There is nothing worse than losing your luggage after a long flight. The last thing you want to do is spend more time at the airport and you don’t want your vacation to be ruined because you won’t have various items you need that you packed in the checked luggage.
You should do whatever you can to help prevent your luggage from being lost or unavailable for too long. Here are a few tips:
If possible, pack all of your electronics in your carry-on bag. Electronics can look suspicious during luggage inspections and delay the luggage from being placed on the airplane. If you do pack electronics in your checked luggage, place them all in a single quart-sized resealable bag so the inspector does not have to rummage through the luggage to inspect everything and delay the bag from reaching the airplane.
You should write out your itinerary including your final destination, your hotel and a phone number the airline can reach you out and place it on top of your clothing and other items in your luggage. This could help expedite the process of the luggage being delivered to you if it isn’t available at the airport after the flight.
#3. RIGHT ON TIME
Some travelers like to arrive at the airport very early before a flight and complete their check-in and the TSA security checkpoints to relax before boarding the airplane. The problem here is that you do not want to check your bag too long before the flight. The longer a piece of luggage sits around, the greater the chance it gets lost or forgotten. I recommend you do not check your luggage any earlier than 90 minutes before the flight.
Of course, the best way to avoid losing luggage is to only pack carry-on bags. If it is at all possible to avoid checking baggage, I recommend it. Find carry-on policies here.
There are four ways an airline will allow your pet to travel:
Smaller pets are allowed to travel in the cabin for some airlines if you place your pet in an airline compliant carry-on carrier. You will need to place the carrier under the seat in front of you and the carrier will count as one piece of carry-on luggage for you.
This is my favorite option if the airline allows it but it is only applicable for smaller pets.
If the airline won’t allow pets in the cabin or if your pet is too large for the cabin, you will need to put your pet in a carrier and check your pet. Your pet will then travel in the cargo bay of the airplane. This is 100% safe for your pet but it might scare your pet to be alone in the cargo bay for several hours.
If you are not traveling but your pet is, you will need to register your pet and the carrier as manifest cargo. Your pet will not be allowed to travel in the cabin and will need to travel as cargo for the duration of the flight.
If you suffer from a condition that requires you to have a service animal by your side at all times, most airlines will accommodate this need. Your service pet will be allowed to travel in the cabin with you and your pet will not count towards your carry-on items either.
I recommend you research each airline and call their customer service for information on their policies for traveling with pets. You might have to pay more for your airline travel to find an airline that accommodates your pet best but it might be worth it to you in order to comfortably bring your pet along for the journey.
Learn air travel policies and airplane rules for liquids here.
It isn’t very easy to pack liquids for a weekend trip anymore. That is because new travel restrictions will not allow you to pack several ounces of liquid in a carry-on bag or suitcase.
This is a larger problem for women than men since we have to travel with shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, body lotions and several cosmetic products. You will also need to consider contact solution if you wear contact lenses.
You can travel with liquids that are 3.4 ounces or more if you purchase them after you pass through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) lines or if you pack them in the bags you check.
But for shorter trips, it can be more convenient to just bring one or two carry-on bags and you don’t want to spend extra money at the shops in the terminal because prices are very high.
Here are the liquid rules for airplanes:
You are allowed to pack some liquids in your carry-on luggage. But there are restrictions. You are allowed to bring 3.4 oz containers of liquid. You can bring as many of these containers that will fit in a 1 quart-sized resealable bag.
You can purchase 3.4 oz containers from retail stores like Target or Walmart or on Amazon. You then need to consolidate liquids from a larger container into the smaller 3.4 oz. container.
Once all of your cosmetic products and liquids are each in their own 3.4 oz plastic container, you need to place each one into a quart-sized plastic bag. A larger sandwich bag from the grocery store is perfect for this.
Then when you enter the TSA lines you need to place the quart-sized bag containing all of your liquids into its own bin so that the security personnel can inspect it through checkpoint security.
There are some exceptions to the rule. Medication is one exemption. The medication will need to be screened first and once it passes it will be allowed. Another exemption is breast milk for infants and newborns traveling with you. The breast milk will also need to be screened but it will be allowed once it passes the screening.
For containers of liquid larger than 3.4 ounces, you need to pack them in your checked luggage.