What’s in Your Bag? Hilton hospitality pros share essential packing tips Breaking Travel News
PACKING for a vacation can be stressful—especially when you don’t really know what the plans are or how fickle the weather will be.
Although it seems easier to just shove a huge pile of clothes in a check-in bag, most of us hate waiting for the luggage to come out once we’ve landed and often panic that it won’t even arrive.
A travel expert named Chelsea Dickenson, who goes by @cheapholidayexpert, revealed her favorite hack that allows you to bring more onboard without checking in a bag.
She said her hack is “lower risk” than the one she’s seen on TikTok where users stuff clothes in a large pillow that they carry with them on board.
Although that trick is a good one, you never know if the flight attendant will make you leave behind the pillow you’re holding.
Instead, Chelsea turned to her neck pillow, which you typically wear as you board.
The idea came to her when she noticed the zipper on the neck pillow and decided to open it up.
“There’s the memory foam—goodbye sunshine!” she said while tossing out the fluffy insert.
She proceeded to stuff the neck pillow with a few pairs of bras and underwear, a pair of tights, a beanie, leggings, and a t shirt.
“So much room honestly!”
She zipped it shut and then placed it around her neck like she always would.
In a follow-up video, she revealed that her hack did indeed work.
Viewers loved the idea:
“Bonus—now you have a change of clothes in case your suitcase goes AWOL!” one person wrote.
“I’m so doing this,” added another.
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A STUDENT has left viewers stunned after showing how she packs everything for her holidays into a tiny backpack.
TikTok user Kate Hux shared the video on her social media account.
She added the caption “when it says £4.99, I’m making sure it stays £4.99!”, referencing Ryanair’s cheap £4.99 flights.
In the viral clip, she can be seen packing all of the travel essentials into a small beige backpack, in a bid to avoid paying for extra luggage.
Kate begins by measuring the backpack to make sure there won’t be any surprise charges at the airport.
Once happy that the bag fits the airline’s luggage size chart, she begins to lay out all the items needed on her bed.
Kate packs bulkier items like shoes and a spare handbag at the base of the bag, before adding swimwear, shoes, jewellery and toiletries.
Rolling clothes up to maximise available space in the backpack, Kate adds a hairbrush and electrical items before zipping up the backpack.
One viewer commented: “Girl, I take more than that to work.”
Another put: “Me and my spare 15 pairs of pants could never.”
A third said: “At first i was like ‘no way she’s gonna do it’, and then you proceeded to prove me wrong.”
A travel packing expert has revealed the magic ratio for holidays – and the maximum number of shoes to take.
And an Emirates cabin crew member recently revealed her top five tips for packing a suitcase.
On May 4, the rest of New Jersey gets to do what my Hudson County neighbors and I have been doing since 2019 — going cold turkey on our single-use, plastic grocery bag addiction.
Both Jersey City and Hoboken instituted municipal plastic bag bans in 2019, and Hoboken strengthened its policy in 2020. Since I live in one of those cities and shop in both, I’ve been living with a bag ban for three years now.
With a big plastic department store bag at home, overflowing with other plastic bags, I welcomed it. Even reusing the plastic grocery bags for trash disposal still left me with a hefty (get it?) surplus. There are new routines to get into, but you can benefit from my bag ban “beta-testing.”
Buy plenty of reusable bags
I’m single and I have a dozen plastic and cloth reusable grocery bags and one insulated bag in my collection. It allows me enough bags to rotate them between the car and home without getting caught in a bag shortage. This should give you an idea of what you need or want.
Try different types of reusable bags
Different bags have a variety of carrying capability. The most common, big heavy plastic shopping bag styles are the cargo haulers, able to swallow bulky and heavy items and carry a lot. Cloth bags seem to work best as back-ups.
My two prized bags are older Whole Foods cloth bags that are a pain to pack, but the shape prevents small cans (such as the many cans of cat food I buy) from getting loose in the car. You also can buy tiny cloth fold-up bags and net bags that fit in your pocket, work bag or pocketbook for that sudden unanticipated store stop on the way home.
Not all bags are equal. I’ve had hybrid bags made from cloth and plastic fibers that tore or disintegrated, and I avoid buying them.
Supermarkets offer various types of bags that are reasonably priced, which is where I’ve bought mine. I’d recommend testing different type of bags out early, before May 4.
ABC (Always Be Carrying)
This new, sometimes annoying habit you’ll have to get into is returning the bags to your vehicle after bringing a load of groceries home. It’s a delicate balance of shopping terror. I try to have enough bags in the car for two grocery runs, plus a couple of backup bags.
Sturdy, heavy, plastic department-store shopping bags also are good choices to keep in the car as back-ups to your back-up bags.
I try to put the reusables from the last grocery trip into one bag and leave them at the front door as a reminder to put them in the car. Since there is a supermarket within walking distance, I try to balance my stock between the bags I leave at home for walking/biking trips and the ones I keep in my car.
Always bring more
I can’t stress this enough. If you think four bags will be enough, bring five. I call it the just-in-case bag. A couple of unanticipated 2-for-1 sales can fill the bags quickly. There have been a few terrifying trips when I left that spare bag in the car and regretted it.
Cloth bags are the best for this, since they compact in the bigger bag if unneeded, and you can use the last of your old pre-ban plastic grocery bags as an emergency overflow bag. (Yes, just because plastic bags will be banned at the register, doesn’t mean you can’t bring and use the ones you have).
Prep your bag for the heavies
The better reusable plastic bags come with a piece of thicker plastic on the bottom to help provide support for heavy items. Without one, the bag bottom sags in the middle and scrapes the sidewalk.
If your bag didn’t come with one, or the plastic piece is too thin to support the load, cut a piece of cardboard from all those Amazon delivery boxes to fit the bottom of your bag. The extra support is especially important if you walk to and from the supermarket and helps when walking from the store to the car.
Get insulated for summer
Similar to a trip to the beach, you’ll need an insulated bag when the weather gets hot for your cold and frozen groceries.
I say this with a caveat: If you have a short ride between the store and home, you can live without one, except for melty groceries such as ice cream. If you’re stopping to shop in the middle of your commute and still face a 30-minute drive, you might want to consider buying an insulated bag and an ice pack. I use an ice pack only on the hottest of days.
I have a cheat code when I forget the insulated bag, which has been successful, as in no food poisoning. Load all your cold and frozen groceries in the same bag (or bags) for the trip home. Divide the load so you have some frozen items and cold in the same bag. You’re using the frozen items as an ice pack to keep the cold stuff from getting warm.
Bag up smartly
I had to learn to pack these bags so all the heavy stuff isn’t in one bag for the sake of my arms and the bag. A half dozen big cans of tomato sauce may fit into a big heavy plastic shopping bag, but that doesn’t mean you should do it.
Luckily, I haven’t tested the weight capacity of the big plastic reusables. And I don’t want to learn the hard way by having one break. So I divide my heavy items between bags and fill it in with lighter items.
You also need to isolate breakables in glass containers or produce in light, but very crushable plastic containers and carefully pack items sensitive to cold or bruising (I’m looking at you, bananas).
Your laundry has a new friend. Cloth bags need to be periodically washed, especially after hauling leaky groceries, such as poultry. I throw them in with other laundry and let them air dry. Cleaning them also extends their life.
Plastic bags can be cleaned as needed with a wet wipe. Your other new chore? Toss the receipts that cluster in the bottom of the bag.
What I hate about the ban
OK, this is my place to vent. I’m totally on board with using reusable bags, and carrying them quickly becomes a habit.
One annoying aspect is the loss of those single-use bags as small trash bags or dog doo bags. For years, I’ve had to sneak into the suburbs to buy groceries just so I can get a load of free plastic grocery bags. They’ve been my secret stash that lines my kitchen trash can.
Now, when the statewide ban hits, I and people like me, will likely have to buy small trash bags — which will get one use before they go to the landfill, unlike my plastic grocery bags that got a double shot at being useful
What will be my workaround? That’s to be determined.
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Larry Higgs may be reached at email@example.com.
Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
Travel stocks fall as Omicron spurs mass flight cancellations for fourth day
Shares of U.S. airlines and other travel-related companies fell on Monday as rising Omicron cases and weather-related problems forced the cancellation of hundreds more flights, leaving travelers stranded across the country during the holidays. Over 1,000 flights were canceled within, into, or out of the United States on Monday, data from flight-tracking website FlightAware.com showed. Globally, more than 2,600 flights were scrapped.
Exclusive-California commission claims retailers violating plastic bag law
Big retailers are breaking California law and misleading consumers by selling plastic shopping bags bearing language and symbols that falsely suggest the bags can be recycled, a state-appointed commission alleged this month. The group has asked California to force retailers to strip these bags of the ubiquitous “chasing arrows” logo and the words “recycle” and “recyclable,” Reuters has learned. If successful, that move could make the sacks ineligible for sale at checkout counters throughout America’s most populous state. The commission also is taking aim at padded envelopes and packaging materials used for home delivery, and plastic films on some grocery items.
President Joe Biden on Monday pledged to ease a shortage of COVID-19 tests as the Omicron variant threatened to overwhelm hospitals and stifle travel plans as it spreads across the United States this holiday week. “Seeing how tough it was for some folks to get a test this weekend shows that we have more work to do,” Biden said as he joined a call with the administration’s COVID-19 response team and state governors. “It’s clearly not enough.”
Jury to resume deliberations in Ghislaine Maxwell sex abuse trial
The jury in British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex abuse trial was due to reconvene on Tuesday, following three full days of deliberations in which jurors have reviewed testimony from four women who said Maxwell set them up for abuse. Maxwell, 60, is accused of recruiting and grooming the four women to have sexual encounters with the late financier Jeffrey Epstein when they were teenagers. Over a three-week trial, jurors heard emotional and explicit testimony from the women, three of whom said Maxwell herself touched their nude bodies.
Fauci says U.S. should consider domestic flight vaccine mandate; more planes grounded
Rising COVID-19 cases, along with bad weather, caused airlines to cancel more than 1,000 flights on Monday, and the spread of the Omicron variant prompted the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert to suggest the government consider mandating vaccines for domestic flights. Monday’s travel woes marked a fourth day of flight cancellations, capping a glum Christmas weekend for thousands of passengers who were left waiting in airport queues and on customer service phone lines to re-book flights.
Kentucky death toll from Dec 10 tornadoes climbs to 77
The official death toll in Kentucky from a swarm of devastating tornadoes that struck the state on Dec. 10 has climbed to 77, with an infant in hard-hit Graves County counted as the latest fatality, Governor Andy Beshear said on Monday. Reuters had previously reported at least 74 people perished, a dozen of them children, in Kentucky, and 14 were killed elsewhere in tornadoes that raked a five-state region, including one twister that plowed a 227-mile (365-km) path of destruction through western Kentucky.
Analysis-With key positions filling up, Biden’s regulatory agenda to take shape in 2022
Next year will be a turning point for U.S. financial policy as Democratic President Joe Biden’s new regulators ready a slew of rule changes that are set to create headaches for Wall Street and corporate America. A year into his administration, Biden’s top financial regulatory team is finally taking shape. Over the next 12 months, his picks are set to reverse the former Trump administration’s light touch, taking a tough stance on Wall Street and new players entering the financial sector.
Los Angeles police video shows chaos moments before fatal shooting of 14-year-old girl
Body-camera video released on Monday showed the chaotic, violent moments leading to the fatal Los Angeles police shooting of an assault suspect in a clothing store, and of a 14-year-old girl caught in the line of fire while hiding inside a dressing room. The stray bullet that pierced the fitting-room wall, killing the girl, is believed to have come from the gun of the police officer seen firing three rifle shots at the suspect, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said in posting the video.
Gunman kills four in Denver-area shooting spree before he is killed by police
A lone gunman shot four people to death and wounded three, including a police officer, on Monday in a Denver-area shooting spree that unfolded at several locations and ended with police killing the suspect, authorities said. Investigators have yet to determine a motive for the rampage, which began around 5 p.m. when the gunman shot and killed two women and wounded a man near downtown Denver, Police Chief Paul Pazen said a news briefing.
U.S. President Biden signs $770 billion defense bill
U.S. President Joe Biden signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, for fiscal year 2022, which authorizes $770 billion in defense spending, the White House said on Monday. Earlier this month, the Senate and the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly for the defense bill with strong support from both Democrats and Republicans for the annual legislation setting policy for the Department of Defense.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
FREE flight upgrades are the kind of thing that only seem to happen to other people.
But one frequent flyer has shared an easy tip that might boost your chances of getting bumped up.
Raghavan Usha Giriraj shared his advice on question-and-answer site Quora.
His tip is to arrive at the airport early – something every dad is already doing – and to ask for an upgrade at the check-in desk.
He said: “Your flight may only have one or two upgrade places available, so maximise your chances of bagging them by rocking up at check-in way before the scheduled departure.
“One of my friends got to Heathrow Airport far too early, but at least there was no queue.
“The check-in lady told him that they had a spare seat in business class and since he was the first to arrive he could have it for free.
“He graciously accepted it.”
Raghavan went on to advise passengers that they are more likely to bag an upgrade if they travel on a flight that is not very full.
He continued: “Possibilities of getting your ticket upgraded would be less if you decided to travel on busiest days because flights might not have spare seats.
“So, book your flight on bank holidays and at other times of the year when business users are less likely to fly.”
An ex-British Airways steward has shared some more tips for getting upgraded to first class for free.
Dressing smartly, doing research and being flexible are all things you can do to help increase your chances of getting an upgrade.
Flight attendants have revealed how some passengers make it into first class on a plane without paying for it.
And here’s the one way you’re guaranteed to get a plane ticket upgrade, according to travel experts.
Cabin crew spend a significant percentage of their time travelling, so it is no surprise they are experts when it comes to luggage restrictions and packing. According to one flight attendant, though, there is a “simple” method that holidaymakers can use to ensure they stay “organised”.
Flight attendant Kat Kamalani shared her insights on TikTok, explaining that she always makes use of labels when travelling.
However, to boost organisation, she recommends using different colours.
“If you’re travelling soon you’ve got to try my simple packing tip I do every flight,” Ms Kamalani said.
Over the years, the royals have been seen travelling with labels in shades of red, green, yellow and blue.
To an onlooker, this rainbow of luggage tags may mean absolutely nothing, however, they have a distinct meaning for royal staff.
According to insiders, these labels actually dictate not only whom the bag belongs to, but also where it is destined for.
Queen Elizabeth’s luggage, for example, is often tagged with a yellow label that simply reads “The Queen”.
Often, a second tag is also assigned to bags to dictate where the luggage should be transported.
If the second label is blue, this means the bag should be loaded into the aircraft cabin.
A green secondary tag means the bag is to be sent to a hotel.
A yellow label, on the other hand, means a tag is heading to a private residence.
A residence tag is normally needed if they are visiting someone at their home, or if an official in the destination has opened up their home for the royals to stay in.
Holidays. I spend plenty of time thinking, plotting and reminiscing about them.
While my small family hasn’t felt sure enough to take the plunge for an overseas jaunt yet when rules allow, we have booked five UK trips in the days after Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined plans to end the full lockdown.
Essentially, self-contained holiday lets have been good to go since 12 April, and all other accommodation from 17 May.
Last weekend, we stayed in a delightful cottage in Camber, five minutes from the beach and a five minute drive to the history and quaint town of Rye. It was pure bliss getting away from what has essentially been my home-slash-office for the last 12 months for three nights.
Capital fantastic: My young daughter is currently obsessed by transport and I have planned a whole day around buses, tubes, cable car, train and boat – and bagged a great hotel deal
While that wasn’t what I would label a bargain, two of the city breaks we have on the cards definitely are – London and Cambridge. In fact, the deals were so reasonable we booked quickly in case it was a website error.
Either side of that, we’re staying on Osea Island on a converted American school bus next month and then a week-long stint in North Norfolk in July.
These trips aren’t me boasting, but rather hammering home the point that there is so much adventure to be had in beautiful Britain, and perhaps a pause in the diet of cheap package holidays will be good for the UK economy.
Holidaying at home as a family has plenty of pros – namely, you can throw everything into the car without worrying about cramming it into a suitcase.
One trend seems clear – while rural location holiday prices seem steep, city prices are extremely cheap.
My two-and-a-half year old daughter has been asking to go to London for some time, after we had a great day trip their last summer as ‘tourists.’
My wife and I have worked there for most of our lives, and also lived there for a fair chunk too, but just enjoying it at a relaxing pace is an entirely different experience.
Meanwhile, Cambridge is a gorgeous city we’ve visited twice before, but we’re heading back thanks to an incredibly low rate as I’ll explain shortly.
This week, Consumer Trends asks: Could this be the best year to get a luxury UK city break in the bag?
Good punt: Cities like Cambridge have some bargain hotel prices at the moment – all you have to do is hunt them down
A metric dönüm presidential suite for £160? Sold!
Shortly after the lockdown ‘roadmap’ was announced, we decided to hunt down a hotel in London on a Friday in late May, once the restrictions for hotel accommodation lifted.
Some of the prices were incredibly low compared to what you would expect. In the end, we booked a four star Kensington hotel for £110.
Hotel Week London
‘There has never been a better time to visit and explore one of the greatest cities on earth,’ so says the website for Hotel Week London.
Between 28 May and 6 June 2021, it is offering discounted rates with the aim ‘of enticing Londoners and British travellers to explore London once again,’ suggesting luxury hotels maybe struggling to attract custom.
Most of the offers actually run until the end of June – and it could be worth getting a gauge of prices on there, before booking directly.
But not just any room – an executive suite, roughly 500sqm, a blessing when you’ve got a young child who will crash by 7.30pm and the parents still want to enjoy the evening.
However, shortly after we booked, we were emailed by the hotel directly and asked if we wanted to upgrade to its presidential suite, double the size, for an extra £50.
Almost a metric dönüm of space in one of the notoriously most expensive cities in the world for that price was too good to turn down.
Not only do we get the room, but complimentary alcohol between 6.30pm and 8pm, and breakfast.
It’s not just London. Earlier in the week, a hotel deal hit us through a targeted Instagram advert for Cambridge.
My wife, who used to work in the hotel business, says Cambridge is nearly as expensive on the whole for good hotels as London, thanks to the university and international visitors, alongside strong business links and Stansted near-by.
For a Friday night, we snagged a deluxe family room at a four-star hotel for £109, again with breakfast. We booked both of these directly after researching ratings and reviews on popular booking websites.
It is likely that a drop in international visitors and UK ‘staycationers’ wanting to go to Cornwall, the Lake District or the coast has helped us bag cheap city rates.
Mega cheap: Edinburgh is a beautiful city and has hotel prices on the cheap for the coming months
City prices up to 27% cheaper in May and June
According to exclusive statistics for the Consumer Trends column, Kayak says prices for city hotels have tumbled for next month and June. For example, in Edinburgh for next month, prices are typically 27 per cent lower.
Robin Chiang, general manager for Kayak EMEA, said: ‘When looking at travel from mid-May onwards this year, our latest data shows that average hotel prices across major UK cities such as London, Edinburgh, and Glasgow are approximately 15 per cent lower when compared to 2019.’
It, along with a number of other booking websites and hotels directly, is offering flexible rates with free changes and cancellations.
|City||Median price for travel after 17 May 2021||Median price for travel after 17 May 2019||% change in price May 2021 compared to May 2019|
|City||Median price for travel after 21 June 2021||Median price for travel after 21 June 2019||% change in price June 2021 compared to June 2019|
|*Median prices for one night at 0-5 star rated hotels based on searches made on Kayak.co.uk between 21 March and 21 April 2021, compared to 21 March and 21 April 2019, for travel after 17 May 2021 and 21 June 2021. Prices may vary and cannot be guaranteed.|
Meanwhile, research from Booking.com shows coastal breaks are likely to be the most sought after domestic option this summer.
In fact, more than one in five say a relaxing beach or spa trip will be the first type of trip they take when it’s safe to do so, whilst just 5 per cent say a city break is a priority.
‘We know from our research this will especially apply to places such as Newquay and St Ives,’ says Ryan Pearson, regional manager at Booking.com.
He adds: ‘Some Britons are still looking to their favourite cities and our data shows that some of the most-searched for city break destinations for summer include Bath, York and Brighton.
‘After a challenging period for the travel industry, there’s no denying that people are eager to get out and explore again.’
More than a quarter of Britons have already booked a staycation, and a further 53 per cent are planning on booking one, spending an average of £353 per person, equating to a £9.8billion injection across the UK as a whole, according to data from American Express.
The top four locations for planned staycations according to the credit card firm are Wales, Lake District, Cornwall and the Scottish Highlands. Not a city in sight.
Haggling for a bargain
I think city breaks are great, whether that is UK or abroad. My wife and I like to try and bag a bargain, and often research on the popular booking websites, then approach the hotel directly for upgrades or price reductions.
It doesn’t always work, but is worth a shot. If you do go down this route, make sure you have read the terms and conditions about cancellation properly.
We also keep dates flexible, aiming for a handful to find the cheapest rate as possible that works for us – although, that is a difficult trick to repeat if you have children in or school or work commitments that don’t allow.
Keep your eyes skimmed for flash sales on social media networks like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and play around with some of the filters on the booking websites.
Additionally, if it allows, we often book extremely last minute – sometimes even on the day. Find the price on a booking website, then call the hotel directly and ask what its cheapest price is.
Don’t feel like you’re taking advantage doing this – think about it more in the way that you’ll be filling an otherwise empty room.
On 6 May 2021, my soon-to-be-released book Never Go Broke reveals another top travel tip: paying for your flights by taking an empty suitcase away with you (when overseas travel is back on the cards).
How? Well I can’t give that way, but it’s far easier than you think. Wherever you end up going on a break in the coming months if you do, have fun, create memories and support as many local businesses as you can.
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