There was a time when traveling meant large, heavy cases that were designed to be handled by others and weight didn’t matter. Airline weight restrictions were an afterthought at best and luggage scales were an unnecessary item. Sadly those days are gone and now there is a new reality of ever shrinking weight restrictions and fees stacked on fees. For most airlines the standard weight allowance is 50 pounds, but for some airlines like Spirit airlines anything over 40 can lead to extra fees (some international airlines can be even pickier). Fortunately, luggage manufacturers have come to the rescue with lighter bags. It is almost impossible to find 25’’ suitcases over 11 pounds or 28-29’’ suitcases over 12 pounds.
However the best way to pack light is to lighten your load. Traveling has become more casual so the need for formal clothes or multiple outfits a day has waned. Below are several tips to make your trip light and easy.
- MULTI-USE ITEMS
Instead of taking multiple sweaters a zippered hoodie sweatshirt can save space and you can even wear that hoodie on the plane. Shoes are also bulky and add a significant weight, so consider shoes that work with multiple outfits. Also, if you do have to re-wear an item that got dirty emergency wash kits can be a lifesaver.
- THE RIGHT SIZE BAG
Virtually all luggage manufacturers make a large suitcase (28’’+) that is much lighter than they used to be. However, this doesn’t mean that this should be the case for you. These bags when full can be easily overweight. Medium bags (25-26”) are a better idea.
- BE ORGANIZED
Avoid packing at the last minute. Make a list of what you think you will need for your trip and go back a day or two later and revise the list. Do a practice pack and think “do you really need all that?” Chances are there is something you can eliminate. Packing cubes are also a great help because they can keep all like items together.
- GO TRAVEL SIZED
Travel isn’t the time for your huge “Costco” sized bottle of shampoo. Buying the smaller sized toiletries or buying travel bottle kits for your normal toiletries can save both weight and space.
Most items you see during your travel can be purchased online at home for a cheaper price and then you don’t have to worry about needing space in your bag. So go ahead and order that item online and have it sent to your house waiting for you when you get home. Don’t worry I won’t tell.
One final tip is to take a collapsible duffel or a zippered tote that can both be used for day trips and if you have extra items to take home. Hopefully packing light will help make your trip as stress-free as possible. Happy travels.