Learning handy packing tips

Plane Overhead

Who doesn’t love anything that helps to make traveling go more smoothly? It often has to do with packing for a flight, at which I’m still a newcomer. I don’t have a seat booked to fly anywhere again for the time being; maybe next spring to Los Angeles. In the meantime, however, I recently learned some great tips at a travel packing event held by The Container Store.

Before the demonstration started, I was looking at various cross-body bags to use for upcoming summer day-trips. Ever since I went to Ireland, I’ve been using a small backpack designed to prevent its material from being cut. It also blocked RDIF to protect information on a passport and credit cards. A hook kept zippers secure as a final safety measure. An overall useful backpack for travel, but I needed a different style bag. On the website of one recent event I wanted to attend, there was a rule prohibiting backpacks. So it was the perfect time to a get a something else with the same protective features.

While trying to decide on a new cross-body, the store worker was telling us and another customer about the identity-theft deterrent. After learning more about that, I’m definitely sticking only to bags that are built to keep travelers‘ personal information and items safe. In the end, it came down to two bags and the one I chose had this cool anti-theft element:

Bag Locks

What I like is that it allows securing the bag to a chair next to me when sitting down at a restaurant table.

Shortly after, with a blue carry-on sitting open on the demonstration counter, the store worker finished setting up and customers gathered around. He built up a neatly folded pile of clothes and stored them into a compression cube set. Zipping each cube closed, he shrunk the contents down a great deal. One woman who said she travels a lot added that she uses the cubes to store clothes by what kind they are: casual, dressy, etc.

A hanging toiletry kit folded down and fit nicely into the luggage. Other useful packing items included a bag for shoes, another compression cube for undergarments and a Ziploc no-vacuum-needed space bag. Finally, the carry-on was packed and ready for a hypothetical flight and week-long vacation.

The Container Store had a sale on travel items coming to and end that day. So although my initial purpose for going there was to get a cross-body bag and check out the packing tips, I also bought several Eagle Creek pack-it system items:

  • Compression Cube Set
  • Wallaby Toiletry Kit
  • RFID Blocker Neck Wallet


  • Ziploc Space Bag (2 in a pack)
  • Loqi Suitcase Cover

I remember waiting for my checked bag at Dublin Airport and again back at PHL; it took a while each time. At DUB, mine and another girl’s from the group turned up at another baggage claim. When everyone else had their bags, we both started to get nervous until finally, we spotted ours. At the latter, there were a few other luggage pieces in shades of blue similar to my suitcase color. Now, next time I fly, I’ll have a more unique look to my luggage.

The carry-on used in the demonstration looked smaller than the one I took with me to Ireland. That made it all the more amazing just how much could be packed away into it with the cubes! I wondered if I could’ve traveled abroad with only my carry-on and small backpack. Well, I can test that out filling up only one suitcase when I go on a bus trip to Connecticut and Rhode Island in a few months. I’m excited for that because I’ve never been to either one and it’s been quite a while since my last first-time visit to any state. I won’t know for sure about going to California until sometime during my spring semester, since it’s an academic opportunity.

Travel Bags

Next time there’s a sale at The Container Store, I’ll have to pick up some more items for upcoming trips. Their merchandise covers a wide range of traveler needs and the packing tips demonstration was definitely helpful to me as a newbie to major travel.

Do you have any particular items help to make your packing easier and more organized? What are some of your favorite travel and packing tips?

About caroldwyer

A freelance photographer and blogger, I'm also a non-traditional graduate of Cabrini College with a B.A. in communication, minor in English and concentration in film studies. As a student, I was a staff writer, photographer and copy editor for the Loquitur. In my final semester, I assisted in promoting campus literary events for Woodcrest Literary Magazine. I love travel, historic places, nature, wildlife and the arts. I hope to be involved in some way with one of those areas throughout my media career. Currently, I'm pursuing my M.F.A. in creative writing and publishing. Read my film blog at http://cdwyerfilminspired.wordpress.com - and my literary blog at http://cdwyerbookishgrad.wordpress.com
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