Nov 16, 2012
Thanksgiving is next week! This has prompted me to think about about an elusive thing for some - the perfectly packed long weekend bag. It’s been a few years now, that many airlines charge an arm and a leg for checked luggage. Anyone who has flown during this time has experienced the result: carry-on space is at a premium. There are few better ways to identify yourself as a problem flyer than to try to bring too much on the plane and be turned back by a flight attendant, or worse, be unable to fit your overstuffed roll-aboard in the overhead compartment wheels first. Don’t be this person! With carry-on luggage comes responsibility.
So, let’s start by taking a moment to focus on travel toiletries. Your travel toiletries should always be packed and ready to go at a moments notice. Upon returning from a trip, refill containers and replace missing items immediately. Most of us who travel occasionally or frequently are familiar with the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule. Please remember that you cannot carry containers larger than 3oz even if they are not full. Leave the rolled-up toothpaste tubes at home if you want to keep them.
**Hotel toiletries can be helpful when traveling, so take them when you can. Still, now is a good time to part with some of those items if you’ve compiled a large collection. In New York, many temporary Sandy shelters would welcome the donation. So would permanent shelters around the country.
Regarding clothing, try not to pack too much. Bringing less will make the decision easier when choosing what to wear while you are away for the weekend. Make the hard outfit-creating decisions now to leave more time to focus on what you’re travelling for when you’re there. And, if you absolutely have to, you can always buy something when you get there. Unless you’re really going off the grid, chances are that you’ll be able to find what you need without much trouble.
Keep the items you do bring with you organized with cubes, containers, or bags. I use these mesh garment bags from Muji, they keep your clothes in order and make it easy to see all your packed items. Pack your shoes against the side of your suitcase or put them in bags of their own so they don’t get your clothing dirty. Pack a cloth or plastic bag for dirty clothing so it doesn't mingle with your clean(er) garb.
My carry-on bag of choice is the Patagonia MLC® Bag.
Taking time in advance to pack in an organized way and make sure you have only what you need will ensure a good travel and vacation experience, no matter where you go or who it’s with.