We travel all over the world. A lot.
And we’ve experienced a few travel horrors along the way. But we’ve learned from them and today I’ll share some of the travel tips that help protect us from travel complications.
Lost luggage? Prevent panic with packing redundancies
We’ve both had our luggage delayed or lost. To ensure we have clothes, underwear and necessities should our luggage not arrive, we split our individual packing into four piles. Each pile has complete outfits, including underwear. One pile of clothes go in each carryon: one with my husband’s clothes and another of mine.
Our checked bags contain the same kind of split. That way, any one bag can stray and we will still have clothes for at least a couple of days. I learned this the hard way when I got to Italy 25 years ago and my bag didn’t. My lost bag had all my underwear and clothes. NEVER AGAIN!
And yes, we check a bag. Or two. Especially if we’re going to colder climates. Oh, and did I say we use Air Tags to track our luggage, in case any go astray? Just pop them into the zippered compartment of each suitcase.
Of course, we always carry medications and must-haves in our personal bags that stay with us all the time.
Passports and how to cope with the possibility of losing them
We do keep photos of our passports on our phones. But also: We copy our passports and again, put the copies in our “personal item” bags. We also give copies to a trusted friend at home. Because you never know. The same with our Global Entry cards.
Identification of various kinds.
So far we’ve mentioned passports and GOES cards.
Driver’s licenses are another form of ID we sometimes carry and keep separately on us or in a carryon. If a wallet or passport is stolen, we still have photo ID of some kind. Redundancy of photo ID is always a good idea.
Each of us brings two different credit cards, so if one goes bad we have others. If a wallet gets stolen, the other person has two cards. I keep them in RFID sleeves to help prevent my data being hijacked.
Oh and be sure to notify your credit card companies and banks that you are traveling and which countries.
This year I’m using an RFID wallet to block any nefarious readers. It’s small; I really need a bigger one that will fit my passport, too. Next time.
First, notify your banks of your travel plans.
We do bring cash and we split it between us. We also bring two ATM cards. A few years ago an ATM in France actually ate Michael’s card and it was after hours. Good thing we had another to get cash elsewhere. And of course, you can always draw cash from a credit card.
I have many beautiful leather satchels and totes. Many.
But I don’t travel with them because they are much heavier than fabric satchels and totes. As far as I am concerned, the lighter the bag, the better. Easier to carry and to maneuver. My carryons add as little weight as possible.
Plus, to be honest, airplanes and airports are dirty. I am not going to bring a gorgeous leather tote just to set it on some dirty floor.
I feel the same way about our luggage. We buy luggage for its durability and its light weight. And spinnable wheels. You can have your big branded LV luggage. I’ll take my much cheaper, lightweight bags any day. We do not want to be lugging heavy bags around Europe or Africa.
So those are the basics that keep us from luggage panic when we travel.
What would you add to this list?
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