Checked bags often trigger a fee, especially if they are over fifty pounds and generally require a long wait on the check-in line and then again upon landing.
Often, after you collect your bags the thought of taking an inexpensive bus to your destination can be overwhelming; a scenario that may well entice you to pop for a cab or town car, where lines may be long and rates a bit high.
Less baggage means more freedom: freedom to move quickly and effortlessly, freedom from long lines and from too many clothing decisions. Economy of scale can also free you from the extra time and expense of packing and unpacking unworn clothing as well as wasted resources to get needlessly crushed surplus clothing dry-cleaned.
Travel tips that save time and money:
- Lay out pants, jeans, skirts, tops, swimsuits, shorts and a really warm sweater stacked by category in their full open position on your bed. Fold in any sleeves and then roll each stack into a tight bundle. This will prevent wrinkles and save space in the suitcase.
- Select a couple pair of shoes and place any underwear or small items inside each shoe and wedge them between the rolls of clothing.
- Pack toiletries in small containers in clear, quart-sized bags inside your tote. Chargers, your laptop and other electronics are also packed in this way to comply with TSA security inspection.
- If your destination is somewhere cold, wear your coat and boots onto the plane to save room in the suitcase. Gloves, a warm hat, scarf and an umbrella are best placed in the suitcase outer pockets for easy access upon landing.
- More than one destination? If you are touring many cities, pack all your hanging clothes on lightweight plastic hangars. Grab the hangers at the top and accordion-fold this set of clothing into the suitcase right before you zip it closed. At each destination you will save precious time because you can hang your clothing in one motion, rather that placing them on and off each hotel hangar, which can be tedious.
- In your tote, pack an empty water bottle and fill it at a water fountain near the departure gate after you have cleared security. You can feel good about not paying top dollar for bottled water. You will also reduce plastic refuse from bottles and from those ubiquitous plastic cups onboard the flight.
- Pack fresh fruit, an avocado, crackers, trail mix or any of your favorite non-liquid snacks in your tote. Bringing your own set of headphones for the in-flight movie is another resource-saver.
- You might want to invest in one of the new TSA accessible locks. You can lock the suitcase to deter theft when your bag must be checked on a full flight or when leaving your things in your hotel room, unattended.
Relax and enjoy the flight. Once you try this drama-free system of packing, which works equally well for car travel, you will be hooked, especially now that airlines are charging baggage fees.
Sherry Brooks is a healthy, happy and trim “Frugalista” living the lean and green life near Malibu in sunny southern California.
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