Womens Packing Woes

By: maxine greco

Packing for a business trip or vacation is not complicated. It just requires organization and knowledge of the new baggage restrictions imposed by the airlines. If you're traveling by train, bus or car you are not required to follow the airline rules. Additionally, if you're taking a cruise there are fewer restrictions. Of course, if you are flying to get to the cruise you will have to follow the new baggage requirements. Generally, the airlines allow you two pieces of luggage, each when packed must weigh less than 50lbs, and one carry on bag and one personal bag. Be sure to check with your airline before packing to make sure of the requirements. Additionally, liquids need to be packed inside your baggage as you are only allowed to take a quart sized plastic bag with 3 ounces or less of liquids and gels on to the airplane. In the past, women packed all of their cosmetics in their carry on bag. Now, you need this 3-1-1 bag for essential liquid items and the balance will be packed in your luggage. Another important requirement is the locks that you use on your baggage must be TSA approved. These will have a master key used by airport security personnel that they can bypass your combination and open your baggage if need be. Let's get that lightweight luggage ready and begin packing.

First, organize what you'd like to take and then you can begin. After laying out all of your clothing choose the shoes and accessories you'll need. No need to layer your clothes with tissue paper or plastic bags. If you pack correctly, your clothing should come out without wrinkling. Shoes will add to the weight of your luggage, so attempt to choose one or two color schemes and stay with that color scheme.

The term mix and match really applies to packing these days! There are shoes available now that have interchangeable tops. That allows you to pack one pair and different colored tops! No matter what discount luggage you've chosen, the clothes you've chosen to take have to fit inside these two bags. You also do not want to forget a light wrap or jacket that will go with everything and a lightweight travel umbrella in case of rain. I use packing cubes for underwear, stockings and nightgowns. These can go straight from your luggage right into hotel drawers. These cubes are placed in the bottom of the luggage next to the bars of the "pull up handle." These cubes not only organize your packing, but they are handy if security needs to search through your luggage. Nothing personal gets disturbed inside the cubes.By placing these packing cubes inside the luggage first, it evens out the bottom of the case for your clothing.

I then pack my clothes on thin wire hangers from the dry cleaners. The slacks and the top and any accessories are on the same hanger. I place three of these hangers together and pack from one end. The hanger is at the top of the left side with the clothing laying out over the luggage. Then I'll take three more hangers and place them at the other end. I continue to do this until the bag is almost full. Then I flip the clothes over and into the luggage so they have a soft fold. In the corners around the bag you'll have room for your shoes after putting them in shoe covers or mittens. Cosmetics and toiletries I plastic wrap first, and then put them in lined cosmetic cases. This gives double protection against spills and leaks when your luggage is being tossed around. These also get packed around the perimeter of the case. There are many of these handy travel accessories available in every color, shape and size.

Your carry on will have to carry your most important items. This includes eye glasses or contact lenses, any medications, and jewelry. You may also want to pack a travel hair dryer, steamer, travel coffee maker or hot rollers. Remember you need an electrical converter if you're traveling overseas unless you have dual voltage appliances. Many people pack an extra change of clothing and shoes in their carry on. You'll also want your camera, binoculars, and your cell phone in your carry on bag. Anything valuable you'll also want to take with you in the carry on. In your personal bag, you'll need your wallet, your passport and all of your important papers. Your itinerary and your travel information will also need to be with you. Something to read or entertain you on the trip is important to keep in your carry on or personal bag. A snack is another great idea, in case there is no meal on your flight or nothing to your liking. Many of these carry on bags are given as corporate gifts. They are always useful and can be individually monogrammed or have a company name or logo. Now you're packed and you can rest easy and enjoy your trip!

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