We all love to shop when we travel, but some advance planning will help avoid major hassles getting to and from your destination:
1. Be ruthless: Put half of what you’ve packed back in the closet. The easiest way to spot an American in a foreign airport is the size of their suitcase! This is true.
2. Know what raises red flags with US Customs and the TSA. Before you travel, visit the US Customs web site or the customs web site of your home country for the latest information about what and how much you are allowed to bring into the country.
3. Organize receipts in a zipper pocket in your carry-on bag. You may need them in order to clear Customs.
4. Top three things to pack: Ziploc bags, bubble wrap, and an empty duffle bag. I have found all three of these to be invaluable. You will be hard-pressed to find bubble wrap overseas.
5. Consider shipping your purchases instead of carrying them in your suitcase, especially if they are valuable. ONLY use international carriers such as FedEx and UPS, which have shipping centers in many countries, and offer insurance to replace your goods in case they are lost or damaged.
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