Travelling for Dummies

by Lauren


Ever look at an empty suitcase right before you have to leave on a trip? Do you feel the anxiety or frustration creep into you as you throw clothes all over looking for what you think you need? Packing today is not what it used to be. Not only do you have to deal with just getting a full week of necessities ready, you also have the added restrictions from airports and airlines. Hopefully this article will help you get a jump start on the packing that you have dreaded for weeks now.  

Packing 101

The first step to packing is know your destination and the type of clothing you will need. Then you can decide on what is appropriate for the situation. If you are going to the beach, you will want a bathing suit; if you are going sightseeing you will want a comfortable pair of shoes.  The goal to packing is to pack what you will need, not end up with an overflowing suitcase. Packing with variety is a good way to ensure you always have what you need, but if you are going to a beach, a heavy jacket is not going to help you. Just remember to keep it simple and pack for necessity.

Airport Wiz

 Airports today are often hectic and have many rules. To make sure you are on the right side of those rules, always check with your airline on what they allow and what they don’t.  The basic allowed weight for a checked bag without paying extra is 50lbs. If you are carrying your suitcase on, your bag must be no more than 45 inches; length + width + depth of the bag. Additionally, airlines allow you one extra bag aside from your carryon bag that can be stored beneath your feet.  This bag should be small, such as a briefcase, purse, or camera bag.

Any gear you carry onto the plane must pass airport security or TSA. TSA rules state that sharp, flammable, or dangerous items may not be carried onto the plane. For all you guys out there, bringing your pocket knife is not a good idea. TSA also has a rule that any liquids may not exceed 3.4 ounces and must be held in a clear plastic container.  Always remember to double check what you pack; this will help you avoid a surprise bag inspection at airport security.  If you are unsure about a certain item you are packing or any questions, the TSA has a very helpful website:

Out-of-the-Country Essentials

When traveling out of the country, it is important to do your research on the particular country or area you are going to. During your research, check for any warnings such as dangerous areas, a high crime rate, or any other hazardous conditions in your destination.  Also, check if there are restrictions or requirements on goods, certain foods, and information/ identification papers.  Identification and passports are required so double check that you have them before you leave. If you are going to another country, look to see if your resort or hotel has different plugs and outlets, as you may need to purchase an adaptor.

A country’s currency may be different, so compare the value between the currencies and find out where you can exchange it for your destinations.  Usually there is a kiosk in the airport that will be available for an exchange. Packing for an international trip is much harder than staying within your own country. It is always best to pack slowly and ahead of time so you can remember all that you need. 

The Toiletry Bag

                One of the most important pieces in your luggage is your toiletry bag. This contains your liquids and basic hair, face, and body supplies.  Here is a simple list of what you may need.  This does not include everything. If you have a need for glasses, contacts, retainers, or any other supplies, don’t forget to include those. 





Toothbrush & Toothpaste Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Face wash & Moisturizer & Makeup

Face wash & Moisturizer & Shaving Cream & Razor

Hair care products (brush, pony-tails, ect.) Deodorant
Razor Hair gel/product
Deodorant / Perfume Nail care (Nail clippers)
Advil/Tylenol  (medication needed) Advil / Tylenol (medications needed)

A one-week beach vacation

Here is an example of a one week beach vacation clothes packing list. This does not include everything; it is just a simple guide on what you might bring on vacation with you.





7 days of under garments 7 weeks of under garments
6 pairs of shorts 6 pairs of shorts
1 dress 1 pair of pants
1 sweater 1 light jacket
1 beach sandals, 1 sandals, 1 sneakers (socks) 1 beach sandals, 1 sandals, 1 sneakers (socks)
2-5 bathing suits 2-5 swim trunks
Sunglasses, tanning lotion / sun block Sunglasses, tanning lotion / sun block

Now you are all set-good luck, and enjoy your vacation!


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