The joys of packing for a trip, especially a flight.
"How much liquid can I have?"
"Do you think they'll take away my tweezers?"
"Wait, I can pack a lighter, but I have to portion out my shampoo into smaller bottles?"
"My bag has to weigh approximately 24.26 pounds so I can account for the potential .74 pounds of dirt I may accumulate on the way home."
The packing process can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be if you do a little work before you start throwing all of your "what if's" into a bag. Start with making a list and breaking it up into different sections. I usually do a Clothes, Bath, Necessities/Important, and Misc. I take a day or two to complete the list since I tend to add to it as things come to mind. As I pack, I cross off each item once it's in my bag.
Tut, tut, it looks like rain.
If you can, pack at the latest possible time. I say this for the purpose of weather. Weather forecasts can be so unpredictable. Just because when you looked 4 days it showed sunshine all week, doesn't mean that's still the case. Check the forecast, like really check the forecast, not just a glance on your iPhone, hours before you leave for the airport so you ensure you have the best selection of clothing options.
Roll, Fold, Shove.
This is a trick I wish I would have learned years ago. There are certain clothing items you roll, others you fold, and a few you shove…or tuck for the neat freaks out there.
Light long sleeved shirts
Weight of the world
Every airline has different requirements about what kind of bags you can carry-on, how many bags you can carry-on, and the weight of your bags. It is IMPERATIVE that you know this information before you book your flight and before you show up at the airport. Trust me, you do not want to be the person at the check-in counter with their underwear all over the floor because your bag was .25 kilograms over the required weight and now you're trying to figure out how much 3 pairs of underwear and a toothbrush weight together to make up the difference. Been there.
Know these requirements and know them well.
Weigh your bags before you leave for the airport.
Double-check the size of allowed carry-ons.
These things really do matter and they really do check.
The last thing you want is to be the person holding up the line at the check-in counter because you didn't do your homework beforehand. Airports have this portal that everyone walks through as soon as they enter that sucks all patience out of them.
Speaking of no patience…
Going through airport security can be frustrating, intimidating, stressful, and confusing. Liquids out or liquids in? Shoes off or shoes on? It also doesn't help that the more you travel the more you will notice that every airport has different rules and processes for their security line. Fly out of one airport and they want you to basically strip down to nothing. Fly out of the next and you don't have to remove a single thing. The best thing you can do with this situation is, again, just be prepared and observant. At least know that you are going to have to remove any jewelry/hats/sunglasses. In terms of removing shoes, or taking liquids out of your bag it seems that every other airport makes different calls on this. Observe what those ahead of you are doing and follow suit. Pay attention to the TSA agents too. Are they asking people to take their shoes off? Remove laptops? Remove liquids? Also, be smart when packing your carry-on and don't pack the obvious no-no items.
Stay tuned for more posts about packing recommendations!