The subtle art of packing lightly
There was a point in time long ago when airlines would allow you at least one cargo bag along with a carry-on as well as personal bag to bring with you on your next journey. Times have changed and finding an airline that still does this is few and far between. Here are some nifty tricks to set you on your way without scrambling for spare change for your baggage fee.
1. Only pack as though you're travelling for one week even if it's for a month. Washing your clothes where and when you can will reduce the need to pack more than necessary
Here is a basic suggested list, alternate and adjust accordingly.
-5 pairs of underwear
-5 pairs of socks
-2 pairs of pyjamas
-2 sweaters (if colder climates are on the horizon)
-slippers/sandals (for hotel use indoors... you never know what's on your floors so it's a good idea to keep your feet safe)
On the day of your trip wear one of each article of clothing. What should really be in your luggage is 2 shirts, 2 pants/shorts, 4 underwear, 4 pairs of socks, 2 pyjamas, etc. No need to wear pyjamas on your flight but no judgement if you do that too!
2. You are allowed to travel with a single one litre clear, closed and resealable bag that contains liquids for hygienic reasons (think toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, moisturizer, etc.) . If you are able to obtain these they will be your saving grace on your travels. Note: Surprisingly razors for shaving are allowed in carry-ons as long as they are in their holder and not loose blades.
3. Avoid all aerosols! It's safer to purchase your shaving cream upon landing at your destination
4. Re-usable water bottle. This will save you tons of money at the airport and throughout your travels if you carry your own bottle with you.
5. Kobo (or other similar tablet for a good read). Gone are the days of carrying around large books in our shoulder bags, Kobo readers are incredible at storing all your favourite reads without taking up all the space.
6. Wear your heaviest (and warmest) clothes on your flight if possible, this will take up less space in your luggage leaving you more space for other important things.
7. Instead of laying your clothes flat in your bag, try rolling them. Packing this way increases the space by reducing as much "airspace" as possible.
8. Not much need for a towel. Most hotels and hopefully places you have decided to stay (friends, family or Airbnb) will have towels available to you. One less thing to worry about in your luggage.
9. Baggage lock (airport approved). Sometimes if there is an overabundance of carry-on bags, flights will offer to place your carry-on in cargo free of charge when you are at the gate.
10. If you are packing extra shoes, stuff them with your socks so that they don't get damaged in your luggage.
11. Don't forget your tickets and passports. (Just don't leave them in your carry-on.)
12. Clearly labeled medication.
One last tip I like to add is to create your packing list as soon as you book and leave the list in your luggage bag. Check off each item as you add them to your haul and again when you are packing for the return home.
Have fun wherever it is you are going!!
Here is a list of websites to check if you are unsure of the item you are bringing.