Love it or hate it, packing is one of the most crucial parts of traveling. But you don’t have to own the most expensive luggage to be a master of the art of packing. From getting charged outrageous fees because for being overweight, to bringing the wrong outfits for your destination’s weather, here are 5 of the most common packing mistakes you should avoid:
1. Not researching the weather
Just because you’re going to a tropical country, it doesn’t mean you should automatically assume sunny skies. Although booking for a particular season gives you more or less what to expect — it’s always safe to double check before you start packing.
Solution: Make use of the weather app. Today, almost all smartphones would have a built-in application where you can search for the weather and climate of wherever you’re headed. Usually the app has data for at least seven days. From there, you can have an idea of what to expect during your stay and pack accordingly.
2. Packing your whole house
It’s one thing to be prepared, it’s a whole different story to overpack. This is a constant problem especially for the more high-maintenance travellers who can’t separate their necessities from unnecessary comforts. Think about it, do you really need that curling iron? If you have to sit on your luggage just to zip it shut, then you clearly have a problem.
Solution: Bring neutral bottoms you can reuse — you don’t need a different one for every day of the trip. Pick shoes that are comfortable and can pair well with all your outfits, only bring an extra pair if you really need to.
3. Ignoring the guidelines
You may know the standard weight for your check-in baggage, but is your suitcase too big? Some airlines have different standards for both weight and size. If you’re used to traveling with one airline, but you happen to take a different one this time around, you better make sure you’re on standard.
Solution: Have standard sized check-in and carry-on luggage, avoid oversized bags as much as possible. Use TSA-recognized locks especially for US trips.
4. Not securing your liquids
It’s a common mistake to think that unopened and unused toiletries will survive a plane ride without exploding. The sad thing about it is, a lot of people overlook this packing procedure until they’ve been a victim to a sticky explosion.
Solution: Aside from having a designated toiletry case, go the extra mile and put your them inside a resealable bag. If you want to be 100% certain, purchase leak proof containers and transfer your liquids.
5. Underestimating importance of valuables
We always hear about luggage getting lost in transit, and that alone is a nightmare. But if you end up losing a suitcase with important documents or medicines in it, that nightmare can escalate very quickly.
Solution: As much as possible keep all your valuables in your hand carry. Important documents like your passport, valid IDs, and visas should have multiple photocopied versions with you during your trip. In the unfortunate event that these get lost or stolen, at least you have proof of your identity.