If you’ve been paying attention to our latest Friday’s Friendly Funny cartoons, then you’ve picked up on my distaste for airline fees. While some are unavoidable, one of the easiest ways to keep your airline costs down is by packing light to avoid baggage fees.
If you’re a serial overpacker, here are some of my quick-and-dirty tips to help keep you underweight and fee free.
Shrink your shoe collection. First and foremost, limit your shoe obsession to two pairs. All you need is one casual pair and one that’s slightly dressier. This will lighten your luggage immensely. Next, pack your shoes on the bottom of the bag, but don’t leave them empty. You should stuff sneakers with socks, belts, and other small items to save space.
Pack early. Don’t wait until that last minute to pack your bags, since rushed packing usually leads to overpacking. Packing efficiently is like a science, so take time to really assess what you’ll need and what you can leave at home. My favorite rule is to lay out everything you want to bring — then cut it in half.
Leave it behind. Leave toiletries at home. Hotels usually provide shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, and anything else you need you can easily pick up in a convenience store at your destination. Also, forget your hair dryer. If you’re staying in a decent hotel, they’ll have one for you. Insider tip: Toiletries and hair dryers might be hard to come by in places like Cuba and Cambodia, so double check before visiting an “exotic” destination.
You probably have your own personal list of travel musts-haves — items that you always want with you when going on a trip. Mine include a travel packet of wipes, moisturizer with sun screen, essential meds plus prescriptions just in case, and my international service-enabled cell phone plus charger. There are other items on my list, but these items always go into my carry-on bag first.
But there are also items that should be included on every traveler’s list, no matter who you are or where you’re going. Similarly, there are certain items that, for the most part, aren’t worth the space they take up in your suitcase.
Today I want to share my list of top 10 must-haves for international travel, and I’ll follow it up shortly with items that you can afford to leave at home.
- Medication. You should always carry all of your prescription medication in your carry-on bag, not in your checked luggage. I find the containers that are marked with the days of the week to be the most helpful. Fill them up so that you have all the pills you need per day in each little container. If you need more than a week’s worth, fill up a second container. Ziplock bags make for perfect storage for these handy containers. If one of the compartments should open, the pills fall harmlessly into the plastic bag, safe and clean. Also, I recommend carrying a small assortment of other medication, including those to treat a cold, sore throat, or upset stomach. Even if you’re not sick when you leave, it’s better to have medication with you should something happen while away.
It’s your lucky day! It’s time for another Friendly Planet Travel Giveaway!
Our item today is a carbon fiber and Kevlar travel toiletry bag from RAGGEDedge Gear. This bag is perfect for the adventurous traveler. It’s 100 percent waterproof; has a marine-grade, non-corrodible zipper; and has inside pockets to keep your toiletries in place through bumpy travel.
I fell in love with the carbon and blue bag because it looks like something out of a James Bond movie! If you want to see more of RAGGEDedge Gear’s modern designs, travel over to its Etsy page.
To enter to win, leave a comment on this post telling me some of your travel toiletry necessities.
We will randomly select the winner from our pool of applicants and the winner will be announced right here on the Friendly Planet Travel blog. To be eligible to win, you must include your first name and an e-mail address in the comment so we can contact you if you win.
The commenting contest starts today and ends on July 22. Make sure to get your comment in by then to be entered into the drawing.
Thanks so much to RAGGEDedge Gear for letting us give away one of your awesome toiletry bags. Good luck and start commenting!
UPDATE: Congratulations JMH400 (at) yahoo.com. You’re our winner! Look for an e-mail from us asking for your shipping info. Thanks everyone who entered!