Thursday, July 16, 2009

Travel Tips: the Art of Packing

Dear Friends,

I don't need to tell you that I travel a lot both on business & pleasure, because you already know that. As I pack today for yet another trip, I thought I would share some of my packing tips with you....

With airlines increasing fees for checked and even carry-on baggage, mastering the art of
packing has never been more important for today's smart travelers. The following tips will
help you pack smarter and arrive with everything you need.

Prepare for Success
The first step for the smart packer is to turn on the computer. That's right, don't do anything
until you first visit the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) website for its latest list
of prohibited items. You can be the best packer in the world, but it won't matter if the items in
your luggage are not TSA-approved. While you're there, be sure to take a look at
TSA-approved locks as well, and avoid further delays.

Check with Your Airline
While you're online, visit your airline's website for the latest luggage restrictions. After all, before you can make the most of your luggage space, you have to know exactly what you're working with: the maximum number, weight, and size of both carry-on and checked bags.

The 4-1-1 on the 3-1-1
Start with toiletries, and be sure to follow the TSA's "3-1-1 Rule." According to this rule, liquids and gels of three ounces or less must be packed in a one-quart-sized resealable plastic bag, with one bag per person. Pack this bag in a separate, side compartment to limit any messy accidents and to make it easy for inspection if necessary.

Have a Game Plan
Think about what you're going to be doing and what you're going to need and bring only what is necessary. Color coordinate your wardrobe by mixing and matching garments from a single color palette. Remember, you can always dress things up or down with the right accessories.

Start Packing!
Wear your bulkiest shoes and pack any others first in your bag. Be sure to utilize the space within your shoes – socks and other pliable items – and then wrap your shoes in shoe bags.

Roll or bundle similar garments to help organize and minimize space. For example, start with a shirt or jacket and lay it out flat on your bed with its arms flat. Then add a similar garment on top but inverted between tissue paper. Fold all arms in and carefully roll. Do the same for pants or other items. Do not pack garments in plastic bags and alternate bundles in flat layers.

For some large or odd-sized items, like golf clubs or surf boards, shipping might be cheaper and safer than bringing them along. If you do choose to ship any luggage, be sure to let the hotel know beforehand. Note the date of arrival clearly on the package and indicate that you are a guest. This will ensure prompt service once your bags arrive.

That's it, you're all packed and ready to go. Have a great trip. And when you get back, give us a call and let us know of any other packing tips we should add to our list.

On Your Team
Jeffrey Stanton ITI, CLC, CNE, CSSN, WOW
Your Trusted Advisor For Life

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