8 Packing Tips for Peaceful Holiday Traveling

medium_2359293582This holiday season, AAA projects 94.5 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home.  That’s a lot of people on the road or in the airport in the coming weeks!

No matter how or where you travel this Christmas, packing the right stuff is essential to enjoying the holiday season and the friends and family you are traveling so far to see.

We recommend following these packing tips to avoid unnecessary hassles and stress.

Be sure to visit www.usatoday.com for the complete article, and SmarterTravel.com for expert travel advice and unbiased coverage of travel deals.

1. Roll, don’t fold.
Many travel experts agree that tightly rolled clothes take up less space than folded ones. Plus, they’re less prone to getting deep wrinkles from fold creases.

2. Make a packing list
Make the time to craft a complete list days or even weeks before your trip. Creating a packing list is a fail-safe way to ensure that you never, ever forget to bring something important.

3. Know your airline’s baggage-fee policy
The majority of U.S. carriers charge big bucks for bags checked on domestic flights, so before you begin packing, take a peek at your airline’s website and read its baggage policy.

4. Follow the 3-1-1 rule
If you don’t follow the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) 3-1-1 rule for carry-on luggage the TSA will likely confiscate your stuff, holding you up in line in the process. So get familiar with the agency’s rules: All liquids brought onto planes must be in 3.4-ounce bottles or smaller and inside a single, clear, quart-size zip-top bag.

5. Use your personal item wisely
In Five Tips for Fitting it All in a Carry-on Bag, Caroline Morse advises travelers to leverage their personal-item allowance, suggesting, “Forget wasting my personal-item allowance with a tiny purse. I’ll bring a larger tote bag that I can stash under the seat but will still give me extra storage space. This will come in handy for keeping all of the things I’ll need to be on hand during the flight within arms’ reach as well.”

6. Wash your clothes on the road
If you know your accommodations will have free laundry facilities, you’re golden. You can wash and wear just a handful of outfits for the duration of even very long trips. If you’re staying in a hotel, call in advance to see if laundry services are available and how much they cost.

7. Layer
According to the TSA, “Pack items in layers (shoes one layer, clothes one layer, electronics one layer, etc.)” so that the security agent screening your bag can get a clear picture of what’s inside. The faster the TSA agent can screen your stuff, the faster you’ll get through the security line.

8. Never check essential items
Keep your valuable and essential belongings(i.e.your passport, identification, money, credit cards, jewelry, electronics, and other valuables) in your carry-on bag, not in your checked luggage.

Happy Holidays and hope you enjoy safe travels!

photo credit: MsH_ISB via photopin cc

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