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Packing like a pro: Pack simply, pack lightly, pack tightly

Get your priorities straight and keep the weather at your destination in mind

  • By Marina Makary, Special to Gulf News
  • Published: 13:14 May 23, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • From a flight attendant’s point of view, packing should only take a few minutes if you’re well organised and neat.

Dubai: As much as many of us enjoy travelling, we all hate the uneasy feeling we get as soon as we think of the packing process. Packing is always a hassle — unless you decide to pack like an cabin crew.

Flight attendants spend a much as eight months away from home every year, yet always manage to be neat and travel like the professionals they are. And there are a few basic things to remember when it comes to packing for your travels.

A very common mistake is gathering all your clothes and deciding to take them all, so as to not forget anything. Instead, determine your priorities depending on what your plan for the trip is — and, of course, the weather at your destination.

From a flight attendant’s point of view, packing should only take a few minutes if you’re well organised and neat.

Yoon Choi, who has been working for seven years for Emirates Airlines, said: “My best tip on packing is to be simple. Always check the weather, decide what you need, and take only those.”

Uneunyoung Jin, another hostess at Emirates emphasised the importance of having dividers in your luggage bags.

“You need to have sections in your suitcase so your cosmetics and other breakable items wouldn’t break on the flight,” she told Gulf News. “It also makes your packing quicker and lets you know where to keep everything.”

“Regarding the size limit, I only face problems on my way back because we tend to buy a lot at our destination,” she said.

Generally, people’s main concern is fragile items. But clothing serves as a wonderful source of padding on its own — so if you do have a fragile item or two, you can pack it inside or in between your clothing to avoid any damage.

And if you’re worried about shampoos, soaps, and other items that can cause leakage and keep you frustrated throughout your trip, you have the option of using a simple, separate zip-lock bag that would also save space in the suitcase.

It is commonly said that planning makes perfect, and Sung uses that strategy in her packing process.

“My process is make a plan of what you will do on your trip, place everything neatly folded in your suitcase, take a minute to think of what’s missing, and lastly, close your bag tightly,” she said.

Samuel El Katsha, duty station manager at Air France KLM at Dubai international Airport, highlighted that using carry-ons is more efficient than having your bags checked in — simply because with a carry on, you can exit the airport immediately after passport control. On the other hand, for checked bags, you’d have to wait for no less than 20 minutes.

A small reminder like this could also help before travelling: You are going on a trip, not moving house.

Pack simply, pack lightly, pack tightly.

­Marina Makary is an intern at Gulf News

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