7 Packing Tips for Every Traveler

Packing can mean the difference between a good trip and a bad trip. Underpack and be left scrambling to find whatever essential item you left behind at the airport or the nearest store in your destination. Overpack and end up with disorganized, heavy luggage that could cost you a ridiculous amount in airline baggage fees.

So we took it upon ourselves to revisit some of the most basic and helpful packing rules to make packing mostly trouble-free and your trip as fulfilling as possible.

Ready? Let’s start.

Tip #1: Instead of folding your clothes, roll them.

Seasoned travelers seem to all agree on one thing: rolling is better than folding. Clothes rolled tightly help you save on luggage space; plus, they’re less likely to form creases or wrinkles.

Tip #2: Make a list.

Packing is never something to procrastinate on. Packing in advance ensures every essential item you need is packed and organized properly. That’s mostly because you have time to craft a list of must-bring items.

Tip #3: Know the baggage-fee policy of your airline.

Baggage-fee policies can be mind-boggling but figuring them out helps ensure a more cost-effective trip.

Baggage-fee policies may differ from one airline to another, so do your research.

Generally, airlines permit at least one checked bag per traveler on international flights. However, carriers typically charge ridiculous amounts for checked luggage on domestic flights. There is even a notorious airline (that we would rather not mention) that charges as much as 100 bucks for carry-ons.

Safeguard luggage by knowing and understanding these policies. You can usually read about them on an airline’s official site. You may also want to read about them before getting a ticket since these rules could be a deciding factor on whether or not you would want to partner with the airline.

Tip #4: Remember the 3-1-1 rule.

Well, not just remember, but be sure to swear by this rule when you’re flying.

So, what’s the rule? The 3-1-1 rule refers to the Transportation Security Administration or TSA’s rule on carry-ons. Specifically, it addresses the packing of large bottles of shampoos, gel deodorants, and the like on carry-on luggage. If you’re caught doing this, the items will be confiscated by the TSA.

Generally, liquids of all kinds should be stored in 3.4-ounce containers or smaller inside a single, transparent, zip-top bag (quart-size).

It’s also important to know what the TSA considers liquid or gel based on the 3-1-1 rule. It really isn’t as simple as it seems. For instance, pudding, mashed potatoes, and even icing and peanut butter are categorized under gels.

Aerosol products, mascara, and lip gloss are either liquid or gel. However, prescription medication is an exemption from this rule. There should be more on this on the TSA website.

Tip #5: Personal items should be used wisely.

The standard for every airline is to allow every traveler to bring a single carry-on and one personal item onboard. There are rules as to the size (varies from airline to airline) of the personal item allowed, but laptop bags, purses, or backpacks are generally acceptable.

Your allowance for that single personal item is something to take advantage of when traveling. We suggest being smart about it and going for a large tote instead of a tiny purse that you can barely put anything inside of.

That way, you pack as many items as you want in your carry-on as long as you keep it within the size and weight requirements for these types of luggage.

Tip #6: Wash your clothes when you travel.

If you’re staying a while at your destination, it would be a good idea to take advantage of the laundry facilities there—and you want to make sure that there are.

Free laundry means you can alternate between a handful of clothes since you can easily wash and wear them even for long trips.

Call the hotel or vacation rental you’re staying at in advance to see if they offer these services and how much they cost.

If you’re staying in a property that doesn’t offer laundry services or charges an arm and a leg for them, you can still wash your clothes in the bathroom or on the sink and hang them out to air dry.

Travelers who plan on doing this would do well to bring along travel-size packets of laundry detergent and a handy sink stopper. That should make washing clothes on the road as convenient as possible.

Tip #7: Bring along some dual-purpose garments.

If you’re all about packing light or saving space, you won’t want to overlook tip number seven. A lot of garments can be dual-purpose, such as a pair of jeans, neutral-colored shirts, and jackets. Even if they’re some of your heavier garments, they should be worth their weight in fees if they have a dual function.

There you have it! Seven tips every traveler should learn to ensure a better traveling experience. These pieces of advice may not seem like much, but they should make a huge difference on your upcoming trips!

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