(Photo credit should read MALTE CHRISTIANS/AFP/Getty Images)
Ummm… The tried and true topic of traveling light! This is not a totally new topic to the vast majority. This subject has been around and talked about a lot–even before all the restrictions that came about on what you can carry aboard airplanes, and so forth.
I will share information with you on how you should pack your bags, before you travel, as well as what to do prior to packing. With all the added costs that airlines have levied on us for the number of bags, weight of luggage, and more, this advice is sure to be helpful you, if you travel a lot, or even if you travel infrequently!
I will not be discussing the type, color, style, etc. of luggage you should buy. I will instead talk about the packing portion of traveling light with the understanding that you already have your luggage selected, empty and waiting to be packed.
Everyone has their own idea of what “traveliing light” means.
I will talk to you from my own travel experiences, and how I travel more comfortably. By packing and travelling light, I enjoy my destination a lot better than if I were hasseled even before my trip started due to simply not taking the time to pack my luggage lightly and efficiently.
A caveat: The focus of my advice to you is on air travel, even though you may use these tips for other types of travel as well.
Airline fees for luggage! As of this printing, most airlines charges, for quite some time now, many, many fees–sometimes miniscule and sometimes exhorbitant, but there is always a fee tacked on to your maybe already expensive airline ticket.
Some airlines charge for the weight and number of bags you carry on an airplane. To avoid money and fees surprises at the airline check-in counter, find out about the luggage fees before you book your plane reservations. Avoiding or reducing airline fees for excess lugggage should be one of the driving forces behind your resolve to pack light, among the other advantages, which I will discuss.
You may be in the habit of using the same airline over and over again–which is not a problem. But remember, costs change all the time. So periodically, I recommend that you check the airline’s website to see if there have been any increases. It is very unlikely that you will see any decreases, unless there is some type of short-term promotion going on.
Of course, there are some airlines Southwest Airlines comes to mind, where there is no check-in fee for your lugguage. So if you can, use airlines that do not have luggage check-in fees or at least choose the airline with the least expensive fees.
The Basics for traveling lightSometimes you may want to be spontaneous and just let the blocks fall where they may. However, you do not want to do this when planning your travel, especially when it comes to packing!
If you were a girl scout, a brownie or a boy scout, you may recall the main motto was to “Always be prepared!” Think of this phrase when you have travel plans in the future. Do not make a regiment out of planning, so it becomes more of a chore than a fun thing to do. Travel should be fun–Right?
So as far advance as you can, have a general idea of what you plan to take with you on your plane trip. This may be taking it to the extreme, but the point is to pack only what you know for sure you need, or plan to wear.
For example, suppose I pack business suits, and the group decides to go bowling after work together. What to wear, what to wear?
My “just in case” packing regime cost me quite a lot of repacking at the airport counter where the weigh in occurs — which can be embarrassing if you have to open your luggage at the counter or near the counter with everyone looking on, sometimes quite impatiently, I might add!
It’s time for a change!
Ready for a change to travel light for your airplane travelAre you ready to save money, time, and possible embarrassment when packing for travel? Then follow the tips below and you will be on your way to not only enjoying your trip when you reach your destination, but you will have the self-satisfaction of knowing you took the steps before hand to pack right and pack light!
Try to have a day-to-day plan of what you will wear and pack clothing and items accordingly.
Black is Magical for your airplane travel Try to include black items in your luggage, whether it is a pair of slacks, skirt, pants, dress or other clothing. The versatility of black will really help when an unexpected event occurs where you may question if you have the appropriate clothing. Sometimes just a change of shoes can help. For example, simply replace your high heels ladies, with a pair of sneakers with your black slacks that you wore during the business meeting or at work earlier during the day and you will be good to go for a game of bowliing, a relaxing trip to the movies, shopping or whatever you may choose to do. Black clothing is pure magic and will not contrast with your shoes.
Personally, I prefer to fold, but I’ve found that some items take up less space when you roll, instead of folding. So I would recommend you do a combination of both. What you really want to do is to reduce the number of overall items you pack in the first place, then it really wouldn’t matter that much if you fold or if you roll your clothing when packing!
Any new gizmos out to help with traveling light?
There are plastic vacuum bags that you can use to reduce the bulkiness of your clothing; however, I have not tried any of those. To me, the plastic would probably take up space where you could squeeze in actual items. There may be others innovative items out as well.
Toiletries for airplane travelWith all the rules and regulations about what you can and cannot carry on airplanes, it is almost more beneficial to just wait until you reach your destination and buy the toiletries needed.
My advice here is to follow the TSA rules regarding toiletries. It is really up to you whether you bring your toiletries with you, or if you buy them once you reach your destination.
Once, I mistakenly packed a new, large expensive bottle of lotion in my luggage. Of course it was seen by the screeners, so I had to turn it over to them. I learned from this experience. The next time I traveled, I decided to forgo the lotion and just took my chances that the hotel would have lotion once I got to my destination. And guess what? I found out that some hotels only provide shampoo — no lotion! So I had to make a special request for lotion from the hotel front desk. The third time — which is a charm, I decided to just purchase the lotion once I got to where I was going — which worked out very well!
Which leads me to my next bit of travel light advice. There are lots of travel-sized items that are marketed especially for traveling, such as toothpaste, tooth brushes, mouthwash, lotion and other toiletries. Of course sometime these smaller sized items are more expensive than the larger–non travel size, but remember you are paying for the convenience.
Sometimes, as I mentioned above, I just buy the regular size toiletries when I reach my destination. Depending on if you travel a lot, remember to load up on these items when they are on sale being sure to check the toiletries’ expiration dates!
To travel light, reduce your luggage and what’s insideI’m going to end with the tip to reassess if you really need more than one piece of luggage for your trip. Also you need to determine if a small carry-on will suffice, just as well.
Using carry-on luggage, checking in online, and printing down your boardiing pass at home — your trip to the airport will be a breeze. He’s on easy street right now, just breezing on through the airport — No Lines!
If you use carry-on luggage at the airport, the only line you will be standing in will be the security check line –You will not have to deal with all the other lines in between!
Here’s wishing you safe and happy travels!