Packing Tips from your Travel Expert!

After 13+ years of professional travel, I have experienced every length of trip, flown on almost every type of aircraft, and tried out every form of Luggage! I have experimented with many different packing procedures, and finally- through lots of trial and error, I have come up with a system of packing, and choice of luggage product for every length of trip and destination. This not only applies to my work trips but also my own personal travel as well.
The luggage
First, let’s start with the product. As you all must know, there are many types of luggage: roller bags, garment bag (with wheels or without), hard case suitcases, soft/ nylon bags, duffle bags, backpacks, cosmetic bags , etc. etc. All of these have their purpose/ appropriate situation for use.
Are you flying international? Short or long flights? Business trip? Holiday? Connections along the way? Those questions are the deciding factors of which luggage type to utilize.
Personally, I do not like to check bags during personal travel. Not only do I have little trust in the airlines safeguarding my stuff, I know there is a 30% chance it will be lost or “redirected” along the way ( in the case of connections). Sorry, not trying to be pessimistic, it’s a well-researched statistic! So, my trick is, use a garment bag that I know will fit in the overhead bin and take along a personal carry on that multitasks as a purse and cosmetic bag. Or I stuff my purse into a carry on duffle or backpack so I am still legitimately following the luggage- carry on rules!! I make sure to bring travel size liquids and pack selectively and carefully.( I will touch on that later).
When flying internationally, I check my bag because it will most likely be a long trip and I will require many shoes!!  I use the hard case large roller bags because it limits the chance of destruction to my belongings. I also lock it..
Big FYI to fellow flight attendants- do not keep a crew tag on your bag when traveling off duty because you are not covered by the general insurance of the airline and its more of a possibility for internal robbery of your stuff. Sad but true.
Also, make sure you have a change of clothes and toiletries in your carryon, regardless if you are checking your luggage because, again, involuntary “re-routing” of your stuff is a good possibility.
Business travelers should always go with the carry on garment bag. For one, you want to keep your suits and professional clothing as wrinkle free as possible, and two, you are at more of a loss that vacationers if your luggage is lost.
My favorite Brands and products:
Now if you are flying commercial, I do not recommend using your Louis Vuitton. As much as you want to show it off, you are going to be really unhappy when you see what it looks like at the end of your trip!
Stick to solid, reliable product brands such as:
2. Samsonite,
3. Travers choice,
All really good choices and come in a variety of styles. Save your Expensive stuff for the weekend road trip to Napa when your luggage is stored in your own clean vehicle or that lucky day you are flying private!

Packing 101
A. The short trip
If you are traveling for just a long weekend, packing is pretty easy, you can usually get away with a simple carryon.
For your clothing, Be sure to pack one outfit for each day, 2 versatile pairs of shoes, undergarments, your choice of sleepwear and simple toiletries Look up the forecast for your destination so you pack accordingly. Keep your coat or sweater (determined by your destination) with you on the plane. For one, the commercial planes have tricky climate control so it can get pretty cold). Two, you can’t predict the “unpredictable” . IE. Delays, cancellations, re-routing,.
Keep your toiletries separate. They can explode because of pressurization and also may be needed in case of lost bags or the above conditions. If they are carried on- follow the rules or limited liquid, small containers, and sealed in clear plastic bags.. Trust me; it’s not worth the fight with TSA!
Fold your clothing neatly and tightly. Or Roll! Stuff your socks in your shoes to save space and help them keep their form!
B. The long Trip
Pretty much similar packing rules apply to short trips, you just may have more stuff, and more variety of weather conditions to pack for. Fold your clothes in little squares or roll!
If you are traveling with someone, you may want to check on large bag between the two of you to save on the fees that most airlines now charge! And both of you can also bring a carryon and still have the same amount of belongings. If you are traveling alone, make sure you have a change of clothes in your carry on! I don’t think I can stress this enough.
Its always a good idea to have your own sturdy name tag on your luggage with your home address. The airline tags can easily be ripped off. You know those jokes flight attendants make about selling your stuff on eBay? I am not convinced they are joking. ( that’s sort of a joke).

Keep in mind, the packing rules all change for private jet travel!! 🙂

Q & A
If I have not covered all your luggage or packing questions, please feel free to message me!
With love,
Cobblestones and Heels


About cobblestonesandheels1

Corporate flight attendant / travel coordinator Southern, CA. Originally from NY. but since home is where the heart is, mine is truly in the whole world. My favorite song and one i would dedicate to all my readers is: "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts"

Posted on August 22, 2012, in Corporate flight attendant. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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