Joel Widzer (Travel Strategist) gives expert video advice on: What are the biggest mistakes people make when packing?; Does a new trip mean I should buy a new wardrobe?; What items should I leave at home when I travel? and more...
What are the biggest mistakes people make when packing?
I think one of the biggest mistakes that people do is they over pack. I think the best strategy is really to think hard about what you need. And then, maybe eliminate some things after you think about what you need. And a lot of times you find out when you get to your destination that you feel like you need all of these things for your vacation or for that business meeting, but very often you only use maybe half of what you packed. So really think about, 'Okay, what are the essential items that I need? What socks do I need, what type of t-shirts do I need? What type of other items do I need?'. And then maybe think if you can eliminate anything from that list. Because the key is really trying to pack lightly and having just enough of what you need.
Does a new trip mean I should buy a new wardrobe?
When you're going on a trip, it can be a lot of fun to buy a new wardrobe, but if you're someone who travels frequently, that can get kind of expensive. So I think it really depends. If you're taking a leisure trip, maybe it's a honeymoon or an anniversary or celebrating some significant event, and you're going to go out for a special dinner, then it's really fun to have a new outfit. Or you can even buy an outfit at the destination that might be sort of in line with the character. Maybe you're going to Asia, so you might want something with an Asian flair. But typically if you're taking a shorter trip or a business trip, you might not need a whole new outfit. Maybe a new tie. Maybe if you're going on a business meeting and you want to feel confident, maybe you can have a new tie or maybe a new scarf, if you're a female.
What items should I leave at home when I travel?
When you're traveling, you should think about what items that you really need. There are some items that you probably should leave at home. For instance, your fancy jewelry, you might not want to have that on the road because that can make you prone to losing it or even getting robbed. And then also you probably don't need all of your credit cards. A lot of times, I'll take one or two credit cards for what I just need on my trip. And then your identification, you certainly don't need to take your social security card with you. You don't need to take all your identification, maybe have your passport or your driver's license. And some of the other things that you might want to leave at home are your keys. What I typically do, if I have my car at the airport, I'll just have my car key with me. And I'll put my house keys in my car. So think about what you really need and leave those valuable items at home.
What items do most people generally forget to pack?
Its funny that most people typically forget things like their toothbrush, maybe their hair comb, their brush, their deodorant and what some good news is, is that a lot of hotels will provide that for you. For instance, if you forget that you can ask at the front desk and they'll usually have a little amenity kit with those items. I forgot my toothbrush so many times on so many trips and fortunately either they have a little shop where you can buy it or they provide you with that type of item, and also you can purchase it at some of the gift shops within airports if you do forget it. So, what I like to do is I like to make sure I write those things down on a piece of paper and sort of lay them out in advance so I remember to have my toiletries.
Can my checked luggage be locked and secure?
You can lock your checked luggage and what they have now is, they have T.S.A. type of locks, which means that the T.S.A. has a master lock to open up your luggage to check it. But typically, what's happening is, a lot of times they're just being broken off, that the T.S.A. officials are not really using their key - they're just breaking them off. So, it's not really that secure and in a lot of instances, I think that people are just as well, not having their bags locked. Because typically when you do check in your bag, it's going to be gone through, the T.S.A. will look at it. So, if you have a lock and they tear it off, you lose that lock and you lose the money ($15) and also, you're not really providing yourself that much security.
What's the secret to getting through airport security easily?
One of the best things to do is to have things organized. What I do, is when I have my bags, I have everything organized and I have everything ready to go so I pull out my computer, if I have that, and I have that in a separate bin, I put my shoes in a separate bin, and I just slide my bags through. One of the things I make sure that I don't have in my bags are any type of liquids. Liquids are one of the key areas of concern these days for TSA, so if you can avoid liquids, for instance: a lot of times you don't need to bring shampoo, because your hotels will have that and a lot of hotels these days have designer-type shampoo or they have these high-end spa type of shampoos, so they're actually good quality. So I just avoid bringing those, I rely on the hotels to provide good quality shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, and that's really going to help you ease yourself through TSA.