Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

November 16th, 2007
How to Survive Airport baggage Claim

I have been in too many airports in the past 2 weeks to even count, and the place I see the most frustration is at baggage claim. Now with the holiday season roaring towards us, I wanted to give you some tips on how to pack so you can avoid luggage loss or wasted time at the airport…after all, do you really need to 5 pairs of stilettos for your weekend girlfriend getaway? I didn’t think so.

Rule number one, only bring what will fit in a carry-on. Period.

Check the weather before you pack! Do you need a raincoat or a swim suit?
 
Try to avoid creating extra packing by using items that have multi-uses.

Transformer Fashions: Pack clothes that have multi-purposes and can be layered.
–       Tank Tops
–       Black lycra pants
–       Cute sweaters
–       Little black dress
–       T-shirts or camisoles
–       Sturdy, sexy shoes
 
Bring clothes that don’t have many buttons, then you don’t have to worry about losing them. Black is back: pack black clothes and use scented scarves to dress up your outfits. Lycra, cotton blends, NO linen. Bring basics that don’t wrinkle.

 
Everything else gets rolled lightly, cotton tops get a scarf rolled between it. Shoes go on the side where the luggage will be on the bottom when rolling and when laying flat. Put cosmetic case on the top because if they are going to go through your luggage, that is what TSA goes through first.
 
Scarves: Instead of fabric softeners, take a variety of scarves and spray them with your favorite perfume. Then use them to wrap your clothes in. Cotton shirts or other items that can wrinkle will fare better and smell fabulous. Bring different sizes, like a big pashima wrap and small neck scares.
 
Wine bags: The cloth and tulle bags that are used to wrap wine as gifts are perfect to stuff your sock and intimates in. I also use them to pack jewelry. I wrap my necklaces and earrings in a small scarf and then pack it in a tulle wine bag.
 
Hard Soap: Bring a bar of fabulous soap. My favorite is Roger & Gallet from Paris. It smells divine and it comes in a plastic container. So, I can take the soap on many trips with me.
 
 
** Transportation Security Administration**
Carry on:
The following rules apply to all liquids, gels, and aerosols carried through security checkpoints.
 
   1. All liquids, gels and aerosols must be in three-ounce or smaller containers. Larger containers that are half-full or toothpaste tubes rolled up are not allowed. Each container must be three ounces or smaller.
   2. All liquids, gels and aerosols must be placed in a single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. Gallon size bags or bags that are not zip-top such as fold-over sandwich bags are not allowed. Each traveler can use only one, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag.
   3. Each traveler must remove their quart-sized plastic, zip-top bag from their carry-on and place it in a bin or on the conveyor belt for X-ray screening. X-raying separately will allow TSA security officers to more easily examine the declared items.
 
There are exceptions for baby formula, breast milk, and other essential liquids, gels, and aerosols, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
 
Plastic bag with basics: Keep packed in a small plastic bag: single use eye drops, small bottle of hand sanitizer, lip balm, small sunscreen, travel size packs of motion sickness medicine, pain relief, and stomach medicine.
 
Color copies of identification: It is much easier to get a new passport or ID when you have copies of your originals. Carry them in all of your suitcases; I store them in the unused side pockets of my luggage.  
 
Handy wipes: The truth is, some place you go won’t have toilet paper. So, be prepared with a small pack of handy wipes. They are also great for refreshing your hands and face when traveling.
 
Eye cover and ear plugs: These are great on the plane, or even on trains. But they are the best when you are staying somewhere that is a bit noisy or the curtains are not very thick. You need your sleep when traveling.
 

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