Pack Smart and Save While Flying

Pack Smart and Save While Flying

Monday, December 19th, 2011

There’s a reason people put off packing until the last minute. It’s certainly not the highlight of the travel experience. Unfortunately it’s very important, and a lack of planning can lead to additional baggage fees, a lack of mobility, and a serious pain in the back—amongst other places. Packing too lightly can be costly. You never want to spend vacation time and money stocking up on the things you forgot, especially when you have the items at home. And if you’re in a tourist town, replacements won’t be cheap.

Packing too much can be even more of a pain. When you pack too much, you risk putting yourself through a lot of hassle, and you may wind up in awkward situation. Have you ever had to ask a stranger to carry your bags? Perhaps you had to wait for the next tram because you couldn’t fit through the door, or couldn’t get there in time due to all the added weight. And, of course, you may have experienced the wrath of the baggage scale and had to rush to rip items out of your neatly packed suitcase to avoid a costly baggage fee.

Knowing what to expect can help you to travel smart, which can save you money for the things that matter most—like that last minute skydiving adventure.

Consider these packing tips before you break out the suitcase.

Pack Light and Allocate

Baggage fees are getting out of control these days. Major airlines charge as much as $50 for a piece of checked baggage, and most impose a weight limit. To avoid these pesky fees, you don’t necessarily need to pack light. You can save a lot just by carrying multiple bags. If possible, take one carry on, a computer bag, and a large, strong shopping bag in place of one large suitcase to cut the costs of checked baggage. Start by wearing your heaviest garments, like formal clothing and winter coats. You’ll want to limit the number of shoes you bring along, too. Most airlines allow one free carry on and two personal items. Make the most of these allowances to save your extra travel bucks.

Learn Your Airline’s Policies

Every airline has its own policies, so be sure to do your research before taking flight. If you purchased ticket insurance, you may want to review the small print. If you’re traveling with animals or children, you should review the airline’s policies on these matters before your departure date. As mentioned previously, you’ll want to pay extra attention to baggage policies, especially since there have been so many changes in recent years. Keep the rules in mind so you can avoid lofty fees that might eat away at your travel budget.
Follow Security Rules

Be aware of the airport’s pre-flight security procedures. The Transportation Security Administration, for instance, requires that all carry-on liquids be contained in bottles no larger than 3-ounces in size. These bottles must be stored in clear, one quart plastic bags. Bottles and bags that don’t fall under the guidelines may be confiscated, which could leave you with unnecessary replacement expenses. Visit the TSA’s website for a list of prohibited items and information on traveling with edible items, gifts, or special items. You will also find information on travelers with disabilities and how to arrange the shipment of large items.

Recycle Your Clothing

If you think you’ll have trouble packing a new outfit for each day of your trip without exceeding airline baggage policy, consider wearing your clothing more than once. A couple of dollars for one load of laundry at a Laundromat will be far less expensive than a carry-on baggage fee. If you plan on buying clothes on your trip, wear old clothes that you can part with while you’re gone to make room for the new garments. If you’re heading out on a beach vacation, factor in the time you’ll spend in swimwear. You may not need too many extra garments for the days spent in the sun.

While you pack, think hard about what you’ll need, and what you won’t need. Most people end up over packing just to be safe, often due to a lack of time. To avoid lugging around excess baggage, set aside a full two hours to get everything in order. Spent 15 minutes or so writing a list of everything you need to pack, and all you need to purchase before you leave. Lastly, try not to stress out. Approach the process with a still mind and don’t let yourself get flustered. Focus on the trip ahead and you’ll be done in no time.

About Check ‘n Go

This guest post was provided by Check ‘n Go, a leader in online payday loans and cash advance services for over 15 years, helping to build legitimacy to the consumer lending industry through their work with the Consumer Financial Services Association. Check ‘n Go sets high standards for responsible and ethical lending in a rapidly expanding cash advance and payday loan business. Check ‘n Go works tirelessly to provide consumers with installment loans, check cashing, payday loans, and other financial needs.

Sources:

TSA | Transportation Security Administration | U.S. Department of Homeland Security. U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Web. 25 Oct. 2011. <http://www.tsa.gov/>.

Steves, Rick. “Pack Smart and Travel Light by Rick Steves.” Rick Steves’ Europe: Tours, Trip Planning, Travel Guides and Information. Web. 25 Oct. 2011. <http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/pack-light.htm>.

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