10 Packing Tips to Avoid Travel Trauma

Travel Trauma: How to Win when Flight Delays are Inevitable

Author: Bill May

When Flying has You Crying: 10 Packing Tips to Avoid Travel Trauma

Endless airline restrictions, inevitable delays, terminals that stretch from one zip code to another: everyone knows that when traveling, your blood pressure can skyrocket as high as a jetliner. Add to that the chance that you may get stuck overnight in some obscure airport on a layover gone awry, and it’s a wonder that anyone who travels frequently doesn’t suffer daily panic attacks.

Although there are always factors that are out of our hands (think weather and mechanical problems), one that you have complete control over is what you bring with you. Here are 10 packing tips sure to make your next trip a more enjoyable one.

  1. Invest in the right suitcase. If you haven’t purchased luggage in the last several years, it’s time to consider how new flight regulations affect what you carry. Since no one wants to pay $25 for a checked bag, it’s worth it to buy a carry-on that can act as your sole piece of luggage.
  2. Prepare a packing plan. Invest an extra 10 minutes of planning time at the front end. Think about all the activities you’re sure will happen and pack for those, rather than the ones you’re unsure about. Plan out each day, check the weather at your destination, and make sure you pack extra Ziploc bags-- because they’re see-thru, they ease the hassle of security.
  3. Remember, less is more. Lay out all the clothes you’re going to take on the bed before you pack. Then, strip away 3 items. The majority of us overpack. Limit yourself!
  4. Try rolling your casual clothes. T-shirts, tank tops, pajamas-- you’ll take up less room in your bag if you roll them.
  5. A laundry bag is a must. This makes it easy to remember what’s clean and what’s dirty. Toss a sachet or dryer sheet in there to keep clothes smelling fresh.
  6. Consider your footwear. Women on business trips may favor heels, which can be completely impractical when dashing across concourses. Instead, keep a pair of foldable flats in your handbag for a quick switch-out.
  7. Your boots are made for walkin’. If you’re bringing boots…then wear the boots instead of packing them, and plan on wearing them home. They take up mucho space in a carry-on, making them impractical to pack. Trust us, it’s easier to take them off at security then allow them to take up valuable space.
  8. Wrinkle-free fabrics are your friend. Who wants to iron at your destination? Consider what clothes are made out of when choosing what to take. Many companies now use innovative, technical fabrics that work at any business meeting.
  9. Don’t leave behind electronics. Often, they’re the last items we pack, and are therefore likely to be forgotten. They’re also the items we need the most. In addition, don’t forget everything you need to juice them.
  10. Know your airline luggage rules. Remember, if you haven’t traveled in a while, your suitcase may be outdated and no longer adhere to maximum weight and dimension regulations.

Still sound overwhelming? If you want to really simplify your trip, check out a carry-on that does the actual thinking for you, like the 22” Carry-on from Genius Pack. This baby even makes getting snowed in at O’Hare manageable. Highlights include: