It seems everyone has a tip for how to make the most of the space you have in your suitcase. No one knows better, though, than flight attendants. Many of them use the Flight Crew Series Rollaboard from Travelpro.
Here are a few of their expert packing tips, as shared with Condé Nast Traveler magazine.Heavy items such as toiletries and shoes take up a lot of space, but where you put them in your Rollaboard will determine your ease of maneuvering the bag through the airport. If you place your toiletries and shoes in the bottom of the case nearest the wheel base, you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes. By doing this it keeps the center of gravity low and it avoids heavier items falling into your clothing when the bag is being pulled upright. Flip flops and some sandals are by far the most versatile shoe with the smallest packing “footprint.” They go with many casual outfits and can serve as slippers in the hotel.
Don’t use a garment bag. Generally, they don’t fit in the overhead bins well, and closet space on planes is reserved for use by first class passengers first. If you insist, most likely it will be checked and then you’ll have wrinkled clothes when you arrive.
I can almost tell how my trip is going to go by how efficiently I can get set up when I arrive at my hotel. Unpacking begins with thoughtful packing, and by that I mean strategic placement of items in my luggage or garment bag. So, the first thing I do when I get to my hotel room is remove the items I’ve folded, usually shirts, to assess how they weathered the trip.
This isn’t rocket science, but it stands to reason that folded items will only become more wrinkled the longer they remain folded. Because I really try to avoid ironing if I can possibly help it, my strategic packing begins with placing my folded shirts in the mesh pocket in the lid of my suitcase. This way, the weight of the other items in my bag is not creating more wrinkles than already exist from folding them in the first place.If I have to take dress clothes, I use one of Travelpro’s cases that has a Suiter in it, like the Crew 10 22″ Exp. Rollaboard. This protects my suit coat and pants from excessive wrinkling and creasing. The Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 and Crew 10 50″ Rolling Garment Bag has a foam rollbar to keep pants from creasing in the middle.
Thanks to the miracle of gravity, most wrinkles will hang out with time. That’s why I make hanging my folded items my next priority. Bringing an especially wrinkled item into the bathroom while I shower also helps those folds relax.
In order for travel to be efficient and enjoyable, organization of your stuff is key. We’ve read a lot of articles, heard from a lot of travelers, and even spoke with our fellow road warriors. And, of course, we found a great article on Huffington Post about the topic.
Here are a few of our favorites.
- All those lotions, shampoos, conditioners, sunscreen, makeup foundation, and eye creams you use take up a lot of space. Seal off a drinking straw with a heat sealer, fill it with your favorite lotions and creams, and seal off the other end. Label them with tape, and you’ve got some single servings of your different products. It saves space and you won’t run afoul of TSA rules.
- If you’re like me, you’re tired of wrestling with all those different charging cables and earbuds you carry around. Rather than unpacking and unraveling a tangled mess every time you need a cable, put them in an eyeglass case you’re not using. The hard shell ones that spring shut work best.
Most of us file travel days in the “lost” category, thanks to the amount of time squandered getting where we have to go. With the fast pace of business, you really can’t afford to lose days to travel. Here are some suggestions for how to make the most of your time while you’re traveling.First of all, be smart in how you book your travel. Even if your company has someone responsible for arranging itineraries, it’s worth the extra time to investigate the best options and communicate them to your travel arranger. Don’t let that investigation become a time sink, though. It’s not worth saving $50 if it takes an hour of your billable time to find that savings. Time is money, and your time per hour needs to be invested wisely each day.
Commit to getting to your departure gate at least 45 minutes before boarding begins. This will give you time to check email and stay on top of whatever needs your attention before you’re unavailable for 2 – 4 hours. Running your timeline right to the wire — and showing up to the airport at the last possible minute — creates stress, which makes you less productive. Organize your time so you can have time to be useful to those who need to hear from you.
Some people wax rhapsodic about the joys of checking their suitcase and only traveling through the airport with a small personal bag or briefcase. While we’re not always big fans of letting someone else take our suitcase, we can see some of the benefits of checking your bag before your flight.
- You can take everything you want and have options for clothes and souvenirs. If you’re taking an extra long trip, and you don’t want to wear the same pants five times, the big suitcase makes sense. It also leaves you plenty of room to pack souvenirs on the way home.
- Once you check your bag, you’re FREE! No more wrestling your bag in the bathroom, or worrying somebody will shout “Abandoned bag! Abandoned bag!” when you step away to throw something in the trash can.
- Security is a breeze. Other than your personal bag, you don’t have to have anything examined. No 3-1-1 bags, no leaving personal toiletry items at home, no packing tiny toiletries.
One of the things you may not consider when planning a trip is which piece of luggage to use. Either you’re going to wait and see how much you have to take, and plan accordingly. Or you’re thinking about buying your first piece of luggage, and aren’t sure which one to get.
Today, we’re going to present the pros and cons of the carry-on and the pros and cons of the larger suitcase.
The biggest pro for the carry-on centers around savings: saving money, saving time. If you’ve priced luggage, you’ll know that carry-ons are cheaper than check-in size suitcases. They also save you money because you don’t have to pay the checked bag fee suitcase users incur when they check their bag.
No, sleeping and being on a plane are not diametrically opposed. You can do it if you know a few simple tricks. We learned a few of them in an Entrepreneur.com article on airport survival.First, choose your side of the plane. I know this sounds a bit strange, but according to Heather Poole, a veteran flight attendant and author of the book, Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet, it’s based on simple logic. “Get a window seat for night flights. If you sleep on your right side at home go for the right side of the plane,” Poole told Entrepreneur.
Next, dress comfortably. You can carry on your suit or whatever you’re wearing to your meeting in a garment bag and change into it when you arrive. Don’t even think about attempting to change into something more comfortable while in your seat. According to Poole, she has seen it all, including passengers arriving on the plane in adult footed pajamas. Talk about the walk of shame!
One of the least sexy things to think about when you’re traveling is how to manage your dirty clothes. I don’t know about you, but I’m a much better packer on the way to my destination than I am on the way home. I want my clothes to arrive unwrinkled and ready to help me look and feel my best, but on the way home I couldn’t care less if they’re folded neatly or not. The problem is my clothes seem to grow exponentially, making it challenging to get the same number of items back into my suitcase to come home.With this in mind, because I know I’m not alone, here are some options to help you get your clothes home without contaminating your suitcase.
Laundry pouches: Several of our luggage series have mesh pouches for separating dirty clothes from clean clothes. Unpack completely upon your arrival and then repack as you are finished wearing each item. Folding each piece neatly, even though it’s no longer clean, will help you remain organized when it comes time to put your toiletries, extra shoes, and maybe even a jacket in the final packing of the suitcase.
Maybe you’ve never thought of this, until right this very second (you’re welcome): what happens to all the microbes, germs, and general dirt that we get on our clothes while we travel?
Especially when you put your dirty clothes into your suitcase for your return trip?
Do the germs evaporate? Remain on your clothes? Or do they somehow get transferred to the interior lining of your bag, leaving your clean clothes susceptible to germs, bugs, and cooties when you pack for your next trip?
We asked our service department for tips and suggestions about how to maintain or return your bag’s interior to the cleanest state possible.In travel, as in life, forewarned is forearmed. Choosing a bag that has been designed to help you manage soiled or wet items is the best plan. In many of our lines, we have taken the extra step to include either a wet pocket that is waterproof or apply an H2O Guard to the fabric of the entire interior lining that helps prevent stains or smells that come with possible spills or wet garment garment storage.
If your bag doesn’t have this built-in protection, use plastic bags, such as those provided at hotels for laundry service or from home, to separate your wet, dirty, or simply worn clothes from those that are still clean. Most bags have a mesh compartment in the interior lid or a zippered pocket on the exterior that can be used to store these if a plastic bag is not available. It won’t keep the cooties out, but it will separate things a bit.
If you find a spill or stain or smell in your bag’s lining, you can clean it by mixing equal parts of denatured alcohol (also called industrial alcohol), and water to form a solution. Use a damp towel or sponge to apply this, and thoroughly wipe out the interior. Do not soak the lining, but try repeated applications if the situation persists. Leave the bag open so the solution can dry completely.
If you want to deal with a spill or stain while you’re still traveling, disinfectant wipes or baby wipes can be used to mitigate the worst until you can fully attend to it.
Do you have any other suggestions? Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page.
In our last blog post, we talked about hotel hacks you can use while you’re on the road. With a little ingenuity and a few of the complimentary items most hotels offer, you can have a semi-civilized existence if you need food, a shave, to shine your shoes, or to even remove unwanted odors.
Another travel hacks video from Dave Hax tells us how to pack and travel with just a few simple items to make packing easier and our time on a plane or train more comfortable. Here are a few things we learned.
- If your shoes get dirty while you’re sightseeing, use the hotel shower cap to cover the soles. If you suffer from SFS (smelly feet syndrome), help yourself (please!) to the teabags in the hotel room and use them as shoe deodorizers.
- Don’t want to bring your laptop protector but need something to protect your computer inside your suitcase? Fold your hoodie around it and you’re good to go! Your hoodie can also be used as a makeshift pillow. Provided you’re not already using it as your laptop protector.
- If you’ve never learned how the Marines fold their clothes to make the most use of their duffel space, read our post on making a skivvy roll. It’s genius, and it helps you count pairs of underwear, socks, and t-shirts easily.
- If you don’t want to watch the in-flight movie, and don’t want a crick in your neck from hunching over your phone, pack a sandwich bag in your carry-on. Place the phone inside the bag and use the tray table clip to hold the bag at viewing level. Then, poke a small hole in the bag for your headphones. If you don’t have a bag, you can fold your sunglasses and use them as a stand.
- If you have a hard time remembering your room number, take a photo with your phone when you arrive.
- If your phone battery is running low and you don’t have a lot of time to charge it, put the phone in “flight mode” and it will charge faster.
- For all you McGyver fans out there, a clean, empty lip balm tube can be used to hide rolled-up bills when you’re going out.
With these tips, your next trip can be cleaner, more efficient, more enjoyable, and adequately charged. What other hacks do you use when you travel? Leave us a comment here or on our Facebook page.