Thursday, 12 July 2012

Posted from Boston : 8 Smart Packing Tips

1. Bring a small and thin towel
It is logical that all hotels and even American motels provide every room with at least towels for two. To cut weight you need to get hold of the lightest, thinnest and a logically small towel just for backup purposes. It is much easier to use the towels provided by the hotel and leave them behind as you wont have to put your dripping wet towel back into your bag.

2. Bring your own small toiletries kit
Flight regulations are getting tighter these days. Since 2005 a person can only carry maximum a litre of LAGs (Liquids Aerosol Gel) on board in separate bottles of 100ml each. Yeap. 100ml bottles x 10 = one litre. So dont bring your whole big bottle of shampoo. Get a travel pack from Giant or Watsons. They have good 100ml bottles in a transparent zipper bag priced around RM10. Just in case the security officer at the airport wants to see your LAGs you can present the whole transparent bag. Keep in mind soap and shampoo is also just for backup as hotels do provide them. Dont forget your collapsible toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and other important stuff to go in there. Be sure to put them in your hand carry bag as you'll never know if your check in luggage goes to the wrong flight.

3. Bring small bags
For most flights the policy allows the hand carry luggage to weigh not exceeding 7kg and check in luggage will be like 20kg or more depending on how much you pay. But don't bring 27kg of stuff with you for a week of travel. The road will not be so smooth for you to drag it and there is high chance for you to go up and down the stairs. Keep in mind nobody will come and help you to lift your bags. Nobody. Unless they are interested in you for a one night stand. I am not talking this only for the ladies. There are male predators seeking for men too.

For the check in bag, a big bag would fit a lot but too big is just gonna weigh you down. A 22-inch or 24-inch would be allright for travel. About the question of bag material, any bag would be fine as long as their frame is sturdy.

So for the hand carry item, you can bring two items. One is a bag smaller than like maybe 20-inches. Different flights have different sizes so check it at their website or buy the most common hand carry bag of 18-inch. One more item is maybe a laptop bag, camera bag or handbag for the ladies. Keep them light and keep important items in them. Be sure to put one full set of attire in your hand carry luggage just in case your check in luggage goes missing in action.

3. TSA locks
If you're travelling to the USA, American law enforcers will open random bags for security checks after you checked them in. If it is locked with a normal padlock they will break it open. Invest for bags with TSA locks or buy TSA certified padlocks for your check in luggage.

4. Try wearing clothes more than once
I am a clean guy dont worry. I usually go out by sunrise and only coming back to the hotel after the sun is down so I only wear my sleepwear for only a few hours. Instead of having a set of sleepwear for each night, wear then repeatedly for at least two nights. This will cut down lots of space and weight. Sometimes I even throw away my sleepwear after wearing them repeatedly. I need that extra space for souvenirs or other stuff I bought during the trip.

5. Bring plastic bags
Bring your own plastic bags or steal the laundry bags provided by some hotels to store worn clothing. It is important to separate worn clothing with fresh ones.

6. Everything hand carry
For short trips you should try putting everything in hand carry luggage. This saves a lot of time especially at the check in counter and mostly because you wouldn't need to wait for your bag to come out at the luggage carousel. Less waiting time means more time exploring!

7. Universal adapter
That mobile phone and camera is going to be hungry after long usage so you need to feed them. Invest in some small adapters so that you can charge them no matter where you are. Those things only connects your plug to the socket. It doesn't alter the current. Don't worry. Your mobile phone, laptop or most mobile device is usually equipped with travel chargers. Usually they are designed to work in voltage ranging as high as the British 220V to American 110V. Most of them only needs 5V to work.

8. Adapt
Pack your clothing and luggage so that you can adapt overseas. Your clothing should not be strikingly screaming you're not a local. Instead, google what the locals wear. But the next is much more IMPORTANT. For travellers with laptops or DSLR cameras, find bags that can act as a camouflage your precious electronics. I purposely bought a grey coloured messenger bag that looks like a kid's bag for school to hide my camera. It is my first purchase worth more than a grand I aint losing it!

Contact me through facebook or comment for more info or even helping me to add more tips. Thanks!

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