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Packing tips for wrinkle-free travel

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Packing tips for wrinkle-free travel

As a frequent traveler, I want to share some packing tips that have helped me stay free of wrinkles. I have tried many methods including an classic method detailed on the Men’s Wearhouse site; steaming my clothes in the bathroom on arrival, voodoo, etc. None of these methods quite did the trick, even with wrinkle-resistant clothing (see my note at the end of this article).

My wrinkle-free status improved significantly recently, when I discovered Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Folders. These are phenomenal for keeping dress shirts, pants, and jackets wrinkle-free in your luggage (they also work with skirts, but I haven’t tried that).

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Eagle Creek also offers Pack-It Cubes, which I use for general organization (you’ll see how it all works together to tidy up my suitcase, below).

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Folding Board

    The Pack-It Folders come with a sturdy plastic folding board, which has detailed folding instructions printed on it. The diagrams on the board guide you through the folding process, and are very easy to follow.

    Folding a dress shirt with the Eagle Creek Pack-It Folder Click thumbnails for larger view

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    1. Start by buttoning a few buttons on the shirt (I button the top, third, and 6th buttons), smooth it out, and place it buttons-down on a flat surface. Then, fold the right sleeve across and fold the sleeve down at an angle, as shown in this picture.
      Fold right sleeve
      • Next, fold the other sleeve across the folding board, then angle the sleeve down just like you did for the first – as shown here.
        Fold left sleeve
        • Next, fold the tail of the shirt up to the collar (the board forces you to fold it in the right spot), then flip the shirt over, place it in the center of the Pack-It Folder, and remove the board. You now have one neatly folded shirt.
          Folded shirt
            • You can fold several and stack a number of shirts (the number depends on the size Pack-It Folder you are using). When you’re done, you place the folding board on top of the whole stack to help keep everything flat.
              Folded shirt
                • Next, fold the flaps closed on the Pack-It Folder to make a nice, tidy bundle.
                  Tidy bundle
                  • The Pack-It Folder and the Pack-It Cubes work together to make a very tidy suitcase. And, when you reach your destination, you can unpack and things look almost as crisp and fresh as when you got them back from the cleaners. Click the image for a tagged version of what’s what in the picture.
                    Folded shirt

                    Note: For maximum effectiveness, I recommend buying wrinkle-resistant dress shirts and pants. I prefer Lands’ End shirts as they come in exact sizes and are fantastic when it comes to shedding wrinkles. As a bonus, they are also stain resistant!

                    Guest author Dwayne Melancon is the creator of the Genuine Curiosity blog, featuring information on a variety of tips, lifehacks, gadgets, personal productivity and other useful topics.

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                    Packing tips for wrinkle-free travel

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                    Last Updated on November 25, 2021

                    Protecting Your Online Life With Secure Passwords

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                    Protecting Your Online Life With Secure Passwords

                    With all of the recent online services and companies falling under attack to hackers in the past few months, it seems only fitting to talk about password creation and management. There are a lot of resources out there discussing this, but it never hurts to revisit this topic time and again because of its importance.

                    Password management isn’t necessarily a difficult thing to do, yet it does seem like a bit of an annoyance to most people. When it comes to password management, you will hear the famous line, “I don’t really care about changing my passwords regularly. I have nothing important online anyways.” Let’s see if you have nothing important online when your PayPal account gets taken over because you thought the password “password” was good enough.

                    In my opinion, it is an “internet user’s” responsibility to make sure that they keep secure passwords and update them on a regular basis. In this article we will discuss how to make your online presence more secure and keep it secure.

                    The easy fundamentals

                    First thing is first; creating a strong password.

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                    A strong password is a mixture of alpha-numeric characters and symbols, has a good length (hopefully 15 characters or longer), and doesn’t necessarily represent some word or phrase. If the service you are signing up for doesn’t allow passwords over a certain length, like 8 characters, always use the maximum length.

                    Here are some examples of strong passwords:
                    * i1?,2,2\1′(:-%Y
                    * ZQ5t0466VC44PmJ
                    * mp]K{ dCFKVplGe]PBm1mKdinLSOoa (30 characters)

                    And not so good examples
                    * sammy1234
                    * password123
                    * christopher

                    You can check out PC Tools Password Generator here. This is a great way to make up some very strong passwords. Of course the more random passwords are harder to remember, but that is where password management comes into play.

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                    Managing your passwords

                    I know some people that keep their passwords in an unencrypted text file. That’s not a good idea. I suppose that if you aren’t doing much online and are decent at avoiding viruses and such, it could be OK, but I would never recommend it.

                    So, where do you keep your strong passwords for all the services that you visit on a daily basis?

                    There are a ton of password safes out there including KeePass, RoboForm, Passpack, Password Safe, LastPass, and 1Password. If and when I recommend any of these I always count on LastPass and 1Password.

                    Both LastPass and 1Password offer different entry types for online services logins (PayPal, Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, etc.), credit cards and bank accounts, online identities, and other types of sensitive information. Both have excellent reviews and only differ in a few subtle ways. One of the ways that is more notable is that LastPass keeps your encrypted password Vault online where 1Password allows you to keep it locally or shared through Dropbox. Either way, you are the holder of the encryption keys and both ways are very secure.

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                    LastPass and 1Password both offer cross-platform support as well as support for Android and iOS (LastPass even has BlackBerry support). 1Password is a little pricey ($39.99 for either Windows or Mac) where LastPass has free options as well as premium upgrades that allow for mobile syncing.

                    Upkeep

                    You should probably change your passwords for your “important” accounts at least every 6 weeks. When I say “important” accounts I am referring to ones that you just couldn’t imagine losing access to. For me that would be Gmail, PayPal, eBay, Amazon, all my FTP accounts and hosting accounts, Namecheap, etc. Basically these include any account where financial information could be lost or accessed as well as accounts that could be totally screwed up (like my webserver).

                    There is no hard and fast rule to how often you should change your passwords, but 6 to 8 weeks should be pretty good.

                    Alternatives

                    You may think that all of this is just too much to manage on a daily basis. I will admit it is kind of annoying to have to change your passwords and use a password manager on a daily basis. For those people out there that don’t want to go through all of the hub-bub of super-secure, encrypted, password management, here are a few tips to keep you safe:

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                    1. Create a unique and hard to guess “base password” and then a pattern to use for each site you logon onto. For instance a base password could be “Ih2BaSwAa” (this stands for “I have two brothers and sisters who are annoying”). Then you would add something “site specific” to the end of it. For Twitter Ih2BaSwAaTWTTR, Facebook Ih2BaSwAaFCBK, etc. This is sort of unsecure, but probably more secure than 99% of the passwords out there.
                    2. Don’t write your passwords down in public places. If you want to keep track of passwords on something written, keep it on you at least. The problem is that if you get your wallet stolen you are still out of luck.
                    3. Don’t use the same passwords for every service. I’m not even going to explain this; just don’t do it.

                    These are just a few things that can be done rather than keeping your passwords in a management system. Personally, with over 100 entries in my password management system, I couldn’t even dream of doing any other way. But those out there with only a few passwords, having a simpler system may be beneficial.

                    So, if you want to be a “responsible internet citizen” or you just don’t want to lose your precious account data, then creating and maintaining strong passwords for your online accounts is a must.

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