Pack Like A Pro!

For all of us here at Cater2UTravels, we know packing is essential. Forget 1 item and you’re left confused and scrambling to find the nearest store on your vacation. Pack too much and you end up burdened with heavy bags, and spending tons of money to pay for pricey airline baggage fees. That’s why we are giving our top 10 fundamental packing strategies that every traveler should learn. After reading this if you have any questions, please feel free to call us 410-292-4222.

1. Don’t fold, roll.
Many travel experts—including backpackers, who must stuff months’ worth of clothing into a pack the size of a box of tide—agree that rolling is superior to folding. Tightly rolled clothes take up less space than folded ones. Plus, they’re less prone to getting deep wrinkles from fold creases.

2. Make a packing list
When it comes to packing, procrastinators fall short. Start your packing process days or even weeks ahead of your departure date; this gives you time to craft a complete list, plus purchase any additional items you might need for your vacation. Creating a packing list is a fail-safe way to ensure that you never, ever forget to bring something important.

3. Know your airline’s baggage-fee policy
Figuring out the airlines’ ridiculous and absurd baggage-fee policies is key to any budget-minded packing strategy. While most airlines permit travelers to check at least one bag on international flights, the majority of U.S. carriers charge big bucks for bags checked on domestic flights..
Before you begin packing, take a look at your airline’s website and read its baggage policy. This is something you might even want to do prior to buying your plane ticket, especially if you’re set on bringing a checked bag or two. Consider flying on Southwest or JetBlue, both of which permit at least one free checked bag on domestic flights.

4. Follow the 3-1-1 rule
What happens if you don’t follow the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) 3-1-1 rule for carry-on luggage? Attempt to bring a large bottle of shampoo or a full-size gel deodorant through the security line and the TSA will likely confiscate your stuff, holding you up in line in the process. So get familiar with the agency’s rules: All liquids brought onto planes must be in 3.4-ounce bottles or smaller and inside a single, clear, quart-size zip-top bag.

5. Use your personal item wisely
It’s standard for airlines to permit each traveler to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item onboard planes. This personal item is subject to specific size requirements (these vary by airline), but something like a purse, laptop bag, or backpack is generally acceptable. Some experts say forgo the purse and bring a bigger bag that could be your purse and pack essential items along with 1 set of clothing just in case your luggage takes a trip without you.

6. Wash your clothes on the road
Laundry facilities are one of my favorite parts about staying in vacation rentals. If you know your accommodations will have free laundry facilities, you’re golden. You can wash and wear just a handful of outfits for the duration of even very long trips.
If you’re staying in a hotel, call in advance to see if laundry services are available and how much they cost. Travelers staying in properties without laundry facilities or taking cruises—cruise lines are notorious for charging an arm and a pant leg for laundry services—can wash clothes in sinks and hang them to dry. I always make sure to pack a travel-size packet of laundry detergent and a sink stopper to clean my clothes on the road—it’s my secret for fitting everything in a carry-on bag. Portable laundry-drying lines that attach to showers via suction cups are also a good choice; you can find them at many travel-supply stores.

7. Pack dual-purpose garments
If it’s two-in-one, it’s one less thing to pack. Dual-purpose items, such as pants that turn into shorts or a jacket that turns into a travel pillow are worth their weight in airline baggage fees. Some say where your heaviest items such as hiking boots or heavy sweatshirt while traveling because you can take them off.

9. Never check essential items
It’s terribly important to keep your valuable and essential belongings in your carry-on bag, not in your checked luggage. Your passport, identification, money, credit cards, jewelry, electronics, and other valuables should always be brought onto the plane with you. We probably don’t need to tell you why you need to keep your passport and wallet on your person. But if the airline loses your luggage (or if a TSA agent gets sticky fingers), you’ll regret stowing your expensive watch in a checked bag.

10. Use packing aids
My all-time favorite packing aid: Ziploc Storage Bags (Gallon Size). Use them to shrivel your clothes into a tiny, tight bundle that takes up minimal suitcase space. Other packing aids that can help you organize better and fit more into your bag include packing envelopes and packing cubes.