Packing for trips can be fairly stressful – do you pack light and then wish you had packed more or include in as much as you can to wish you had packed less?
A few pointers to help you do your packing:
- Plan the contents of your suitcase by creating a list. A packing list serves as a handy guide for repacking at the end of the trip and can useful in the event that lost or stolen luggage.
- Choose outfits that can co-ordinate well together and can be used for multiple occasions.
- Check with your travel agent about the hotel’s in-room amenities so that you know what can be left behind.
- Keep jewellery, make up and perfume to a minimum to save some space and pain if they get lost or damaged.
- Bring your toiletries, if necessary, in travel sizes. Travel size containers for toiletries can be purchased easily. Fill these containers up with your favourite hair gel, facial cleanser, moisturizer, etc.
- Sort out items that can be purchased easily in the destination that you will be visiting.
- Do not pack or carry firearms, fireworks, flammable materials, household cleaners, or pressurized containers. Violations of hazardous materials regulations can lead to severe civil penalties, as well as possible criminal prosecution.
- Electronic items, such as laptop computers and cell phones, may be subjected to additional screening. Be prepared to remove your laptop from its travel case so it can be X-rayed separately. Be sure to retrieve your laptops and other personal items you hand over for screening, and ensure that they belong to you.
- Always carry travel documents, medication, jewellery, travellers’ cheques, keys and other valuables in your carry-on luggage.
- Label your luggage, inside and outside, with your name, telephone number.
In the wake of the events of 11 September 2001, USA’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has prohibited the following items from airplane cabins (though they can be carried as checked luggage. When in doubt, transport item in checked baggage):
- Knives of any length, composition or description
- Cutting instruments of any kind and composition
- Baseball/softball bats
- Golf clubs
- Pool cues
- Ski poles
- Hockey sticks
- Other categories of banned or hazardous items include: Explosives and Firearms: Matches, sparklers, other fireworks, flares, gunpowder, ammunition or other ordnance, blasting caps, dynamite, loaded firearms (in some cases, unloaded firearms and sporting ammunition may be carried in checked baggage if properly packed).
In the US, federal laws apply to aircraft and to the secure areas of the airport such as the gate areas. State or local laws concerning the carrying of concealed or unconcealed weapons do not apply. Attempting to enter these areas with weapons may lead to your arrest.
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