How to Pack for an International Flight
Traveling to new locations and experiencing new cultures can be a rewarding adventure, but if you have never traveled abroad before, it can also be very intimidating. One of the most stressful parts of international travel is packing. In addition to preparing for your trip to a foreign land, you also have to consider the flight itself when packing your bags. Keep these tips in mind when packing for your next international flight.
Make a Packing List
The first step to packing for an international flight is being prepared. That means outlining everything you’ll need for your trip in an organized list. Start by jotting down the items you typically take on a trip, regardless of where you’re going (toiletries, underwear, medicine, chargers, etc.). Then, start adding destination-specific items. This step will probably require some research. In addition to looking into the weather at your destination, it’s also a good idea to take into account other variables, like the voltage and plug styles available where you’re staying and the proximity of your hotel to stores in case you run out of shampoo or deodorant. As you research, don’t forget to add any additional items to your list. And as you start packing, check items off your list to ensure you don’t forget anything at home.
Plan to Check a Bag
Most airlines allow at least one bag weighing less than 50 pounds per passenger, but some allow up to two – check with your airline before you get to the airport to find out what’s acceptable (and don’t forget to weigh your bag before you get there!). If you do decide to check more than one bag, split your items evenly between the two pieces of luggage. You’ll be happy you did if one of your bags doesn’t make it to your destination.
Make the Most of Your Space
While 50 pounds of luggage may seem like a lot of weight, your clothing and shoes can quickly add pounds to your bag. To save on space inside your checked luggage, consider using space-saving bags when packing. The vacuum-sealed bags will compress your clothing and other soft items, freeing up a ton of space inside your luggage. Not only will this allow you to pack your suitcase more efficiently, but it will also leave a little extra room in your checked bags for your flight home. You wouldn’t want to leave an awesome souvenir behind (or risk having to pay a hefty fee) because your checked bag is over the weight limit. I bought these grey packing cubes for Ray and these purple packing cubes for me.
It’s also important to carefully consider everything you put into your suitcase. Choose clothing that could serve dual purposes and work well when mixed between outfits. It’s also a good idea to pack your suitcase in layers to allow for easy screening through the TSA line – and don’t forget to roll those close instead of folding them to maximize the space inside your suitcase. Finally, make the most of the space on your body by dressing in layers for your trip. Not only will this allow you to travel through a variety of climates with ease, but it will also give you the chance to bring a few extra pieces of clothing with you on your trip.
Stock Your Carry-On
Even if you are checking your luggage, you need to make sure you have a few necessities in your carry-on incase your checked bag gets lost along the way. First, pack a mini toiletry bag in your carry-on with a few travel-sized toiletries, like deodorant, a hair brush, and a small toothbrush, in addition to some lotion, hand sanitizer, and make-up. Also, keep your everyday prescriptions, along with some pain relievers, in your carry-on bag. This bag should also be the place you keep all your important documents, like your boarding pass, passport, and hotel information. Keep all these items together in an inside pocket or easily accessible bag to make sure you have everything you need all in one place.
In addition to helping you stay prepared on your trip, your carry-on items should also keep you entertained. Pack a set of headphones and an extra charging cable to make sure your device doesn’t loose juice. And don’t forget a good book and a few magazines to keep you busy on the long flight. Finally, include a few comforts in you bag, like a large scarf that could also be used as a blanket and an eye mask to block the light if you want to take a quick nap.
And don’t forget to use your personal item wisely. Most airlines permit each passenger to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item with them on the plane. Opt for a larger purse or laptop case with lots of storage, so you can add a few extra items to your carry-on stash.
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