**WARNING!! This is another long post!!**
Okay, for this part of my series I am going to talk about the importance of quality luggage as well as TSA regulations.
Now from personal experience I know that it is EXTREMELY important to do the proper research on what type of luggage you are considering investing in. That's right, investing. Luggage should be something that will last you many, many years. Not something that you have to replace after every trip because of a broken wheel, torn zipper, or any other possible malfunction. Trust me, I have been that person who had to have their bag taped shut because the zipper broke at check in.
This is why you do not want to buy the cheapest luggage on the market. There are many options to consider though when deciding on your luggage.
-Do you want a carry on bag with a telescoping handle or do you prefer to a shoulder strap?
-Do you want a hard sided or soft sided bag?
-Do you want a bag with 4 wheels or 2?
-What color will stand out from the rest, but not make you feel like a 12-year-old, unless of course, you are a 12-year-old?
You need to take all these options into consideration well in advance of your trip. Personally, I like soft sides luggage with a telescoping handle in a dark color and I use a fun, bright luggage tag (yes, even on your carry-on, people are crazy these days) to set my bag apart from the crowd. This is important when you are leaving your plane so it is easier to locate your bag in the overhead bins.
Also, don't forget that current airline regulations state that your carry-on must be no larger than: 22" x 14" x 9".
Since most garment bags do not meet these criteria, they will either be considered your carry-on item or you will be required to check it. So try at all possible not to bring one if you are planning on using the carry-on only method. Oftentimes having that dress laundered at your destination is less expensive than the cost to check your garment bag round trip.
As far as the TSA regulations go, this is by far the most important part of flying. The last the you want to be subject to is having your prized possessions confiscated by security for violating the rules. These are what the TSA.gov website lists as their rules to date.
-3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle or less (by volume); 1 quart-sized, clear plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3.4 ounce (100ml) container size is a security measure.
Be prepared. Each time TSA searches a carry-on it slows down the line. Practicing 3-1-1 will ensure a faster and easier checkpoint experience for both you and all other passengers.
3-1-1 is typically for shorter flight, but by using loopholes this rule can be used for any length of trip.
Make sure you declare larger liquids. Medications, baby formula and food, and breast milk are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding 3.4 ounces and are not required to be in the zip-top bag.
Now here is the list of items that are most likely to end up in your carry-on as a traditional traveler. By the way, you cannot bring an airbag, nun chucks, or cattle prod in your bag. :)
- Razor-Type Blades - such as box cutters, utility knives, and safety razor blades (disposable razors and their cartridges are permitted)
- Scissors - metal with pointed tips and blades shorter than 4 inches are allowed, but blades longer than 4 inches are prohibited
-Aerosol (any except for personal care or toiletries in limited quantities)
By minimizing the amount of products you bring with you on your trip, especially liquids/gels/aerosols, and doing a few trial runs of your quart size bag items, you will speed through security like a true pro.
Have your spouse, friend, or even your kids check all your products for sizes and make it a game for the little ones.
I also suggest keeping your quart size bag either in an outside pocket of your carry-on bag or in your purse or backpack for easy access.
Don't forget to take out your laptop too. When we travel on our big trip I will be placing a contact information label on the bottom of the cover just in case anything were to happen.
Next time, we will be discussing multipurpose products and what I have found to shrink our packing list tremendously.
Do you have any tips for picking luggage or getting through security quickly?
Until next time - Toodles!