Traveling for business? Trying to avoid those extra checked-baggage fees? Here are some tips for packing everything you need for a short trip into a single carry-on bag.
- Plan ahead so you know what to pack -- ideally, a couple of days before you go. If you wait until the last minute, you'll just throw everything you think of into your bag.
- Make what you pack do double duty. A large scarf can be used as a casual sarong or a dressy wrap; a microfiber shirt can also be worn as a light jacket.
- Don't pack air! Compression bags don't require a vacuum to use (you roll the air out of your clothes) and your clothes will take up less room in your suitcase.
- Take tiny things. You don't need a giant bottle of anything while you're traveling. Buy three-ounce reusable bottles and fill them with your favorites, or pick up travel size toiletries.
- Buy what you need once you're there. Unless you're going to a developing country, chances are you'll be able to pick up anything you need at your destination.
- Keep everything organized. Group all of your socks or stockings together in a single zip-top bag and pack complete outfits together.
- Make sure your clothing can mix and match. A classic black pant, a chic patterned skirt, a black blazer, and several brightly colored blouses can create many different outfits without you having to bring your entire wardrobe.
- Wear your bulkiest clothes and your clunkiest shoes on the plane. If you have to bring a coat, wear it onboard rather than packing it in your bag. Doing a lot of walking? Wear those shoes and tuck the ballet flats into your suitcase -- they take up less room.
- Pack easily wrinkled clothing in plastic dry-cleaning bags. The plastic helps reduce friction, which is what causes wrinkling.
- Tuck your most essential essentials -- medication, important papers, eyeglasses, etc. -- into a smaller bag within your carry-on bag, so if the flight attendant has to put your bag below at the last minute, you can pull out the important things quickly and keep them with you.
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