The first important thing to think about when packing is what kind of suitcase you should use. The reason that I recommend hard cases with buckles instead of zippers is that zippers can break and then your expensive suitcase is useless. If you are going to get a suitcase with a zipper, make sure it is a soft suitcase like a rolling duffel bag. If you get a hard suitcase with a zipper (in the video the silver suitcase I use is one) you have to be really careful because the soft zipper mixed with the hard case can lead to stress on the zipper area, which means it will probably break a lot sooner than a complete hard case, or a complete soft case. I would never buy one of theses kinds of suitcases again.
When it comes to carry on luggage, I know I said that airlines don’t check the weight, and that is true with most airlines, but bargain airlines like German Wings and WIZ air will definitely be weighing them. So remember to stay within their very strict guidelines. This fits into that old saying, “You get what you pay for.”
Something else important I didn’t have a chance to mention in the video was luggage weight. You can see in the video that there is a scale next to the suitcase because we weigh all of our bags. It is not very much fun to end up paying one or two hundred dollars extra because you are overweight on your baggage. We have had a few luggage scales that you pull up on to tell you the weight. In general we have found them to be slightly inaccurate. We use the weigh myself without luggage, weigh myself with the luggage, find the difference method. So far so good. The standard weight limit on a check-in piece of luggage is 23 kilograms or 50.7 pounds.
You will also notice that we use vacuum seal bags for all of our clothes. They save a lot of space, and you can find affordable options in addition to the original “Space Saver” bags. The new Space Saver bags are much more thin than they were a few years ago, and we had several of the bags rip simply from placing them into the suitcase. I recommend the Harbor Tool and Freight version of these bags. They are cheaper and seem to last much longer. You can order them online if you don’t have a store near you.
The last thing I want to talk about are good luggage tags. They are definitely worth the investment because you want to make sure you have something on your bags that is not simply going to rip off. On our last trip we lost a luggage strap that had the luggage tag built in. That is reason enough to have a separate luggage tag attached to the handle of your luggage. You can make some yourself and have them laminated. All you need to do after that is use a hole punch to punch a hole, and use a zip tie to secure it to a luggage handle. Make sure you include your name, mailing address, phone number, and email address.
Do you have any tips for packing that I forgot? Please share by leaving a comment below.