April 19, 2014

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Conditions at Parkersburg, Mid Ohio Valley Regional Airport, WV
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Kirk's Travel Tips #2

Here are some more travel tips for what to pack in your bag....or not!

This is my personal blog, not a news story, and not the opinion of the station nor anyone else!

Today is the second in a continuing series of off-the-cuff travel tips that I have picked up in my travels.

First, dirty clothes weigh more than clean clothes.  And you can feel that when you have to haul your suitcase through an airport or out to the lobby of your hotel.  Psychologically, we dread all those dirty clothes that are building up in our suitcase.

So, consider taking fewer clothes and running a wash midway through your trip. Your bag will be lighter and your clothes fresher, and you might like a break from all the fun and new sites you're seeing.

Extra tip: If you are going to do this, put one or two single pack detergents in a zip-lock baggie to carry with you for your wash. DON'T BUY YOUR DETERGENT IN THE HOTEL, NEXT TO THE WASH MACHINE... you won't have a selection, you may not have the right coins, and you WILL be overcharged!  Label those two single wash packets by tearing off the label or box top from home and keeping it in the baggie. That will inform any airport security agents what those packets of white powder in your bag are!

Second, pack half as many clothes as you think you will need.  Plan to alternate or coordinate your clothes by mixing and matching  your outfit, like polo shirt and pants one day and then switch the colors the next. The third day, maybe alternate one from each of the prior two days. This way, you appear different, when really, you've only alternated your top.

Third, never travel in brand new shoes.  If you need a new pair of shoes, buy them a month in advance of the trip and BREAK THEM IN!  Nothing ruins a trip faster than a blister or pain from ill-fitting shoes.  Dress for comfort in your shoes, rather than the height of fashion.  Okay, maybe one pair of dress shoes, and one or two pair of comfortable walking shoes at most!

Fourth, I know a couple who pack generally for the weather, but then ALWAYS plan on buying those additional items on location. If you're going to buy t-shirts or sweat-shirts anyway, why not wait until you're on location, and see what you really need. Buy it, and your memories of the trip will come home with you as well.  In this way, they can pack even lighter, but save room for those additional shirts, etc.

Fifth, invest in a small, cheap weight scale.  Nothing kills the thrill of a successful trip more than discovering your bag is over weight and having to pay an unexpected weight charge cause you're at 51 lbs, instead of 49!

Limit the number of nick- knack's and heavy objects you plan to pack in your bag for the return trip! It some cases, it will be cheaper to pack them in a separate box or flattened carry case to be shipped separately home.  Several couples go together and doing this routinely to get gifts back home safely.

Of course, there are airline restrictions on what you can pack and carry. Call your airline to see what the current restrictions are, and pack accordingly.

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