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A traveler's guide to light packing for winter break

  [caption id="attachment_12192" align="alignnone" width="318"]Natalie Rebisz/Graphic Designer Natalie Rebisz/Graphic Designer[/caption] Travel right and travel light this winter break. While going home for the holidays is a much needed break, packing and traveling can be stressful for those who don’t live near campus. It’s impossible to take everything home that we want, especially for those who need to take a bus, train or an airplane. Dividing the must-haves and the nonessentials can even be a heartbreaking experience. So, when traveling home, remember to pack light and only bring the essentials. But, during Christmas break you might bring more home than usual because it’s longer than the other breaks. And if home is far away, it’s not possible to come back to campus to get those forgotten items. So, what’s the best way to handle packing for the holidays? First, make a list of items which need to be packed so you can check them off as you go. Dakota Best, a sophomore business major, travels nearly 3,000 miles for the holidays, heading home to California. “When I travel home, I bring my essentials: laptop, laptop charger, phone, phone charger, passport and some other necessary items,” he said. “I bring homework if it’s required, a couple pairs of shoes, some clothes and a jacket. I do not bring my pillow, toothbrush or toiletries.” Best said he also leaves his winter clothes at school during the break because of how expensive it is to ship things from New Jersey to California. Even over the summer, he leaves them in storage. Second, keep in mind that when traveling on a plane, liquids larger than 3.4 ounces are not allowed in carry-on baggage so don’t bring any products home that would surpass that limit. Third, remember what type of luggage you’ll need. For plane travel, it is best to bring a carry-on bag suitcase that can go in an overhead compartment. You can also bring a personal item such as a purse, duffel bag or backpack that can be placed under the seat. For a bus or train, using a duffel bag and backpack are the easiest and most comfortable means to travel. A suitcase can be heavy and difficult to maneuver, but a backpack is hands-free and a duffel bag offers enough space for your belongings. Laura Way, a sophomore business major, said she prefers to use a small duffel and her backpack when she travels. “It is convenient and my clothes go in the small duffel and my school things go in the backpack,” she said. “It keeps all my things organized and in specific places.” And even though it hurts, there are nonessentials that you need to part from for the break. The nonessentials can include your favorite books, music, jewelry, hair dryer or just bringing more clothes than you need. The essentials can include your phone, laptop, all necessary chargers, glasses, contacts, holiday outfits and school work. When traveling, it’s very important to be comfortable and efficient. Remember your go-to luggage pieces: a duffel bag and backpack. To pack efficiently and create more room for additional items, roll up your clothes instead of folding them. Packing is a strategy, but with the right plan, you can do it successfully. Haley Zenna can be reached at


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