Assorted luggage and packing hints
- To keep the bulk of your bag down, layer your thick sweaters and coats and such to wear on the plane (you can strip down once seated).
- Some bags have zip-away straps and waist belts that convert the pack into a more respectable soft-sided suitcase for waltzing into your hotel lobby.
- Whatever sort of pack or suitcase you choose, be sure to put a slip of paper with your name, home address, and destination inside each piece of luggage as well as attaching a sturdy luggage tag with a concealed address window to the outside (some criminals peruse visible luggage tags at the airport, collecting the addresses of people leaving on vacation).
- Keep your valuables, not in your luggage, but in your moneybelt.
- Get as many tiny travel locks you have zippered compartments on your pack and daypack. Make sure it is one of the special combination locks that have a red diamond-like symbol meaning they're TSA-friendly (baggage screeners carry a secret code and a special back-door key so they can open the lock if they feel the need to paw through your valuables and dirty undies).
- Note that the TSA is considering once again will allow you carry small knives in your carry-on bag. However THIS RULE HAS NOT YET BEEN PUT INTO EFFECT (despite some early news reports to the contrary). For now, you will still need to pack any knife in your checked luggage. Here are the official TSA regulations.
- If you're traveling with others and plan to check your luggage, distribute everybody's stuff throughout all the bags, so no one is left in the lurch should any one suitcase disappear.
- Many bags come with zip-off daypacks, which is an excellent idea (or bring a small backpack). Keep in it your first-aid kit, sections of your guidebooks you stripped out for the day's use, tissue packs, water bottle, journal and pen, Pocket knife, and umbrella.
- Let's see. Besides a waterproof bathroom bag for the toiletries I think that's it.