Most of us love to travel but the process of preparing for a trip often raises unnecessary stress. When you get organized to travel, packing the right items is a no-brainer and the effort you put into planning will pay off when you are on the vacation or business trip.
Here Are A Few Suggestions
- Check your passport to make sure it has not expired. Always have a copy of your passport with you and leave one at home with a family member or close friend. Provide them with a copy of your itinerary too.
- During the days or weeks leading up to your departure date, begin storing travel items inside the most frequently used suitcase. Don’t worry about organizing this yet – it’s simply serving as a temporary storage space for your travel items as you begin thinking about what to bring. Another option would be to create a dedicated travel box. Items here might include toiletries, copies of passports, money belts and maps.
- Create a packing list on your computer that you can print out each time you go on a trip. Include items like toiletries, medications, glasses & contacts, maps & directions, keys, cameras, medical insurance cards, passports, wallet, cash, clothing items, snacks, books & magazines, cell phone chargers and any other electronic devices and their associated power cords.
- If you will be gone for an extended period of time, consider creating a ‘house shut down’ list. Include actions like turning down the water heater temperature, adjusting the household thermostat, arranging pet sitters, setting timers for lights, and setting the house alarm system.
- Most luggage looks alike on the baggage claim turnstiles. Make your luggage stand out by tying brightly colored ribbons to the handles. Use the same luggage tag on all your bags to make them all easily identifiable. Include a copy of your itinerary in a large envelope in every suitcase. This allows the airline to easily find you if any of your bags are inadvertently misplaced during flight changes.
- Carry on those items that you must have if your luggage doesn’t arrive with you. This might include medicines and something to entertain yourself with -a book, magazine or puzzle book. I always pack a change of under clothes, socks and t-shirt in my carry on in a gallon size ziplock bag. If your flight is delayed or your luggage is lost, at least you have another change of clothes.
- I create a folder with all my travel information. On the outside of the folder I note the days I will be gone. I also note what services I will need on this trip – flight, hotel, rental car, parking, etc. This way I can check off what has been scheduled and what still needs to be done. Inside the folder are copies of the confirmations and any other important information like maps, conference programs, confirmations, and sightseeing ideas. I also include an envelope to put receipts trip receipts into. Since I travel a lot I have one place on top of my file cabinet that has all my current trips that are scheduled. I also leave completed trips in this file holder until all expenses have been reimbursed.
Great Travel Items I Can’t Live Without
- Travel bottles that meet the airline requirements for carry on luggage. I pack my toiletries that I can’t live without in these and place them in the quart size ziplock bag.
- Travel toiletry bag – this bag is the best because of the built in hooks that make it easy to hang in hotel bathrooms without taking up counter space. It has a place for everything and includes a mirror. It’s great for camping too. I picked a bright color that won’t get lost in my suitcase or on the floor.
- Travel blanket – this personal size blanket has plush material on one side and cool satin on the other. Its machine washable and easy to pack in its own zippered pouch. I found this extremely useful not only in the airplane but on my cot in Honduras.
- Travel Flight Kit – this kit includes an inflatable pillow, eye mask and earplugs. For travel to a third world country I would never be without this trio. Made from the same plush material as the travel blanket this group gives you a pillow, eye mask and earplugs. The earplugs were a must if you don’t want to hear the howler monkeys all night. Store and pack in their own clear zippered pouch.
- Travel reading light – this flexible light makes it easy to adapt for a desk light, hands-free light source or a book light. The bright color makes it easy to find.
- Travel clock – The best part about the travel clocks are the size and alarms. This one is easy to see.
- Photo Frame Tags – Every suitcase has the same brightly colored tag that makes them easy to spot on the turnstile.
- Travel Cord Organizer – This bag carries all the power cords, headphones and cables you might need for all your electronics like cell phones, MP3 players, DVD players and digital cameras. It includes a power strip to charge 3 devices at the same time. There is also plenty of storage for memory cards and jump drives and battery packs.
- Pom-ID – Find your luggage faster with these neon colored ties that attach to your suitcase handles. Set of two.
- Backpack – Use this for your carry on item when you travel by air because it is perfect for stowing under the seats or in the overhead bin. I like one with multiple sections to make things easier to find. Plus when you are running through the airport you can have your hands free.