Monthly Archives: January 2013

Travel Light: Packing Your Suitcase

Planning for a vacation?Going away from home for a little while for a short break? Well, Team E.T.A is all for traveling light and here’s some tips to decrease the bulk or weight of your luggage and to force some everyday items into double duty.

Read on:

• Pepper spray may be illegal or unobtainable in some areas but there is an easy-to-find alternative: hairspray. If you’ve ever had it squirted into your eyes, you know it hurts! A small, non-flammable pump-type hairspray (less than 3.4 ounces) is permitted in your carry-on. It’s the perfect size to carry with you for protection.

• You’re probably aware that it’s cheaper to pack an empty water bottle so that you can obtain free refills after you clear airport security. However, the bottle consumes space you might not want to relinquish. Try a collapsible, foldable water flask instead.

• Zip-lock bags are useful for more than you might think. You can use the largest ones to launder small items. Place clothing in the bag, add a bit of laundry detergent and water, seal; then agitate until the clothes are clean. Squeeze out the soapy water, rinsing as many times as needed until the suds disappear. Turn the zip-lock inside out to dry, and it’ll be ready for several more uses.

• Zip-locks also make good compression sacks to reduce the bulk of your suitcase contents. Roll or fold clothing, place in bags, and suck out all the air with a straw while closing the seals. Pack a few extra straws to use for repacking.

• Laundry detergent takes up room but most hotels provide shampoo, which you can use instead. Apply a small amount of shampoo to soiled areas; then wash in the sink or a zip-lock bag.

• Do you hate the smell of insect repellent? Or do you have concerns about absorbing the chemicals through your skin? Several manufacturers offer mosquito repellent bands for wearing around a wrist or ankle. An added bonus: You can pack them in your carry-on without worrying about exceeding your liquid allowance.

• Disposable underwear sounds like a good way to avoid laundry. But if you compare prices, you’ll find that it’s often cheaper to buy packs of cotton underwear than brand name disposable products.

• Pack clothing, shoes, and accessories that you’ve worn before. You’ll avoid things that don’t fit properly, and you’ll save time/money by not having to replace them while you travel.

• Avoid packing anything you can’t afford to lose – whether it’s Grandma’s expensive antique ring or an old wallet that has sentimental value.

• If you have demanding coffee tastebuds, take along some of your favorite brand.

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