As soon as the airlines added baggage fees to the list of travel expenses, the security lines got longer and airports got crowded with passengers AND their baggage as travelers decided to sidestep the fees and carry their bags instead of checking them.
Of course, this also made it clear to everyone traveling these days: there are those who pack well and those who don’t.
To avoid being that guy or that gal holding up the security or check-in line, all travelers ask that you please learn to properly pack your bags.
Why pack light?
Sure, packing light is a skill, but is it really necessary? Travel experts recommend packing light for a number of reasons, including the fact that traveling light helps you move more quickly, be less tired, and you’ll have a free hand.
No longer can you check any heavy bag and have it hauled by the airline. Packing light also means you pay less when you do decide to check your bag. See this chart for the costs associated with heavy and large bags.
Packing light also means you simply have less baggage, which can be a boon for everyone when you consider the overcrowding of flights these days. With so many people carrying their bags through the airports and train stations and stowing them on board, the light packers are the clear travel winners.
What are some useful packing tips?
We scoured the Internet for useful packing tips and found a slew of recommendations:
- use your shoes as packing cubes for small items
- position heavy items closer to the wheels to keep it from toppling
- double-duty items are essential – a sarong can be used as a scarf, skirt, or airplane blanket
- never bring more than a week’s worth of clothing – wash it as you go instead
- don’t pack items your hotel room will have available (soap, shampoo, etc.)
- save space by packing a jewelry pouch that doubles as an evening bag
Luckily, electronic devices are allowing travelers to maximize the books and entertainment they need on the road as well. Travel guidebooks can go on your e-reader with the book you want on the flight, for example. Your smartphone will incorporate GPS and apps that help you locate places while translating phrases as well.
Where to get more packing help
See the Packing like a Pro video we featured earlier this year.
Also see light-packing help from One Bag for instructions and support.
See the Boots ‘n All guide to packing light.
A quick search with an Internet search engine will reveal a number of tips too.