This is moving away from a bitter sports blog to a travel blog. Too funny.
There are two things you don’t want to do: Look bad when you get where you are going, and having to pay extra to go. Here are some travel tips and hints for baggage I’ve learned over the years:
– Ziplock bags are very, very useful. I’ll talk about them for packing in a minute, but they serve multiple functions. For instance, you could use a Ziplock for documentation inside your luggage. For our trip back to the States, we placed copies of passports with the identifying data blotted out in the upper zipping pockets of our luggage. If our bags are ever lost and the tags come off, there shouldn’t be a problem finding them. Also, Ziplocks are helpful in carrying your clean clothes back. You don’t want to put your funky clothes in Ziplocks because the scent doesn’t go away. Let TSA sort through your dirty items, as they did with my big bag. A neat thing for you to know: I had my bag searched by TSA. Of course, I used a TSA-approved lock. Unfortunately, the TSA agents searching my bags didn’t properly re-lock the bag after opening it. Let’s see if I can show you this:
– Use the lightest spinners you can find. The money you spend, you will make up in not paying weight overages. One of the bags my wife had weighed 13 lbs empty! That left 37 lbs to pack stuff, and that puts you that close to the 50 lb limit. Spinners are now a necessity. It’s a lot easier rolling a bag instead of pulling one.
– Pack your non-visible clothing (underwear, T-shirts) in Ziplock bags. Rolling them is a space-saver; rolling them, putting them in Ziplock bags and squeezing the air out is awesomeness. It gives you more space to work with. In the case of my Europe trip, I used a 30″ bag. I could have downsized to a 26″ bag after sealing my stuff in Ziplocs.
You cannot exceed that 50lb limit or it’s big $$$.
– Carry a weight scale with you. I have an American Tourister one that’s quite accurate. In this instance, my wife and I did not carry our scale. We knew our bags were close, so we packed an extra bag; cost $60. When I got home, I weighed the bags and we could have made it without packing the extra bag. However, its better than paying weight overages, which I believe are up to $100.
– Carry an extra soft-sided bag … maybe: If you are traveling and you are close weight-wise, you should have an extra soft-sided bag for additional items. If you purchase souvenirs, which my significant other has a bad habit of doing … you might need that bag. As I’ve discussed, we needed that bag.
– Forget making your suit look good by any technique. I’ve watched a ton of YouTube videos and not one of them is realistic. Most people don’t unpack their clothes 15 minutes after packing them.
– – The best tactic is using Downy Wrinkle Spray on light wrinkles. which I used on this last trip. If you have deep creases, which all of those techniques will create, there’s use of an iron on a low setting. Steaming is hopeless. One thing I did not do was to bring a home dry-cleaning kit, which may have helped.
– I am very particular with my toiletries, but they are weight. Use travel sizes if you are going to bring them. I highly recommend against getting items when you get where you are going unless you are absolutely certain you can get them…and for a reasonable price.
– Carry backup medicine, cold, motion sickness and stomach remedies: You don’t want to buy or worse have to procure meds while traveling. On our cruise, cold remedies were our single largest expenditure … exceeding even alcohol.
I have a few more hints for actually getting on the plane, including what to wear and what you can do to make the process move more quickly. I’ll write about those in another blog post.