Perhaps it has happened to you. After waiting in the long line to check your bag, you finally reach the airline ticket counter. It’s 10 AM and you’re already tired from getting up early to pack since you waited till the last minute. The not-so-chipper ticket agent tells you to place your suitcase on the scale. You begin to sweat, because you dread this moment each time your travel. Will your bag be too heavy? You struggle to place your overfull suitcase on the scale and cringe as the digital numbers read, 57 lbs. At 7 pounds overweight, that’s a $50 one-way service charge. In the old days, you might occasionally meet a nice airline ticket agent who would have let it slide. But in the days of restrictive policies and baggage fees, this is not likely to happen! Don’t let the airlines rip you off. I use a digital scale to weight my suitcase at home if I plan to check my bags.
With the onset of baggage fees, more people attempt to carry on their bags. If you’re traveling this holiday season, that means there will be a lack of overhead storage space. Carrying on is great, but you don’t want to fight with a bulky bag. Be sure to start with a light suitcase. My favorite suitcase is the 22″ Hover Craft by Eagle Creek – it’s light, compact and easy to maneuver through crowds. The matching Travel Tote has a sleeve that slides over the handle of a rolling bag making it the perfect, personal carry on bag. Be smart by packing light, packing efficiently, and by planning ahead when you travel.
- Limit the amount of clothing you take. Lay out what you think you’ll need and then put half of it back! Pick colors that you can mix and match to maximize your wardrobe.
- When selecting clothes for your travel, know that cotton, wool, and knits wrinkle less when transported. Also think about all purpose shoes that you can wear for multiple outfits. Shoes should be placed in bags so they don’t get your clothes dirty. I love the ‘Shoe-Ins‘ shoe bags from The Container Store.
- Roll you clothes and place items that won’t wrinkle on the bottom. Next, drape long items on top. Smaller items like belts and accessories should line the side of the suitcase.
- Carry or wear your fine jewelry. I recommend a film canister with tissue for earrings, rings or other small delicate items.
- If traveling with small family members, make a checklist so you can use it to remind yourself of what you need.
- Be aware that flying with a car seat or stroller may cost you more. Most airlines still allow parents to check car seats and strollers with no additional fees. Double check with your airline to make sure they don’t count a car seat as a second piece of luggage.
- Pack early! Whenever you think of something to take – put it in the bag. Keep a running list so you don’t have to unpack to see if you’ve already tossed it in the suitcase.
Bonus tip – Never carry full bottles of product with you. Create your own travel size bottles of lotions and makeup. Checkout these 2 oz. clear jars, or these 3 oz. flip top bottles to make your own travel size products. Drop them in the clear zippered cube (size B) and you’re set to fly the friendly skies.
There are many benefits to traveling light and carrying on your bags. Your bags will likely will not get lost or damaged because they’re being handled by you. When you arrive at your destination, you won’t have to fight the crowds at baggage claim. That alone is a great incentive to carry your bags! If you live in a city with mass transit at the airport, you’ll beat the crowd to the Metro or be in the front of the taxi line which can be very long during the holiday rush. And, if you have someone picking you up, you won’t have to worry if their trunk is full of clutter. You’ll easily be able to place your bag in the back seat.
Wishing you a safe holiday travel season,