More Tips for Packing Luggage for Air Travel – 10 Things NOT to Pack

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One of the hardest things about packing for that big trip is knowing what to leave behind. You find yourself constantly thinking "What if I need this?" or "I just can't do without that!". Well those kind of thoughts can be your worst enemy when you are getting ready to pack.

By using some simple guidelines and a little restraint you can not only save money but also time and even trouble. When packing the rule of thumb is 'less is more'. These tips can be quite helpful in letting you not only know what not to pack for air travel, but could be helpful even if you are just taking a road trip.

These 10 things not to pack were first published on and are a good starting point for what to exclude from your packing list:

1. Valuables 

Never pack irreplaceable items. Things get lost, things get stolen, things get broken. Tip: Most airlines state that valuables are not allowed in checked bags, so don’t count on getting reimbursed for your good jewelry if anything happens to your bag.


2. Items with no ID 

Airline, airport and security lost & found rooms are filled with expensive electronics that are difficult to reunite with owners because they are difficult to identify. Make it easier to get items back by jotting down device ID numbers or attach temporary tags (even a business card). Even better, hang on to these devices so they don’t get lost; always keep them on your person.


3. Liquor store bottles 

Bringing a bottle of wine for your host is a lovely gesture, but security will confiscate it from a carry-on or it could break inside a checked-bag (cabernet + summer whites = disaster). Ship fragile or bulky gifts ahead and do the same for home-bound souvenirs.


4. Drugstore bottles 

Forget space-eaters like big bottles or tubes of sun screen or economy-size shampoo, conditioner or lotion. Many hotels already give you this stuff for free but if you prefer your own brand, shop a big box drugstore on arrival.


5. Hair dryer 

These are bathroom fixtures in even the cheapest motels these days (and you can always call or check the website to confirm). Visiting family? Bet they have some of these lying around. Save the space in your bag for something more important.


6. Books 

Yes, I do like books but I also like packing as little as possible so I always load up my electronic device. What I find amazing is how so many books can be added to a single phone or tablet. If you haven’t tried it yet, vacation is the perfect time.


7. Surfeit of shoes 

Shoes can be heavy, take up valuable space, and they’re not the cleanest things in your suitcase (tip: wrap them in bags you can recycle once you get home). Suggestion: wear one pair, pack one pair.


8. Too many clothes 

We’re all guilty of this: packing too many pants, shirts, skirts, dresses, whatever. Unless your last name is Kardashian and you must placate the paparazzi with a new outfit several times a day, don’t do this. Especially avoid ‘maybe’ outfits as in, “Maybe I’ll wear it.”

You know the drill: clothing you do pack should be in similar/matching colors so everything works with everything, and roll clothes instead of placing them flat in a bag to eke out the most space (see the video). If you don’t pack too much, you can probably use a carry-on and spend the $50 round-trip bag fee on something a lot more fun



9. Excess cash and cards 

Don’t travel with more than two credit cards (you carry one, spouse or good friend has the other). If one gets lost, it’s not the end of the world because you still have the other, but do record the card number and contact information on a piece of paper and keep it separate from the cards. Might want to make sure someone close to you back home has this info, too.


10. A big bag per person 

If a carry-on alone won’t cut it, trying sharing a big bag. If a family of four packs two checked-bags instead of four, that’s a savings of $100 round-trip. Plus most airlines still allow each traveler a carry-on for free