Did you know that packing a certain way for a flight can save you money, time, and hassles? It absolutely can! Which is why we’re giving you our top 10 packing tips for air travel.
Many people don’t think about they way they pack for a flight. They simply stuff their clothes and important belongings into a bag and then head off.
Packing this way can make for chaos at the airport – as you’re trying to get through security or even checking in your bags.
When a haphazard kind of packing plan – or lack of a plan altogether – you can’t easily pull out electronics when you need to and you set yourself up for delays when TSA personnel attempt to scan your bags. You also run into a heap of other problems.
Some travelers don’t just stuff their necessities into a bag, they throw these things and practically everything else in their home into their luggage. They bring tons of extras – for “just in case.”
With this approach to packing, you set yourself up for possibly paying add-on baggage fees, having to deal with carting multiple bags all over, and wasting a lot of time keep track of all your suitcases.
For easier, cheaper, and more enjoyable air travel, use these top 10 packing tips for air travel:
1. Make Your Luggage Stand Out
When choosing your luggage, pick suitcases and bags that stand out.
This will make it easy for you to quickly spot your items at baggage claim, which saves time.
If you already have a suitcase and it’s not distinguishable, consider tying a colorful ribbon or bow on it.
2. Pack Electronics in a Single Layer
If you have cameras, laptops, or other electronics that you need to get through the checked bag security point, make sure you pack them in a single layer that can be easily viewed by TSA staff.
Checked bags and carry-ons are often physically inspected. Having electronics in 1 layer means no one has to unload all of your belongings to screen them.
3. Pack Light
As you’re packing for your flight, think about what you’ll really need. Plan outfits in advance and only bring the necessities.
Consider calling your hotel to see what bath products they use and decide if you can use them. Skip packing any items that you can get – or use – for free on the other end of your trip.
4. Save Samples
If you know – or think – you’ll be traveling in the future, save any hair care, body lotion, or other samples that you come across.
Little packets of moisturizer, toothpaste, vitamins, and other necessary items take up much less space than bottles regular-sized bottles of these things.
5. Do a Bag Check Before You Leave
Before you head off for your flight, give your bags a once-over to see if there are any questionable items that may get you held up at security (or cause your entire checked suitcase to be dumped and then items stuffed back in).
Don’t bring scissors or anything sharp in your carry-on.
6. Downsize Everything
If you do need to pack shampoo, conditioner, hair gel, ointments, and even food items, make sure that you put them in the little 3.3-ounce or less containers that the TSA requires.
This saves time getting through security, money so you don’t have to throw things out, and space in your suitcase (which could save you money).
7. Pick the Right Size Bag
If you want to get through the security checkpoint easily – and want to save money on your checked bags – make sure that your luggage fits into the airlines size requirements.
If the air carrier says your carry-on bag needs to be 22’’ x 14’’ x 9’’, they mean it (if not, you’ll have to check your bag or pay more). You’ll pay more for oversized checked bags too.
8. BYO Sanitizer and Blanket
Airline insiders reveal that the tray tables in front of you on the plane are not cleaned regularly. Neither are blankets and pillows in many cases.
Invest in a little bottle of sanitizer that you can bring in your carry-on, and buy a thin travel blanket and small pillow for use on the plane.
9. Pack Methodically
Have you ever stuffed things into a suitcase or carry-on and then not been able to close it? When packing your bag, start placing items around the perimeter. Then, work toward the center.
Packing this way lets you know – as you go along – exactly how much will fit in your bag so that it closes properly.
10. Opt for Neutral Clothing
As you’re planning out the clothes you’ll wear for each day on your trip, opt for neutral colors. This gives you the opportunity to add a great scarf or tie to your outfit if you find one while traveling.
It also makes it easy to switch things up, should you need to adjust your attire for weather or for any other reason. Colorful outfits are harder to improvise with.
Using these top 10 packing tips for air travel will make business and leisure trips more stress-free, budget-friendly, and enjoyable.