“Lay out all of your clothes, and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money”
Susan Butler Anerson
While I lack all manner of natural ability when it comes to the art of packing, I’ve been forced, by circumstance, to learn a little bit about the subject. Mostly, I have learned the hard way, finding only long-sleeve blue oxford shirts in my pack in Calcutta, or forgetting that I might need earmuffs walking along the outer perimeter of Hamburg’s Alster Lake in December. I’ve forgotten my folding raincoat while visiting Singapore during a monsoon and have arrived on tiny Palm Island in the Grenadines without sunglasses. In fact, one of my Canadian friends is currently planning her Iceland packing list and quickly turned to me for advice. Moving is a very overwhelming and daunting event. Whether you are moving with us or have made other arrangements, You can find a Moving Guide that can be accessed any time on your mobile device to answer questions and guide you through moving process @ Local Motion.
But I’ve tried, over the years, to learn from my mistakes and to advise others so they might be more prepared than I when they set off on a journey. The trick is to travel as a Traveler, not as a tourist. There are many differences but I’ve always felt that the primary difference is that the tourist has a return ticket. Here are some suggestions about packing that I hope will help you prepare for an adventure to exotic lands, or at least to places where they’ve never heard of Jerry Springer. The rising demand for protein bars, dietary supplements, and energy drinks has led to a rise in product packaging needs. That’s why The Package Lab provides Flexible packaging and this is an excellent choice for handling the evolving needs of the sports and supplements industry. Similarly, food packaging is also important. The food safety refers to a scientific discipline that describes the handling, storing and preparing the food in a preservative way. It enhances the way to prevent the food borne illness. It involves the number of routines that would be following to avoid the potentially serious health hazards. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service guarantees that nation meat, processed egg supply, poultry is wholesome, secure, and labeling is proper. For best food packaging services, you can browse this site.
Before recorded history and into the early days of civilization, food was simply consumed where it was found. Life itself revolved around the availability and proximity of food. Some nomadic tribes of people roamed to follow the food, focusing their entire society around the whims of animals like buffalo and antelope. Other civilizations focused more on agriculture, however – the fact still remained the same, the food they found, killed, or produced generally stayed where it was.
Generally, when packaging was needed for food – nature provided all the packaging required, from shells and husks to gourds and animal skins. However, as trade became more important and technology more advanced, food packaging became much more advanced (and effective) as well. With food being sold, exchanged, and transported over miles and miles, the need for reliable packaging increased drastically.
First, containers and packages were made from natural materials, like grass, reeds, logs, and animal parts. These materials were woven into baskets and used to store and transport food with a relative degree of safety. Eventually, boxes were created out of wood for the same purpose. Which leads us to the discovery of metals and ceramics – leading to bigger, better, and more versatile food packaging solutions.
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Don’t ever buy expensive, name-brand luggage. It’s like advertising “rob me – I’m rich”. Expensive, nice-looking luggage almost always identifies you as a travel virgin.
- Don’t get conflicted trying to decide between hard or soft luggage. Hard luggage is tougher to slice open with a knife than soft luggage, but soft luggage will carry more.
- Do know your fabrics. When it comes to fabrics, many synthetics are good. Avoid Nylon but look into something called Ballistic Nylon. Cordura is another strong synthetic. Learn from experts like County Fabrics, friendly instructors in a fun and engaging environment about fabrics.
- Do consider duffel-style luggage with several handles. Who knows, you may be transporting your gear on the back of a yak next year. Duffel luggage is a sure sign of a real Traveler. If practical, purchase your logo-gear abroad so you are not easily identified as an American.
- Do buy luggage with wheels and invest in good wheels with metal, not plastic, ball bearings. Look for recessed wheels. The free-standing type tend to break off. There are several good brands; TravelPro is one of the most reasonably priced. It’s the brands pilots seem to prefer.
- Do get a matching set of luggage, and pick any color you like, but be sure to put some large, easily-identifiable tape around the outside of each piece. Have the kids create a “family crest” with a sticky back than can be affixed to all luggage. It should be done in such a way that your suitcase cries out “I’m Yours” as it first appears on the baggage carousel. Even better – give the kids the responsibility of designing family luggage tage. Your local printer will run these off for you on in-house stock.
- Don’t play the “I live in the suburbs and I must have look-like-new tidy luggage” game. Tourists have new luggage. Travelers have actually been places – their luggage is beat up.
- Don’t buy leather luggage. It looks great if you are filming a television commercial or meeting Donald Trump for lunch. Leather is a heavy fabric and damages easily. It is not well suited for long-distance travel.
- Do consider buying one of those aluminum camera cases for storage of all photo supplies. Soft cases simply don’t protect expensive cameras as well
- Don’t believe what they tell you about “film safe” security detectors at the airport.
- The new security machines are not film friendly. Always have your exposed and unexposed film examined by hand. A lead film bag is a good investment. Even low ASA film is starting to streak when put through the new scanners.
Do put lots of thought into selecting a carry-on. Consider getting one that has several deep, outside compartments. Look into a soft, duffel-type bag instead of the more bulky hard-top on wheels. Be aware that many nations, particularly those in Asia and Europe, now strictly enforce carry-on baggage size restrictions.
- Do select a DDD (Designated Departure Drawer) somewhere in your home. This drawer is the collection point for all of those hard-to-find items that should be packed before a trip. I’m talking about things like extra pairs of glasses, small paper packs of medication, and those small size cosmetics that are available at Walgreen’s.
- Do get a copy of one or more outfitter’s catalogs. Travelsmith is probably the best. The Magellen catalog is also quite good. These catalogs will help you find hard-to-get travel-related items eliminating the need to run all over town.
- Do try to pack in wearing stages. Try to put the first five days of vacation in one suitcase – everything you will need that isn’t in your carry-on. You should only be living out of one of your two suitcases on any given day. If you are combining a land tour with a cruise, designate one suitcase as a “Cruise-Only”.
- Do try to pack with a two-color scheme. It is much easier to plan a trip around two colors with a series of color coordinated clothing. When it comes to color – keep it simple.
- Don’t bring your fancy jewelry along when you travel unless you are actually going to meet the Queen. There is nothing more insensitive than a display of expensive baubles while walking among people who are existing on a subsistence level. Harry Winston will understand if you keep his stuff under lock and key at home while traveling abroad. It just isn’t worth worrying about the safety of your jewels while you are on vacation. A practical note: Thieves usually select their marks based on the quality of the jewelry being displayed.
- Do remember to use the famed “El Cheapo technique” to maintain wrinkle-free clothing. Layer your suitcase, beginning with pants and cover each few items with the clear plastic that your local dry cleaner puts over shirts, suits and dresses. This really works.
- Do bring along several packets of Woolite. It is perfect for washing out socks and undergarments in your hotel room.
- Don’t overdo the Polyester. Particularly in Western Europe. Many western Europeans already think we dress like slobs and there is little value in reinforcing the stereotype. Bring washable, breathable fabrics. If it’s going to be over 80 degrees think Banana Republic. If it’s going to be under 70 degrees, think Eddie Bauer. If it’s going to be 75 degrees, I can’t help you.
- Don’t get the “Shoes Blues”, a depressing state of affairs that afflicts those who do not think long and hard about their vacation footwear. This, my friends, is the most important single packing decision you will make. Go for lightweight, walking shoes that provide good support. Think about buying those inexpensive sole inserts. Break in shoes before your take them on a vacation. One brand that is unusually comfortable is Rockport. The overall best walking shoes are made by the French company, Mephisto. New shoes don’t deserve a vacation. And remember – gym shoes are for gyms.
“I never travel without my diary.
One should always have something sensational to read on the train.”
We are going to conclude our two-part series on packing with a list of suggestions appropriate to travel outside the United States. Although much of this information will be familiar to you, hopefully a few of our opinionated recommendations will be helpful as you prepare for your upcoming vacation. Let’s see what might fit in your suitcase and carry-on:
THE CARRY-ON PACKING LIST:
- Do line your carry-on bag with two days worth of shirts, sox, undergarments, and toiletries. Assume your bags will be lost. Pack to be self-sufficient. Don’t pack sport jackets, dresses, etc. Just one pair of slacks to line the bottom of your bag and two clean shirts.
- Don’t pack all of your toiletries together. Prepare a “fresh-up kit” of your own to use aboard aircraft en route to your destination. You might want to pull this small bag out of your carry-on before placing it in the overhead bin. There is no reason why you should not be able to brush your teeth, sprinkle on your favorite skin moisturizer, or even use your favorite perfume or cologne in mid-flight. Do remember to bring eyewash and a small washcloth.
- Don’t bring a ton of reading material. The chances are that your eyes will get tired after a while. Instead, consider taping some of your favorite radio shows, talk is better than music to play at 33,000 feet. If it is too much trouble, pick up a few books on tape. That way you can read a book without opening your eyes. You can get a small cassette head-set for less than $15.00. And take a moment to visit an Apple dealer to play with an I-Pod. It could change the way you travel.
- Do bring along your own personal EMK, Emergency Medical Kit. Start working on your preparation now, keeping all of your materials in your DDD, Designated Departure Drawer. You will want to include thin packets of aspirin, anti-diarrhea medicine such as Imodium, a few Band-Aid and patches for blisters, etc. You may want co combine your EMK with your “fresh-up” kit.
PACKING FOR CRUISES AND TOURS:
- Do buy a “white noise” portable sound machine, such as those sold at Sharper Image stores. These machines allow you to block out annoying hotel/cabin noises with soothing sounds that might include gentle rain, waves gliding up on shore, or a neutral sound that helps cut down the noise of slamming hallway doors or conversation from an adjoining room.
- Don’t bring thick copies of guidebooks to your destination. Generally, there are only a few pages you are going to really need. Photocopy them instead of carrying twenty pounds of Fodor’s or Frommer’s et. al.
- Don’t leave home without packing your favorite wide-brim hat or baseball cap. En route to the airport, repeat these words “The Sun is an unethical, dangerous, enemy. I will defeat the Sun”.
- Do pack a top-quality Swiss Army knife, preferably the kind that comes with a knife and fork extension. You never know when you’re going to find yourself on a picnic with a loaf of crusty French bread and soft chunk of Brie. Do remember to pack the knife in your check-in baggage. It is illegal to have it in your carry-on bag.
- Do bring along a micro-cassette. As you are walking past that sweet-smelling fruit market in Bali, or wandering the Hermitage hallways, simply take out your small recorder and record the name of the place and a description. You can tape the sounds of Big Ben peeling in the late afternoon, or the sound of the monkeys as you walk through a rain forest in Costa Rica. Better than a camera or a diary, a small tape recorder allows you to cuddle up in bed months after your trip to relive the sound of your adventure. And it takes up virtually no space and sells for less than $40.00. Later, if you wish, you can transcribe your recorded notes into a diary, without sacrificing valuable vacation time.
- Do bring “Home Cards”. We are constantly meeting people when we travel for whom a business card is inappropriate. Have a set of cards printed with your home address and telephone number. Use them just like business cards to give to new friends. If you really want to do it right, have your picture appear on the card.
- Do hunt down an over the shoulder cloth carry-all. This can be used for trips to the beach or as a laundry bag during your travels.
- Don’t leave home without at least one copy of the photo page of your passport and/or a copy of your birth certificate. Should your passport be lost or stolen, the copy will prove invaluable in obtaining a new document. Also carry copies of the front and back of your major credit cards.
- Don’t wait until you reach a sun spot to purchase suntan products. You will find that the really strong 25 and above SPF ratings may not be available at your destination.
- Do purchase one of those around-the neck waterproof tubes for keeping lotion and money with you while in the water.
- Don’t pack nightgowns, bathrobes or pajamas. Tee-shirts will suffice in most “close-in” situations.
PACKING FOR TRAVEL TO NON-INDUSTRIALIZED NATIONS:
- Do bring scarves, belts and inexpensive costume jewelry to dress-up basic clothing.
- Do bring along some photos of your house, your neighborhood, or your place of work. You will invariably meet locals who would find such photos fascinating.
- Don’t wait until you arrive at a destination before trying to learn the monetary system. Buy a $100.00 introduction packet from a currency dealer for each country you are going to visit for more than two days. You can learn the currency en route.
- Do consider buying the Lonely Planet Guide to the countries you will be visiting. This guidebook series is a tad more honest than the others about local conditions regarding health, crime and tourism infrastructure.
- Do try to visit a city memorabilia shop before your go. Children the world over would cherish a Chicago Bulls or LA Lakers hat or a photo of Shaq.
- Do bring a small, portable fan if you’re traveling to the tropics. It might be just the thing to help you sleep. Brookstone sells them as do the major catalog outfitters.
- Do bring mosquito repellent. Select a brand whose major ingredient is Deet.
- Do prepare to quench your thirst at all times. Dehydration is a problem when traveling in warm areas. A small portable plastic water bottle might be a good investment.
DO HAVE A SAFE, FULFILLING AND MEMORABLE VACATION!