Travel Tips


Packing for a trip doesn’t have to be a major project, if done methodically and with a little planning. It’s the difference between feeling like “I know I forgot something” vs. “I know I’ve covered all the bases.”

This information is focused on vacation packing. If you’re packing for a business trip, an event that requires several dressy options or a trip that will cover several climate zones, a larger suitcase may be smart and efficient. But remember that most U.S. travelers take as much as 30% more than they need or use…so vow to assess and edit until you take just what you need and no more. Having your luggage with you gives you more freedom to make a travel change on the fly, catch an earlier flight, or make a connection across a large airport.

  • The basic rules are:
  • Minimize what you take.
  • Maximize interchangeability.
  • Utilize your accessories for different looks.

Realize that the more you take, the more you carry. You don’t want to be anxious or in pain. Be prepared to wear clothing more than one time, rinse a few things in the hotel sink, or send laundry out (from better hotels).


There has been a lot in the news about carry-on size changes. As of May, 2018, 22” x 14” x 9” is still the regular domestic carry-on size. Airlines measure from the floor to the top of the handle. Be sure that you know your carrier’s specifications. Keep everything really valuable in your personal bag so that if your larger suitcase must be gate checked, you will still have the most important items (medications, jewelry, camera & electronics) with you. Put a clean pair of underwear or even a complete change of clothes in your personal bag so that if you and your main bag get separated, you will have at least one option. You might also consider carrying a change of clothing for your traveling companion, while he or she carries a change for you.


3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3 ounce or less bottles and jars; 1 quart-sized, clear plastic zip-top bag; 1 bag per customer. All gels, creams or liquids that are carried on must be handled this way. Remove the 3-1-1 bag from your personal bag and send it through the x-ray separately. Even TSA Pre PreCheck™ or Global entry approved passengers may be asked to x-ray their 3-1-1 bags separately.

Declare larger quantities of liquids. Medications, baby formula or food, breast milk and juice are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding three ounces and are not required to be in a zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the TSA checkpoint.


  • Check the list of prohibited items on and make sure to check those items through or leave them home.
  • Pack valuables such as jewelry, cash and electronics, as well as fragile items, in your carry-on luggage.
  • Bring a Tyvek or padded envelope with $4 or $5 of postage and your home address on it. If you miss something that can’t pass the security checkpoint you can mail it to yourself at home.
  • Put any underdeveloped film in your carry-on bag and ask for a hand inspection.
  • Wear easy to remove footwear. If you must wear boots, be sure to give yourself extra time to go through security.
  • Avoid wearing belts, jewelry and other accessories that contain metal so as not to set off the metal detectors.
  • Lock your bags with a TSA approved lock.
  • Plan to take your laptop and a 3-1-1 bag out of your luggage, even if you are a TSA Pre PreCheck™ approved traveler.
  • You may be required to remove CPAP and VPAP equipment from your carry-on.
  • Be sure to remove cell phones, keys, and loose change from your pockets.