Travel Tips USA Today

With careful packing, it's often possible to avoid having to check luggage.With careful packing, it's often possible to avoid having to check luggage. (Photo: luggages image by MLProject from )


Long lines for check-in and security, checked baggage fees and cramped seating are among the realities of air travel for many passengers. Much of the aggravation associated with air travel is unavoidable. However, with proper packing, it is possible to reduce or eliminate baggage fees and ensure that your luggage arrives along with you at your destination and upon your return.

Getting Through Security

Many air passengers are familiar with what the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) calls the "3-1-1 Rule" concerning liquids in carry-on luggage: containers of 3 oz. or less should be contained in a 1-quart clear zip-top plastic bag, with a single plastic bag per passenger. Pack liquids in carry-on baggage in an easily accessible location to make it easy to remove them for inspection.
Be prepared to remove your laptop from its bag for screening. Laptop sleeves, "butterfly" or tri-fold styles that allow the laptop to lie flat on the conveyor belt are most likely to allow the screening device to take a clear picture of the internal components of the laptop, which means the laptop need not be removed from the bag for screening.
Ask for manual inspection of undeveloped film to avoid possible damage from X-ray exposure. TSA also reserves the right to conduct random searches of carry-on luggage. Pack underwear and lingerie in mesh bags to avoid having them touched in case your bag is selected for inspection.

Wardrobe and Packing Tips

When packing for air travel, less is more. Coordinate your travel wardrobe with mix-and-match pieces in neutral colors that can be dressed up or down. Be prepared to rinse out clothing or do a load of laundry during longer trips. Wear your heaviest shoes and overcoat onto the plane if possible. Place packed shoes in a plastic bag near the bottom of the bag that you plan to carry by hand or near the wheels of a rolling bag. Roll clothing rather than fold it to avoid packing creases. Do not overpack, which tends to smash clothing, or underpack, which allows clothing to shift inside the bag, the Magellan's website recommends.
Rick Steves, whose public television shows and published books focus on travel in and around Europe, recommends taking a single carry-on bag for every trip, regardless of duration. Rather than attempting to pack enough toiletries for the entire trip, Steves recommends travelers to include enough only for the beginning of the trip; count on purchasing replacements. However, if your itinerary includes travel to less developed countries, this advice may not apply, especially concerning tampons and sanitary pads.

See also:
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Popular Q&A
Where could one find tips on travel to the USA from Estonia?

Tips on traveling to the USA from Estonia is available from many different online sources. The US government website, Travel.State, is one of the more reliable sources in this respect.

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