By Benét J. Wilson, chair, NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force & social media/eNewsletters editor, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
I am a world traveler who has been on the road since taking my first flight — New York to London — when I was six. And as an aviation journalist, I have taken more than my fair share of trips and have become an expert in packing, especially now that airlines (except for Southwest and JetBlue) charge for checked bags. As you prepare to pack for your upcoming trip to Orlando for the NABJ Convention, 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, skirt and blazer, and use accessories and different shirts/blouses to mix and match;
- Roll with it! Roll your clothes to make sure things fit accordingly. If you don’t want to roll, then buy Space Bags to compress your outfits;
- Pack older underwear. You can wear them and throw them away;
- Limit yourself to 3 pairs of shoes, including the ones you travel with;
- Weigh your luggage BEFORE you leave. Airlines limit that first bag to 50 lbs; after that, hefty fees kick in. They also kick in after the first checked bag. To see just how much, click here;
- Pack important/valuable items in your carry-on. Also include a portable toothbrush, underwear and a small deodorant just in case you luggage is lost;
- Keep your luggage claim tags in your purse or pocket. It is 1000% easier for the airline to find your luggage if you have your bag tag number.
- Take a picture of your luggage. If it’s lost, you can show it and email it to the airline. If your bag is black, put a colorful tag, tie or even duct tape to make it more easily identifiable.
- Keep a list of what you packed 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 the convention, and you’ll want to have room for them — plus you do NOT want to pay those extra baggage fees!