Travel Bag Advice - Avoid Baggage Fees by Loading All in Carry-On Bags

Fit it all into a carry-on bag

One way to avoid having to pay the exorbitant checked baggage fees being charged by more and more airlines is to squeeze all you need into a carrying-on bag and to wear the bulky stuff, including your hiking boots!


Have you ever found you struggle sorting through all those clothes you've packed you did not really need? Well here is the solution - don't take them!

With good planning and some great tips from the experts you will find you can squeeze all you need into a carry-on bag. Here are some great tips from the experts for business and holiday travel.

Research -
Check the Carry-on Size and Weight Limits for ALL the flights you are travelling on and make sure the bag you are using complies. Also check the NUMBER of items you are allowed - some companies only allow one piece INCLUDING purses, laptop bags, and any other small items.

Make a List
- It may seem silly, but it works, especially when you work on it to remove items you don't really need.. Write down exactly what you need to bring and how many of each item (see suggested list at the end of the article). Stick to it.

Fitting it all in!

Woodlands peoples first made large carrying bags for various purposes, such as for hunting or traveling.
Woodlands peoples first made large carrying bags for various purposes, such as for hunting or traveling. | Source
Safety can compromise lightness.
Safety can compromise lightness. | Source

Choice of a Bag and Essential Clothes

  • for a business trip - For a business trip choose a standard rectangular bag, with wheels, but with few or no internal pockets of compartments (they only take up space).
  • for a one destination Holiday - soft-sided duffel bag with a carry strap. I really like using a rolling duffel bag with a sturdy shoulder strap. I find it to be lighter and more compressible than a standard carry-on and can traverse stairs / non-paved surfaces that much more easily.
  • multi-stop destination Holiday - Backpack or standard rectangular bag
  • Another must-have is my PortaPocket interchangeable carrying case or equivalent. This a strap-on system with a series detachable pockets that can be worn on multiple parts of the body. They are very compact and are made of neoprene and so you can wear them all day long.

Clothes

  • Packing tips to avoid wrinkles and save space - roll clothes up and stuff them into a bag like cigarettes are packed into a cigarette box
  • Pack a change of clothes for every 3 days of the trip (up to a maximum of 3 changes), and do laundry in the hotel sink.
  • Tuck your accessories in plastic bags into your shoes, filling up what would just be wasted space.
  • Use zip-top plastic bags for T-shirts, socks and undergarments, others for technical accessories such as cords and batteries and others for toiletries and stationery
  • Choose a neutral colours black and white, maybe blue and tan, then everything will match. Pack colourful scarves and other accessories. Use layers to add variety.
  • Choose your favourite clothes not new ones and you will feel better when you wear them day after day.
  • Jersey type fabrics, as well as washable and easy-dry cotton-blends and athletic type fabrics, usually pack flat, don't take up much space and travel well. Polyester-wool-and-Lycra blend type of material, cotton and polyester /cotton are best.
  • Avoid jeans because they are too bulky, can't effectively be washed in the sink and take too long to dry. It you must take them, then wear them onto the plane.
  • Use layers for cool weather and variety. The only coat you take should be worn onto the plane. Take short-sleeve tops, long sleeve tops, a light cardigan, and a scarf to create variety.
  • Wear the bulky stuff onto the plane, including heavy jackets, woollen items, scarves and walking boots. You can take them off in the plane and they don't count as luggage.
  • When you are packing, it is a good idea to make two piles before you put things in your suitcase - 'Must haves', and 'Nice to haves'. Pack the 'Must haves', first!
  • Roll up T-shirts, underwear and everything else as well – it may seem odd, but things don't get wrinkled this way and they pack so much tighter.
  • Compression and vacuum bags can help to squish more stuff into a bag. These types of bags are very useful when you are returning home, when you are less concerned about wrinkled clothes and may want more space for souvenirs.
  • Choose clothes, especially shirts and underwear that you can wash and DRY yourself - take laundry soap. Fast-dry clothes may not be the most stylish for the fashion-conscious, but it is generally lightweight, washable in a hotel room sink and takes up little room. Wash and dry when you can.
  • A thermal T-shirt and also long underwear is less bulky than a jacket will allow you stay warm with a sweater and woollen jumper even in below freezing temperatures. You can layer these items for varying temperatures.
  • Jettison stuff constantly: books etc. Bring old underwear and discard along the way. You can use the space that is left for your purchases and souvenirs.
  • Preventing wrinkles: For women its rayon or polyester; For Men, its no-iron shirts. You can Use steam from the shower to remove wrinkles.

Overloaded!

Accessories and Other Travel Things

Shoes

Too many shoes are a common mistake. Limits are Women -3 pairs and Men 2 -pairs. Wear you bulky shoes on the plane. You will want to choose something comfortable for walking, something dressy for dinners, and something in between (light sandals).

Toiletries

Take none, and buy them there, or repackage into small disposable containers, travel size products (get from the hotel?) and choose dry product rather than liquids.

Fun things

Allow yourself just ‘one fun thing’ Just one. Maybe a pair of shoes, a cute top or dress, a book, a gadget, but just one.

Buy Stuff There

Buy it there! I'd almost rather bring nothing at all on the outbound leg and buy everything at the destination.

Gym Shoes and Exercise Clothes

Wear your gym shoes on the plane whenever possible. Gym clothes are easier to roll. I try to pack two sets of gym outfits and use them out as casual and relaxing outfits the in hotel.

A Good Basic List

EQUIPMENT

computer
camera, charger, download cables
Video camera
phone + charger
alarm clock
flashlight
compass
whistle
travel pillow (inflatable)
multi-function tool, scissors
universal sink stopper
washing detergent, stain remover
surgical latex cord clothesline
inflatable hangers, or other devices to dry clothes]
tweezers
dark glasses and case
eye plugs, sleeping mask
pens, a small notebook, glue stick + other stationery
personal address book
maps and guides
security pouch, that can be worn under clothes
(solar) calculator
gifts

DOCUMENTS

visas,passport, copies of passport photos, identification documents, vaccination certificates
vital personal documents, driver's license, health insurance information
travel tickets
credit, cash and ATM cards, traveller's cheques

CLOTHES

2-4 shirts/blouses/tops
2-3 pairs trousers or skirts, shorts
3-4 pairs socks
4-6 pairs undergarments
long, warm and lightweight underwear
dark sweater / cardigan / jumper
rain-wear (light plastic poncho)
swimsuit
washable polar-fleece type zip-up jacket(wear on the plane)
2 pairs of shoes (1 dress and 1 walking (worn on the plane)) + 1 comfy pair of sandals
parka, coat, or equivalent worn onto the plane
gloves / mittens
sun hat, sports cap, beanie
belt
daypack

TOILETRIES

toothbrush and toothpaste
shaver (blades) and charging cable
hairbrush
nail clipper and file
comb, hairbrush
deodorant
shampoo, conditioner, bar soap
unbreakable mirror
viscose towel (or wrapped washcloth)

MEDICINES

basic first aid kit
diarrhoea treatment, infection treatment, malaria tablets
mosquito net
sunscreen, lip balm
tweezers
(chemical or mechanical) water purifier
vitamins, contraceptives etc.

© 2010 Dr. John Anderson

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Comments 1 comment

Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

Thank you for your advice. I can follow them as I´m a traveller. This is a very informative hub. Thumbs up!

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