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5 Tips for Saving on Baggage Fees by Packing Light: This is important today to avoid baggage fees. In addition, it’s no fun to lug baggage around the world!
With the constantly rising cost of airfare coupled with excessive single supplements, travel for singles always requires some strategic planning. Recent reports show that airlines earned 20% more over the last year in add-on fees. Baggage fees are a substantial part of those “ancillary ” charges. As the size of permitted carry-on’s shrink, it has become a real challenge.
Current carry-on restrictions are not only as to the length, width and depth of each bag but a weight of 15 pounds. Whether you are purchasing a new carry-on or using one you have had, besides checking the dimensions, see how much it weighs.
Even without increased charges, since my student days, I have opted to travel light to avoid carrying heavy bags up and down steps in train stations abroad and through multiple airports. Roller-bags are an improvement from traditional suitcases. However, I have had a fellow traveler’s bag break so that the wheels did not work making it really difficult to maneuver. The only solution is to have packing down to a science to take so little that you avoid fees but have enough for a comfortable trip. As I head out on a 17 day SE Asian odyssey, I have come up with the following 5 updated packing tips:
5 Tips for Saving on Baggage Fees by Packing Light:
1. Only pack clothes that serve multiple functions. Possible exception? A bathing suit although pairing it with shorts it might make an exercise outfit. Take workout pants and tops that can get by on the street or for sleeping. If there is a fire in the night or you have to fetch your coffee from the hotel lobby or coffee shop, this will be important. Focus on only 2 colors that work together so that everything can be mixed and matched.
2. Shoes, especially women’s heels, can be a real menace when it comes to packing light. They take up too much space and weigh more than most other items. One solution is to wear your heaviest, bulkiest shoes on the flight, and pack lighter, smaller pairs splitting them up so that one fits on each side of the carry-on. Lastly, tuck socks and other small items like battery-chargers inside each shoe to avoid wasting space. If at all possible, avoid packing sneakers as they are “Space Stealers”. Women’s shoes are harder since they vary in color, comfort and type. I have found it possible to sight see in flats and pack lighter boating suits for real trekking through rougher terrain avoiding sneakers altogether.
3. Pack clothes that easily move from day into evening. Again this is more of a challenge for women since our type and style of dress can vary markedly at night. I recommend traveling with gold or silver flats that are comfortable enough for urban daytime wear but look dressy enough after hours. Pants can still work at night when dressed up with accessories.
4. Be careful about taking duplicative electronics with each needing a separate charger and together likely needing a converter-adapter. A tablet may easily replace your laptop and evn phone, quickly reducing your carry-on’s total weight.
5. Bottles add bulk and weight even if they individually meet the 3 oz. maximum allowed. If you have ever found as I have that under pressure, liquids leak, that is a second reason to pack less. Flat packs of shampoo and other samples take up less room and are not prone to seeping out. Take dual-use products like shampoo/conditioner, and buy local brands at your destination as needed.
As I head out for SE Asia, I will likely find at least one item in my bag that I could have left at home! The holidays are coming up with increased travel so let us know your own tips to packing light and avoiding baggage fees.