Monday, November 12, 2007

Travel Tips - Packing your Bags

Author: Darlene Berkel

A vacation is supposed to be a way to have fun, not an army training experience where you lug a heavy pack for miles and end up sore and tired.

It can be difficult to decide what, and how, to pack. Hopefully this guide will help you decide what is important and what to leave at home. Planning in advance can help you remember the useful things, and stop the panic that happens when you forget the essentials.

One of the most basic travel packing tips is to make a list. A list makes for an easy way to make sure you remember everything. Make sure to check your items off the list as you pack your bag. Trying to remember everything will just lead to you either forgetting something or packing something twice.

Selecting Luggage

Picking the right suitcase, or suitcases, will make your journey much easier too. If you want to use a carry-on, check with your travel agent to make sure your suitcase is the right size. If your bad turns out to be too big to carry-on you can always check it with the airline.

When selecting a suitcase, look for one that has a sturdy, pull out handle, and wheels that are made of a durable material. Be wary of ones with small handles that are attached directly to the material of the case, as these can often tear or come loose.

If you need to pack expensive evening wear, or garments that wrinkle easily, some people find that putting them in a garment bag first, then loosely laying it in the suitcase without making any hard folds, can help it survive the journey intact. If you have to cram your suitcase full of clothing, then you may have to make use of an iron at the hotel.

Make sure to have your name and address on your luggage in case the airline happens to lose it. Also, tie a ribbon around the handle of your suitcase. This will make the process of picking up your bag at your final destination much simpler. Many suitcases look alike, with your colored ribbon, your suitcase will be easy to distinguish.

Packing Your Suitcase

Many people find that rolling clothing, instead of folding it, can prevent wrinkles, and also makes the clothes take up less space in the suitcase.

If you are going on a long trip, then you may find that it is better to pack a wardrobe based around one or two colors, so that you can mix and match items to make your wardrobe last longer. Colors such as black, navy and khaki make a good base choice as they 'go with everything'.

Make sure that you take your medication, travel documents, and other essential items in your carry-on luggage. You may need a note from your doctor if you wish to bring liquid medication on board.

If you are stuck for ideas on what to pack, there are lots of web sites that offer tips and advice - you can even download pre-done packing lists and just tweak them to your own liking. Let me know if you need one of these lists.

However you do it, just remember that a little preparation before you leave will go a long way towards making your trip more enjoyable.

What do you think is important when it comes to packing?

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