Are you going on an International Trip? Oh Boy. It’s suitcase packing time.
It’s the fun when you are not used to packing suitcases for international air travel.
Guess, how many people helped me with packing when I came to America for the first time?
About 15 people, family and friends, were helping me pack. Everyone had a say in what to pack, how to pack and what not to pack.
Now, times have changed. We travel frequently and it doesn’t take days to pack suitcase our suitcases for Air Travel to foreign countries.
In December 2015, I flew to Europe and it took me 45 minutes to pack for the trip.
Check-In Baggage Allowance – 70 lbs
When it used to be 32 kgs per suitcase (70 lbs) when I came to America. Those days are long gone.
It was so much easier to pack all the stuffs. But, now airlines allow max of two suitcase with 23 kgs in each. Some airlines charge even for one suitcase.
So, we have to be very careful in what we pack and how we pack.
Here are few tips that will be of some help.
Students traveling for the first time, will have lots of stuff to carry. But, staying informed about what to carry and how much to carry will greatly reduce the amount of effort and stress on you.
Air Travel – Suitcase Packing Tips
- Remove all the tags from new dress/clothes. It will weight almost 200 Grams ( try me ).
- Remove all the card-board boxes. If you feel something are fragile, try to wrap around your dress.
- You will get almost everything in U.S. So, try to get items that are not available in US. Those stuff goes into suitcase first ( Indian Spices, your mom’s recipe books, pressure cooker, ..). So, the idea is to create the list of items and assign priority.
- Tie a colorful ribbon on the suitcase handle. It will be much easier to identify your suitcase in the baggage claim area.
- Try to avoid bringing oily stuffs ( hair oil, pickles, home made oily foods…) I had very bad experience and had to throw away an entire suitcase. At U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent, pricked a hole into couple of thick plastic bags with pickles and when the baggage reached home, oil was floating the suitcase. All the new dress, spices, and so many things worth Rs 20,000 to 25,000 had to be thrown away.
- Usually, you will make a huge list, buy all the stuffs and when you pack it and weight, it will come to 30+ kgs. Priority list will help you to decide which items to remove.
- If you have 10 pairs of socks, see where you can stuff the socks or use it to wrap spices items or try to insert the socks into shoes, so it will save space.
- Don’t try to arrange things in suitcase, whatever you arrange, it will be in messed up order when you get it in U.S.
- Try to get the weigh scale where you can hang the suitcase using a thick rope. Other weigh techniques will not give you accurate weight. Hang the weigh scale to your roof using chain/rope and weight the suitcase. I have tried so many ways, but finally ended up following the above way.
- If in case you got small suitcase and find it hard to fit the stuffs, then place heavy items that occupy less space in that suitcase.
- Keep breakable items in the center of the suitcase
- Keep flexible items at the corners.
- Always zip your suitcase, so that zip is top of the suitcase.
- Don’t waste your money on air travel insurance
- Split the items when you pack
- 25 Air Travel Tips
I hope, above tips will help to pack the suitcase in more effective way.
Learn from our recent trip to Europe about planning and packing.
See Also : Should you lock the suitcase with TSA locks?