With the busy holiday season approaching, many of you may be feeling a little lonely as you prepare for your first trip in a long time.
To make your winter vacation as stress-free as possible, USA TODAY reached out to professional travelers for their top tips on how to pack. Advice ranges from the best way to organize to planning a trip with small children.
Here, we’ve rounded up tips from influencers and journalists traveling for business to help you pack like a pro.
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Especially if you don’t travel often, it can be difficult to even figure out what you need to bring with you.
“Make a short list of things you can’t easily replace, such as passports, medications, prescription glasses, cameras, and double-check these items,” suggested Alex Outwaite, a TV travel host. . “Knowing I can easily buy more than these items while I’m out if I need to, helps me stop stressing out before I leave.”
Once you know what you need, you can keep things organized by packing the same items in your luggage.
“The classic army roll technique is great for keeping clothes as small and compact as possible. Roll your underwear and socks for the day into your bottoms for ease,” says Annette Richmond, founder of the Fat Girls Traveling Facebook group. “Next, we recommend placing items in packing cubes to save even more space. one of which will be the laundry basket.”
USA TODAY Travel Reporter Kathleen Wong uses reusable shopping bags to separate dirty laundry on the move. Already one of his co-workers, Nathan Diller, said he likes to keep liquid toiletries in plastic bags so they don’t spill out on the way.
Jae’lynn Chaney, CEO of Jae Bae Productions, said: Both she and Richmond added that a portable luggage scale would help them stay honest and avoid overweight baggage fees. An expert recently told USA TODAY that if you’re flying, it’s usually a good idea to stick to carry-ons whenever possible.
Caroline Hershey, who runs the Jet with a Set blog, said families with young children can follow this same advice, even if it seems more difficult.
“Pack your lights. You can usually find a place to do your laundry,” she said.
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please leave a space
You don’t want your suitcase to be full when you leave. Because you may need more space on your way home for souvenirs or dirty laundry that isn’t folded neatly.
“Don’t cramm it in. Leave space for the new things you buy there,” said Josh Rivera, travel editor of USA TODAY.
Cheney agreed. “Leave a little extra room in your luggage for things you might buy while traveling so you don’t have to pay extra luggage fees when you return home,” she said.
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Keep what’s important to you
From medicines and papers to underwear and chargers, we hate losing things we need.
“Pack whatever you think you need urgently in your carry-on,” said USA TODAY travel reporter Eve Cheng. “Pack some basic first aid supplies, like band-aids, ibuprofen, and pepto-bismol.”
Cheney recommends packing clothing in your carry-on, even if you’re checking it in.
“I always pack at least one complete outfit and a spare pair of shoes in my carry-on when I fly,” she said. “With this, I can change clothes even if my luggage is gone.”
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track a parcel
As the problem of lost packages escalated during the summer months, tracking packages became more and more popular.
“The Air Tags or Luggage Tracker app gives me peace of mind if my luggage is lost or delayed,” says Richmond.
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Don’t be afraid to shop while you are there
Whether you’re traveling to see family or going on vacation, chances are you’ll be able to pick up essentials and souvenirs wherever you go.
“Wherever you go, there will be kids there, and you can buy anything on the ground when it comes to food and diapers,” Hershey said. .”
Of course, that advice also applies to adults.
“Buy whatever you need there,” advised Rivera, his boss.
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know your rights
Another way to reduce stress is to be an informed traveller. Whether it means knowing how much the airline allows in carry-on or where to find a gas station along the way, the more you know, the better prepared you are.
Cheney said the advice could be especially important for travelers with reduced mobility.
“As a plus-sized woman living with a disability and using both a wheelchair and a portable oxygen concentrator while traveling, I advise travelers traveling with medical equipment to be aware of the specific equipment policy. “For example, my wheelchair can be checked in free of charge, but since it is a medical device, it does not count as checked baggage during the flight. If you’re traveling with a
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