Tour Travel Tips - Packing
SELECTING LUGGAGE - Having appropriate luggage can make
a world of difference. It may mean the difference between carry-on and stowed
(which may mean the difference between lost and not lost!), health or a hurting
back, and damaged vs. undamaged belongings.
Note: This section
assumes that you are packing for a plane flight; travelling by train, bus, or
car may be slightly different.
GARMENT BAGS -
Garment bags can be exceptionally nice for short business trips. Most airplanes
have little compartments with a bar that you can hang them on. Be advised,
however, that those compartments fill up pretty quickly, and you may have to
jam it into an overhead bin, wrinkling your suits and dresses.
garment bags are not particularly easy to carry if very full or for a great
WHEELED LUGGAGE - If you must take
heavy items (like, for example, six computer manuals and a replacement power
supply), seriously consider some sort of wheeled contraption. One can purchase
carts that can fold up and go inside the suitcase or suitcases that have wheels
and a handle built in.
Suitcases with stiff, center-mounted racks are much
more manageable than suitcases with "leashes". The leashed suitcases have a
tendency to wobble, tip, get stuck, fall over, etc. The leash is always too
short for your height, so you end up walking hunched over anyways. Leashed
luggage is exceptionally ill-suited for those lovely, picturesque cobbled
streets that your charming little pensione with no elevator is on.
hard-sided suitcase with a rack can be a bit pricey. However, consider that
this is much, much cheaper than back surgery.
LUGGAGE - On the opposite end of the spectrum, you should remember that
it is not mandatory to purchase a special valise for carry-on items. A few
sturdy garbage bags can work just fine.
You can also put things in boxes. Be
sure to wrap them extremely securely with glass-reinforced tape, and recognize
that they will get very rough handling. Furthermore, the airlines will not take
responsibility for damaging anything in a cardboard box. You take your
DUFFLE BAGS - For long-term, low-end
travels, your personal luggage of choice is an old, beat up,
blue nylon duffle bag. It is large enough to take a week's
worth of clothes (if you are not too
fussy) and small enough that you can't fill it fuller than
you can easily carry. It fits in the overhead compartment and
it weighs practically
Furthermore, it does not scream "Wealthy Tourist!!"; you could just
be returning from figure-skating practice or something like
BACKPACKS AND CAMPING GEAR - You can ship camping-style
backpacks as well. Some airlines will put them in large plastic bags to help
keep things from tearing off. Otherwise, make sure that anything that you have
attached to the pack (sleeping bag, tent, roll) is securely fastened. And, as
with packing in cardboard boxes, airlines will not take responsibility for
damaging anything in a backpack. Do not pack the good china in the