A smart packer is the one who arranges his luggage with space efficiency and still take care of his travel and trip needs. There are certain travelers who believe in packing light while there are some who pack so much for a 3-day trip that it seems they are ready for 3 months. Efficient and smart packing not only minimizes the load to be carried but also ensures there is no problem with the airport authorities during inspection and check-in.
Before a traveler starts packing, he should acquaint with the airline luggage rules for both, checked-in as well as carry-on luggage. He should know the number of pieces of luggage as well as their permitted dimensions and weight. Airlines charge fees for extra number of bags as well as for extra weight. Before leaving for the airport, make sure you have checked the weight for your different suitcases/bags and that they are within limits. To avoid spending money on this, be well aware and carry accordingly.
Before you start to pack, you should know what is permitted and what is not. Also, make sure you know what goes into a check-in luggage and what can be carried as a hand-luggage.
- Check for chargers: phone, camera, laptop, tablets and any other device you are carrying.
- Put all the gadgets in one place. Normally they are only allowed as carry-on luggage.
- Take extra batteries.
- If you are a frequent international traveler, may be invest in an adapter that works in multiple countries.
- Always carry a first-aid box. Make sure it is full with all necessary supplies like band-aids, antiseptic creams etc.
- Bring enough (and extra) medications with you on the plane. Carry prescriptions with you if possible. Make sure they are labeled.
- Put liquid medicines in a ziploc. This may save other contents of the bag in case the medicines leaked.
- Invest in a waist-pouch to keep your originals like passport, driving license and national identification documents.
- Carry copies of your important documents: front cover of your passport, data pages of your passport, visa stamped page of your passport, itinerary, visitor insurance proof and other important national identification documents.
- If possible, send these copies on e-mail to yourself.
- Carry only those credit cards which are required.
- Empty your wallet of all loyalty, reward and gift cards. Carrying only what is required helps in ensuring your financial identity is secure.
- Pack comfortable clothing. Prefer clothing that does not attract attention as tourists.
- Pack clothes that will make you feel good and cosy. If possible, take clothes that do not wrinkle easily.
- Cosmetics should be carried in ziploc or transparent pouches, and should be kept on the top on the suitcase. In case, needed to be checked by the authorities, can be taken out easily.
- Socks can be kept within the shoe sockets.
- Think how many pair of shoes you really need. May be one formal, casual and running/exercise shoes are enough depending on the type of your trip.
- Put heavy things at the bottom of the suitcase.
- As a carry-on, fill your suitcase only till the limit you can lift and put overhead.
- Small clothes can be rolled in between to use the space and fill in the air holes.
- If you know you are going to stay in a hotel, they normally supply towels and grooming products. Do not carry them and travel lighter.
- Carry fragrant drawstring laundry bags to keep worn unwashed clothes, to keep odors from spreading to fresh clothes.
- If you are carrying books and other documents, do not stack them up on each other, instead lay them out, preferably heavy books at the bottom. Spread the books all along the suitcase and bags, these can be used to fill spaces too.
- Do not forget to take pictures. In case of lost/stolen luggage, pictures of suitcases and contents within them, helps as supporting documents.
- Fill out the name tag for the luggage. In case it gets lost, it can be easily returned to you.
- Do not forget to take a picture of your suitcase/bag with the name tag. It acts as a supporting document during any luggage lost/stolen cases.