Ever had a phone charger that won’t work because your sunscreen wrecked it, or been stuck with a battery-less camera? Ever had to pay a hefty fee for extra baggage as you ‘thought’ the luggage looked within limits? Fret not, for it has happened to all of us, sometime or the other. But the thing is that it doesn’t have to. As long as you can carry your luggage (try it) and the seams all seem to be in place, you shouldn’t have a problem if you follow these tips –
- Keep essentials on you – Keep all important documents, including your passport in your handbag, with photocopies in your luggage and with someone back home. A toothbrush and important medication are also best kept on you.
- Package the leaky & delicate stuff right – Try not to pack full size bottles of everything as – a) If you are going for longer, you can buy them there, b) They add to the weight, c) That much more stuff that can leak and cause problems. Even the travel sized packs are best stowed inside Ziplock bags, between layers of clothing to buffer any bad handling. This includes all make up, toiletries, dainty jewellery, and anything with a liquid or gel consistency. If in doubt, double pack.
- Don’t over-pack . Or under-pack for that matter – Lay clothes out on the bed so you can mix and match outfits to see what works. Pick a couple of neutral coloured bottoms that would go well with most tops. Make sure you pack extra pairs of underwear. And always pack swimwear. You might think that you’re not headed to the beach so why bother. But, when you reach your resort you realise it has one of the nicest pools and you are itching to jump in. It doesn’t take much space and can mean the difference between sitting by the pool and having a ball.
- Double check the medicines – Check up on the rules and regulations governing medicines to comply with the destinations you are flying to and even a transit station, in case you have them in your carry on. Make sure you pack all your medication with the prescriptions and keep emergency medication on you. Try to keep them together in a pouch so as not to arouse unnecessary suspicion.
- Carry an extra outfit in your carry-on – Luggage could get delayed or lost for a number of reasons. Keep a set of compact and lightweight clothes in your handbag, just in case.
- Always check the destination’s weather beforehand and never leave without a jacket – A rain shower can bring down the temperatures quite quickly and make the evening weather much cooler even in summertime.
- Weigh it, measure it – Even though it might look okay, weigh it and measure the dimensions and make sure both are within permissible limits. Each airline has different criteria regarding weight limits – if you’re going to take different airlines during your trip, make sure you check the luggage guidelines for all of them. Stick to the lowest permissible limits in case of multiple airlines.
- Shop in proportion to your luggage – You don’t want to pick up the life-sized wooden cats that would look so good in your living room if you are travelling with just handbags. Even if you have a big suitcase and the space is already maxed out, resist the urge to shop unless you want to buy additional luggage.
- Keep an extra big folding bag – If you know you will find it hard to resist shopping, be ready before hand. Stash a collapsible bag in your suitcase and voila, you have space for all that you shop for. Just remember to stay within your baggage allowance.
# Bonus – Pack well in advance – Make a rough list of all that you need and if you are unsure, download a checklist online. Pack a few days before you are scheduled to leave as there are going to be many things that you will remember even after you have zipped up the bags. Add those that you need to buy to a list on your phone and collect those that need to be picked up from around the house. Pair up cameras and charged batteries, phones and chargers, outfits and accessories, etc.