Carry on, all ye weary travelers! Please carry-on!
Columnist Nancy Pipal begins the first of a two-part series on packing for travel and going on vacation in style.
With the onset of ridiculous fees for baggage checking—the exception being the wonderful Southwest Airlines—just about everyone is planning to "carry on" their luggage these days, no matter how big or how small.
Can you believe the whoppers people try to squeeze, punch, or otherwise forcibly shove into the overhead bins?
Ah ha! So that’s why they tell you to get to the airport early! It’s not about the long lines for security checks, it's about boarding before all the overhead bins are completely full!
And what if you can’t find an open spot?
“Just place your bag underneath the seat in front of you,” says an authoritative voice of an exasperated flight attendant.
Well, unless you are a bona fide contortionist, good luck with that maneuver!
But, enough about the hassles. Let’s look at the bright side and all the reasons why taking just one carry-on bag is definitely a great idea! Yes, that’s right. One bag for a one, two, even a three week long stay! Is that even possible you ask? Absolutely. And wouldn’t it be great to come home from your next trip and say, “I wore everything I brought, I had everything I needed, and I looked really good the whole time.”
Now, that’s an accomplishment.
Like everything else in life, planning is the key. Setting aside some time to think about where you are going and what you will be doing is the perfect way to start. The more thinking and planning you do ahead of time, the more perfect the pack.
- Think about the "culture" of your destination. Is it big city urban, small town country, island resort, or lake house cottage? Wearing lots of black may be chic in Manhattan, but in Napa Valley? Probably not.
- Go to www.weather.com and look at the average temperatures this time of year for your particular destination location. Be as specific as you possibly can. You will also be able to get a 10-day forecast, which may or may not be accurate, but at least you will know if you should pack an umbrella!
- Ask yourself (and your travel companions) will we be walking or hiking? Swimming or lounging? Clubbing or Dining out? Driving or boating? Gallery hopping or museum shopping?
- Call ahead to see if the place where you are staying has shower essentials, an iron, a hair-dryer, laundry facilities and/or dry-cleaning services.
- Make a list, check it twice and pack only what you have on the list.
Once these five items are done, you are well on your way to the perfect pack.
Next week, in part two of this series, look for tips on what clothing items to pack and how to pack them. If you'd like a reminder when this column comes out, click the Keep Me Posted tab below the article.