Packing Tips from AAA

Getting ready for a trip can be stressful, especially for those who don’t travel often. Do you have the right suitcase? Are you able to pack everything you need efficiently? How will you find your suitcase at baggage claim? Being prepared can help ease these worries and more. Thankfully, we’re here to help with packing tips and tricks to help make your next trip the best yet!

You have scheduled your flight, hotel and car rental, and now it’s almost time for your upcoming trip! Whether it’s a weekend outing or an extended adventure, make sure you’re using your packing space in the best way possible. That starts with making sure you have the right suitcase for your travel needs and making the making the most of your space with packing tips like these.

  • While the biggest suitcase may be tempting so you can bring along all of your favorite luxuries, it’s not always the best choice for travel. The larger your bag is, the heavier that bag is likely to become. Many airlines have fees for bags over a certain weight, so make sure to weigh your bag before you go!
  • The size of your suitcase also matters when it comes to keeping all of your items safe when you travel. If you can’t fill your suitcase completely, you run the risk of having items get damaged in transit. Everything you pack should fit snugly into the suitcase.
  • In addition to considering size, many suitcases now come in a variety of styles, but primarily fall under two categories: hard-side and soft-side cases. While there are plenty of differentiating factors, hard-side cases often have a rigid plastic case on the outside, while soft-sided cases are usually more flexibly structured with an outside canvas layer. The best suitcase for you comes down to personal preference.
  • Suitcases also come with wheeled options based on your travel needs. There are two main camps: two-wheel and four-wheel (“spinner”) suitcases. Two-wheeled suitcases are often less expensive and are great for handling any kind of terrain. Four-wheeled suitcases are easier to maneuver and offer the ability to move more than one suitcase easily.

Once you’ve selected the right suitcase, making sure you can fit all of your travel necessities in the best way possible can be a challenge. Here are some packing tips for making sure your trip is a breeze!

  • Plan ahead. Check out the weather of your destination and create a packing list in advance. This can ensure you don’t forget anything you might need while on your trip.
  • Be sure to wear your heaviest items to the airport. This saves room and weight in your suitcase.
  • The lightest items you are bringing with you should be located at the top of your suitcase.
  • Consider purchasing packing cubes to keep your belongings organized. Cubes come in a variety of sizes and offer great organization for extended trips.
  • If you are bringing along more than one pair of shoes, consider using shower caps or grocery bags to keep them separated from your clothes.
  • If you are debating between suitcase sizes, pick the smallest that will hold your belongings securely. When your luggage is not packed tightly, there is a bigger risk for damage when things shift around.
  • Roll your clothes to pack them more tightly and fit more items in a smaller space. This can also prevent creasing in clothes (which means you won’t have to pack a bulky steamer or an iron).
You’ve figured out what kind of suitcase you want to purchase, whether soft-sided or hard-sided, and two- or four-wheeled. But making sure you can collect your bag easily at baggage claim is equally as important when you’re preparing for travel. Here are some tips to find your bag quickly and easily, so you can get out of the airport and on to your trip.

  • Pick a bag that isn’t black. While the dark color hides dirt and wear well, it is also a popular choice for travelers. If your bag is a bright color or pattern, you’ll be able to find it with ease at the baggage carousel!
  • Choose a luggage tag that stands out. If you already have a dark-colored bag, consider purchasing a brightly-colored, easily-identifiable luggage tag. This serves two purposes: It provides a way for the airline to contact you should your bag get lost, and it will help you more easily identify your bag at baggage claim.
  • Make it yours. Add a personal touch using a luggage strap, or tie a colored ribbon around one of the bag’s handles. Explore adding other personal touches like stickers and patches, too. This will aid in identifying your bag in a crowd so you can get on your way.

Your local AAA travel store stocks all of your travel necessities at great prices, and AAA members can save even more during our semi-annual sale! A AAA travel agent can help you pick the right bag, plus provide packing tips and expert advice to help you plan your next big adventure.

Abby Newman is a Brand Manager for AAA Ohio Auto Club.

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