For those of you who have ever flown, you know what a bother airport preparation can be. First of all, you have to decide on everything you’ll need/want for x-amount of days all ahead of time. I never can do that very well and end up with an odd combination of everything. Secondly, you have to meet airport regulations. Thirdly, you have to pack as though you could lose your checked baggage. I can’t help you pack and then go to the airport with you whenever you need to travel – sorry – but hopefully I can make the process a little easier for you.
How? I’ve blundered through more than enough airports, learning or watching travel buddies learn the hard way. I guess the travel-learning process has been like a blessing and a curse for me. So how exactly can I help you? I can help you get through the airport a little faster by being more prepared than I ever was when I first started traveling!
First – packing your carry on bag. Choose a cute but sensible bag that fits carry-on dimensions. Dimensions may vary by company, but think small overall – backpack or overnight-tote sized. You want a bag that you can carry easily and not have to fight to get into an overhead compartment. This bag needs to hold anything you can’t check – essentially anything that you can’t lose but need to take, things that you can’t go without if your checked luggage were to get lost. Here is what I pack –
- My medication. No way I can go without that! I always make sure it has the prescription on the medicine container itself so that there is no question as to what it is and that it belongs to me.
- A light change of clothes, just in case my checked luggage goes m.i.a.
- A small mirror, hairbrush, and toothbrush.
- Makeup that fits size and storage regulations.
- My wallet, of course.
- Something to do on the flight – book, iPod, etc.
- Chargers for electronics.
The one that held me up when I started to fly and that seems to be the hangup at the checkpoints is makeup or other liquids. The airports make it super easy with their “3-1-1″ guidelines – liquids/gels can be in 3.4oz containers (or smaller), in a 1-qt clear plastic bag that zips shut, and 1 such bag per traveller that you can toss in the screening bins. This is a safety precaution, so appreciate it instead of grumbling about it. Better safe than sorry, so don’t be a whiner. Besides, you want to be prepared. One, you don’t want to lose expensive beauty products. Two, you don’t want to be that person who gets their sh*t emptied out because they couldn’t follow directions. How do I know? The first time I flew alone, I was that person. I didn’t realize my liquid foundation and primer counted as liquids, plus I didn’t put my contact solution in a bag. I don’t even think my liquids bag was the right size. I was only traveling with a carry-on, so it had everything I needed in it. One of the security guys pulled my bag and guess what? My thongs and bras were out and about for everyone to see while the security guy checked through my liquid containers. And I was holding up the process, so I was getting all kinds of looks from other passengers. Embarrassing! But I feel better knowing that my undies are getting tossed out of my bag because agents are being thorough at their job.
It’s easy to pack your makeup. Ready? Lay it out with your bag. Check ounces on your bottles. Don’t be a diva – you don’t really need your entire beauty shelf to come with you on vacation.
Urban Decay made this nifty little bag that fits TSA regulations for size, and it’s cuter than a Ziplock bag, which is what I always used. Thanks UD! Don’t think this can fit? Pssh, you novice.
See, you can do it. The only liquids I don’t have in there are contact solution and a toothpaste. I’d probably toss brushes in a side pocket of my bag to get that extra room.
Ok, last piece of advice. Dress properly. You don’t know what the temperature will be on the flight or when you land, so you’ll probably want layers. You’ll be sitting on your rumpus for a flight – if it’s a long flight, you probably don’t want to be in jeans. However, this is no excuse for looking like a slob. Wear snug clothes if you’re comfortable with it so that security doesn’t think you’re hiding something. Wear layers, but not until you’re waiting to board. How? Pack a cardigan in your carry-on to put on once you’re through security. Wear shoes you can slip on and off to be checked. Wear your hair down so that it’s clear you’ve got nothing in it (some people stick sharp objects in their buns to hold them in place – don’t do that at an airport!). Travel is no excuse to look like a slob. I usually wear something along the lines of leggings, a semi-fitted tunic-type top, and ballet flats. Minimal makeup with my hair down and a hair-tie on my wrist. Cardi in my bag in case the plane is chilly. When I first traveled overseas, I broke all the dress rules and got thoroughly frisked at every airport. I got tired of people I didn’t know touching me and learned how to dress the right way so I stopped getting frisked and stopped holding up lines.
Now you can travel like a seasoned pro and not hold up security – no excuses! Questions? Feel free to ask :)