Frequent travelers know the ins and outs of travel - from navigating airport security to keeping clothes wrinkle free inside their luggage. Learn to travel like a veteran with our travel tips. You can even submit your own or share one of ours with a friend. And don't forget the best tip of all - always pack your Allianz Travel Insurance policy.
Pack a set of lightweight long underwear for chilly hotel rooms or to wear as layers in cold weather. One or two clip-style clothespins are great for holding hotel curtains together when you need to sleep during daylight hours.
- Evelyn H., Plymouth, MN
Take an umbrella when you pack. It makes a great door on a bathroom!
- Sharon E., Seattle, WA
I draw a smiley face on the front and back of my suitcases with White-Out to easily distinguish them from others. The liquid won't wear off easily and won't tear off like ribbons or tape. You can draw any design you want - heart, your initials, etc.
- Sarah T., Coldwater, MO
Save time by packing clothes together in complete sets, i.e. outfit, underwear, socks, etc. That way when it's time to get dressed, you don't have to search for each separate piece. Just pull out a set of clothes, and you're ready to go!
- Ellen C., Brooklyn, NY
Lay all your clothes out straight. First one with the collar to the left, second collar to the right; repeat with all other garments. Fold over the sides, then from bottom to top in nice neat bundles. Purchase EBAGS on line. Insert the clothing into a bag, roll to release all air (or if vacuum brand, suction out the air), then seal it closed. No wrinkles, and you save so much space in your luggage and the airline costs for the extra pieces.
- Lee M., Newark, DE
To prevent bottles of sunscreen or shampoo from leaking, I remove the lid and place plastic cling wrap over the open top. Put the lid back on and you have a nice secure bottle. I have yet to have one leak.
- Marion, Paris, TN
Pack swim suits and anything wet in a separate zip lock bag. That way you can pack if it is wet and keep other clothes dry. Be sure to unpack it and dry it out when you get a chance.
- John L., Plymouth, MN
I pack items in mesh travel bags. I put underwear and miscellaneous items like sunscreen, sunglasses, camera, first aid kit, etc. in one, and use another larger size for like items such as tops and shorts. It is easy to just take the entire bag out and put it in a drawer or closet, and then pack away again when you leave. Your clothes also do not get mixed up if your luggage happens to be opened by the TSA.
- Lois G., Columbus, OH
I print out a complete copy of my itinerary beforehand that includes: my name and contact info; my flight numbers, times, and destinations; the name, address, and phone number of the hotel I'll be staying at; and any contact info for folks I might be visiting. Then I place this sheet in an 8.5"x11" plastic sleeve and pack that in my luggage. This ensures that if my luggage turns up someplace where it shouldn't, it will be easy for the finder to tell where my luggage belongs. It can be sent on its way, possibly even without having to track me down first.
- Douglas M., Philadelphia, PA
Air compression bags are great for dirty laundry. I pack all my dirty clothes at the end of a trip into one bag and then squeeze all the air out of a bag. That way it takes up less space in my luggage.
- Jenny, San Francisco, CA
Use bright gaudy ribbon on the handles of all of your luggage to make them easier to spot on the luggage belt. Keep the same color for all pieces and don't leave long tails to get caught in the belt.
- Ema, Munger, MI
Close your suitcases with colored zip ties. They are easily cut off for inspection and you can tell at a glance if your bag has been opened. It's better to report a missing item at the airport instead of hours later at the hotel.
- Ema, Munger, MI
Seal liquids and creams in Ziploc bags, even in a shaving bag. I was glad I did when my sunscreen decided to escape its bottle and only made a mess in the Ziploc bag.
- Ema, Munger, MI
Lighten your magazines before travel by removing advertising pages, especially three-page medical disclaimer ones and fallout postcards. Leave perfume sample page in your checked luggage and use them during the trip. I leave the magazines for others after I'm done.
- Ema, Munger, MI
I stuff rolled-up socks inside my shoes, which takes up less room in the suitcase.
- Brenda W., La Quinta, CA
It's tempting to bring half your wardrobe on vacation but most travel experts agree that the lighter the load, the more enjoyable the trip. When packing, consider what kind of activities you'll be participating in and bring only the essentials. Check the weather forecast for the area and local customs so that you'll have only what you need. Ask your hotel or host if they have an iron, hair dryer, soap and other toiletries that you may not need to put in your luggage. Don't take expensive jewelry that could get lost or stolen. Keep makeup to a minimum to save space and only one bottle of perfume or cologne. Pack suitcases tightly to maximize space.
Travel kits are the best way to pack toiletries because they're waterproof and separate liquids from your clothing. Best of all, they're pre-packed, which saves you the time of doing an inventory of all your personal needs. Don't fill bottles up to the very top when flying. Pressure inside the plane may force the contents to explode.
Worried about wrinkled clothes? Learn from the experts at the dry cleaners and new clothing stores. Pack your clothes using plastic or tissue paper.
Don't pack for a doomsday scenario. It's not necessary to bring an endless supply of soap, toothpaste, razors and skin cream. You can get those supplies anywhere in the world. The same holds true if you're making a long trip. Bring enough for the first leg of the trip and then shop for what you need when you run out.
When traveling to a foreign country, find out what kind of electrical system they run on because you'll likely need a converter. For example, appliances run on 110 volts in the U.S., while European appliances are 220 volts. If you're not careful, you can ruin expensive electronics if the voltage is too high.