Oh, the Places We’ll Go. . . with these great travel tipsPublished 7:12am Thursday, May 9, 2013
I’m one of those travelers who get much gratification out of the anticipation of an exciting trip – anywhere! I’m all for last minute travel as well, but with ample planning a trip is usually more rewarding. So I’ve asked my friend Rena Weidman, a former travel agency owner/manager and tour guide, to contribute as well. Rena is traveling to France this summer and I will be off to Israel soon. When we put our heads together to discuss our trips, we decided we would love to be able to travel for ten days taking only a carry-on – and with that the challenge was waged.
I take the “Travel Light” advice very seriously, so I thought it would be fun to show how I am packing for a nine day trip to Israel in a carry-on suitcase. The idea makes sense in so many ways: 1) my luggage can’t get lost by the airline; 2) so much easier on the back not having to lug big or numerous bags into and out of airports, taxis, hotels, etc.; 3) much easier on the wallet with no extra baggage fees, and 4)no sightseeing time lost while trying to decide what to wear!
If you wait until the last minute to pack, you will most likely be throwing things in that you will never actually use. A little planning, considering destination, activities, and weather, will save you space. Plan and layout your wardrobe – even take a practice run in the suitcase.
• Consider luggage that includes the ability to expand. DO NOT use it on the outgoing segment of your trip, but you can use the extra bonus space to bring home souvenirs (if you shop too much, though, you will have to check the bag and pay the fee).
• Max your personal carry-on item and take a tote in place of a purse. The airlines will allow you one personal item to fit under the seat in front of you – usually a laptop case, backpack or purse. Wear your coat/jacket onto the plane.
• Stick to one main neutral color scheme, layer and accessorize.
• Check out the numerous options these days for “travel knits” – lightweight, wrinkle resistant, comfortable and mix and match. Our favs are Lucy, TravelSmith, Sympli, KangaROOS, Title Nine, Athleta, and Comfy.
• Roll your knits and fold the cottons; fill shoes with smaller items; use plastic compression bags for larger items or just to free up additional space.
• Use the 3-1-1 rule to your advantage! The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) rule on liquids permits containers of 3 .4 ounces or less, packed into one (1) quart plastic bag and only (1) bag per passenger. Purchase small versions of cosmetics, etc. or pick up some plastic bottles to fill at home. No fun having the TSA agents confiscate your favorite 16 oz. bottle of shampoo. If you are going to a foreign destination and worried about availability of some items, remember, most hotels provide soap/shampoo/conditioner of some sort and hair dryers. Your bag will be so much lighter.
• Pack important items or items you might want easy access to in your personal tote: iPad/Kindle, meds, snacks, small pouch of toiletries, travel documents, wallet or wristlet.
Traveling offers boundless opportunities to expand your own horizons and/or to help in ways you never thought imaginable. Whether embarking on new adventures, experiencing what the world has to offer or on a mission trip to a foreign culture, the adventures waiting are limitless. Hopefully, advice from these old and sage travelers will help make yours the most comfortable and least stressful trip.
So, why not take a challenge on your next trip – see if you can pack in just a carry-on. Of course, some destinations or reason for travel will make this more difficult. Consider the weather and activities when planning. On my trip, I need to include a swim suit for the Dead Sea, plus a couple of outfits to wear to presentations/banquets, in addition to my everyday sightseeing wardrobe. If I was planning on continuing my daily jogging routine, it might be difficult adding running shoes and exercise clothing to that carry-on (but I haven’t tried yet). This might be where the “Take clothes you can leave behind” tip becomes valuable. Wear what you don’t need at the beginning of your trip and leave behind, making room in the suitcase for new items!
By Maggie Vertin