Pack light. If you can make do with a carry-on, do it. Try packing clothes that you’re going to throw out or give away (old sweat pants and top instead of pajamas) anyway, and pitch them before you pack to come home. The bonus is that you have room for the things that you buy for yourself, or as gifts, in your luggage.
Pack a sleep mask and ear plugs in your carry-on luggage. These are great for trying to get some sleep/rest on the plane/train/boat, and even for in your hotel room.
Request the location of your room. Want to be on the main floor instead of walking up a flight of stairs? Make sure you make your request at the time of booking, or call the hotel directly if you’ve booked online. You can also request to not be next to the elevator (noisy), the ice machine (very noisy) or at the end of the hall (less secure).
Roll your clothes. They take up less room than packing them flat.
Stuff things. Put small things inside of shoes or anything else that has ‘empty’ space in it.
Pack a sarong or pashmina in your carry-on luggage. You can use it as a blanket, a sweater or a scarf if you’re cold, and you can dress up an outfit for an evening out.
Use plastic bags (we prefer the ones with zippers) to bag your toiletries. If something spills or leaks, the mess is contained. It also helps to organize things, and keep them clean.
Travelling as a couple? Share your luggage. That way if one bag is lost, you still have some clothes in the other bag.
Electronics. While some hotels have gotten smart and put multiple outlets within easy reach, in most hotels you’ll have to plug your devices into sockets at floor level. Bring your own multiple outlet extension cord. It’s easier, more convenient, and you’re less apt to forget to unplug your charger when you’re checking out.
Travel documents. Take photos of them with your smartphone (who hasn’t left the tickets sitting on the kitchen counter in plain sight). And regularly make copies of all the cards you have in your wallet. Leave a copy at home and pack a copy in your carry-on luggage in case your wallet is stolen or lost. Make copies of the backs of any credit cards too, as that’s usually where the number to call in case of loss or theft is found. And only take the cards that you’ll need for your trip. Leave the rest at home.
Car parks. Take a picture of where your car is parked and the level and section. This way don’t have to remember where you parked when you come back.
Toiletries. Run out, forget, or just didn’t pack them? Most hotels have complimentary travel sizes available at the front desk.
Lost luggage? Ask the airline representative if they have a toiletries bag so at least you can brush your teeth, even if you don’t have your favourite slippers until you get your bag back. And it pays to photograph your suitcase to show them (instead of just a verbal description). And you may even want to take a picture before you close your bag. Then you’ll have an idea of what to claim for if your bag doesn’t resurface.
Luggage. Double check that you’ve picked up your bag (and not a look alike one) before you leave the luggage carousel. And think about putting something unique on your bag. A plastic zipper pull, coloured tape around the handle or in a crisscross on the bag itself. Anything to make your suitcase ‘special’. And make sure your ID is not only on the bag, but also inside in case the outer ID gets ripped off accidentally.
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