FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 11, 2006 Brampton, Ontario - OK, so the rules governing travel changed overnight. There is no sense in letting the sweeping new luggage restrictions ruin your annual vacation. Staff at international airports around the world are doing their best to devise new regulations and lists of restricted items in an effort to protect travelers. Give them a break as they try to cope with their new responsibilities.
Professional Organizer Karen Sencich, owner of Havoc to Harmony, recommends that travelers develop a process to deal with the changing restrictions and carry on with their plans. A little advance planning at home may make things smoother at the airport. She shares tips for travelers to consider during these changing times so that they can be prepared for additional restrictions once they reach the airport.
Check the Transport Canada website http://www.tc.gc.ca/ for the latest updates before leaving for the airport. They are doing a terrific job of keeping the public informed.
Packing Restricted Items
Liquids have been banned from onboard carry on luggage but can still be packed into checked luggage. Assume that banned liquids and gels can be interpreted to include stick deodorants, lipgloss, hot/cold gel packs for pain relief or even gel filled teething rings and other items not specifically listed. Save yourself the hassle of having to repack at the airport by finding alternate ways to pack all grooming aids and toiletries.
We used to carry on grooming aids due to fear of liquids seeping into our checked luggage. Purchase leak proof containers such as the "Nalgene" brand that inhibits bacteria growth and decant your favourite grooming products into these travel sized containers. They are available at organizing stores. Ensure that the twist on caps are secured on any liquids you pack.
Enclose anything that could spill or leak in a zip-lock bag for added protection or to further immobilize these products try a "Pack-Mate" bag to vacuum seal everything in an airtight package. It takes up less space.
Personal Security Measures
Electronic gadgets such as cell phones, I-pods and laptops are currently on the restricted lists at many non-Canadian airports. As a precaution, ensure that your files have been recently backed up and carry hardcopy list of important contact information with you. Also carry your laptop in a properly padded carrying case in the event that it must be checked at the last minute.
Carry extra luggage locks or several sturdy cable ties to secure checked baggage. Check with your airline carrier for any restrictions to locked luggage.
Develop a plan for securing important documents such as ID, passport and travelers cheques. One travel solution is a safe pouch that can be worn around the waist or neck.
Carry an extra key chain for your house keys in the event that your car keys with electronic remote device might have been added to the restricted list in your absence.
Delays at the airport won't be a problem if you manage your time wisely. Allow extra "wiggle" room in your schedule by arriving at the airport early. This will be especially important for business travelers used to carrying on all of their baggage.
Dress everyone in slip on shoes instead of lace ups in order to get through the security check quicker.
Fill up on food and drinks before going through security. Determine if there are any snack items that can be carried onto the plane.
Bring along activities to keep your family busy while you wait: reading material, word search or Suduko puzzles and small toys.
Avoid the stress response to these new restrictions. Keep in mind that what we lose in convenience and comfort we gain in added security. Smile at harried ticket agents and security personnel. Your travel plans might have had a wrinkle added but their job descriptions changed over night and they deserve some sympathy.
Karen Sencich - Professional Organizer
Owner of Havoc to Harmony
Cell phone - 416-930-3340
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Tackle it Now Tip
Pack and Go
Now that winter is winding down, many families are planning a spring get away. The key to a relaxing get away is to pack effectively. A personal packing list simplifies the packing process.
- Buy sturdy, lightweight suitcases on wheels, ones that nest together for easy storage.
- Invest in luggage straps to securely strap smaller luggage onto bigger rolling pieces.
- Pack only what you can comfortably carry and lift by yourself.
- There is lots of walking through airports, so wear your most comfortable shoes (remember that you'll have to take them off to go through security).
- Dress in layers for comfort on the plane.
- Plastic compression bags are the best new invention for compact packing. Vacuum pack or roll wrinkle-proof items like underwear, bathing suits, bulky sweaters or socks. Coming home, use the bags to compress dirty laundry to make room to pack souvenirs.
- Pack a roomy, waterproof tote or backpack for necessary carry on items, ID, tickets and mini sized cosmetics. You can use it again as a beach bag or when sightseeing.
- Carry personal prescriptions with you at all times. Include motion sickness remedies available in pills, patch or a magnetic bracelet.
- Remember that you can only carry on a total of 100 ml. of liquids, stored in a see through zip lock baggie. Obtain current international luggage restrictions regarding carrying fluids at www.tc.gc.ca . Also check with your airline for their specific baggage weight regulations and charges since the rules frequently change.
- Have a friend or family member drive you to the airport so you can leave winter wear in the car until you return from the sun. No sense lugging the extra weight of bulky coats.
SAFETY & SECURITY
- Label identification tags using a work address and cell phone number in case luggage is misplaced. (For security reasons never use your home address.)
- On bus tours and cruises luggage is often left unsupervised, so invest in good quality locks.
- Will a safe be available in your room? This may determine whether you travel with real or costume jewellery.
- Don't take a bulky wallet, instead pare down to the essentials: license, health card, ATM and charge cards.
- Code your cell phone with an ICE number (In Case of Emergency contact)
- Pack a flashlight or nightlight to navigate in dark, unfamiliar places
- Check if your destination or cruise ship has a dress code in effect requiring dress jackets and ties for men. When sightseeing find out if there are clothing restrictions, i.e. shorts may not be appropriate in some locations and women may have to cover their heads to enter a church. Be prepared with a pashmina that can double as a scarf or evening shawl.
- Begin with the "Classic Packing Rule of Nine"
- 3 bottoms (skirts, slacks or shorts)
- 4 tops (shirt, blouse, T-shirt, shell or tank top)
- 2 jackets (one weatherproof windbreaker and a jacket, blazer or cardigan)
- Mix and match outfits starting with coordinating classic colours: black, navy, white, and then add bright contrasts. Accessorize to glamorize using belts, scarves, or shawls for a burst of colour. A dressy cardigan with a bit of glitter can dress up any outfit for evening.
- Plan double duty items - an oversize shirt can double as a bathing suit cover or a housecoat.
- Pack one pair of dressy, low heeled sandals
- Pack flip flops instead of slippers and tuck them into your backpack for comfortable sightseeing when your feet tire of walking shoes.
Professional Organizer Karen Sencich is owner of Havoc to Harmony. www.havoctoharmony.com