Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, putting a little planning into your packing can go a long way. If your idea of packing is simply chucking your stuff into a suitcase and hoping for the best, it can cost you dearly. Here are some of the most expensive packing mistakes you may be making. /travel/photos/the-costliest-packing-mistakes/ 17621
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1. Packing at the last minute
If you leave packing for the last minute, you’re bound to forget something important while packing things you won’t need. Plan ahead, make a packing list and leave enough time to get what you need before your trip, so you won’t have to buy things at higher prices at the airport.
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2. Not researching your destination
It’s great to know what the tourist attractions are at your destination but you also need to research the little details. What’s the weather forecast for the time you’ll be there? What kind of plugs, sockets and voltage do they use? Knowing these things beforehand will help you avoid some nasty surprises at your destination.
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3. Packing inappropriate clothes
It’s obvious that you should pack clothes that will be appropriate for the weather at your destination and for the type of activities you’ll be enjoying but many people make the mistake of not packing clothes that are culturally inappropriate too. Research your destination and if you’re still not sure, err on the side of modesty, otherwise you may end up having to buy a scarf to layer on once you get there.
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4. Not packing the right chargers and adapters
Your gadgets will be useless on your trip if you can’t charge them. Pack the right chargers along with your phone, laptop or whatever other electronic device you’re taking and, if you’re travelling internationally, remember to invest in an adapter so you can actually plug in your charger at your destination.
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5. Packing too much
There are two main risks to packing so much that your suitcase won’t close easily. One is that you may be charged for overweight luggage and the other is that an overstuffed suitcase is more prone to breaking.
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6. Packing prohibited items in your carry-on
Before you pack your carry-on, check what you’re allowed to bring. Items that will probably be confiscated at the security checkpoint include standard-sized toiletries, nail clippers and sharp objects but regulations vary in different countries. Now that's just a waste of money.
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7. Packing liquids unprotected
When you pack any kind of liquid, put it in a sealable plastic bag or a secure toiletry bag. For extra peace of mind, you can put your other luggage in plastic bags too. This way, when pressure changes in the aircraft cause lids to pop open or cans to leak, the rest of your stuff will be protected - no dry cleaning required.
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8. Not protecting fragile items
Your luggage will take some knocks during your trip, so wrap any fragile items in bulky clothing and pack them in the middle of your suitcase to cushion the impact. If you’re taking a musical instrument, pack it securely in a hard case unless you want to find out which airlines break guitars.
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9. Packing too many shoes
Shoes not only take up a lot of space in your luggage but they are heavy too and can easily make your luggage overweight. At most, you’ll need a pair of comfortable walking shoes, flip flops or sandals and a dressier pair of shoes for business meetings or more formal events.
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10. Packing too much jewellery
Jewellery takes up space and can get tangled in your luggage. Worse, wearing too much flashy jewellery will make you a target for muggers, and can be super expensive to replace.
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11. Trying to pack everything into your carry-on
It’s tempting to pack too much in your carry-on in case your luggage gets lost. However, these days most airlines have weight and size limits on carry-on bags too, and you could be charged extra if your bag exceeds these limits.
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12. Packing valuables in your checked luggage
Even if you have locks on the bags you’re checking, things may get stolen or damaged. Pack your valuable items and electronics in your carry-on so you can keep an eye on them.
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13. Packing dirty clothes with clean clothes
If you pack your dirty clothes with your clean clothes, you’ll end up with a suitcase full of smelly clothes and nothing to wear. Keep your dirty clothes in a laundry bag until you can have them washed. Throw in a scented fabric softener sheet to help mask the stink.
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14. Not packing fix-its
There’s a good chance that at some stage during your travels you’ll sustain a minor injury, a piece of clothing will tear or a button will pop off. Pack a few small and simple fix-its, such as a basic first-aid kit, a travel sewing kit and a roll of duct tape, so you can easily repair items instead of buying new ones.
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15. Not packing snacks
Travel can make you hungry but buying extra snacks or meals along the way can really cut into your budget. Prepare some extra snacks at home and keep them in your carry-on but remember that most airlines won’t allow liquid-like foods such as yogurt or soup.
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16. Not packing the right currency
Once you arrive at your destination, you’ll need cash for things like taxis. If you arrive outside of business hours, you might not be able to exchange currency – and you won’t get the best rates at airports anyway – so change a bit of currency beforehand and have some US dollars ready for an emergency.
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17. Packing mostly new clothes
You may get to your destination only to find your new wardrobe isn’t fitting as comfortably as you thought it would. Instead of wasting money on an all-new wardrobe that you won’t wear or that will get damaged within days, pack some old clothes that you’re not too attached to. Also, break in new shoes before your trip.
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18. Not leaving space for souvenirs
There are many ways to get souvenirs home, including mailing them or sending them as extra luggage. However, the cheapest way is to pack them in your regular luggage, so be sure to have enough space for them.
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19. Not having copies of important documents
If you lose your passport or other important documents, it can cost you dearly in terms of money and time to have them replaced. Make digital copies of your important documents and store them online so you can access them quickly and easily if you need to.
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20. Not checking that you have the most important things
There’s nothing worse than arriving at the airport on time, only to have to rush home again to get your passport. Before you leave for the airport, check and then double check that you have your money, bank cards, passport and other travel documents. And then check again!