Find out what the airline allows you to take for free before you board the plane. Most airlines allow you to take a carry-on and one personal item. The carry-on can be no larger than 22 inches long by 14 inches wide and nine inches high. Measure your carry-on before you go to the airport. If you can find an airline that allows one checked bag free, use it if necessary. Rather than take a purse, you can take a backpack and put a small purse in it plus other items. If the weather permits and you're willing, you can wear a fanny pack under your jacket instead of a purse and use the backpack for extra items.
Today, calculating the price of your airline ticket means you also have to look at the cost of transporting your baggage. Most airlines allow you to have one personal item, such a purse or laptop and carry-on luggage. If you can't pack everything into the carry-on and have another piece of luggage, many of the airlines tack on an extra charge that varies. You can avoid paying that extra charge and still get the best airline rates if you plan.
Wear a jacket with large pockets and layer your clothes. In the winter, wearing layered clothing only makes sense to maintain warmth. Rather than wear winter clothes to a warm area, wear several layers of summer clothing to save space. Nobody said you couldn't carry items in your pockets either. Carry smaller accessories and save room in your suitcase.
Roll your clothing and use a vacuum-sealed bag. Rolling your clothes does save space and allows you to pack more. Vacuum bags can also save space. Most people use these for bulkier items that don't wrinkle, such as sweaters and sweatshirts. You have a bit of a learning curve when it comes to pressing out the air but with a little practice before the trip, you'll find these save a great deal of space.
Save the smaller items to pack last. You can save a great deal of space by stuffing socks inside your extra pair of shoes or cramming underwear in those small openings at the corner.
Mail your clothes ahead of time. If you send a box of clothing to your next destination, the United States Postal Service provides a 12 inch by 12 inch by 5 1/2 inch flat rate priority mail package. If you're staying at a hotel, call the hotel and make arrangements for the arriving package.
Shop until you drop and donate. Wear older clothing on the plane, pack underwear and socks and take one outfit you're ready to retire. When you go to your destination, buy keepsakes for home in the form of new clothes. Donate the outfit you wore on the plane and the one you wore shopping to a used clothing store. Some people purchase used items when they arrive at their destination and then donate them back at the end of the trip.
- American Airlines Baggage Allowance
- AirlineCreditCards .com: Travel Hacker: The Art of Packing: 44 Tips to Save Space, Time and Keep You Organized, October 23, 2007
- United States Postal Service: Priority Mail Prices
- Money Blue Book: How To Value Your Clothing Donations and Get A Tax Deduction, March 14th, 2008
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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