- Posted August 24, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
100 Ways to Travel Better: Your tips
The Things I've Learned While Logging Airline Miles and Visiting Interesting Locales
I've been flying since I was really young so I have witnessed and experienced many things during my time in flight and at airports. From planes that have had to dump fuel, the ones where the landing gear makes a loud "thunk" as it is forcibly dropped down, to cancelled flights, bad weather, ripped-open suitcases and the like, I have seen a lot in the time I have been travelling.
I have learned to use plastic garbage bags to line my suitcase - I have one open and fill it, then tie it off. I end up with several tied bags in the suitcase and the comfort of knowing that my stuff will be dry if something spills. I learned this lesson when my bag was caught in a downpour on the tarmac... the airport didn't put a cover on the piles of baggage being rolled out to the plane and the deluge soaked through the luggage on the cart.
Plastic bags are also handy for any bottled toiletries. Double bag the shampoo, contact lens solution and any other liquid. If the pressure or heavy jostling knocks into your suitcase, you will be happy to have clean and dry clothing.
If you're going on a longer trip, about a month in advance, take the time to start making a checklist of things that you may need on your trip. For example, if you are going to be on a two week trip, it means that you will need X amount of socks, undergarments, shirts, etc. Include, in your list, your portable devices and all their chargers, batteries, memory cards and other accessories that you may need. In the end you will feel better and less stressed while avoiding a last-minute panic-pack where you end up spending your entire flight out thinking about what you have left behind.
Use those plastic zip-ties to lock your zippers/pockets. With the zip-ties, airport security can get through them if they need to, but it also ends up being cheaper than a busted lock. Plus you really know when someone has tried to get into your bag. Or get a TSA-approved lock – they have the master combination to unlock your case which avoids damaging the lock.
Tie a colored string, or shoelace onto the handles of your black-like-everybody-else’s-luggage, this way you won't find yourself arguing with the person next to you at baggage claim about who that particular black suitcase belongs to.
Print out your itinerary and contact info for your destination and the number for a person that knows your itinerary and can be contacted in case you can't be reached. Put this in the outside pocket of your bag so that if it is lost, it can be easily reunited with you when they look through the bag.
Have cash in multiple spots - do not keep it all in one place!! Make those thieves work hard to leave you penniless in a foreign country!!
Make a photocopy or two of your passport and important documents - and have the spares on hand - you never know when something will happen!
Write down the number to your local embassy/consulate of the foreign country you are visiting - just in case.
Give your credit card company a call to let them know you will be in this or that airport and foreign country/travel location. It would really, really, suck to be trying to pay for something only to find that your card isn't working because your credit card company thinks it is suspicious. Also, write down that 1-800 number on the back of your card in a safe spot in case your card does get stolen. Most include an international number as well.
I am sure I could come up with dozens more, but now I must return to doing actual work at the reference desk.
Happy trails, y'all.
|This iReport is part of an assignment that we created with Travel + Leisure: 100 Ways to Travel Better: Your tips|