Packing Tips: Tried and True

I’m an overpacker. I read the missives about how to pack less, but my adage is, better safe than sorry. Here are some things I’ve found that help when I’m packing to deal with my excess.

With the number of allowable pounds per bag dropping, for instance on Sky Bus it’s 50, if you are going to be buying souvenirs, presents and great deals you can’t pass up while on vacation, pack an extra duffle bag. This way, if you get to the airport and find out you are overweight, you can unload some of the items and repack them in your extra bag. Last year, I used this method in the Denver airport. I have no qualms about repacking at the side of the check-in line.

  • When packing toilet paper, take out the tube. That way it squishes down to a smaller size. Put toilet paper in a ziplock bag though so it doesn’t shred.
  • Stuff socks into shoes. Put shoes in plastic bags and place them, soles out, at each side of the suitcase.
  • Roll up T-shirts as tightly as you can. They take up less room that way. Rolling up underwear works too. Underwear can also fit inside shoes.
  • Buy travel size shampoos and lotions so you can throw out the bottles as they are used up. Put them into small ziplock bags so that if they leak you won’t have a mess.

Here are some other packing tips from Travel Sense. And one last tip, when zipping up a suitcase, I always find sitting on it helps.

A Quest for a Cheap Car Rental

As part of my family’s trip to Montana via Seattle, (aka Bellingham, Washington,) finding a car rental was the next step after I picked the airline–Skybus (see post), I was particularly interested in making a car rental reservation ASAP since one Gadling reader commented that when he flew into Bellingham he noticed there weren’t many car rental options. Since Sky Bus has a link to Avis on its website, I Iooked there first and wondered if I could do better. I also checked prices through Travelocity –Enterprise car rental, the cheapest was $10 more than the Avis rate.

I was determined to find a better deal. Then I remembered that AAA had travel discounts. Sure enough, by using the trip code on the AAA website, I found a Hertz rental about $30 cheaper than the Sky Bus deal. I reserved a full-size car since there are four of us and we have a bit of luggage to contend with. The last two times we rented cars, however, we upgraded for no extra charge at the check-in desk. We’ll see. If not, we’ll save on gas. Who knows, maybe our AAA standing will help out in a way I don’t even know yet. Next step, find a hotel for the night before we fly home. Our rental is for two weeks and includes two weekends, by the way.