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Spring Break Travel Tips: What’s in Your Bag?


Being an Employee in the airline industry should make me an expert packer, but judging by number of times I’ve had to pack and repack my bags to make everything fit just right, I’m far from that. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect, and sometimes a few tips friends or the internet can help. There are so many possibilities with travel and countless variables involved in preparing for a trip! What you pack for this week’s trip might not suffice for the next. My 17-day trip to Europe years ago stands as the longest trip I’ve taken, and I am proud to have traveled with only one carryon. I certainly learned a lot and below are several tips that will hopefully help you with your next big adventure. 


Packing List

  • What to wear on the plane:
    • Shirt with a cardigan or jacket
    • Pair of jeans
    • Comfortable shoes
    • Hat or scarf (optional)Graphic 2.JPG


  • What to pack in your carryon:
    • Five shirts (one for a nicer outing)
    • One pair of shorts
    • Extra pair of pants or shorts
    • Extra pair of comfortable shoes
    • Undergarments (enough for one week)
    • Two items for layering (tank top or extra layer)
    • Seasonal item as necessary (warm coat or rain jacket)
    • Bathing suit
    • That one item you absolutely can’t live without
    • Any necessary electronics and cords
    • Toiletries and laundry detergent pods


Graphic 1.JPG


Tips From SWA Travel Experts

  • “All your clothes should be interchangeable. Pick a neutral shade and pack things that will complement each other. I usually choose black, gray, and maroon. Make an initial clothing pile, then cut it in half. You can re-wear garmets, but it depends on where you’re traveling. I only bring one swimsuit, but I bring two pairs of jeans for two weeks depending on the weather. Wear your bulkiest shoes—sneakers or boots—and then pack another pair that matches everything.” —CS&S Post Production Support Analyst Kelsey Richerson


  • “As a military spouse, I have tried to minimize during my coast-to-coast travels. Ziplock bags are my friend, black and gray clothing are staples for me, and I toss in some color with tank tops or t-shirts for layering.” —DEN Flight Attendant Kim Colombero


  • “Until I had to learn how to pack for week-long trips in a carryon for work, I had never been the best at packing. I turned to YouTube and discovered ranger rolling techniques used by the Army. If you’re looking for ways to fit more than planned into a bag, I highly recommend looking it up!” —Culture Services Specialist Craig Wright


  • “Laundry pellets are a must.” —BWI Flight Attendant Tony Nichols


  • “Count your valuables and things you absolutely don’t want to forget and remember that number. For example, 1) cell phone, 2) ID, 3) wallet, 4) camera, 5) cardigan. Anytime you leave somewhere—the TSA checkpoint or the hotel for example, all you have to do is count one, two, three, four, and five, to ensure you have your most important items. This technique helps me make sure I don’t leave my cardigan at a restaurant or my phone at the security screening.” —Marketing Analyst Harold Page


Connections & Cleaning

There are a variety of items on the market today to help you launder on the go. Laundry detergent pods are an easy and light addition to your suitcase. Making time to do laundry can be key in streamlining your packing list and ensuring your clothes can last longer than five days. Take it up a notch from the good ‘ole rinse in the sink by bringing along a few laundry pods— packing a plastic bag to prevent detergent from accidentally getting all over your clean clothes. Seek out a local laundromat once you arrive or use your favorite travel recommendation site to research ahead of time.


My father, HOU Freight Agent David Boren, and I circa 2010 waiting outside a local laundromat in Cinque Terre, Italy.My father, HOU Freight Agent David Boren, and I circa 2010 waiting outside a local laundromat in Cinque Terre, Italy.Mid-way through my 17-day European adventure, we stopped at a local laundromat in Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy. This was vital, because we were traveling in the summer months, and I was curious as to how myself and the passengers around me would survive a lengthy flight home. Our visit at the laundromat proved to be more than worthwhile! We met several locals who gave us invaluable restaurant tips and quite a few Americans who were backpacking their way through their bucket list. The laundromat was a hub of buzzing information and warm exchanges on past and present adventures—with WiFi being an added bonus. I learned a lot about local culture and things to do, all while cleaning my clothes!