Packing a Suitcase To Travel Light

Packing a suitcase and avoiding additional fees

One travel tip that most vacationers don't listen to is to pack light. Vacationers pack way too much and inevitably they run across the excess baggage fees. And you can see the conversation that goes in their heads. Excess baggage fees?! What's that? Then they ask, "When did you start charging for baggage?"..."How much?!"..."That's ridiculous! I paid so much for this ticket!"...then you see them take their huge bags off the scale and start taking pieces out to keep the bag under 50 pounds and muttering under their breath. When you're packing a suitcase, don't carry a lot of non-essentials, if you want to avoid this scenario for yourself, determine what you want to take and what to leave behind.

Yes, ever since airlines have started charging for checking- in bags, it's gotten a lot more expensive to travel. That good deal on the airfare would be offset by the baggage charge. Sometimes, your excess baggage charge might even be more than the price of your plane ticket. But think about it, if you are traveling for a week or two weeks, you don't need to pack your entire wardrobe. There are laundromats available in the hotel or in the neighborhood and higher tier hotels do have laundry services (where you pay by each piece of clothing!). For one week, you can get away with a combination of either pants and shorts (and for women, skirts) of up to three items, three tops, a week's worth of underwear, several pairs of socks or stockings and an alternate pair of shoes which can be fancy if you're planning to go clubbing at night, and one sweater. If you are going away on a cruise, men might include a couple of extra formal shirts, women can include two nice dresses. For each person, this shouldn't come up to 50 lbs. If you're going away for a winter vacation it would be heavier, but I would be surprised if the luggage weight for each person tips over 50 pounds. In fact if you're willing to reduce the number of bottoms and tops each by 1, each person can probably have one carry-on bag. No baggage fee to worry about.

Other luggage hassles

Checking-in luggage of unusual size can also create a hassle for you and might delay your flight or even cause a change in your travel itinerary. This usually happens when passengers check in with things like cross-country skis or pole vaults. Checking in with something too big or too long may mean that you can't get it on the plane because the baggage bins are too small and may cause you to be rerouted and go through a connection because the checked-in item needs to be stowed on a bigger airplane. Think about arranging for shipping these large or unusual sized baggage, it might even be cheaper.

Now people still want to save on the baggage fee by over stuffing their carry-on bags, but the airlines are also limiting the weight of the bags that you carry. Check out the baggage restrictions on your airline's website. When you're packing a suitcase, think about how much it will weigh, you want it to be manageable. If you can't lift it to put inside the overhead bin, you might hurt yourself or the passenger sitting underneath. Now you might be thinking that the flight attendant should do this and they could; but don't forget that the flight attendant is there for safety reasons and is not supposed to be your porter. The flight attendant will not want to take the risk of hurting him/herself and go on disability because you packed a very heavy bag.

So prepare to pack your suitcase with the essentials and choose your travel clothes wisely. However, don't forget to pack an extra bag with you. You're going to need to your baggage allowance for the stuff you're going to bring home and it's cheaper to check in two bags than one overweight bag.

How to Pack a Suitcase

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Comments 2 comments

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

I needed these tips...thanks!


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 6 years ago from The East Coast Author

I'm glad you found them helpful. Thanks for dropping by habee.

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