Let’s face it, unless you’ve never traveled before, we’ve all made traveling mistakes that we wish we had thought of in advance. The beauty of the internet is we can learn from SOOOO many others’ mistakes. Here are several tips that I have picked up in my travels that I hope will save you some time, money or hassle.
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I recommend a roller-board and backpack. The biggest pain point of travel is lugging those cumbersome bags around. I think that’s why they call it LUGgage! You don’t want to be the guy in this picture yanking both arms behind you trying to drag 2 heavy suitcases! Yes, ladies, it is not only possible to do this, but it is liberating too. I just spent 9 days in Italy with only my carry-on and backpack. How you ask?
- Pack 3-4 pair of pants and 4-6 shirts. Make sure they all mix and match. 1 pair PJs. Enough socks and underwear for the number of days plus 1. Done!
- Wear your coat and scarf or wrap on the plane so you don’t have to pack it.
- Buy the tiniest travel bottles of everything you can find – even mini deodorant.
- If you use make-up cleanser, ask at the cosmetics counter for samples. Mine came in sealed single-use foil pouches so I didn’t have to include them in my 1 quart zip lock.
Keep in mind that you will need to move your luggage from the bus into your hotel room. Some hotels have coach parking right out front, but not if they are on a narrow or busy street. 1 roller-board makes these moments a breeze!
4 STURDY Wheels and a sturdy handle!
If your suitcases are still the kind that have 2 wheels where you have to drag them behind you, give your shoulders a break and upgrade to a suitcase with 4 wheels.
- Look for double wheels that easily pivot.
- Test the handle to make sure it doesn’t wiggle much. There will be a little bit of play, but you should be able to easily roll the suitcase with weight in it in front you without having to put any torque on your wrist. If it doesn’t go where you want it to easily, then the wheels are probably not turning properly.
- Either do your research where you can touch the luggage, or get a qualified referral. I have a suitcase I bought on Amazon sight-unseen that I now have to get rid of. It was junk and by the time I traveled with it, it was too late to send it back.
To replace it I went to AAA where I could test out my choices. Technically this one comes in a 1″ too large, but I took the risk that no one was measuring. This suitcase performed like a dream. Wheels were great. Rolled easily. Light enough to drag up and down the bridges in Venice and lots of thoughtful design elements. After I bought it, I found it on Amazon a little cheaper. Comes in black too. Delsey Luggage Cruise Lite Softside Carry-On Exp. Spinner Suiter Trolley, BLUE
My new best friends. Rolling your clothes has long been a recognized way to save space and perhaps save on wrinkles. But after several days of digging around to find the right shirt, your rolls are coming undone and you have to pack all over again. Imagine pulling out the pants cube, unzipping to just the right pair, and then placing it neatly back in the suitcase. Voila!
I like this set because you get 2 large, 2 medium & a small, and the mesh center allows me to easily peer inside. TravelWise Packing Cube System – Durable 5 Piece Weekender+ Set (Blue)
I know – this isn’t about luggage. But since it’s about what goes in your luggage…
The key to being comfortable when you travel is the ability to change your temperature no matter what the environment around you. Wear short sleeves or sleeveless, layered with a lightweight sweater. Then bring or wear an outwear coat that is rain resistant with a hood or a hat and maybe a scarf or pashmina wrap that can double as shawl, head cover in the wind and pillow on the bus.
For more fantastic tips on everything from packing, to travel gear, even how to downsize your toiletries and get some for free, check out my new favorite Blogspot ~ Her Packing List.
Guys, please forgive me…but I will say that if you skip past the obvious extra things we girls have to pack, most of the ideas apply to everyone.