Joys of a carry-on vacation

Lower airfares, a strong U.S. dollar, lower gas prices, and increased consumer confidence have spurred record travel this summer. The Automobile Club of Southern California’s Alhambra branch assists vacationers with many details of their trip: research and planning, passport photos, international driving permits, itineraries, booking, and travel insurance. And for those who don’t want to be burdened with extra weight on the go, Auto Club travel agents recommend the “carry-on strategy.”

“This strategy does require some planning ahead,” said Jacqueline Garcia, manager of the Auto Club’s Alhambra branch. But benefits include ease of movement between stops, reduced or eliminated baggage fees, and easier luggage storage in tight spaces.

Veteran travelers Elizabeth Harryman and Paul Lasley, who write the TravelSmart column for Westways magazine, have several tips to ensure vacationers can fit everything they need in carry-on suitcases, even on a long trip:

  • Color-coordinate your wardrobe so you can bring just one jacket, which you can wear on the plane, one or two everyday pants, one dressy skirt or pair of pants, and workout gear if needed. That also eliminates the need to bring several pairs of shoes to match outfits.
  • Select clothes with fabrics that are washable and wrinkle-resistant so you can launder on the road if needed and not spend much time ironing.
  • Use scarves and jewelry to dress up and change the look of your outfits.
  • Roll your clothes to pack them instead of folding, using a piece of tissue paper for each big clothing piece. This minimizes wrinkles.
  • Pack a light sweater, even if traveling in summer, because air conditioning can make some areas too cold.
  • Pack shoes in a shoebag to keep clothes clean, and use shoe cavities to pack a small jewelry or accessory bag.
  • To follow the Transportation Security Administration’s 3-1-1 rule for liquids, consider purchasing toiletries at your destination if you need amounts beyond the 3.4-ounce limits.

 Traveling with carry-on luggage doesn’t have to mean skimping on comfort while on the plane. Harryman and Lasley pack an “in-flight bag” they pull out of their carry-on before stowing it that contains sleep masks, earplugs, cell phone or electronic music player and earbuds, mini flashlight, and antiseptic wipes.

 They also recommend bringing: 

  • A travel umbrella.
  • For foreign trips, an unlocked GSM cell phone that can be used with a sim card you can purchase at your destination country.
  • A power strip for plugging in and charging electronics.

The Auto Club’s Alhambra branch staff of travel agents is available to assist both members and non-members with planning their next vacations. Visit the branch any time at 401 E. Main St., or phone ahead for a travel appointment at 626-289-4491.


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May 2018


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