Packing Wisely – What Not To Take

With more baggage fees and increasingly long security checkpoint procedures taxing the most seasoned travelers, it is time we all lighten our load.

3-1-1 is the new golden rule of travel. It has been adopted internationally and continues to be followed around the globe. Clear and concise, it states that a passenger may carry on 3 ounce containers of liquids or gels in a 1 quart size, clear plastic zip lock bag, and only 1 zip lock bag per person. To clarify, if you have a half used, 6 ounce tube of toothpaste, it WILL BE CONFISCATED. The rule is based upon the size of the container, not the perceived quantity of product remaining in said container.

When it comes to colognes and perfumes, I pre-spray my blouses and shirts at the time of packing. This way I don’t have to be concerned with bottle breakage or container size.

There are now a whole host of travel-friendly fabrics on the market to choose from. Look for tags that tout “wrinkle free,” “travelers twill,” “no iron,” and “microfiber.” These materials generally perform much as their labels state. Because they are designed for the rigors of packing, they hold form well and keep you looking dapper on your trip.

Choose a basic color scheme, and let your shoes rule. Due to the shear bulk that shoes consume, pack just one pair. Utilize the space inside the shoe to pack chargers, cables, socks, or anything else that can fit into that little space.

For color schemes, black, brown, and gray all work well. Being certain that all items in your bag work together will give you more flexibility and variety in your wardrobe. For additional style and versatility, pack along a few accessories. Ties, hats, scarves, or a bold jewelry set can really change up the look of an outfit and add a splash of color as well.

Gone are the days of over packing and taking along entire closets “just in case”. If your trip suddenly changes course or you encounter something you just “can’t live without.” pack a folded zipper style bag and check one on the way home. By reducing the bulk and unnecessary items in your bag, you will gain greater mobility, travel flexibility, and you may again never need to cross your fingers and hope that your bags don’t get lost!


Gabrielle Bartusiak, RN
President/CEO Rescue Nurse International. Has traveled solo to more than 70 countries world wide and has repatriated 100's of patients over her career.