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Tag Results: Packing
After crafting my list of 10 travel accessories too tiny not to pack it naturally became harder to come up with additional things worth listing. But once I looked through the lens of traveling with a family, specifically my own, I realized there were four obvious things that families should never leave home without before hitting the road.
Cash gift cards
Not a day goes by when one of my kids isn’t pressuring me to buy them something, Read more
I’m not privy to the contents of many suitcases other than my own, but I suspect that my strategy of packing minimal clothing, toiletries, and electronics into a single carry-on bag isn’t all that unique.
However, after a couple years of heavier-than-usual travel with the same cramped bag, my strategy has been failing in a key area: I leave little or no room for travel accessories. On several trips lately, I have found myself wishing that I had packed some item or other that I had rejected simply because I couldn’t be bothered to pack it, or find it in a convenient size.
In that spirit I made a list of those things that I’d rather not travel without, all ten of which are small enough to pack in almost any suitcase, personal bag, or jacket.
Given that bags really haven’t changed much over the last century, Dutch entrepreneur Marijn Berk’s charmingly absolute Jedi Mind Trick suggestion that bags, “no longer meet our needs,” makes me want to respond, “Bags no longer meet my needs, please tell me more, Marijn.” He does, in his video for the Phorce Smart Bag, a computer bag with an integrated battery pack slated to ship in May 2013.
While I can wax enthusiastically about the marketing, I can’t gush about a bag that doesn’t yet exist – the product is still in the functional prototype stage. But what’s promised are two versions of the bag. One will juice up to three gadgets at once – tablets, smartphones, laptops, and countless other devices, too, as long as they have USB ports. A second bag will have the same three USB charging ports, but will also be able to extend your MacBook’s battery life (not recharge its battery, a technical limitation) for up to seven additional hours.
One of the hardest aspects of traveling is simply figuring out what to pack. Baggage fees have made checking bags an expensive pain, so it’s critical to pack efficiently. You want to have a diversity of outfits, especially if your scheduled activities vary from casual to formal. But you also don’t want to bring anything extraneous along on the trip. Finding multipurpose items that can go from day to night, boardroom to bar, and beach to restaurant is the key to ensuring that you don’t have to overpack to have everything that you need. These utility pieces help you limit the number of items that you need to pack without sacrificing style. We’d love to bring all of SkyMall Tuesday headquarters with us when we travel, but that’s simply not feasible. Thankfully, SkyMall understands that today’s traveler needs to be smarter, more creative, and bolder to avoid problems and stay fashion forward. That’s why they sell the One of a Kind Shirt.
If you’re only flying with one suitcase – say, your scuffed but trusty black wheelie bag that you always shove into the overhead bin – how many pairs of shoes do you think you ought to pack in it?
The answer: Zero. Ideally, the only shoes on that trip should be on your feet, especially if you’re one of those dudes with really large feet.
You’re welcome. But don’t thank me, thank Susan Foster. Author of Smart Packing for Today’s Traveler, Foster explained to me that the “profile” of a shoe makes a significant space difference – boots naturally take up more suitcase space than loafers, for instance – and by and large, “men’s shoes are larger in profile and take up more space than women’s shoes,” she says, “so some men must travel with only the pair on their feet. A pair of size 15 men’s shoes will fill a 22” carry-on bag, so a second pair of shoes forces many to check a larger bag.”
And since many of us refuse to check a bag for any reason, what’s the answer, especially if we don’t have that one perfect pair of all-purpose shoes in our closet?
I hate rolling luggage. I understand that millions of people swear by it. I get that some people don’t want to lift and carry heavy bags when traveling. But I’ve also waited impatiently as people with no spacial relations attempt to shove their over-sized wheelie bags into cramped overhead compartments. I’ve also had my ankles clipped by people toting their bags behind them as they race through airports. Ultimately, I’ve always preferred to throw a bag over my shoulder, thus avoiding becoming a human tractor-trailer. However, I was willing to keep an open mind and see if I could be convinced that maybe not all rolling luggage is cumbersome, clumsy, and contradictory to the way that I prefer to travel (while obviously maintaining my prejudices).
The Osprey Ozone might just be the piece of luggage that sways me. I tried out the 22″ model (small enough to carry on) and was pretty astounded by one thing immediately. It’s light. Four pounds and seven ounces light. Rolling behind me, it was barely noticeable even when packed full with a weekend’s worth of clothing and electronics. If you’re one of those people who struggles to lift her luggage off the ground let alone to the height of the overhead compartment, you’ll appreciate just how light this bag is. Read more
Yesterday we shared a great tip about using a pill case as a travel jewelry box. It’s a simple idea that sparked a bit of conversation both here in the office and on Twitter. It also led to two new suggestions for packing “hacks” that we think are equally brilliant. Derrick Y. packs some his pills in a contact lens case so that he can keep them handy and avoid having to carry an entire pill bottle or large box. That’s pretty clever (though Derrick points out that he’s always sure to label each side of the case so that he doesn’t get his medications mixed up). Additionally, Christine C. blew our minds with her quirky idea. If she loses a sock in the wash, she repurposes the widowed half of the pair as a sunglasses sleeve. So long as it’s clean, we’re pretty sure that’s an amazing idea.
This all led us to wonder what other amazingly simple yet brilliant packing ideas you might have. We’d love to hear your favorite tips, tricks, and hacks for making packing easier and more efficient. Share in the comments below.
While packing for a Detroit trip this spring I made the tactical decision to sit on my suitcase to get it to close, in the process crushing two of the four wheels on the bottom.
The good news is that the bag still rolls on one side and I no longer try to sit on it. The bad news is that, because it’s quite roomy for a carry-on, I still tend to over-pack it and don’t organize its contents as well as I should. Hence, I end up doing lots of ironing once I reach my destination.
So, as I often do, I got some help. Here now, a few tips from some packing experts on how to pack a bit lighter and better.
Like snowbirds, cruise ships migrate south for the winter, repositioning from San Francisco to Sydney or Vancouver to Miami, among other seasonal switch-ups. In search of aquamarine water and swaying palms, these cities at sea ply the open ocean offering sun seekers a taste of the good life, complete with Broadway-style entertainment, umbrella drinks, chocolate fountains, and a bevy of stops along the way.
Working on a cruise ship, and then cruising on a variety of vessels as a passenger, I’d say I’ve earned my stripes at sea. Not only do I suggest packing Breton stripes and boat shoes, I’ve assembled a fleet of other fashion-meets-function essentials worth stuffing into your suitcase.
Here’s how to make the gangway your runway: Read more
Several years ago my family was about ten minutes into a bus ride through New Jersey when my younger daughter puked. The cause was likely a bad meal choice beforehand, not the Garden State.
The point is, it was only luck that led me to pack a gallon Ziploc bag in my knapsack earlier that morning. While my daughter caught the first second of puke in her hands, I was able to reach over her seat in time so that most of the vomit ended up in the bag.
Thanks to kind strangers handing over paper napkins, my wife and I were able to contain the damage. And thanks to the Ziploc bag, I was able to largely contain the smell and mess for the duration of the ride. My daughter, of course, felt much better after throwing up.
Every parent has a vomit travel story, and from ours we learned that we must always deliberately pack that empty gallon Ziploc bag (along with a few paper towels for good measure). Another thing I’ve figured out from years on the road is that empty bags are good for more than puke. Here are a few more ideas.
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