Travel Tips--Packing | Luggage               Back to Travel

What should I consider when shopping for new luggage?

  • If youíre looking to buy new luggage, you should consider luggage with these features:

  • Retractable rollers, rollers will make it easier to make it through the airport. Youíll also want retractable rollers, so the rollers wonít be pulled off.

  • Removable straps. Straps make luggage easier to carry, but they can get caught on conveyor belts and either break or damage your luggage.

  • A lock, preferably one that doesnít dangle off the luggage too much.

  • Carry-on luggage in a size that will be allowed under the recent more restrictive carry-on size limits.

How can I find out about my Airline's luggage restrictions and limits?

Check out their web site for information and limits.  
Go To: Airlines Links

What should I pack in my carry-on luggage?

  • A passport, for all travel outside the U.S. and identification purposes.
  • Wallet
  • Driver's License and/or other proper photo identification required for domestic travel.
  • Insurance cards for both your medical and automobile insurance
  • Credit cards
  • Travelers checks
  • Coupons
  • Airline, Cruise or Train tickets
  • Itinerary with confirmation numbers and addresses and phone numbers of where you'll be staying
  • Travel brochures and maps
  • Lots of crisp one-dollar bills for all those tipping opportunities
  • A small amount of local currency for immediate use to hold you over until you can make it to a currency exchange, if you're planning foreign travel.

What is the best way to carry my medications?

  • Carry them in your carry-on since it will be less likely to be lost than your checked luggage. Your carry-on will also do less harm to temperature-sensitive medication.

  • Carry your medication in their original bottles to help avoid security questions.

  • Bring along the generic names of your medications since brand names can vary.

  • If you have any questionable drugs or particularly large supplies, you might want to bring a letter from your doctor stating you have a legal right to use these drugs.

  • If you are traveling outside the United States, check to see what you can take with you. Something legal here might be illegal elsewhere. It could get dumped, or you could get dumped in jail.

How should I pack the liquids I bring with me?

So your clothes arenít covered in the liquids, use plastic bottles in your packing. Only fill the bottles to the ĺ mark incase they are crushed or the contents freeze and expand. You also might want to pack them in plastic freezer bags just in case.

How can I avoid damaging my film?

  • High-speed film is the most susceptible to damage, but all your film is at risk.

  • Carrying your film in your checked bags used to be a safer bet, but with stronger bomb detection devices, your film is now more likely to get fried.

  • Buy special carrying cases designed for protecting film.

  • You can ask for a manual inspection in the United States and some foreign airports to avoid the x-rays if you place your film in your carry-on bag.

  • The walkthrough and hand wand security devices shouldnít effect your film.

  • The safest bet for film is to buy it after you arrive and develop it before you go. This may not be the cheapest route, but it is the best guarantee to keep your memories safe.

What should I do with my valuables?

  • Leave them at home in a safe place if you can.

  • If your luggage has locks, you should use them.

  • Shrink wrapping your luggage will not only protect the outside of your bags, but also the contents inside.

  • Do not carry valuables in your checked luggage, they will be safer in your carry-on bags.

  • If you do place any valuables in your luggage, hide them in the lower sections of the bags so a quick look inside wonít reveal them.

How can I keep my items neat in my luggage?

  • Pack your liquid items in less than full plastic bottles, they might freeze and expand if youíre traveling by plane or putting them in a trunk and traveling through cold weather. Place the bottles in freezer bags with a seal to further protect your items.

  • Bring along a plastic trash bag to keep your dirty items separate from your other clothes.

  • Pack your shoes in shoe bags or old socks to keep their dirty soles from touching your clean clothes.

  • Pack carefully to avoid wrinkles.

How can I avoid wrinkles?

  • Don't over pack your bags.

  • Travel with clothing that is less likely to wrinkle.

  • Roll up T-shirts or underwear and wrap your items around them at a fold line. This will help keep a crease from forming.

  • Take the proper size luggage for your trip. Too big a bag will allow your items to move around and make damage and wrinkles more likely.

  • Button the buttons on shirts so items will hang properly.

  • Use plastic dry cleaner bags between items. Make sure the dry cleaner bags do not have any advertising printed on them. The ink can rub off and end up on your clothes.

  • Unpack as soon as possible.

  • Hang wrinkled items in the bathroom while you shower to help steam out the wrinkles.

How can I avoid losses on my trip?

  • Donít pack valuable, perishable, and fragile or items sensitive to the heat and cold in your checked baggage. Try to avoid these items altogether, but if you must take them, they will be safer in your carry-on bag.

  • Never leave your luggage unattended or take your eyes off your bags.

  • Learn your destination's airport code and make sure the correct one gets put on your bag.

  • Avoid taking luggage with flashy brand names, as it will make them more attractive to thieves.

  • Avoid carrying your laptop in a bag that lets everyone know you are carrying expensive electronics.

  • Use the locks on your luggage.

  • Clearly label your luggage on both the inside and outside of your bags.

  • Remove any items that are hanging off your luggage and could get caught on conveyor belts.

  • Place a trip itinerary in your luggage so your bags can easily be returned to you.

  • Place a unique bright marking on your luggage so you can easily identify it. This way others will recognize that their similar looking bag did not have the markings and leave yours alone.

  • Switch some of your items with those of a traveling companion. That way if your bags go missing, youíll still have some items with you.

  • Cover your hands when you are entering ATM or phone card numbers so others canít copy them down and use them.

  • If an airline loses your items make a claim before you leave the airport; some Airlines will not honor claims made after you have left the airport.

  • Carry a list of all your items in your carry-on and leave one at home, to help you make a complete claim form if your items go missing. Carry a copy of the final list in your carry-on bags, youíll be able to use it to fill out claim forms with the airline if they lose your luggage.

  • Consider purchasing trip insurance that offers protection for your property.

How can I pack light and still have everything I need?

  • The more you travel, the more you know that traveling with the smallest possible amount of luggage is the best way to go. But, how can you cut down on your luggage burden?

  • Call ahead to the hotel to see if they offer any laundry services. See if they include items in your room such as, robes and toiletries that will reduce your packing needs.

  • Coordinate your outfits around a central color so youíll be able to mix and match.

  • Check the weather, so you can bring the most appropriate items. Remember to account for seasonal and daily temperature fluctuations and also keep in mind that increases in altitude will decrease temperature.

  • Plan your outfits so you can layer instead of bringing lots of coats.

  • Take a solid color sweater that will match any outfit to use to keep you warm

  • List all the items you are taking and check to see if you really need each item, in other words, is there something else you could take to kill two birds with one stone.

  • Take small sample sizes of toiletries that will last just long enough instead of huge bottles.

  • Donít waste an inch of your luggage space, pack underwear and socks inside your shoes. This will also help your shoes keep their shape. Pack your belts around the edge of the luggage.

  • Take some old clothes with only one last wear in them. You can then toss them out and use the room for the souvenirs youíll want to bring home.

Things to Carry on Your Person

  • A passport, for all travel outside the U.S. and identification purposes

  • Wallet

  • Driverís License

  • Insurance cards for both your medical and automobile insurance

  • Credit cards

  • Travelers checks

  • Coupons

  • Airline, Cruise or Train tickets

  • Itinerary with confirmation numbers and addresses and phone numbers of where youíll be staying

  • Travel brochures and maps

  • Lots of crisp one-dollar bills for all those tipping opportunities

  • A small amount of local currency for immediate use to hold you over until you can make it to a currency exchange, if you're planning foreign travel.


Paperwork and Documentation

Personal Identification

Airline, Cruise and/or Train Tickets

Driverís License


Travel Itinerary

Travel Vouchers

Reservation and Confirmation numbers for

Relevant Membership Cards

Air Travel

Address Book

Rental Car

Guide Book




Copies of your prescriptions and generic names

Insurance Cards/Information (Auto, Health, Travel)


Cash (some in your local and destinationís currency)

ATM Cards

Travelerís Checks

Long Distance Card

Credit Cards

PIN numbers for credit, phone and ATM cards. (Safely packed in your memory)




Facial Cleansers

Shaving Cream

Moisturizing Lotion



Nail Clippers


Nail File






Baby Powder

Dental Floss


Bridge Cleaners


Lip Balm


Try to coordinate around a central color so you can mix and match items and consider taking items you can use to layer outfits instead of taking heavy limited use items.

















Sleeping Mask


Walking Shoes

Arch Supports

Sport Shoes

Odor Eaters

Dress Shoes



Eye Goggles

Swim rap

Swim shoes

Swim cap



Rubbers for your shoes





First Aid Kit

Cuff Links





Glasses (Bring an extra old pair if possible)

Swiss Army Knife (in checked bag only)

Contact Lenses with case and cleaning kit. (Extra lenses if possible)

Clothes Pins-To keep Hotel curtains completely shut.

Transit Entertainment (reading material etc.)



Laundry Detergent

Travel Iron/Steamer

Inflatable Hangers

Sewing Kit

Lint Brush

Clear Dry Cleaners Plastic Bags


Hotel Door Alarm


Travel Alarm Clock

Video recorder

Power Converters/Adapters


Walkman Radio

Batteries for all the above items


Recharging equipment for Cell Phone and Laptop

Hair Dryer

Film for camera and video recorder.

Curling Iron


Travel Iron

Film Travel Packaging (Lead Pouch)

Cell Phone