I am a world traveler who has been on the road since taking my first flight – New York to London – when I was six.
As an aviation journalist, I’m an expert in packing, especially now that airlines (except for Southwest) charge for checked bags. As you prepare to pack for your upcoming trip to Miami, please allow me to offer you some of my best packing tips.
- Choose a primary color, like black, navy or brown, and accessorize accordingly. Bring basics like pants, suits, skirt and blazer, and use accessories and different shirts/blouses to mix and match;
- Roll your clothes to make sure things fit accordingly. If you don’t want to roll, then buy Space Bags or packing cubes (my new favorite) to compress your outfits. Use the space in your shoes to pack things like underwear;
- Go to a dollar store and buy TSA-friendly bottles for your shampoo, conditioner, moisturizers, make-up, lotions, etc. You don’t need to pack the full-size bottles. They’re heavy and take up space;
- I know this is hard, but limit yourself to 3 pairs of shoes, including the ones you travel with. Shoes take up a lot of space;
- Weigh your luggage BEFORE you leave. Airlines limit that first bag to 50 lbs; after that, hefty fees kick in. Don’t beg-they won’t waive them and you don’t want to shell out that money;
- Pack important/valuable items (jewelry, medicines) in your carry-on. Include a portable toothbrush, underwear and a small deodorant just in case your luggage is lost;
- Keep a list of what you packed (I like this $2.99 app, but find free options here). You know what you’re wearing every day and you have a list just in case your luggage is lost and you have to file a claim with the airline; and
- Don’t overpack. You know you’ll pick up materials at your destination and you’ll want to have room for them. Plus you don’t want to pay those overweight bag fees.
I hope this helps. See you in Miami!