8 Tips to Pack like a Pro for the Airport

20140607_104127[1]Where are we going next?

As you know, I travel constantly. I live, love, and breathe exploring new places…hence all my reasons that I wrote why one “must date a girl who travels.” I am a little biased.

I make it a point never to check in my bag for several reasons:

1- Lost luggage. This happens often and I would be so upset without my makeup and clothes! Think of all the ruined picture opportunities!
2- Waste of time. Waiting in line just to check a bag in because you are bringing a bottle of shampoo or face wash is not worth it.
3- Stores exist on vacation. I usually have everything travel size, but if there is something I don’t have, I will just buy it when I am there. The only thing is waterproof sunblock spray which is extremely expensive if you are going to Cancun or Jamaica. But I found a solution, buy it from Amazon and have it shipped to the hotel before, so it will be there when you arrive. If you are staying for a week, two bottles should be plenty. If you are going to do this, it takes a little coordination because you have to call to hotel to make sure the can hold it for you and make sure you order it 10 days before so it has plenty of time to ship.
4- Waiting for baggage is a debby downer. Seriously, you could be halfway to the hotel by the time the first bag comes out.
5- Bag searches. TSA I totally understand why you search bags randomly, but I swear for the past 5 years my bag gets searched every time I check it in and I get randomly selected for a hand swipe every time in line when I am traveling. Dangerous people do not carry cell phones with a pink glittery case and a zebra printed laptop bag through security. As for the luggage searches, first, yes my clothes may be awesome, but hands off. And secondly, am I on some list because being randomly selected should not mean each time… how scary can I be? My luggage is pink! If anyone was trying to harm people they would not invest in a cute pink luggage.

I was traveling to Chicago. While sitting down the lady next to me asked if I could hold her coffee while she put her bag away. Absolutely, no problem. So we started chatting and she is a director at a school district encouraging mathematics. She asked me what I did and if I travel for work. I said no just for pleasure. She told me she just started traveling a lot and does not know how to pack to avoid checking in and zipping through the airport and asked for tips.

Here are my tips that I shared with her:

1 – No check-in as stated above. Try to avoid checking in bags.

2- Carry one large bag. They only allow one additional bag than your carry-on, so bring a large one and even if your purse is small, it counts as a third, so stuff your purse in the larger bag. If you need multiple purses carry the smallest one in with up and put your large purse in your luggage so you can change it at the hotel.

3 – Pack the essentials. I know this is a duh moment, but really think about what you need to pack. Think of the outfits you need each day, always pack extra underwear, and flip flops for the hotel…those floors carry a lot of germs. She mentioned she packed her own shampoos, shaving cream, straightener and hair dryer. I told her to get travel size and refill the bottles if you have a special shampoo, Conair sell a baby size hair straightener for $10, and most hotels have a dryer. I pretty much have a specific travel makeup bag has all the essentials for a quick getaway, toothbrush, deodorant, powder, liner, meds, etc…

4- No need to dress to impress at the airport. I am all about looking fab but at the airport, it does not matter. I usually wear leggings, a t-shirts and sneakers. This way if you are late you can zip through the airport quickly. This is much harder in heels, trust me I did it a few times in my younger days. Avoid anything that can set off the alarm or things you need to take off like earrings, watches, necklaces. I put all this in a little bag in my carry-on.

5- Checklist please. Always make a checklist and put everything you need normally like underwear, floss, toothbrush, charger, sunglasses, and gum on it. Check it as you pack. I have a basic one I use each time and just add on new things do each trip.

6- Routine is good. You have heard the saying everything has its place so you do not feel frazzled leaving the house, it’s essential. When you leave you should only have to grab your luggage and cell phone.

-Check-in the night before. Take a screenshot of your boarding pass. Your phone may have issues pulling up the ticket but a screenshot never fails and the bar code works either way.
-Make sure to pack everything the night before. If you travel a lot invest in another toothbrush, deodorant, so you do not have to worry about packing what you need in the morning.
-Travel charger- it’s so cheap to buy another these days. Just buy one to keep in your travel bag.
-Condense your wallet. There is no need to bring your entire wallet, it is actually more of a hassle because what if you lose it? Bring 1, maybe 2 credit cards. Make sure one is always a Visa. I rave about Discover, but not all stores take it. Your license, medical insurance card (just in case), and some cash.
-Put everything including your car keys and purse in a corner, so you just grab and go.
-Another trick is putting everything in the same place. I always know what pocket I put my wallet, passport, charger, etc…

7 – The art of the luggage puzzle. This is always a struggle. Clothes can be packed down, but shoes cannot. Roll your clothes if needed. Don’t pack the largest items. If I am planning on bringing knee high boots or a coat, I will wear them if I run out of space.

8- Prepare for the security line. You can always see the people who do not travel often because they struggle so much.

-Grab 2 to 3 bins. #1- your laptop #2 – liquids and shoes. #3 your large purse. Have all your liquids in a plastic bag in your large purse. Don’t put it in your luggage.
-If possible keep your laptop for the time in your large bag so you can take it out fast. Once you get through I will stick it in my luggage. It’s heavy!
-Take out your ID ahead of time.
-Don’t rush and put your boarding pass if printed and ID in the bin. I cannot count the number of times I have had to flag people down to tell them they left it including my own friends. Take a second and stick it in your large luggage.

So since it is pretty painless, book a trip today and start enjoying life!


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