What To Pack There And Back
By Sherryll Sobie
Ready to fly out the door for your next FAM? Not so fast. You may want to take a moment to review our checklists to make sure you've got everything, and that everything is in its place.
Carry On Bag
Ask yourself: Which items are absolutely essential to access en route should my checked luggage go MIA?
- Travel documents: valid passport and necessary visas
- Cash: local and destination currencies in small denominations
- Itinerary: contact information for your destination host(s) and arrival transportation company
- Toiletries: toothbrush and paste (or try space-saving Brush-Ups, a small box of waterless textured teeth wipes), plus eye drops, lip balm, tissues, hand sanitizer and moisturizer
- Snack and/or beverage purchased after clearing security
- Ear plugs or sound dampening headphones: to rest-up if you're not all flying together, otherwise use travel time to network
- Electronics: BlackBerry/cell phone, camera (video or still), laptop, MP3 player
- Chargers and batteries: see sidebar for directives
- Eyewear: prescription glasses or contact lenses and sunglasses
- Medications and personal care items
- Valuables (jewelry)
- Socks: warm feet on flights and for protection through airport security
- Pashmina: stylish seasonal transitions, or use as an in-flight blanket
- Emergency change of clothes and undergarments
Items should reflect a mini version of what you use on a daily basis at work and at home. Review your itinerary and the local weather forecast before you depart.
- Business cards, pens, notebook, thank-you cards, list of destination questions
- A selection of layerable business casual separates to mix and match in complementary or like colours.
- Evening wear for hosted receptions and dinners
- Itinerary- or destination-specific clothing and footwear: sports, swimming or winter attire
- Comfortable walking shoes and one+ pair of formal shoes, (pack breakables in your shoes for added protection)
- Undergarments: one+ pair per day, two bras per week (one black, one skin-tone)
- Seasonable outerwear: jacket, rain gear, hat, gloves
- Other toiletries: body and hair products, hair brush/comb, curling/straightening iron, shaving kit, feminine items, stain remover
- Small first aid kit: bandages, headache tablets, tweezers
- Seasonable items: sunscreen, bug spray, etc
- Accessories to dress up a look: jewelry, belt
- A travel purse or clutch
- Workout gear (if you're so inclined and the schedule permits)
- Foldable extra carry-on bag for take-away items: CDs, info packages, small gifts
- Sentimental items: travel candle, personal photos
Good To Know Before You Go
- Duty Free and Personal Exemptions. Before departure, consult your home country's border protection agency website for rules on what you're allowed to bring back, whether it was purchased or received as a gift.
- Size + Weight. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (www.faa.gov), the maximum total size of a carry-on bag for most airlines is 45 linear inches. Weight restrictions vary; contact your air carrier.
- 3-1-1 Rule. You may pack 3.4 ounce bottles or less (by volume), in a 1 quart-sized, clear plastic zip-top bag, per 1 passenger. The one-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring, and the 3.4 oz. container size is a security measure.
- Photographic Equipment. You may carry one bag of photographic equipment, plus one carry-on, and one personal item. Note: The additional carry-on item is at your air carrier's discretion, check prior to arriving at the airport. [FAA screening equipment will not affect digital cameras and electronic image storage cards].
- Spare Lithium Batteries. Pack in carry-on luggage. Keep batteries in the original packaging to prevent unintentional short-circuiting. If loose, place (black electrical) tape across battery contacts, and put each one in a separate bag. Note: Lithium batteries installed in electronic devices will be allowed, provided the device is switched "off' and placed in a protective case.
- Restrictions: Number of pieces and weight. Your airline will specify how many free-of-charge bags are allowable, after which they will either restrict additional luggage or charge for it. Weight limits are determined by the air carrier; contact them for details.
- Locks. The Transportation Security Administration (www.tsa.gov) has worked with several companies to develop locks that can be opened by security officers using universal "master" keys. These locks, which are identifiable by a TSA logo on the packaging, are available at airports and travel stores, as well as the following TSA-approved websites: www.travelsentry.org or www.safeskieslocks.com.