Travelers: What not to pack

Thursday, May 9, 2013

With most major airlines now charging for checked bags, many travelers are striving to pack more efficiently and fly with only a carry-on that some airlines are even beginning to charge for!

The goal is simple: to visit your destination without running out of clean socks or overstuffing your suitcase. But it's not that easy. If you've struggled over whether you need a raincoat for your trip or wondered how many guidebooks is too many, you're not alone. Packing for a trip is often a struggle to distinguish what we want to bring from what we need to bring.

Here are five tips from the leaders in travel information, to help achieve this goal:

1. Rethink the Wardrobe

Stick to wardrobe essentials. Choose clothes in neutral colors that can be mixed and matched and pack a travel-size packet of laundry detergent to wash clothes while traveling. Bring no more than two pairs of shoes: one to be packed and one to be worn on the plane.

2. Simplify the Beauty Regimen

Don't lug an army of beauty products across the globe. Instead, use hotel toiletries or pack products with multiple uses, such as a moisturizer with SPF or a combination shampoo/conditioner. To meet security requirements, pack products in containers of 3 ounces or less in a quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag.

3. Pick One Favorite Guidebook

Don't weigh a suitcase down with books. Pack one comprehensive guidebook and use Internet cafes as necessary to look up additional information on the road.

4. Leave the Crown Jewels at Home

Leave all valuables at home. Fancy watches and jewelry are targets for thieves and can prevent travelers from fitting into the local culture.

5. Forget the Gizmos

Pack only indispensable electronic gadgets. Skip the toothbrush sanitizer, ocean sound machine and other extraneous items.

Packing smart and efficient will make your journey and your stay at your destination all the more enjoyable, to say nothing of the added ease of hauling lesser baggage from your vehicle to your lodging and back again.