Packing Your Luggage
Beyond sleep, not only would it be a good idea to pack well ahead of when you leave for the airport, but also to check that what you’re packing is acceptable under Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) guidelines. The TSA provides a list of what can and cannot be brought with you in your baggage here. Looking up this list before you pack can save you and airport employees all sorts of trouble when you get to the airport. After all, it’d be a pain to get in security after you’ve given the bags you want to check to the airline and find out that the 3.5 oz of toothpaste, water, or drinks that you brought with you in your carryon has to be thrown out since it’s above the 3.4 oz limit. And of course, the earlier you pack, the less stress you’ll have the day of trying to get everything put together in time to get to the airport.
Also, if you haven’t flown before, you should learn about the way baggage is classified and figure out what you will want to take. Airlines divide luggage into three different categories, checked, unchecked, and personal items. Checked items are items that are stored in the cargo bay of the aircraft, unchecked items are kept with you during the flight, and a personal thing is something like a purse or a laptop that you can keep on your person during the trip. On a personal level, the main differences between these categories are size and cost. Checked luggage is larger than unchecked baggage, which is larger than a personal item; however, depending on the airline, a fee might be applied to check bags.
So before you pack, check to see whether checked baggage is complimentary or not and decide whether or not you want to check any of your luggage. Also, since whether an airline will allow luggage to be unchecked or not is based off of both size and weight, before going to the airport if you’re unsure whether your unchecked luggage is within the weight limit, take the time to weigh your luggage to ensure that you won’t be hit with additional fees if your unchecked baggage weighs enough to necessitate that it be checked.