I will begin a three part series on packing today and continue until Tuesday August 14, the day before I leave for Japan. The first thing you should do is go to the airline’s website and see what their restrictions on luggage are; how many carry-on or checked baggage you may have, the maximum dimensions and weight allowed, etc. For an example I am going to be flying by ways of American Airlines, here is their page for baggage information. For my flight the maximum requirements are as listed:

  • One (1) carry-on piece of luggage
    • No more than 45 in/114 cm (length + width + height)
    • Maximum weight of 40 lbs/18 kgs
  • Two (2) checked pieces of luggage
    • No more than 62 in/157 cm (length +width + height)
    • Maximum weight of 50 lbs/ 23 kgs

After you have the information on the limits allowed for your baggage find pieces of luggage that best fit those specifications, maybe a few in’s/cm’s smaller just to cover for a little bit of overfilling, if that were to happen. After you have your specifications it’s time to plan the packing. Yes, you read correctly, plan the packing. Let me explain what I mean by this.

When planning your packing, what you are doing is narrowing down what you will need to pack for your trip. I base my packing around a few key specifications:

  • How long will I be staying?
  • How available are replacement items?
  • What will I need?
  • What else can I fit that I want?

Once I know the best items to fit those questions then I start packing. Hold that thought because the next part in our three part series will continue where we are leaving off, until then!

The Art of Packing, Part I
The Art of Packing, Part II
The Art of Packing, Part III

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