9 Smart Packing Tips Every Traveler Should Remember

Whether seasoned or newcomer, there are things that make travel more comfortable, less stressful and makes use of occasional idle time.

It adds to a stressful travel when you cannot easily find things that should be within easy reach: pen, passport, wallet, light sweater, and so on. Worse, wrong placement of such essentials increases risk of them getting lost or stolen. Organizing your things prior to arriving at the airport is the key.

1. Have a dedicated set of travel clothes
Airport departure gates can be extra chilly and wearing sneakers on long flights can be extra uncomfortable in your cramped economy seat. So having anticipated your tracks will help prepare what you need. These are clothes and accessories comfortable but presentable enough to wear while on transit. This may consist of a light jacket or shawl placed prominently in your hand-held luggage for easy reach.

2. Partial solution to bulky or overweight luggage
In case you find that your luggage exceeds the free baggage allowance the airline provides, or if an item is light but bulky, consider wearing extra clothes to free up space in your bag. Thankfully, only luggage is weighed, passengers can be as heavy as they come and won’t get charged for weighing extra pounds. Heavy clothing such as jackets are often the ones most space-effective items to wear, especially when you bring more souvenir and duty free items on your trip back home.

3. Small bag to hold essential items
Items like earbuds, toothbrush, flip flops, sleeping mask, writing pen, phone charger, wet towels or disinfecting spray can be stashed in a small bag, with another compartment for phone, passport and boarding pass. Such small bag can be easily stored under the seat in front of you — never at the overhead compartment.

4. Have Ziploc bags handy
These plastic bags have plenty of travel uses: stow your snacks, keep your phone or lotions dry, extra vomit bag for motion sickness, and so on. They can be placed on outside pockets or smaller bags for easier reach especially when they’re urgently needed.

5. Bring multi-plug electrical adapter
In a world where smartphones get most attention, one likely occurrence is that they’ll soon run out of power. If you find a vacant power slot, it can only accommodate one device unless you bring multiplug adapter which other members of your party can also simultaneously use when charging.

6. Wear shirts with front pockets (or photographer jacket)
Critical items such as phones, keys and wallets need to be secured at all times. And as you are pushing the trolley or lifting your bags, your hands need to free up items like passports and boarding passes. It would be good to have a small sling bag to hold such items. Without them, placing your passport and boarding pass in your front pocket of your shirt also brings benefits: they are within your sight at all times, and can be pulled out quickly for inspections.

7. Bring empty water bottle
Liquids at certain amounts are prohibited from entering the security area so bring an empty water bottle you can refill at a fountain or refilling station once you get past the security screening area.

Falling in line

8. Economy class passengers: Choose lines close to premium class check in counters
Privileged passengers are accorded with the best service and most convenient experience such as quick check in procedure and red carpets (literally) at business or first-class counters.Getting in line at the economy class counter next to premium classes can get you accommodated faster: there are fewer business class compared to economy class passengers and once their lanes get empty, counter attendants call on other passengers to serve them.

9. Avoid wearing metallic accessories
Certain airports require passengers to remove shoes, belts, watches and other items they suspect would buzz inside the x-ray machine. If you wear belt with plastic buckle, you might be spared the effort of taking them off.

Also, empty coins — perhaps loose change from your cafe pit stop earlier — from your pocket before getting through security checks. Adhering to such practice helps you from fumbling across your items in the middle of a security screening, increasing risks of misplacing or forgetting to retrieve your personal belongings afterwards.