Seven Days and One Carry-on Bag
Mishandling of checked luggage is on the rise, with more than six out of every
thousand travelers experiencing problems with delayed, damaged, and lost
luggage. Add to that the time wasted at the luggage carousel, and the hassle of
hauling a large and heavy suitcase and it's clear why so many seasoned travelers
choose to carry-on.
Start with your suitcase. Older bags (even soft-sided luggage) can weigh 15
pounds or more empty. New luggage has been developed with light weight in mind,
often coming in at less than half the weight of older bags. These new bags are
made with modern materials that are very light but durable, without giving up
the convenience of wheels and telescoping handles.
Begin packing a few days early, laying out all of the clothing you think you
might need. Then spend a day or two removing items that aren't strictly
necessary, are too heavy or bulky, or don't match the rest of your travel
To avoid wrinkles and airport security delays, pack in easily inspected modules.
Mesh cubes, mesh pockets, and packing folders keep your clothing organized,
neatly folded, and compacted, and can be lifted out individually during
inspection without disturbing your careful packing.
Use a packing compressor bag for soiled clothing. The compressor keeps damp and
dirties extra-compact, and separated from clean clothing. Since the compressor
is transparent, your soiled clothing can be inspected without the need to open
the bag and "air your dirty laundry".
Pack your liquid and gel toiletries in three ounce bottles to comply with the
TSA rules, and place them in an outer pocket for easy access when you go through
security. Remember, your liquids and gels must fit in a one quart transparent
zip top bag.
How to Get the Most out of Your Travel Wardrobe
Plan for and pack clothes that meet the needs of your itinerary, are appropriate
for the culture and climate of your destination, and allow the most outfits from
the least number of pieces. Here are some easy ways to lighten your load.
* Plan around a basic color. Choose a neutral solid color like black, navy,
gray, brown or khaki for your main wardrobe pieces. Matching striped or print
shirts, a scarf or a pin can add a little color without sacrificing valuable
- Plan to wear each item several times during the trip. Choose clothing that is
easy to care for -- wrinkle resistant, hand washable, and quick drying. Take a
compact laundry kit along to wash as you go.
- Take more tops than bottoms. Every top should go with every bottom. Tops are
lighter and take less room than bottoms, and are easier to launder.
- Choose lightweight knits, microfibers, cotton and silk over bulky sweaters,
heavy denim and corduroy. For colder climates, pack silk long underwear that
keeps you warm, packs small, and doubles as pajamas.
- Wear your jacket or coat and heavier shoes to the airport (worn clothing is
never weighed). While you are at it, stuff the coat pockets, too. Many travelers
choose multi-pocket jackets or travel vests, in effect wearing an extra
- Pack for comfort. Chances are good that you will be sleeping in your clothing
on the plane. Choose clothing made of stretchy fabrics, expandable waistbands,
and non-binding collars and cuffs. Make sure these fabrics resist stains and
wrinkles to avoid the slept-in look.