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Travel Tips on Luggage & Packing

  • Making your traveling sleep environment as much like your home sleeping environment can help you get a good rest. A Tempur-Pedic pillow is ideal for traveling as the material it is made from allows it to be flattened or rolled into a suitcase. Once unpacked, it will return to its original shape.
  • If youíre planning to take your golf clubs along, plan to either rent or purchase a golf club bag carrier. There are hard shell ones and soft shell ones. The hard shell carriers are a bit awkward and bulky than the soft shell ones because they are inflexible. But, they keep the clubs stable and protected from other luggage being stacked on top of it. A soft shell bag is easier to handle, but you want to get one that has really good padding and a good quality shell material. One of WTAís veteran travelers/golfers likes The Golf Glove. It's a soft shell carrier, but is heavily padded, especially around the club head area. It's on wheels and is extremely well made. If you frequently travel with your clubs, it'd be worth the investment, plus it carries a lifetime guarantee (make sure they still do when you order). You can reach The Golf Glove at 1-800-736-GLOVE. Whichever type of carrier you go with, be sure to get one with wheels so it is easier to maneuver. Another suggestion is to wrap your golf towels between your club heads, especially the irons since they don't have head covers. This will keep them from clanking against each other and provide some extra cushion from the rough handling the bags get in the luggage transfer process. If you donít think youíll be traveling that much with your clubs, consider renting a carrier from a local golf shop. Another option, too, is to just rent the clubs at the course where youíll be playing.
  • Security personnel may open wrapped items for inspection. Itís best to leave gifts unwrapped during travel.
  • If you have concerns about airport screeners touching your personal items, place them in clear plastic bags. Although there is no guarantee, the screener may then be able to visually inspect the items without actually touching them. Click here to read more tips for packing carry-on and checked luggage.
  • Donít want to buy an extra piece of luggage just to get all of your travel purchases home? One interesting idea weíve read about is to mail your soiled laundry home instead, freeing up luggage space. As an added bonus, you wonít have laundry to do the minute you get home since the package probably wonít arrive for a couple of days.
  • Electric appliances take up a lot of luggage space, so eliminate as many as possible. If you must carry one, be sure to also take along electric adapters appropriate for the foreign countries you'll be visiting.
  • To save luggage space, purchase small sample-sized healthcare products for travel. Better yet, re-use hotel shampoo and conditioner bottles for this purpose, and just refill them from your larger bottles at home before each trip.
  • Try to limit the number of shoes you take along on a trip. They take up a lot of space in your luggage and can weigh you down. Wear your bulkiest shoes on the trip.
  • Once you arrive at your destination, combat wrinkles by filling a small spray bottle with water, lightly spraying the clothing, and letting the clothes hang for a while.
  • New shoes could be your worst travel nightmare. Always break in shoes you plan to wear on your trip before you embark on the trip.
  • Donít forget to pack at least one extra pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses when you travel. You may want to bring your prescription as well.
  • If you must take your laptop on a cruise, itís safest to work only from battery power. Experts say there is a far greater chance of power spikes or drops when using electrical power provided by the shipís internal power supply
  • Dressing conservatively is always a good rule of thumb when traveling. You wonít offend anyone if your clothes are modest in color and coverage. Also, shopkeepers are less likely to think you will pay top dollar if you are dressed humbly.
  • Have a bulky travel book whose info you need on your trip? Instead of taking it along, photocopy the pages with the information about your specific destination to save on luggage space and weight.
  • Consider upgrading the padlock on your suitcase to one a bit sturdier that the one provided with your luggage. A few extra dollars may save you a bundle down the road.
  • For a nice touch, place a few fabric softener (dryer) sheets in your suitcase. They take up virtually no luggage space and will keep everything smelling fresh.
  • Itís always best to keep your clean and dirty laundry separated.  Remember to take along a garbage bag for dirty laundry. At the end of the trip (or on the trip if you pack light and plan to use the same clothes repeatedly) just take that bag when you do laundry.
  • Are you in the market for new luggage? Go through this quick checklist before making your final decision: 
    • Does it have retractable rollers for easy mobility?
    • Does it have removable luggage straps so that straps wonít catch on conveyor belts?
    • Does it have a lock for security? (If you are going to purchase a separate lock, this isnít a requirement.)
    • Does it meet the carry-on size limit restrictions of the airlines you generally use? (Those who prefer to check their luggage can ignore this one.)
    • With so many luggage bags looking the same, you can easily distinguish yours by wrapping the handle with some bright colored (not black!) electrical tape. The tape wonít fall off as ribbon might.
  • A well-prepared traveler has a carry-on bag with the essentials, including everything needed to get through one night in case their checked luggage is delayed:
    • Passport, driverís license and any other identification
    • Travel documents
    • Credit cards
    • Travelers checks
    • Prescription medicine, contacts, and glasses
    • Wallet, including credit cards, and cards for medical, automobile, and trip insurance
    • Valuables (electronics and jewelry)
    • Contact information for your family, friends, and doctor
    • List of all items in the luggage (for filling out claim form)
    • Change of clothing and shoes
    • Swimsuit
    • And, just so the vacation isnít lost along with the luggage, include a camera, some film, and sun screen.
    • Choose a color scheme and stick to it so you can mix and match your pieces.
    • Rather than packing bulky coats, pack several lighter layers of clothing that will provide more options when weather fluctuates.
    • Plan to use your hotelís laundry service to cut down on the number of items you need to pack.
  • Standard travel bags for laptops are a temptation to thieves. Disguise your equipment by using a bag of a different style.
  • Take a few minutes while packing to list all the items in each bag. Keep one copy at home and one in your carry-on luggage. This will be invaluable if the airline loses your luggage and you must fill out a claim form.
  • When packing, use the right size bagónot too big or too small. If you overpack, items will be crushed. If you under pack, items will shift around. End result: wrinkles! If you plan on shopping, bring or buy an extra bag for new items
  • Save precious luggage space by checking what amenities the hotel provides. If they provide hair dryer, robe, and basic toiletries, leave yours at home.
  • When you are checking your luggage with the airline, take a few seconds to make sure the tag placed on your bag and your claim check are marked with the correct airport code and flight number.
  • Want more tips on packing, or to find luggage, organizers, and accessories? Click here to read an informative and helpful article by WTA on packing tips.