You’ll find plenty of advice about how to pack, what to pack and what not to pack, but what about packing problem items? It doesn’t matter how carefully you plan, or how you trim your list down to a minimum so your suitcase isn’t bulging or overweight, there are always going to be the misshapen, delicate, fragile, bulky or downright difficult items that need to be fitted in. Here are some solutions to packing problem items that make life easier.
1. Laptop Computers
When it comes to packing problem items, one of the most common offenders is the laptop computer. Carry-on luggage with an outer computer sleeve is consequently a great way to efficiently and safely transport your computer. You can get these carry-ons with a security friendly sleeve so you don’t have to worry about pulling your laptop out and undoing all your luggage. Remember though, recent advances in technology have made it possible to invest in smaller tablet computers or smart phones, which cut down on space and are easier to pull out during security inspections. If you’re going away on vacation, however, you may like to rethink packing your computer altogether!
2. Warm Clothing
Warm clothes are definite problem items to pack, as jackets and sweaters are generally quite bulky, and can quickly have your suitcase full to overflowing. A great way to avoid this, however, is to dress yourself in as many layers as possible whilst traveling, thereby cutting down on what you have to pack. You can also wear your largest jacket onto the plane and use it as a blanket, or pack it in the overhead compartment during the flight.
There is nothing more frustrating than buying beautiful little trinkets to remember your holiday by, and arriving home to find them all broken in your bag. When packing problem items like shot glasses, snow globes, wooden carvings and other fragile items, it is a great idea to wrap them in thick pieces of your clothing or bubble wrap and pack them in your carry-on luggage if possible.
Jewelry is often expensive and irreplaceable, which can make it a problem item to pack, as you don’t want to break, tangle or lose it during the course of your travels. One ingenious tip for your necklaces is to loop one end through a drinking straw, before reclasping the chain, thereby eliminating annoying knots and tangles. Rings, earrings and other small trinkets in comparison can be stored in pill containers in your carry-on baggage to lessen the risk of them going missing.
When you think about how to pack difficult items, wine is undoubtedly one of the first things that comes to mind, as breakage generally means disaster for your luggage. You may choose to utilize one of the various inflatable wine transportation bags on the market if you’re only interested in bringing a few bottles home. If you’ve found numerous must-have vintages, however, it is often easier to arrange for the wineries you visit during your getaway to ship the wine directly to your home.
6. SLR Cameras
If you have a large digital SLR camera, you probably find that it is one of the most problematic items to pack, especially if you also have lenses and other large accessories. A well designed camera bag with space not only for your camera and lenses, but also for other carry-on items can, however, make your life much simpler. Remember though; your camera and accessories must generally be presented to security at the airport, so choose a bag which allows quick access to your photographic equipment.
Since airlines have limited the amount of liquids and gels that you can take onto aircraft, toiletries have become a bit of a luggage nightmare. Various companies have recognized this issue, however, and have developed small carry-on toiletry kits, which conform to airlines' limitations. If you have the time you may also like to create your own carry-on pack using travel-sized toiletry samples, which are available in most drug stores and supermarkets. Of course, you can get round this by using free hotel toiletries.
Shoes are generally quite bulky, and you always need to have a few different pairs with you depending on the holiday activities you have planned. One of the best ways to pack problem items like this is to limit the quantity. Avoid having too many different pairs of shoes with you by choosing footwear that can be worn in numerous different situations. You should also try and pack your lighter shoes in your check-baggage, and wear your heaviest shoes on the plane, thereby cutting down on what you need to fit into your suitcase.
When it comes to packing problem items, most men would have to agree that suits are absolutely horrible to pack, and generally end up completely creased. This applies to women too, if you need to pack a business suit for a work trip. There are, however, two creative solutions to this problem: 1) Carefully fold your jacket and pants and place them carefully inside a zip lock bag, making sure that the lapel is not creased; or 2) Roll your suit around a rolled up towel. Both of these methods are demonstrated in the source at the end of this post. It will help if you need further information, and will allow you to travel crease-free!
You can be creative with solutions for packing problem items, but they need to be practical and not take up too much room. Always decide what’s really necessary and what your priorities are. What little packing tricks do you have to share?