With many airlines now charging to check bags, in reaction to recent high fuel costs, many travelers are packing lighter, and with fewer bags so that they can carry-on more, and check less. Following you’ll find some tips and information that may help you decide whether to check or carry-on before you travel.
Chances are, if you’re traveling for a longer period of time you’ll need to check bags anyway. Carry-on bags are usually limited to two per person, so if you’re traveling with a lot of clothes, shoes and other items, you might have difficulty fitting all of your belongings into so few pieces of luggage. But for those traveling four to seven days, or less, here are some ways you can minimize the number of bags you have to check.
Roll your clothes. This actually does two things for you, allows you to fit more and prevents wrinkling (excluding some fabrics, such as linen, which will wrinkle anyway). This is especially useful during summer vacation trips, as summer clothes are less bulky than winter clothes. A rolled tee-shirt takes up very little space.
Combine bags. Instead of taking one carry-on and a purse, or briefcase, try to put your purse or briefcase into a carry-on bag. Chances are you will be able to fit a few more things into that bag. Just make sure you pack neatly so that you don’t experience long waits in security. Messily packed bags are often searched as the x-ray machine images are not clear.
Plan ahead. Do you really need that third pair of shoes? Remember, you’ll be wearing a pair while you travel, and maybe you’ll need one more pair, tops. Need a hair dryer? Most hotels offer hair dryers and irons, so leave those items home. Sure, the hotel hair dryer may not be as advanced as yours, but weigh that against the cost of checking a bag. Is bringing your hairdryer with you for three days worth $25 or even $50 extra?
Before you pack, make certain you check the regulations of carry-on bag size. Airlines can change their regulations, and might if everyone starts bringing the maximum allowable sized-bags to carry-on. Just like booking hotels and parking on ParkSleepFly, a little advanced planning can go a long way.