Start by choosing your luggage wisely. While expensive leather cases may look and feel marvelous, they will leave you with less travel-spending money and, moreover, will be trashed by baggage handlers the first time you check them in. Stick with durable, lightweight luggage.
Expandable, soft-sided luggage is a good choice if you will be adding souvenirs and other purchases to the items you originally start with. Hard-sided luggage is a good choice if you do not plan to bring back more than you left with, and have delicate items that require a sturdy container.
Bags with wheels are very convenient and can save your back from undue stress. Do keep in mind, however, that airlines disclaim liability for wheels that get damaged or lost during the handling of baggage.
Make sure each bag is clearly labelled – inside and out – with your name and other identifying information. Some people prefer to use their work address and phone number instead of their home contact information for security reasons.
Each bag should be secured with a sturdy lock. Keep the keys in your carry-on bag, handbag or wallet. While determined thieves can usually break any lock, having locks on your bags will at least discourage them.
Start by placing the heavy or bulky items at the bottom of the suitcase, including shoes, alarm clock, hair dryer and travel iron.
Protect fragile items by putting them inside socks or other thick clothing and placing them in the centre of the case.
To keep clothes wrinkle free, place all articles inside plastic bags or wrap them in tissue paper. Rolling them into cylinders, instead of folding can also help.
T-Shirts, sweatshirts and jeans can also be rolled into cylinders and wedged into corners to keep other contents from sliding around.
Extra plastic bags come in handy when transporting wet bathing suits and soiled clothes
A needle and thread, a compact umbrella and extra hangers can also prove to be useful.
Pack only things you wouldn’t mind losing into luggage that will be checked. Carry-on bags are the place for valuables, travel documents, medications, keys, cameras, mobile phones, cash, traveler cheque’s, credit cards and photos and inventories of your luggage.
Carry-on luggage is usually limited to one bag plus one of the following personal items:
At some airports, carry on may be more restricted, call your specific airline for exact guidelines. All other luggage must be checked at curbside or at the ticket counter. Passengers exceeding the carry-on limit will not be allowed through the security checkpoint.
Certain items cannot be packed in carry-on luggage, including knives of any length, cutting instruments of every kind (metallic or non-metallic), including carpet knives, box cutters and other folding or retractable blades, regardless of length. Items such as ice picks, straight razors, elongated scissors and knitting needles. (Safety disposable razors such as BIC and Gillette may be allowed.
Passengers should be prepared to have their carry-on items thoroughly searched. If you have packages such as gifts, they should be unwrapped because they will be subject to inspection.
When entering a metal detector at the airport, do not put your laptop on the conveyor belt to be scanned. Instead, ask the security to conduct a manual search of the computer and any other electronic equipment you may have on you.
Take out travel insurance and don’t leave home without it! For coverage and instant quotes for comprehensive medical and travel insurance please ask your travel agent. Coverage includes baggage loss, trip delays and cancellations, doctors’ visits, hospital stays and emergency evacuation.