Betty Thesky

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One of my favorite packing tips is to go through my closet and pick out things I never wear. Maybe it's not the best fit, or it's slightly faded, or I just never wear it. I pack these items for my trip, wear them, and leave them behind! This is a quadruple-win situation: I clean out my closet, my bag gets lighter as I go, my disposable items (especially if I'm traveling to a developing country) are treasures to someone else, and I have more room in my bag for purchases...perfect!

It's also a good idea to have a printed copy of your driver's license and passport inside your suitcase in case your carry-on is lost or stolen. And for the ultra-scary event like an armed robbery or a fire where a suitcase and carry-on could be lost, stolen, or damaged, I scan my ID, passport, and traveler's checks and e-mail a copy to myself. This way you can go to any computer and print a copy of your documents.

I know when people think of travel items they think high-tech and expensive—Kindles and iPods and packing cubes. But I believe one of the best packing products is extremely low-tech and ultracheap: rubber bands! I got a package of large rubber bands for $2, and they are my travel best friends! Not only do they give me 50 percent more room in my roll-aboard suitcase so I don't have to check a bag, BUT they also have many uses while you are on vacation! I have used them to keep chip bags closed, as a makeshift key chain, and to hold together a bag that had a broken zipper. Three cheers for the old-fashioned, low-tech, cheap, and fabulous rubber bands! [PHOTO]

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