Packing for a flight used to not be this tough. But times have changed. These days you have to be wary of weight, contents, and how those contents are packed. On top of that, there are still regular old hassles when it comes to packing your luggage. The following are five ways to pack like a professional traveler and curb the hassles inherent with modern air travel:
Roll Your Clothes: Folding is an attempt to avoid wrinkles, but rolling your shirts, slacks, shorts, and other attire is a sure way to equally avoid wrinkles while also freeing up precious space within your luggage. Not only that, but such an arrangement is easier for security personnel to search through, which means less hassle for them and less violations of personal space for you.
Prep Your Laptop: With more and more airlines providing travelers with on board Internet service, bringing a laptop or tablet as a carry-on is becoming a more common occurrence. But keep in mind that when going through the metal detectors, laptops must be removed from any sleeve and placed in a bin by itself. Make this a quick process by having your laptop ready to be removed upon arriving at the security checkpoint.
Check the Weather (AKA Avoid Anecdotal Evidence): It’s easy to assume that Southern California is always sunny and warm thanks to television – but residents of the Golden State see cool weather and clouds just like everyone else. The same goes for the reverse: Seattle isn’t always a rain-soaked city despite its reputation. Check the actual forecast before packing, as you want to make sure you bring the appropriate attire.
Keep Liquids and Gels in an Easily Accessible Place: Even if you’re checking your luggage, it’s wise to keep your toiletries in baggies and separated from the rest of your items. This reduces the chances of a gooey mess in the event these items are broken open during the flight, but it also reduces the likelihood of your luggage being significantly rummaged through in the event of a random search, as they primarily focus on inspecting toiletries, not clothing.
Weight Before You Go: The costs of added weight to luggage weight limits are ridiculously high, but when you’re at the check-in counter what choice do you have besides suck it up and pay? Know how much your luggage weighs before you go. Grab your luggage, step on your bathroom scale, step off, then weigh yourself again sans luggage. Subtract the difference and you have a figure you can compare to the limitations imposed by your chosen airlines.
Nobody likes the hassles associated with travel, especially the aggravations that come with luggage and security. But these hassles are ultimately in all of our best interests, and there are ways in which you can make it easier on yourself and others. If you pack like a pro, it allows you to sit back, relax, and actually enjoy your air travel experience.