How to Pack

These tips will help you travel more comfortably, easily, and fully equipped.
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Principles of Packing

Two-bag limit, please. Many experienced travelers live by a simple rule: Take only what you can carry yourself. So even if you're piling the family into the minivan and have room for five bags per person, you'll be much happier if you limit yourself to two bags per person. One bag should be large enough to hold the majority of your stuff; this is the bag destined for the trunk or cargo hold. The other bag needs room for a change of clothes, valuables and documents you can't afford to lose, as well as things you can use to pass the time.

Note: See the page "The Carry-on Lifestyle" for more detailed information about packing for airline travel without the potential delays of checking your luggage.

The 5 Principles of Packing

Follow these simple rules to ensure that you and your stuff arrive in style.

1. Prepare a list. Each member of the family must have a packing list. A list helps you weed out things you don't need, and ensures that you don't forget something you do need (or leave it behind on the way home).

2. Divide and conquer. If you decide to live by the two-bag limit, select one change of clothes plus your "can't lose" items and set them aside for your smaller bag. Everything else will have to fit into your larger bag.

3. Bag it. Use zipper-type freezer bags to corral small items, particularly leakables like shampoo. Also neatly fold and bag clothes with colors that run if they get wet -- few pieces of luggage are truly waterproof.

4. Use tissue paper. If you are particularly worried about wrinkles, place sheets of white tissue paper between layers of clothes.

5. Don't overpack. A well-packed bag will be full, but not bulging out of shape.

Continued on page 2:  Preparing Your Clothes


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