Senior Travelers: What NOT to Pack

Aug 25th, 2010 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

Here is a nice list for your to print off and to check off as you pack for your next trip at Interactive Packing List. Do you feel like you forget something every time you pack for a trip? Get organized with this interactive packing list from the Independent Traveler.  They have brainstormed a list of over 100 commonly packed items and separated them into categories, ranging from personal items to outdoor gear. Just check off the items you need for your trip, type in up to 10 additional items of your own choosing, and hit “Get My List!”  They can create a packing list customized just for you. You can print your list, e-mail it to yourself or a friend, or save it to your computer for easy access in the future. Give it a try!

The goal is simple: to visit your destination without a suitcase so stuffed that you emit strange animal sounds trying to heave it into the overhead compartment — and with plenty of clean socks and underwear. But if only it were that easy! If you’ve struggled over which clothes to bring or wondered how many guidebooks is too many, you’re certainly not alone. Packing for a trip is often a struggle to distinguish what you want to bring from what you need to bring.  My wife is an excellent packer and yes, there is a special way to pack a suitcase so that both husband and wife can travel in just one suitcase.

When we’re forced to choose between our favorite things, we’re sometimes tempted to just bring it all — but overpacking can cost more than just extra suitcase space and a free hand. Checking more than one bag, exceeding your airline’s weight limit or even checking a bag at all can cost you. Delta, for example, charges passengers a $23 fee each way for checking one piece of luggage on domestic flights, and many other airlines charge $25 for a second checked bag and even over $100 per suitcase for third and fourth checked bags.

Everyone’s packing style is different and we all have our own travel needs, so before you get upset at the idea of leaving behind your beloved toothbrush sanitizer and electric foot rub machine, remember that these are only suggestions. 

Independent Travelers says leave out a few of the following items on your next trip — you’ll enjoy traveling with a lighter load, and you won’t miss a thing!  Here are the top tips from Independent Traveler:

  • Don’t Pack Your Entire Beauty Routine.  If you use eight different products to tame your wild curls or have an elaborate face-washing regimen down to a science, let loose a bit when you travel instead of carrying an army of beauty products with you across the globe. You won’t look like a cave woman in your vacation pictures if you use a shampoo/conditioner combo for a few nights. If you’re adventurous enough to leave home and explore an exotic destination, you can also handle leaving behind a few hair products.
  • Most major chain hotels offer complimentary toiletries — use them! Don’t bring your own 24-ounce shampoo and conditioner bottles to the hotel and then stuff the hotel ones in your suitcase to take home. If you don’t use them on the road, you’ll probably never use them at home. There are lots of products that have multiple uses. Opt for a shampoo/conditioner combo.
  • Bring a tinted moisturizer with SPF. Let your moisturizing body wash double as a shaving cream. Share your shampoo, soap or toothpaste with your traveling partner.
  • Lose the bulky containers. Instead, try zip-top bags. Stuff and pour everything you can into them, including hair products, lotions, cotton balls and even sunscreen. (Note: Do not put large liquid-filled zip-top bags in your carry-on luggage; according to TSA regulations, liquid-filled containers may be no larger than 3.4 ounces by volume.) To prevent spills, put all of your liquid-filled baggies in a larger plastic grocery bag — and be sure not to pack it next to any fishing rods or freshly sharpened pencils.
  • Don’t Pack Your Jewelry and Valuables.  Rule of thumb — if you can’t imagine living without your grandmother’s wedding ring or your expensive Rolex watch, it’s best not to cart it overseas, where tourists are common targets for thieves and luggage often gets lost in transit. You may think you look like an icon of style, but to criminals and con-artists you appear as an icon of opportunity. It’s also wise not to look like a million bucks if you’re trying to bargain with the locals, and sparkly jewelry may set you apart from the natives when you’re trying to fit in.
  • If you must bring your jewelry, keep it in the hotel safe except for special occasions such as dinner in a nice restaurant, and be sure it’s covered by appropriate insurance. Most homeowners’ policies will not cover jewelry if it’s lost or stolen while traveling, so you may need to purchase a separate policy.  This can be added on to your homeowners policy.
  • Pack any valuables you buy while on your trip (and any of your own that you decide to bring) in your carry-on. As we all know, checked bags sometimes disappear into the mysterious black hole of lost airline luggage. Hope these help.     jeb


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