items from your hand luggage when you go through the security checkpoint at the airport.
When you travel, what do you do to make packing easier? Share your tips below.
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