Packing Smart

With airlines all over the world increasing baggage fees and decreasing carry-on sizes, it’s prudent for frequent travelers to learn how to pack wisely. Unless you want to shell out tons of money for extra baggage weight on your next flight, take a look at these smart ways to pack that will not only save you money but time, as well.


1. Pack Only The Clothes You Need

Like with most things in life, a little planning can go a long way. Take a few minutes to plan out your trip and the activities you’re hoping to enjoy each day. Then plan an outfit to match those activities. Bonus points if you can reuse outfits for similar activities on different days. And to make reusing outfits easier, try to keep all of your clothes color-coordinated so you can mix and match when you need more versatility. Then lay everything out on your bed to see if your clothes match or if you’ve missed any essentials. When possible, choose the kinds of fabrics that won’t wrinkle much so you don’t have to spend time ironing when you get to your hotel. Also important: plan out which shoes you’ll wear each day. Remember that shoes take up a lot of space in luggage, so try to find a couple of pairs that work for all of your excursions and then pack them on the bottom of your luggage and stuff soft items in them to maximize space. To save even more room and to reduce wrinkles, try rolling your garments instead of folding them. Then when it’s time to start packing, invest in vacuum seal garment bags. Pack the bags with your clothing, zip them up and then suck out the air. You’ll save over 50% of your luggage space this way!  Also be sure to pack a complete outfit and all essentials in your carry-on bag just in case your checked bag gets misplaced.


2. Consider Your Electronics and other Valuables

Now that you have your clothes situated, it’s time to take a look at your personal items. When you’re checking a bag, you’ll want to keep it as light as possible so keep any and all heavy items at home. If you’re not planning on watching a movie or listening to music on the plane, keep the noise-canceling headphones at home. Instead, pack some small earbuds that take up minimal space. Your laptop also doesn’t need to be lugged along if you’re traveling for a vacation; you should be relaxing and you’ll still have internet access on your phone, anyway. You’ll want to pack smart, too, so leave your bulky chargers at home. Bring a USB charging port and then just the cords for each of your individual electronics. Also, never pack cash or any other valuables in your checked bag. Carry your money somewhere secure (preferably on you such as in a wallet or in your purse) and if you absolutely must bring jewelry with you, either wear it to your destination or pack it in your carry-on bag.


3. Do You Really Need all of those Toiletries?

Most hotels provide the basics like soap, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion. So unless you have sensitive skin, you’re better off leaving those space consuming toiletries at home. If you do need your own brand of skincare product and you’re traveling for a short period of time, buy travel sizes. If you’re traveling for longer than 2 weeks, it may be more cost effective (and kinder to your back) to just purchase those particular items at the local grocery store once you get to your destination. Check ahead and see if your hotel is equipped with a hair dryer in your room so you can ditch that bulky item, too. And always make sure to pack any liquid items in double sealed plastic bags to avoid the catastrophe of an explosion all over your luggage. It’s smart to pack extra plastic bags, too, for a variety of uses: dirty laundry, your shoes, garbage while you’re on the go, re-packing your liquid items that exploded the first time, etc. They take up very little space and always come in handy. And most importantly, don’t forget to pack your medication; but, do so in your carry-on bag and not your checked luggage. You don’t want to be without necessary drugs if your checked bag takes a detour on its way to your destination.

Kimberly Beard

Kim is the Retention Marketing Manager for ParkSleepFly.

  • connieb

    Travel by air now is so unpleasant that it makes you think their airlines actually do not want you to use them. If I can’t get there by car, bus or train, I try not to go. Across the pond is a different story!