How to pack like a pro when traveling


by Mia Gradney / KHOU 11 News

Posted on July 10, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Updated Friday, Jul 27 at 4:21 PM

HOUSTON—Everyone has their own method when it comes to packing their bags whether they are traveling for business or pleasure.

“I take lots of little things and put all the little things together and then pile on the shoes,” says traveler Kaia Sam at Hobby Airport.   One bag for one week is how she handles it.
Others like Jefferson Parker prefer a minimalist approach.  He packs as little as possible toting only one carry-on bag.  He may be on to something.  Traveling light could easily save a family of four up to $200 roundtrip.  Most airlines now charge a fee for checked-bags.
“I was already trying to think about what I could take out if it’s over 50 lbs. that I can shove into my purse or my daughter’s backpacks,” said mother of two and traveler Lisa Tarr.  “But it all worked out ok.”
More people are squeezing their belongings into fewer bags, but it’s how they are making it all fit that could be flawed.  Stacy Huxtable folds everything flat and puts it all in her bags. Folded clothes work well inside dresser drawers, but not inside a suitcase.  Rolled your garments—similar to military style – fits better into the spaces of your bag than folded ones do.
Limiting toiletries and appliances can prove helpful, too.  Most hotels will supply them for free.  If you’re bunking with a family member instead of paying for a night’s stay at an Inn you can use theirs as well, just like the Watkins family.
If you forget toiletries no need to grow concerned, most hotels will supply them for free.  Hair dryers come standard at hotels too, or if you’re like the Watkins family you can borrow or use grandma’s.
“If we forget something or need it we can buy it. We’re staying with family,” says Dave Watkins, father of two.  “We have access to washers, dryers; stuff like that.” 
For most women some articles of clothing and accessories are harder to leave home than others.
“I have about eight pairs of shoes in my bag,” said Lily Sartor. “You have to take the shoes.” Shoes act as great holders for other smaller garments like t-shirts and underwear that can be rolled.  
Flight attendants also recommend packing shoes first then adding clothes in order of heaviest to lightest.  The order makes it easier for the items to compress when the suitcase closes. Not only will you save money on your bags, but you’ll save time getting through security and checking in.