Some people have all the luck. This time it’s me! Imagine you get a call—free round-trip airfare to Hawaii, free accommodations and food, plus you get paid to be there! Scam? No, a client looking for some organizing assistance after moving to Honolulu. OK, so I’ll have to do a little work while there, but waking up for work in Hawaii has to beat waking up here, right? If you’re preparing to fly away this summer like I am, here are some Timely Tips for your trip.
TIMELY TIPS - for airline travel
- TRAVEL INFO - Label a large plastic envelope for your trip information and resources. This can house your reservation confirmations, tickets, packing checklist, photocopies of your prescriptions, passports, postcard stamps, as well as brochures and memorabilia you collect while on your trip.
- PHONE APPS - For a more techy version, consider using Tripit, TripCase, or the Kayak app to store and access your itinerary, confirmations, tickets, etc. on your phone.
- PREPARE HOME - Put a hold on your mail (www.usps.com) and newspaper subscriptions. Arrange care for pets and plants. Put house lights on a timer and secure valuables. Give your contact info and itinerary to a neighbor/friend.
- ALERT CREDIT CARD COMPANY if traveling abroad so it’s not flagged when used far from home.
- PAY BILLS - that may be coming due while you're gone.
- MINIMIZE - Pack only what you absolutely need. I’m the first to break this rule when traveling by car, but when flying, excess costs time, space, and money! Use a packing checklist available online or create your own. Use your itinerary to guide your wardrobe choices.
- LIQUIDS' RULE - TSA's 3-1-1 Rule requires carry-on liquids to be 3.4 ounces or smaller and fit together in one clear quart-sized resealable bag. When possible replace liquids with an alternative like make-up remover cloths or solid bug repellent and sunscreen stick.
- REDUCE - Find out what amenities your hotel offers (hair dryers, beach towels, shampoo, etc.) so you don’t pack things they provide. If you need to bring beach towels, shrink them using Travel Space Saver bags—no vacuum needed. You can also use these to shrink your dirty laundry for the trip home. Unfortunately, you’ll still have the same number of loads to do once you’re back.
- SHOES - Use the inside of shoes to pack small items stored inside resealable bags. Put shoes in gallon-size resealable bags and place them near the wheels of the suitcase so they don’t crush clothing.
- ORGANIZE - Use packing cubes or extra large Ziplocks (2 gallon work) to keep your outfits or categories of clothing organized within your suitcase. Roll soft clothing to maximize space. Pack some extra Ziplock bags for wet suits, snacks, etc.
- JEWELRY - To protect necklaces from tangling, thread them through straws and place them in resealable bags or toothbrush holders. Store rings and earrings in seven-day plastic pill holders or in snack-size resealable bags pinned to the corresponding outfit.
In order to be prepared for lay-overs, lost luggage, etc., be sure to pack the following in your carry-on bag:
- Collapsible water bottle with filter
- Printed tickets, confirmations, passport, ID
- Valuables – camera, jewelry, computer
- A change of clothes/underwear
- Small selection of toiletries (See Liquids' Rule)
- SECURITY CHECK - To expedite the security check, bring car keys, loose change, money clip, belt, cell phone, pens, jewelry, etc. to airport in a clear resealable bag. Once you’re cleared, relocate items to your pockets, purse, etc.
- BAGGAGE - Consider using a TSA Luggage Lock to secure your suitcase en route and at your hotel. TSA can open it without breaking the lock and re-lock it when a search is complete. Tie a brightly colored luggage tag or ribbon to your suitcase to distinguish it from the other 50 black suitcases on the baggage carousel.
- UNPACK - Of course you won't feel like it, but choose to completely unpack within 24 hours of your return.
- SOCIAL MEDIA - Now's the time to post about your trip, rather than alerting everyone that you're away from home. "Just returned..."
Airplane travel is nature's way of making you look like your passport photo. -Al Gore