Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Being Prepared When you Travel

The Dos and Don’ts of Traveling, What to Pack in your Carry-on Luggage
When most of us travel we are usually thinking about the fun that is ahead and the much needed rest and relaxation that is in store for us. But how many of us consider the possibility of our luggage not arriving at our destination with us?

There is nothing worse that visiting the luggage carousel at the baggage claim and not seeing your bags but this is something that occurs regularly.

I had this unfortunate experience on my last trip to Phoenix and Vegas and I was without my suit case for almost 3 days.

This post is about being prepared for the possibility of lost or delayed luggage.

What to keep on you:
The first thing I should mention is to make sure all important documents are on you at all times. Most airlines allow you to carry one small personal item such as a backpack, a small bag or a purse in addition to your carry-on bag. Documents such as ID, credit cards, health insurance policy cards,  Visa, passports, money, airline tickets, and hotel, car and other reservations you have made should be with you at all times and NOT packed in your checked baggage.

Also make sure to have your baggage claim tickets on you. These are provided when you check your luggage in before your flight. These tags will allow the airline to link your missing or delayed bags to you and may also help them track your bags.

The first items I would suggest packing in your carry-on in case of a mishap with your checked baggage are any electronic devices you may need. These include cell phones, I pads, Lap tops, e-readers, cameras and any other expensive devices that you do not want to lose.  It is also handy to take all the batteries, chargers and cords for these devices in your carry-on bag as well.

If you have any personal medication that you must take regularly then make sure to pack them in your carry-on bag.  I don’t take any prescription medication but I do carry a bottle of Advil on me just in case I or someone traveling with me needs pain medication.

I would never suggest packing valuable items such as jewelry in your checked luggage. If you want to take such items carry them in your carry-on or personal bag so you can keep tabs on them at all times otherwise I would suggest leaving them at home.

Make sure to use the safe when you arrive at your destination hotel if one is provided to lock up any expensive jewelry or electronic devices. 

 Clothing and extra clothing in your carry-on:
When you are travelling make sure to wear comfortable clothes and shoes especially on longer flights.

If you must attend an important meeting or event upon your arrival at your destination I would suggest packing an extra change of clothes and shoes in your carry-on suitable for the occasion, plus another outfit for every day wear. Even if you do not have any special events to attend if your luggage is lost or if the bags are delayed you may be without them for a few days so pack at least two extra outfits suitable for the climate you will be in. Include undergarments and socks for a few days.

Personal items:
You can always purchase a few toiletries when you reach your destination providing that you are in a country that sells your preferred brands. I like to avoid the hassle and pack a few essential items such as:
A toothbrush
A travel size tooth paste
A travel size deodorant
Bar soap
Small bottle of cream
Small bottle of hand santizer
And you can also bring small travel bottles of other liquids you may need and pack them in a small ziplock clear plastic bag.

There are restrictions on liquids at airport security so make sure you adhere to the guidelines. There are also other security restrictions so make sure you are aware of them if you do not want certain items to be confiscated. 

Ladies if you can go without makeup then more power to you but if you have blemishes, dark circles ect and you want to look fresh the next day then I would suggest packing your essential makeup items in your carry-on.

When my luggage was sent off without me and I was stuck without my bags I was very happy to have my makeup with me because no matter how tired and miserable I felt without all my things I looked fresh and awake. I didn't have to sleep in 3 day old makeup and walk around looking like I got hit by a bus because I had everything I needed. If you have liquid foundations put them in a ziplock bag. I also take a small pack of makeup wipes in my carry-on so I can clean my face at night.

Identifying your luggage:
In case your suit case is lost or delayed I would also highly suggest writing down all of your contact information on a piece of paper in clear legible handwriting and putting that right on top of all the items in the luggage you are planning to check in. This way if the luggage ID tag on the outside of your bag comes off you will have this back up sheet on the inside and the airline will be able to return your bags.
On the sheet include:
-Your first and last name
-Your home and cell phone number
- Your home address
-Your email

I would also suggest making a note or having a good idea of what you have in your baggage in case you have to make a lost baggage claim. The more detailed you are the better.

Damaged baggage:
Luckily for me my suit case was located and sent to my hotel but it was damaged beyond repair. My suit case was expensive and I had only used it 3 times prior so I was very disappointed in the state it was returned.

Make sure when you get your baggage whether it be at the airport in baggage claim or when they return your lost or delayed bags that you inspect the luggage before leaving the airport and make a damaged bag claim if need be.

I hope this post was helpful and that you consider being prepared for all possibilities while traveling.

Bon Voyage! 

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