How to Pack for International Travel

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 23,002
    AAA travel expert Betsy Sell shares tips for how to pack for international travel.

    Betsy Sell: Hello! I am Betsy Sell from AAA Travel and today we are discussing the basics of international travel. Now I would like to share some tips about how to pack for international travel including how to keep your valuables safe while you are traveling and how to comply with transportation security administration regulations and airline restrictions. First, consider what to do with your travel documents. Do not pack these items in your checked bags. Keep them secure and handy. You will have to show original documents at the airport. When you are at your destination, keep them in a secure, accessible place. You must carry a government issued photo ID such as your driver's license with you at all times, but you can leave other documents in the hotel's safe or in your locked hotel room. Make copies of all important documents including your passport and itinerary. Leave one set at home with friends or relatives and keep the other set with you separate from the originals. Now let's move on to what goes in your carry-on luggage. The following rules apply to all liquids, gels and aerosols you want to carry through a security checkpoint. They must be in three ounce or smaller containers. Ladies, be sure to include any items from your make-up bag, they must be placed in a single quart-sized, zip-top, clear plastic bag. And only one quart-sized bag per person is allowed. Keep this quart-sized bag accessible, you must take it out of your carry-on and place it in a bin or on the convener belt for extra screening. Exceptions to the three ounce container include prescriptions and over-the- counter medicines, baby formula and breast milk and other essentials like liquid nutritions or gels if you have a disability or medical condition. Other restricted items that maybe prohibited from both carry-on and checked luggage include sharp objects, sporting goods, guns and firearms, tools, martial arts and self-defense items, explosives, inflammable materials, disabling chemicals and other dangerous items. Check the TSA website at tsa.

    gov for additional information on what is allowed and what is not. Now here are some other handy packing tips. If you are going to be gone longer than your three ounce bottles of liquids and gels will hold out, you can pack larger sizes in your checked luggage. Choose a suitcase that is easy for you to manage when walking through the airport or that you can lift easily into the overhead bins on the plane or train. One with 360 degree wheels is easy to maneuver. And keep any medication in your carry-on bag, anything that you cannot do without for few days should be in your carry-on bag. Bring a change of clothes in the carry-on bag as well. In the event you are separated from your luggage, you will have a change of clothes with you, and pack extra plastic bag especially for toiletries. These items in carry-on or checked luggage can leak and you don't want them to ruin your clothes. Leave valuable jewelry at home or wear it if you are going to have it with you. Never pack it, and never leave it in your hotel room. Be sure to check the weather for your destination as well and bring appropriate clothes. Try to avoid over packing, it's harder to get around if you are trailing a lot of luggage. If you are traveling for long time, brings small packets of detergent to wash some clothes while you are on the road. And also remember to save room for your purchases. If you plan to shop, pack less. Divide clothes among your suitcases in a way that ensures you have essentials if one bag is lost. And if two of you are traveling together, fill each suitcase with half of your clothes and half of their clothes. So if one bag is lost you will each still have some clothes to change into. Rolling clothes rather than folding them will give you more room and they tend to get less wrinkled in your suitcase. Pack last what you will need first, so you can get it with very quickly on arrival at your destination. So there are many useful gadgets available to help make your international trip more enjoyable. If you don't already have these, consider purchasing a digital camera, an iPod or an MP3 player, electricity converter and wall plugs for different countries, two prongs or three prongs. Other useful items include a foreign language dictionary, puzzle games, magazines, travel guides and maps for your destination. Luggage locks that are TSA approved for security access, a travel journal and first aid supplies such as aspirin and bandage. Again, try not to over pack. Many items can be purchased at your destination if you decide you need them. Think about what you use on a daily basis and what you cannot do without. Be sure to check the size, weight and number of bags allowed by the airline, train or motor coach you will be using. Remember airlines now charge extra for checked bags. Some motor coach companies limit the allowable number of bags and often trains have restricted storage space for luggage. So that's the basics on packing for an international vacation. Next we will talk to you about how to take advantage of off-season travel bargains.