Going on vacation is undeniably fun—but packing a suitcase for that travel is decidedly less fun. Fitting everything on the vacation packing checklist in a suitcase is an accomplishment all by itself, though that can sometimes mean reaching a vacation destination with wrinkled, crumpled clothes or a white shirt that was packed next to some shoes and is now sporting some unpleasant dirt marks.
If getting everything you need into a suitcase before the big trip is the only thing stopping you from entering into full-on vacation mode, you’re not alone. As many travelers can attest, finding ways to keep your items organized and wrinkle-free without adding extra weight to your suitcase is a daunting task. From keeping your dirty shoes and clean clothes separate to helping you find exactly what you need upon arrival, we’ve curated a travel packing list of clever items that will make packing (and unpacking) a cinch no matter where your travels take you.
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eBags Ultralight Packing Cubes – 5pc Set
Ever open your carefully packed suitcase only to find it a hot mess after touchdown? Packing cubes will organize all of your essentials and help keep them that way—even as your luggage is jostled to and fro en route to its final destination. As an added bonus, these mesh ones allow you to see what’s in each compartment, so you won’t have to tear apart your entire suitcase looking for that one thing you need before checking your bag at the airport.
These travel bags—available with drawstring or zippered closures—have rave reviews, and with good reason: The bags are waterproof and available in larger sizes for those with bigger feet. The bags are also lightweight and good for use as a toiletry bag, dirty clothes holder, and more. They are even large enough for heeled shoes—great news for travelers who like to dress up on the go.
We are deep into Cold and Flu season, and if you are planning a family vacation for this upcoming Spring Break, you may be hesitant about staying clear from dangerous viruses like the coronavirus outbreak.
However, you do not have to worry if you take precautions. Alejandra Tejada, mom and founder of Totts, a company that sends customized packages of baby travel essentials to your destination, shares her tips for how to keep your family from getting sick while on vacation.
Before You Travel
Limit activities in centers or play spaces where exposure to viruses could be greater. Although it’s not a foolproof solution, when you have the choice, opt to spend the few days before travel at home or areas with lower traffic.
For those who have kids in daycare or school, it’s a nearly impossible task (we know!), but consider keeping your child at home to rest the day before you travel and make sure to wash up the second your kids get home from school. While avoiding quickly-spreading viruses may not be easy, washing hands as soon as kids get home minimizes the spread and therefore limits exposure.
Getting rest before travel isn’t just for the kids. Catching up on some zzz’s can do wonders to boost your immune health and ensure your body has the power to fight off viruses (6-8 hrs is the recommended amount).
Make sure both you and your children get a proper night’s sleep and nap a day or two before you travel. For young babies that means trying to ensure proper rest which may mean keeping naps outside the home to a minimum.
On that note, stress can leave your body more vulnerable. If you don’t want to get sick, and pass it on to your kids, find ways to eliminate stress leading up to travel. Consider offloading tasks that can be stressful — this is a great time to try out a Totts box to help with the stress of packing!
While You Travel
This starts with what you pack—purchase both disinfectant and antibacterial wipes. Disinfectant wipes like Clorox wipes can be used to clean surfaces such as armrests, tray tables, windows, seats and other hard surfaces. For the wipes to do their magic, make sure to follow instructions — surfaces are required to be wet for a certain amount of time in order for germs to be killed properly.
Antibacterial wipes are great to wipe grime off your child’s hands and also make sure they are cleaned along the way. Antibacterial wipes are still no replacement for hand washing, so continue to wash and use the wipes in between washes.
It’s hard to avoid the tray table while you’re on a plane (or the desire for your toddler to play with one). But before you start feeding your child from the table, make sure the surface has been sanitized and that there is a clean layer between the table and food or other activities your child is doing on the tray table.
You can use a stick-on disposable placemat to cover the table or there are other products out there specifically designed to create a barrier between the table and your child.
Areas of the plane to avoid? Yes, the bathroom is not ideal, but avoiding that altogether isn’t feasible. However, the back seat pocket can— and should— be avoided! According to tests it’s the dirtiest part of a seat and one where germs tend to linger. Avoid putting toys and other items your child uses (or you use) in the pockets.
A big question families are asking right now — should we wear a mask? The right type of mask can protect you by filtering the airborne particles but in a lot of cases it doesn’t offer 100% protection against airborne illnesses. It’s just the same if you are in a crowded subway or coffee shop — there is still going to be exposure.
Unless you are traveling to areas that you feel you have an increased chance of getting sick, purchase a heavy-duty mask (a surgical mask won’t do) — otherwise it’s okay to leave the masks at home.
When You Arrive
Pull out the disinfectant wipes and cover the surfaces that you know your child will touch — tables, tv remote, phones and doorknobs. Use only glassware / utensils wrapped in plastic, and wash anything else before using (or better yet bring your own!).
Many families use high chairs, cribs or rented car seats at their destination. Take the same approach to wiping down these surfaces. Even though you may not stop everything, it’s all about helping to put the odds in your family’s favor.
Lastly, take time to relax! It may seem counterintuitive now that you have a laundry list of things to wipe down (sorry for the extra work!), but make sure you don’t overexert yourself or your kids during your vacation.
Rest is still the best remedy to help fight any illness and you want to make sure your whole family is getting plenty of it. Remember, a vacation is a time to re-charge so make sure you take advantage of this natural immune booster while you have it!
This is particularly true if it’s your first time flying, and you want to make sure that you are comfortable, make a good impression, and don’t do anything to embarrass yourself!
There are certain guidelines with regards to not only appropriate behaviour on a plane, but what one should or shouldn’t wear.
Here are five things you should never wear on a plane:
It isn’t a life or death situation if you forget this rule and apply perfume before boarding. However, you really should avoid wearing perfume on a plane. This guideline is more about being considerate of other people, than it is a fashion faux pas.
Wearing strong fragrances in the vicinity of other people during a flight will make their flying experience less enjoyable. Mainstream commercial airlines have hardly any space between seats and passengers, particularly in the economy section.
Your floral fragrance will be memorable, for all the wrong reasons. Think about it: have you ever encountered or even walked past someone who is wearing strong perfume or aftershave? It might smell nice as it wafts through the air during your momentary encounter, but imagine being immersed in it for hours and hours in close proximity. It’s simply about considering other people, really. Be selfless: go au naturel. However, don’t hold off on antiperspirant if your ‘au naturel’ might be the pungent smell of body odour!
Clothes That Are Too Tight
Many of these guidelines should be common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people prioritize vanity and style over practicality. Another thing you should never wear on a plane is anything that is too tight.
This might be a tightly-buttoned blouse, or a pair of skinny jeans that you have to squeeze yourself into. Alternatively, it could be a bodycon dress or a pair of tights that are a size too small. Oh, and don’t forget corsets! Now, why anyone would wear a corset on a plane is beyond me, but you never know!
As a general rule, any clothing item that hinders your breathing or leaves you feeling trapped is a no-go. During flight, the changes in altitude cause swelling on certain parts of your body, including your feet, so you need to wear light and loose fabrics that allow your skin to breathe.
If you’re already struggling to move in your too-tight clothing, you’re not going to have a fun time trying to get comfortable on the plane. Be sensible: avoid tight clothing.
Inappropriate or Offensive Clothing
Having your cleavage hanging out or wearing offensive slogans on a shirt are examples of inappropriate or offensive clothing. Traveling on a plane is not an exercise in showing other passengers your curvaceous body or your interesting political views.
Like wearing perfume, it is highly inconsiderate, and could get you a lot of angry glares or whispered comments.
Anonymity is key: keep your outfit simple, and like a wallflower, fade into the background. This is not the time for you to be giving your Oscar speech.
You might be really excited about your upcoming flight, and want to look great for boarding the plane. However, plane journeys are not fashion shows, and you will have a much more pleasant flight if you sacrifice your keen fashion sense for an outfit that is more practical.
One of the aspects you should be thinking about in this regard is to wear comfortable shoes. If you are a lover of high heels and exotic designs, you might not even own a pair of shoes that could be called practical or comfortable.
However, you should really think about investing in a pair of flats with cushioned soles for air travel. Believe me, you’ll thank me once you’ve reached your destination.
Uncomfortable shoes should never be worn on a plane because your feet are going to be sore, and you will likely be in pain while airborne. Due to the swelling mentioned above, make sure you wear a pair of shoes that allow your feet some breathing space in preparation for the higher altitudes.
This way, you’ll be less fidgety in your seat and can enjoy the view out the window or your new book instead.
Long Dresses or Maxi Skirts
Finally, you should never wear long dresses or maxi skirts (or dresses) on a plane. This is actually more about before and after boarding the plane.
When you wear clothes that can potentially hide a lot underneath, you’re going to get a lot more unwanted attention at the security areas.
Long dresses or skirts are simply not a smart choice, and the last thing you want is to be searched for a longer time than the average person. Choose loose pants and a simple blouse instead.
Above are five things you should never wear on a plane. Remember these, and your next plane journey will go by a lot more smoothly. Enjoy your flight!