The Most Common Packing Mistakes

The Most Common Packing Mistakes

Using Your Carry-On for In-Flight Entertainment Only

There’s a huge misconception when it comes to carry-on bags—they’re not actually for magazines, gum and giant headphones, at least not exclusively. Your carry-on is the only bag guaranteed to make it to your destination. Should the airlines lose your checked bag, make sure to have an extra set of clothes and all essential medications with you.

Packing Your Jewelry

Any experienced traveler will tell you not to pack jewelry in your checked bag, most recommend stashing it in your carry-on, we say don’t bring it at all. A fundamental rule of travel is that you should never bring what you’re not willing to lose. So, if you can leave the items that you really value at home, do that and either wear some less valuable stuff or pick up a necklace or bracelet during your trip. It's important to remember that flashy jewelry might also make you a target.

Bringing Your Everyday Purse

You don’t need those work papers, business cards or the 82 candy and gum wrappers that are stashed in your big daily bag. You don’t need the big bag either. Make an effort to downsize and try to take a clutch or a messenger bag instead.

Idealism Took Over

Your romanticized vision of the trip took over and you packed a million things you won’t ever wear. Just as bad (and almost as common) is packing for the weather you hope you’ll have. Do your research on the weather and lay out all of the clothes you want to pack but only take half. Above all, be reasonable and remember that you can shop at your destination if you’re desperate.

Under Valuing Accessories

Instead of bringing 10 different outfits, save tons of space by packing scarves and a versatile cardigan—these two items will make each outfit look different.

Violating TSA Policy

This one seems obvious but sure enough you’ll be either stuck behind the idiot who didn’t know he had to check his brass knuckles or you will be the idiot with the brass knuckles. Don’t be that guy. Check the full list of prohibited items here.

Violating TSA Liquid Guidelines

The 3-1-1 rule: each (one) passenger is allowed one clear quart-sized bag, in which they may fit 3.4 ounce bottles of liquid.

Forgetting a Combination Lock

If you’re traveling alone dragging all of your belongings everywhere is a huge inconvenience. Take a small combination lock and never again share the tiny bathroom with all of your bags. Locks are especially handy in hostels but avoid key locks, as small keys can easily be lost.

Not Changing Your Chargers

If you have more than two devices that need power from the wall save yourself so much hassle and get a universal charger. If you choose to bring your laptop, remember that will charge devices and definitely remember to check the outlet style of your destination. Paris is just as beautiful with a dead camera—just harder to remember, trust me.