1. You are Not a Professional Juggler
You can only hold so much, so plan to keep your hands free as much as possible. You are going to need to be handing people identification and making transactions for things like water. If you are allowed two carry-ons, then plan them strategically. For example, you could choose a purse that easily attaches to a rolling carry-on bag by hanging off of the handle or utilizing a backpack. You will get tired of toting everything around, even if your trip is a short one. Check as much as you can and keep your personal stuff light.
2. Slip ON, Slip OFF
You will have to “assemble and disassemble” a few times as you go through inspection. This means removing electronics from carry-ons and removing shoes, jewelry, and so on all the way down to your basic clothes, so make sure you don’t make this more difficult with complicated laces and stuff like that.
3. Carry On the Essentials Only
In your carry on, DO pack medication, electronics such as wires and cords and ipods, jewelry that is important to you, just to be on the safe side. Ziplock baggies keep it organized so you aren’t digging for cords. Remember, the checked bags will be out of your hands and in the care of strangers. Also include a change of underclothes, and make up for touch ups in the unlikely event that your checked bag is misdirected and shows up the next day after your arrival. DON’T take a suitcase full of snacks (because you usually won’t have the space to actually open your carry-on), or things like full bars of soap and deoderant that are easy to replace at the local market.
4. I Like Big Fanny Packs and I Cannot Lie
Fanny packs might look ridiculous to you, but they are often much easier than trying to dig through a purse and they are definitely more secure than relying on a pocket. They are shoulder and hands free. There are some great alternative to fanny packs that look pretty cool, like this one here from Etsy.
5. If It’s Short, Skip the Neck Pillow:
If your flight is only like an hour long, you probably won’t use that neck pillow that you see everyone carrying. It adds un-necessary bulk. By the way, the inflatable ones aren’t near as comfortable.
6. Keep Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’….
Roll your clothes into a log shape instead of traditional folding. More will fit in the bag and they are actually less likely to wrinkle that way.
7. Zip It, Zip It Good.
Bag your clothes in ziplock bags after you roll them. This will help protect your things if – heaven forbid – something breaks. It also will help you pack more, because these often work like tiny spacesaver bags when you squeeze the air out. I usually roll two or three things together, like pjs and tank tops.
8. Ribbons are Better Than Aspirin
Mark your bag in a way that will make it instantly recognizable to you from a distance. Think about how many black teflon suitcases are probably going to be on that carousel. A good way to mark it is with a decorative ribbon, which is easier to spot than a tag.
9. You are Stuck with the Laptop
Generally speaking, you are not allowed to pack laptops in your checked baggage, they have to go carry on.
10. Make Sure You Have a FULL Charge
Charge your phone and laptop before you leave, because the airport usually doesn’t really have much in the way of outlets for you to use and everybody else needs to use them too. You may not get a turn.
11. No Contact with the Outside World
You will have no phone service in the air: No texting, calls, or games that require a signal. Some planes have online wifi, but that is usually only cross-continental flights.
12. Think outside the box when it comes to creating your own “sample sizes”
Contact lens cases are great for small amounts of liquid makeup. Empty mini altoid tins are perfect to turn into mini jewelry boxes. Daily pill containers are great for transporting earrings, body jewelry, rings, toe rings etc, by keeping them separated and tangle-free.