These days when we travel, we often add more electronic equipment than is mentioned in guides, like a tablet, small computer, e-book (Kindle or whatever), as well as phone and camera. All these seem to need chargers and often power points are minimal in hotels and B&Bs, even friends' homes.
On a recent trip I bought a small four plug extension cord and made a roll up bag (like a jewellery roll) out of patchwork cottons to carry it and all the chargers I need. Going overseas I add whatever international plug(s) I need and can then charge several gadgets at once. It's compact and keeps all the cords and chargers in one place, simplifies packing and enables my husband and I to keep all our "essential" gadgets charged and ready to use.
It's been so useful I now use it when I go anywhere overnight or longer. The design depends on what you use and need - you'll need enough fabric for a back, front and pockets. I made one long pocket at one end to hold the extension cord and two levels of pockets alongside (out of one strip of fabric, stitched at the relevant intervals), each measured to fit the particular chargers I have, with space for cords. I used a light sew in interfacing and bound the edges, putting a flat cord on the outside centre back, which ties the whole into a roll. -- Jennifer B.
When I pack things with cords (curling irons, hair dryers, chargers, etc.) I fold the cord up and slip it into an empty toilet paper roll. It works great!! -- Shawna A.
I've found that often, when traveling, checked baggage is left out on the tarmac and gets wet while waiting to be loaded or unloaded. Most suitcases aren't completely waterproof, so for added protection for my most important fabrics/clothes/etc., I wrap them in plastic bags to be sure they arrive dry and undamaged. -- Holly Y.
I just came back from Copper Canyon in Mexico. The good news: we had a blast. The bad news: our luggage didn't join us until the afternoon of our third day. The more planes you need to change, the more likely it will be your luggage won't make it. Did I pack anything into my carry on bag? Of course not. I had an airplane pillow (though handy in some of the hotel rooms, it was not very fluffy), famine food, books to read and a very small makeup bag that included only my contact case, eyeglasses (thank goodness!) and hand lotion. Not very practical to live out of for 2 nights and 2 days! Luckily, my sister-in-law traveled a bit heavier. She had a spare toothbrush, toothpaste (she is a dentist and even had dental floss), and a spare pair of socks. I did a lot of rinsing in the evenings. With no luggage, it was amazing how easy it was to get ready in the morning and to move around without anything holding me down.
All of us had to rethink what we would bring as carry-on items in the future. The biggest upset was we had our cameras, but the chargers were in the suitcases. Those will now go into my carry-on. Though I did charge up both of my batteries before we left, I promptly put both batteries into my suitcase instead of putting one back into my camera. That was a purely dumb move on my part! -- Lynn W.
I have been traveling by air for over 30 years and have not lost a piece of luggage yet because I fly with only one medium-sized piece of luggage and a carry-on. That's it. I mark my luggage with a luggage tag with my home address, and I tie a small piece of very strange piece of cloth on the handle. Place a tag on the inside of the luggage with your home address and tape it securely. Be on time, be on time, be on time! Don't expect your luggage to be there if you are getting there late. And don't expect your luggage to be at the pick up if you stop to have lunch and chat with a couple of friends. Ladies, for goodness sake, pay attention to what is going on around you. You can use your cell phone when you get home or your destination. -- Gail K.
Pack bottles of water (inside a gallon sized Ziploc freezer bag for extra protection) in your luggage. Sure, you can buy bottled water anywhere, but you can get it at a discount store before the trip a lot cheaper than most places. Then you have the water available and, as you use it up, you gain space in your suitcase for souvenirs and also have large sized Ziploc bags available for other things. -- Linda E.
Sometimes I have to take along glass or breakable things, either cosmetics or medicine. I make little padded travel bags out of ordinary bubble wrap. I cut them to the size I need, leaving an extra amount for a flap to tuck in the top. I then fold one end up (to where I want the flap to begin) making a pocket/pouch and stitch the two sides with a long basting stitch. I also trim the flap sides down slightly so it will tuck inside the top of the bag. This is great for my liquid makeup bottles, small perfume bottles, etc. -- Linda E.
Use a mesh lingerie/sweater bag to keep certain packed items together in your suitcase. Its texture makes it easy to find in the case and the items are kept together for the move to a drawer and later back to the suitcase. Also the bag can be used as a laundry bag and you’ll know you have everything when you're done. -- L. Luebcke
When traveling to tropical destinations, a lot of women end up with chafed skin under their breasts where the bra rubs and perspires. To avoid this, take dry stick deodorant (Mitchum is excellent) with you and always apply under your breasts before you put your bra on. You'll be amazed at how well this works! Do not use a "wet" roll-on deodorant as it will add to the problem. -- Teena H.