Diversity Woman Magazine

FALL 2016

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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50 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N Fa l l 2 0 1 6 d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m DW Life > bag. Many manufacturers list interior measurements, or packing dimensions, but the airlines measure the bag's exte- rior, including handles and wheels. So bring a tape measure to double-check dimensions in the store. If you're shop- ping online, add about 2 to 3 inches for luggage with four wheels and 1 inch for two-wheelers, which tend to have wheels that are more recessed. 2 Keep it light Most US airlines don't have set weight limits for carry-on lug- gage, but you will need to lift the bag into the overhead compartment on your own (another reason to keep up those Pilates classes). "Find a case that's light to begin with and let the weight be from your stuff," advises Carolyn Kremins, president of the travel news site Skift. Froelich agrees: "It needs to be no more than seven pounds or so, preferably not bulky, and have outside pockets, [so you can] quickly grab or store things." Weight matters more if you're fly- ing on a non-US airline. Lufthansa al- lows carry-on bags up to 17.5 pounds, Air France's limit is 26 pounds or 39.7 pounds, depending on the cabin, and the maximum on British Airways is 51 pounds. In other words, you need to "weigh" your options with the individual airline before your flight. 3 Go four-wheeling When choosing a carry-on bag, Kremins is among the many fre- quent flyers who insist on a four-wheeled suitcase (aka spinner). Unlike two- wheeled bags, each wheel on a spinner swivels 360 degrees, which allows you to easily move your rollaboard in all direc- tions without having to push or pull it at an angle. You'll lose a bit of packing space to the spinner's external wheels, but your body will thank you for it. As Kremins notes, "Dragging 20 pounds behind you does strange things to your shoulder and wrist." 4 Handle with care Look for wheeled luggage with a two-post handle system, so that you can slide your smaller, personal item over the posts and keep the weight off your shoulders. Soft grips and telescop- ing handles that can adjust to your height are the most comfortable. Remember that arched handles add height. A handle that completely flattens down may be a better choice. "A flat top also ensures you can wheel your second, smaller bag on top without it falling off," says Kremins. Keep in mind that handles along the outside of the bag may add to the exterior size, but they allow for a completely flat interior, which makes for smooth packing 5 Give yourself room to expand Although you'll still need to make sure that you don't bloat beyond the maximum size if you want to avoid the baggage carousel, expandable suitcases do provide the most flexibility. Julia Cos- grove, editor in chief of the international travel magazine AFAR, loves her Victori- nox four-wheeled rolling bag, which has served her well for nearly a decade. "It's soft and expands for the trip homeā€”af- ter I've bought too many new clothes or shoes or housewares and stuffed them into my suitcase." Froelich recommends the TravelSmith Series S2 Hybrid 22-inch carry-on spinner. Its polycarbonate back helps protect any breakable items, and its polyester front expands up to 2 inches to fit souvenirs or conference swag. 6 Achieve status "It helps to have some status on an airline so you can board early to get precious overhead space and avoid having to check because they ran out of space," says Kremins. "You don't want to lug your bag around only to find yourself waiting at a carousel on the other end." To make sure you're one of the first to board, consider signing up for a credit card that's cobranded with your preferred carrier or a travel rewards credit card that offers priority boarding as a perk. Elite status has gotten trickier to achieve in recent years, but racking up the miles on one airline can still lead to early board- ing access, too. Some airlines allow you to simply purchase a spot at the start of the line. Prices for United's Premier Access start as low as $15, depending on the flight. 7 Don't get caught with a prohib- ited item Most of us have the 3.4-ounce rule memorized by now. Passengers are allowed one quart-sized, clear plastic bag of liquids, gels, creams, pastes, and aerosols in containers no bigger than 3.4 ounces. (Even if you only have an ounce of lotion left in a 4-ounce bottle, that bottle is verboten.) A quart-sized bag does not fit much, so it's best to skip your favorite shampoo and toothpaste in favor of the ones at the hotel, or pick up them up at a drugstore near your destination. Sample sizes from Sephora are a great option for makeup. You may bring larger amounts of formula, breast milk, and liquid medications, but you'll need to declare them to TSA officers at the checkpoint for inspection. Make sure that your medications are labeled, which will help you get through the screening process more quickly. THINKSTOCKPHOTOS

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