Packing Tips

Packing & Travel Tips

We’ve rounded up a collection of great tips and sound advice from seasoned road warriors – people who travel extensively for work – so you can be sure they’re thoroughly tried and tested!

  • Don’t pack anything valuable – don’t even take it if you don’t really need it – since many checked bags are searched these days in the interest of security, even locked bags (if you’re not using a TSA approved lock, it will be cut off). If you must take something of value, be sure it’s in your carry-on bag.
  • If you’re taking jewelry, make sure it’s ‘costume’, not valuable, pieces as theft is rare, but it does happen. Leave your real wedding set at home and wear an inexpensive replacement when traveling.
  • If you must wear jewelry while flying, consider carrying a small ziploc-style baggie in which to put your jewelry (then slip it into your purse) as you go through security so that you don’t set off the metal detectors and don’t risk chasing a dropped earring around on the floor.
  • Look through your carry-on bags and what you have on before you leave home – anything that might slow you down going through security checkpoints? Anything that is on your person that will set off a metal detector will slow you down, and anything on you or in your carry-on bag that is on the airlines’ list of banned items will really slow you down.  Be sure to check the TSA website for a current list of banned items.
  • Many airports require you to remove your shoes to go through security – so make sure your shoes are not only comfortable but that you can get in and out of them easily and quickly (shoes that are easy to slip on and off are best for flying anyway, since feet tend to swell up in-flight).
  • If you plan on doing any walking (not just for sightseeing, but even getting from gate-to-gate in some airports is quite a hike!) be sure that your shoes have been broken in and are comfortable – few things can make a trip more miserable than blisters on your feet.
  • Keep yourself hydrated – it’s common to get dehydrated while flying, so take a bottle of water with you.  Pay attention to the first side-effects of dehydration – fatigue followed by headache followed by nausea – and be sure to drink plenty of water, both on your flight and at your destination;
  • If you’re on a flight that will be showing a movie, pack a small, lightweight set of earphones as they’ll work on almost all planes – no need to “rent” a set.
  • Sarongs/Pareos are incredibly versatile and can double as long, elegant skirts, be halved for short, cute beach cover-ups or even triple as a shawl for cooler evenings.
  • Pack several bathing suits not only for variety, but for practicality as well, as some fabrics don’t dry well overnight in tropical, humid climates.
  • Bring a disposable, waterproof camera for diving, snorkeling, kayaking or any water-related trips or activities where you’ll likely want to take photos.
  • Pack a good hat that protects your face and neck. For the extra sun-sensitive, there is specially-designed clothing that can block out the sun and keep you cool. Some of this sun-block clothing can be worn in the water while swimming. Lycra rash guard clothing is made from shirts to full body suits which allow swimming with complete sun protection.
  • You don’t need shoes for every outfit, but you do need different types of shoes: a pair of dressy sandals for a special romantic dinner, good walking shoes for sight-seeing (with socks that wick away the moisture), a pair of “water shoes” for kayaking or other water sports (Tevas, reef booties, etc), and flip-flops for poolside.
  • While problems or accidents may be rare, don’t underestimate how valuable a small first aid kit can be – worth its weight in gold if you need it. Be sure it contains some basics: aspirin, bug repellent, anti-itch cream, and band-aids. If traveling to a remote area, consider all-purpose antibiotics and other medications as well.
  • Buy a travel-size water mister for your face and body or buy a plastic mister bottle and fill it with ice water before you set out for sightseeing. Use this mister while taking in the sites or lying on the beach. It’s amazing how refreshing and cool a mist of water on your face and body feels in that blazing tropical sun and it’s very healthy for your skin, too.
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