Packing. We all do it at one point or another, whether it's our bookbags on the night before school starts, an overnight satchel when we visit relatives, a backpack for a sleepover at a friend's house, or a piece of luggage for a long trip.
Let's just face it: by the summer before senior year, every student realizes that we've all got a little baggage... So how do you decide what baggage to leave behind and what to take with you?
Though I don't live out of a suitcase, I travel more frequently than my peers. So if you're expecting to take a trip, I'd like to help. Here are some things to remember:
Checked Bag (i.e. The Biggest One)
- If you can do laundry wherever you're staying, don't pack as many days-worth of clothes as you're staying. If you can't do laundry, pack a little less than half of what you need as well as jackets and hoodies that can alter an outfit in a snap.
- Consider rolling up your shirts and some of your linens (i.e. towels if you're taking them) instead of just folding them They'll take up less space if you do.
- When you pack, don't stuff your bag. Pack what you need and leave some room for souvenirs, more clothes, toiletires, etc. Side note: If you happen to be traveling on a plane, and your bag appears "stuffed," TSA will go through your bag...and be rather messy when putting things back. Not that I know from experience or anything...
- Lastly, many airlines have fees for even ONE check bag when traveling in the United States and other places, so be sure to check your airline's regulations before arriving at the airport and decide if it's worth splurging the extra cash.
Carry-On (i.e. The Boredom Buster)
- This bag is very important. It stays with you during your trip, and you put your most important, irreplaceable items in this bag, such as portable electronic devices and their chargers, library books, and childhood stuffed animals (because airlines CAN lose check bags, even when it's Christmas).
- Unless you're going on a relatively short trip and wanting to avoid check bag fees, avoid packing clothes and toiletries in this bag. By not packing clothes and toiletries in the boredom buster, you will progress through the Security Checkpoint much more quickly.
- If you simply must, must, must pack toiletries, the TSA recommends that you follow the 3-1-1 rule: only packing liquids of 3 ounces or less, all contained in a 1 quart clear ziploc bag, and only 1 bag per traveler.
- Your carry-on should be easy to carry (redundant much?) as well as not too big. Make sure it's comfortable, too. Just because it matches your checked bag doesn't mean it matches you. A bookbag is an excellent carry-on, if necessary.
- In addition to having your quintessential items, your carry-on is your life-line. It should prevent you from getting bored while traveling and include items such as a book, writing utensil, notebook, portable video game, MP3 Player, and/or a small blanket or pillow.
Personal Item (i.e. The Optional Fun)
- Many airlines allow passengers to carry a personal item in addition to their carry-on. Typical examples of a personal item are laptops for men and purses for women.
- Well, what if you're a woman who likes having a laptop AND a purse? Don't fret. You can usually take both; if they refuse, use the "Aunt Flo" excuse for the purse.
- A handy tip: if you're a non-smartphone user like (unfortunately) me, take your phone out of your bag. Because of the its slim shape, it can sometimes be misconstrued as a pocketknife on the security monitors. Believe me, it can (and has) happened.
What are your top traveling tips?
Post by MontyMayhem! You can check out her blog here.