BY: NICOLE DEFOREST
I get this question more and more these days. Whether you’re doing a quick weekend getaway or a few weeks to Europe, this week’s article will help you pack the right way.
Personal Items: Highly recommended: Collect all your travel documents (hotel and or air reservation), passport/visas, travel insurance, emergency contacts, cash and credit cards and keep it in a safe area. Travel wallets and purses are great for this and I recommend to look and see if it comes with secret pockets and or a lock for extra security.
As a reminder, always check before leaving that your passport is still valid and not expired and call your bank to advise travelling abroad so your cards don’t freeze while away. If you can take a picture with your phone, or photocopy your passport just in case it gets lost or stolen it will be easier to replace documents.
Carry On: Check with your airline to see the luggage weight and allowance and any fees of your checked and carry on luggage. Most airlines abroad from Canada allow one checked bag as well as one carry on for free. The key word is carry-on, so remember you will be carrying this around the airport before the flight so I recommend to keep it light. Keep all your valuables with your carry on and not in your checked luggage for safe keeping. It’s always good to include a change of clothes in case your checked bag was lost while in transit and could take a few days to catch up to you. If you have prescription medicine, make sure it is in the original packaging and again keep with your checked luggage to be safe. A book or magazine can help pass time on the flight. Make sure if you bring any electronics it has the airplane mode feature turned on. Most airlines charge for food and snacks now so pack some smaller snacks to save on cost.
Your Checked Bag: Depending on your destination, look at the weather before you go to ensure you pack accordingly. Keeping everything organized in your bag can be a challenge. I find the best way is to keep all shirts in one pile, underwear in another and so forth. I also find rolling your items makes for more space and less wrinkles on arrival. I have lost my suitcase before so I do cross pack with my husband (half my stuff in his bag and the other half in mine) so I’m not stranded if my bag does get lost. I would bring sleepwear, shirts, pants, sweater, jacket, underwear, socks, sandals, swimsuit, shoes (comfortable if planning to tour) and sunglasses.
Toiletries: If you are only bringing a carry-on for your trip, make sure you follow the TSA-compliant bylaws and remember all liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and paste must be under 100ml – no exceptions. It also needs to be together in a clear bag and easily accessible as you will need to take it out through security. A lot of hotels stock you with a hair dryer, shampoo, soap and lotion (although not the best quality) so double check with the hotel directly if you want to save on space and weight. I would pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush and ties, sunscreen, shampoo and conditioner, make up, face wash and lotion, personal hygiene items, nail clippers, shaving kit and perfume or cologne. I recommend you pack a mini first aid kit just in case you do get sick or need some relief while abroad. I can tell you the stores in most countries add hefty price tags onto our everyday essentials. In this kit, I would pack band aids, pain and fever relief, diarrhea/laxative medicine, aloe, insect repellent, motion sickness pills, antibacterial ointment, allergy medicine.