You have probably made a couple of trips via flights and have the entire ordeal of check-in memorized like the back of your hands, but that hardly is proof that your packing skills are par excellence. Airlines come with strict guidelines and regulation on luggage regulations. So instead of simply jumping at packing your luggage, here’s a quick guide to packing luggage for air travel!
- Decide If Your Travel Really Requires Checking Bags
That probably is the first and most vital decision that needs to be made. If you can avoid checking bags, then you can save yourself from a myriad of trouble usually seen in the form of lost luggage, damaged goods, long wait etc. But carrying everything in the carry-on luggage requires special packing skills. So decide carefully and based on that, choose your luggage.
- Knowing What To Carry Where
Every airline has luggage rules and regulations, some standardized and others too specific. An example of standardized rules would be items allowed to carry in flights, while a specific rule would be the size and weight of luggage the airline allows. You can’t actually carry a bottle of whiskey in your check-in nor can your suitcase weighing over 80 lbs! (For the exact figures of what airlines offer, check Netflights). If you do happen to break any of these rules or regulations then the airlines will charge you extra. Such types of charges are termed as the airline’s ‘ancillary revenue.’ Hence, you must choose carefully what to bring along and not.
While packing your luggage, you don’t have to be ingenious but follow the simple rules:
- Maximize space by rolling your clothes.
- All liquids and gels of 100ml or more should be packed.
- Keep your shoes in cloth shoe bags.
- Toiletries should be packed in cases and should be placed at the bottom of your bag.
So if you are carrying more than one or two pairs, it’s best to keep it where it is easily accessible), prohibited items must not be included in baggage etc. It’s also advisable to spread out all heavy items across the bag instead of stacking it up all in one place.
- Keep The Essentials Close
By essentials, we mean things that must definitely be included in the carry-on luggage. The essentials usually include valuables, electronic gadgets, snacks and other handy food items along with books, toiletries, travel documents, vital medicines and so on. Considering that luggage for check-in goes through vigilant screening, it is advisable to include them in plastic or transparent bags (preferably those with zip-lock) so that they can easily be checked and also not get scattered across the luggage.
- Tag Your Belongings
Unfortunately this is almost often the most ignored part of air-travelling. Forgetting to tag bags! Yes agreed that the rate of lost luggage has dropped over the years, as airlines are being all the more alert about it to avoid a financial bump. Yet, there is absolutely no guarantee that you will not be the unfortunate one. Travel insurance taken or not, tagging your bag with details like name, contact number and mailing address is an absolute must, especially for those who are travelling across multiple cities.
- Travel Light
You are probably travelling for a business trip or holiday. Do you really need to duplicate your entire wardrobe? Carry only that what’s needed. Try to mix-and-match clothes, reduce the number of shoes and accessories, avoid bulky objects or items that can easily be found at hotels, inns etc. Also, avoid wrapping gifts/souvenir in case you are attending a wedding or business meeting. You may be asked to open it in case the authorities have doubt. Also, don’t stuff everything inside your suitcase or duffel for the same reason. It is also recommended that you save some space in your luggage for bringing back a souvenir from your holiday. After all, no holiday is complete unless a memento is brought along!
In brief there’s no hundred percent right approach to packing. Packing is a skill and the frequent flyer gradually learns how and what to pack in his luggage. There will always be times when even if you ace at packing there will be things that have been missed. So don’t fret about it!