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- Whenever possible, avoid checking your bag. Carry-on luggage is typically not lost or damaged by the airline, and you may find that one piece is all you'll need. You'll also save valuable time when you reach your destination.
- If you have a travel mate and are checking your luggage, ask if you can pack a few items in his/her bag and offer the same. In the case of missing luggage, you won't lose everything.
- Avoid packing unnecessary items. Make use of the space you have by packing the essentials first - then decide what other items you'd like to include. Ask yourself if you can do without a clunky hairdryer, curling iron, electric shaver, or iron if you need additional room for the basics.
- Make attempts to color-coordinate your clothing. Choose two basic neutral colors and stick to it. A tie, scarf, or other accessory can be added when desired.
- It pays to buy and wear washable silk and wrinkle-resistant clothing while traveling. Use plastic dry cleaner bags to minimize wrinkles when packing and hang up your clothing when you reach your hotel.
- To save space, roll your socks and stuff them in your shoes. Be sure to pack shoes in a shoe bag or plastic bag to keep other items clean. This also helps your shoes keep their shape.
- When traveling with children, pack complete outfits (clothing, socks, undergarments) in individual bags to assist with quick starts each morning.
- If traveling with an infant or toddler, pack favorite snacks, toys, books, blanket, and bibs to avoid unnecessary hassles. Don't forget the diaper bag!
- Bring extra plastic bags or laundry bags to help separate clean clothes from soiled or wet items.
- A sewing kit, stain remover, extra set of nylons, safety pin, travel iron, or lint roller may help save the day.
- Don't forget to add to your toiletry kit a razor/shaver, compact mirror, toothbrush, toothpaste, liquid soap/shampoo/conditioner/lotion, tissues, lip balm, brush/comb, washcloth, deodorant, dental floss, sunscreen, nail clippers and cotton swabs.
- If you need corrective lenses, be sure to bring an extra pair of contacts or glasses, as well as cleaning solution.
- If you are on any medications, bring along your prescriptions to avoid delays should you need to refill or replace these. If traveling with children, include common children's medication in your toiletry bag.
- Always carry the following: Driver's license, official ID, or passport/visa and copies of each, proof of health/dental insurance, the address/phone number of your travel agent, hotel, embassy or consulate, family member or friend, credit cards as well as a list of credit card numbers/company phone numbers in case of theft; receipt for any traveler's checks, emergency cash reserve, and itinerary.
- Leave your flight, hotel and contact information, as well as your itinerary, with a family member or friend in case of emergency.
- Keep a business card or index card with contact information inside your luggage in case of theft or loss. Do not, however, include your full name or home address, for security reasons. An example would be: J. Johnson, Minneapolis, MN, 612-555-5555 - you may also wish to use a business address. Follow this tip when entering information on your luggage tags or, if using a home address, ensure that your personal information is not easily visible.
- Whenever possible, leave your valuables at home. Avoid wearing expensive items (watches, jewelry, etc.) to help deter theft.
- Use a money belt or neck pouch to carry important items.