Going on a trip? What do you do to get ready to fly?
Everybody’s got a pre-trip ritual. Do you pack only hours before leaving, or are your bags ready a week in advance? Are you getting to the airport relaxed or are you frantically asking the taxi driver for 5 extra minutes!
I’ve been flying for years. Whether for business or pleasure, I am usually the one that is frantic before flying. Guaranteed, I will forget something, only discovering what is missing when I get to the other side. I’ve been known to be in a fluster, wrapping up business on the phone while getting a lift to the airport…oh the joys of the multi-tasker. I remember the days of squeaking in at the last minute, gate nearly hitting me on the backside as I ran to the plane. Those days are changing – Air Canada recently announced that you must be at the airport an entire 45 minutes before your domestic flight! Depending on your destination, it could be even longer. I can see the need too – more and more people, in an effort to avoid luggage fees, are carrying on. The security lines are getting slower, and let’s face it, they really don’t care if you miss your flight. It’s your fault for getting there too late anyway!
So, what’s a travel-aholic to do? Times are changing, but not to worry – there is probably an app for that! You can find anything you need on line, and for the slightly less than organized (ahem – yours truly here is at the top of the list!), there are some great lists out there. Just print it off and check each item off as you put it in your bag. Me – I like to hand write my list, specifying which items are going in. Depending on the trip, I also like to list my days to the side, making sure I have an outfit for each event that I am going to. I don’t need to be quite so organized on vacation…but when there are meetings involved…I want to make sure I have my act together.
Personally, I like to lay everything out on the bed before it goes into the suitcase. That way, I can visualize the colour combinations, make sure I have the outfits I need. Nothing like arriving somewhere to find you have double the tops, half the bottoms or blue shoes and black pants! In an effort to be suitcase savvy, I like to work with a main colour scheme, accessorize for variety. You’ll see colourful pashminas and tank tops to go with my neutral basics.
This always helps me with my shoe selection too….you see, I have a shoe problem! The guys scanning by bags at the airport have even commented when they looked at the contents of my suitcase. I know when I have the luxury of taking what I want, and when I don’t and just how much I can cram in there. I try and get exercise on the road so generally end up with a good pair of running shoes, and some cute daytime ones for walking tours. Depending on the trip, there will be at least one or two heels. Getting ready for a trip to Germany where I didn’t know what was expected made it extra tough…this photo only shows some of the shoes! To make the most of my limited packing space, I generally stuffing my sneakers….jewelry bags, socks – you name it, they get stuffed on the inside. If I want that extra pair of cute green wedges and sexy black boots to go in the bag, I have to make room!
This tip is for the ladies – do yourself a favour – next time you are buying jewelry, get yourself a couple jewelry bags. Most shops will give them to you no charge. Protect your goodies and keep them organized. I’ve broken a few too many necklaces that have been roughed up while my suitcase is in transit. Even if it is just fun, costume jewelry, nobody wants the beads falling apart. Your favourite ones aren’t always that easy to replace! A few clear ziplocks will also do the trick. I prefer to use them if I am moving hotels frequently – that way I can easily see what’s on the inside and not unpack them all at each hotel! For the ziplocks, I like to keep a few different sizes…they come in handy for other things too!
When packing your carry on, make sure you have your liquids in a clear baggie and easily accessible. While the rules about what you can and can’t carry on keep changing – the liquids always have to come out. The people in line behind you will thank you for your efficiency. Have the laptops and iPads ready for quick exit too. You know they will be coming out. To keep all the cords and chargers in line, I find the larger ziplocks very handy. When I walked the Camino de Santiago, I had everything sorted into different sized baggies and the contents written on the outside with a sharpie. It makes for a great checklist when packing up to leave – you don’t want to leave your international converter in the wall of your hotel room! Been there, done that.
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- Is your carry on bag really carry on?
- Real Life One Bag Travel: my packing list for spring in Europe