Tag Archives: tips

Packing Tips from Active Travel

2 Aug

In response to this NBC news article, “Faced with hefty fees, traveler abandons bags, creates airport headache“, I was invited on air this morning at 610 WTVN to speak about some travelling  and packing tips. I thought I would share with you some of the best packing tips I’ve learned over my years of travel.

First off, did you know that in 2012, U.S. airlines earned over $3.5 billion in baggage fees? Wow! If you pack and travel smart, you can avoid giving the airlines more money than they already have.

Expect fairly standard baggage limitations, no matter where you travel. Most airlines will charge for overweight baggage and for more bags than is allowed.

Tip: If possible, take only carry-on baggage. This is great if you’re travelling away for just a weekend or a short trip.

weigh your bag

Use this handy device to make sure your bag is under 50 lbs before you leave.

Want to know ahead of time if your bag weighs more than 50 lbs? You can purchase a digital weighing device, such as a luggage scale. This one pictured on the right costs just $20 and is easily available on Amazon. Or, if you want to save some bucks you can just put your bag on your bathroom scale and weigh it that way.

Pack light. Pack smart. Many of us have a tendency to over pack. Avoid taking more than you needespecially when laundry will be available or friends and relatives will be happy to lend you additional clothes or gadgets. Unless it’s something you can’t live without or you can’t buy when you’re there, don’t bring it. 

If you love something, let it go. Rely on your wits, charm and ability to ask to borrow something. You can live without it!

Rather than buying lots of trinkets to take home, take lots of pictures. These will serve as much better reminders of your experience and don’t take up space in your luggage.

Substitute, Substitute, Substitute. For example, take a smaller Ipod instead of a big one, take an E-reader instead of several books, take an outfit that looks great both day and night.

Cheap luggage. If you’re going to check a bag, buy a cheap bag because often bags get beaten up when they are tossed onto the plane and then on the conveyor belt. Plus, expensive luggage tends to be heavier than cheaper bags.

Carry on. Squishy carry on bags and backpacks are great because they can be shoved under the seat in front of you. If you can, store non essential items in the overhead compartment once you are on the plane.

Turn on the charm. Want a window seat? More leg room? A little compliment and charm will go along way to the counter agent when you check in to your flight. Being extra kind to the agent (who works long hours and deals every day with angry customers) could help you out a lot.

Wear your boots. Be sure to wear your heaviest clothes onto the flight. Think jeans, boots, jacket,belt, etc. This will save room in your luggage

Exemptions. There are some carry-on exemptions that won’t attract fees. These include a child’s safety seat, a baby’s diaper bag, baby’s food bag, strollers, wheelchairs, walkers, etc. Check with your airline in advance.

Where you stay matters. Recently, some hotel chains have introduced an incentive that they will reimburse your baggage fees for staying with them. Consider taking advantage of this offer if your trip requires an overnight stay or longer.

What you should pack:

  • Mini toiletries (TSA only allows liquids in 3oz or less containers)
  • Ziploc plastic baggies (if something gets wet, these are great)
  • Multi-function clothes (think dark colors, day and night and comfy)
  • laundry detergent (so you can do your laundry there)
  • Duffle bag (pack this so that if you come back with a lot of souvenirs, you can use this bag rather than paying overweight bag charges)
  • Vacuum seal bags (These are miracle workers if you’re short on space)
  • Camera (capture your own memories rather than buying the gift store’s memories)
  • Luggage tags (make sure there is a tag on each of your bags so you can identify it easily)

Have fun travelling the world!

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