I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m unorganized by nature. Knowing this, I really work at being organized. I am, however, very frugal by nature, so it has become very easy to be extremely organized when packing for a trip involving airline travel. I do NOT want to pay the baggage fees, if at all possible.
A few weeks back I wrote about my struggle using a duffle bag as a carryon, and the need to invest in a good piece of luggage (www.femme-de-finesse.com/bags_got_to_go/). The carryon I purchased is great and holds a LOT! My *finesse travel rule is to pack everything I NEED first, then add the other items in order of importance. I was able to easily pack for my four day trip to Alaska with room to spare. I was even able to pack my hair dryer and bring home souvenirs!
A word of caution regarding the size of carryon luggage. During a layover, I watched one airline repeatedly tell passenger after passenger that their carryon didn’t fit their specifications. Before investing in a carryon, check the specifications of the airline you use most frequently. And understand that while your luggage may meet those specifications, those measurements may not include the outside pockets bulging, or the zippered expansions.
Most airlines allow one carryon plus a personal item such as a purse or computer case. I purchased a computer case that can double as a purse at Ross for about $20 (OK, it’s a large purse, but I’ve seen ladies carry larger). I purchased this particular one because of a good-sized zippered pocket on the outside, which could hold my boarding pass and identification. It also has several slots inside to hold my credit cards and a zippered pocket to hold travel receipts, lip balm, comb, etc. The padded side holds my laptop easily and safely, while the other side is larger enough to hold the plastic bag of liquids I need to show TSA agents, as well as any snacks I might want to take on the flight.
On my trip home, I arrived at the airport one hour before boarding. Not recommended, but Fairbanks is a pretty small airport, so I figured I would make my flight easily. As I approached the TSA agent in the security area, they were calling for those on my flight to move forward in line so they could make the flight. Maybe I cut it a little too close, but because I was organized, I was able to breeze through security and sit for a few moments before boarding. Now that’s what I call *finesse!
*finesse (skill, flair, grace elegance, poise, assurance)