Too much baggage? Stow it all in a carry-on, and save yourself the hassle (and maybe even a fee).
If you feel you’re hearing way too much about lost luggage and bag surcharges these days, you’re sure to agree with us that more efficient packing is in order—especially on your honeymoon when you don’t want anything to mar the fun. With our honeymoon packing tips, you’ll be smart, streamlined and ready to soar.
Know your limits
The U.S. Transportation Authority (TSA), together with most U.S. airlines, allows one piece of carry-on luggage, plus one personal item per passenger. Most requirements state that the size of the luggage not exceed 45 linear inches (translation: 9 inches by 14 inches by 22 inches) and weigh no more than 40 pounds. Note: Wheels must fit within those confines. Along with your carry-on bag, you may also bring a single personal item, such as a purse, a laptop case or a briefcase. Although these policies have been in effect since 2001, go to the TSA’s website (tsa.gov) for any changes. Note: At press time, passengers traveling through London’s Heathrow Airport are permitted only one piece of carry-on luggage, regardless of point of origin. Translation: even if you’re connecting here, you can only have a single piece. Go to heathrowairport.com for updates.
“A week before make a list,” advises Karen Tina Harrison, a New York City-based travel expert who flies only with carry-on luggage. Over the course of the week, add anything you may have forgotten as long as you absolutely can’t live without it. “Be a minimalist and pack only one of everything, except undies and shoes,” she says. Include a silk or cotton dress that can be worn day or night, a cotton sweater, a waffle-knit top for layering, a long skirt and a shorter one. Make sure everything can be mixed and matched. Bring a gentle all-purpose soap like Dr. Bonner’s, which can be used to clean your clothing, your body and your hair. At your hotel, you can hand wash things in the sink and hang them to dry. Most showers have clotheslines that can be pulled across the tub.
In the words of Olympia Dukakis in the film Steel Magnolias, “The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.” And that’s never as true as it is when you’re traveling. Accessories are lightweight and can help you get lots more wear from your basic clothing. Bring costume jewelry to accent outfits for dinners; belts are also useful. Use one on a shift and you’ve got a nice dress to wear into town for shopping. “Shoes are bulky, so I limit myself to one pair of flip-flops, a pair of walking shoes and heels that can handle cobblestones. I wear sneakers on the plane,” says Harrison. Frequent fliers swear by the pareo, an oversize cotton wrap that can be used as a beach cover-up, an evening shawl, a scarf or even a blanket.
Pare down your stuff
Currently, the TSA limits carry-on gels and liquids to three ounces each, which must be stored in plastic bottles that are visible in a clear, one-quart-size Ziploc bag. There is a limit of one plastic bag per passenger; therefore the so-called 3-1-1 rule. But why bother? Hotels provide shampoo and soap. Just pack one-time-use products like antibacterial wipes and pouches of sun block.
Get into labels
OK, so you’ve tried, but just can’t seem to get it all into one bag. Not the worst thing: Just properly label your checked luggage with a sturdy bag tag that includes your name and your cellphone and hotel phone numbers, and place a business card inside your suitcase. So, even if the tag gets damaged, the airline still has a way to contact you. Know your destination’s airport code and make sure it is the one on your routing tag at check-in.