Don’t be a target for thieves.

Don’t bring a purse. Purses are a distraction for the carrier and a target for pick-pockets. Instead, use a money belt secured under clothing for cash, passports, IDs, and credit cards, and carry a small pouch pack attached to your hip or shoulder strap for personal day-to-day items like small amounts of medication, reading glasses, and lip balm, etc. Men, leave your wallets at home; take what is needed and keep it in a money belt under your clothing. Thieves look for an easy mark and will focus on the tourist with a bulging wallet flopping around a back pocket or a lady swinging a purse around. Simply eliminate the issue.


Carry at least $80 to 100 in small bills, ones, and fives for tips, water, etc.

Believe it or not, money changing can be the cheapest right at the airport, so scout out the currency exchanges in the terminal before you head out. Plus, crazy as it seems, the hotels are frequently out of money! So get it while you can.

Bring no expensive jewelry. Instead, take cheap but attractive pieces that can afford to be lost.

Pack lightly

Plan to hand wash some clothing halfway during the trip. Choose clothing articles that are lightweight and quick drying. Plan the entire wardrobe before packing everything so that all pieces go with everything else. Have a central theme to the wardrobe using a neutral color: black, brown, navy, or grey. Choose one or two accessories that spice up an outfit for evenings out, like a colorful, glittery scarf or a metallic belt with some “bling.” Finally, lay everything out on a bed for easy coordination.

Wear the bulkiest items on the plane: long pants, walking shoes with socks, jackets, and long sleeves. This strategy keeps a traveler comfortable during the trip and saves space in the luggage for lighter items.

All those who have scrimped and saved, planned for years, and finally booked that dream trip only to have luggage lost on the first day – live and learn. Couples traveling together can work as a team.

Take three pieces of luggage.

1. Take one personal item bag, not a purse, but used as a purse just for the flight, something like a beach bag or backpack. Later, this can be used to go to the beach or carry water bottles. In addition, I hold travel documents, books, games, glasses, pair of socks, a toothbrush, and a sleep pillow – just items to help make the airline flight more enjoyable.

2. Pack 3-4 days of important clothing in a regulation-size carry-on luggage piece. Most airlines have a 22-inch limit, and some might have weight caps too. One should think: These clothes would be sufficient for the trip if the unthinkable happens and a checked bag gets lost. Also, the camera and extra copies of important paperwork like passport, ID, credit/debit card, medications, and copy of travel insurance should be packed here and the bag stored in the airplane overhead bin.

A good traveler is an efficient packer but is prepared for all contingencies. Many countries have different cultural and religious traditions than the traveler’s home, so stores can be closed at unexpected times and days. Pack these 3-ounce portions of anti-biotics, Pepto-Bismol, Zicam, or other cold shortening otc product, hand sanitizer, headache pain remedy, bandages, sunscreen, and a packet of laundry soap or extra shampoo for hand washing clothes in the carry-on bag.

3. Check the third bag. It contains all the less critical clothing items and accessories. For example, it might contain dress clothes and shoes, bulky items, and pieces only worn a few times for special occasions.

Bon Voyage!