Tired of being charged for having excess baggage? And tired of arriving at your destination unorganized? Try these travel packing hacks….
According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics in the U.S. Department of Transportation, airlines pocketed a staggering $3.5 billion (yes, with a “B”) in baggage fees. [SOURCE]
That statistic is from a few years ago, so the current figure is likely even higher.
And granted, not all that profit is from oversize baggage fees. However, in the United Kingdom alone, airlines collected about $500 million in oversize baggage fees.
But even if you were allowed to check in a suitcase that weighed, say, 100 pounds, it helps to be organized.
Some people, though, aren’t organized by nature. Consequently, they haphazardly throw their stuff in a suitcase without any rhyme or reason.
When you arrive at your destination, say, a hotel, and all your clothes and stuff look like they’ve just been recovered from a category 5 hurricane, it can drive you crazy.
Here, then, are some travel packing hacks that’ll help you save money.
You Gotta Know When To Fold ‘Em
Perhaps the most important thing when it comes to packing for a cruise or trip is learning how to organize your clothes.
One of the oldest tricks in the book is rolling your clothes. This hack might not be shocking as it’s been a well-known strategy for years. However, many people still aren’t familiar with this simple advise.
There’s also some debate as to whether or not rolling is better than folding.
Folding is perhaps better if you’re concerned about your clothes being too wrinkly when you arrive. However, even if you fold diligently, like a veteran Gap employee, your clothes will still look wrinkly.
That might not be a big deal if you don’t have a formal event to attend. But if you want to look sharp going out on the town, you’ll likely end up ironing your clothes anyway.
Therefore, rolling is probably the better suitcase-packing hack. Besides, folding doesn’t necessarily save any room or make packing more efficient.
So says this hacking lifestyle blog.
The source at the hacking lifestyle blog claims that folding usually results in differing shapes and sizes of garments. Consequently, your suitcase is filled with inefficient space gaps.
On the other hand, rolling seems to be more efficient. “Because of their small, narrow shapes, you can fit more clothes this way,” says the source.
Just be prepared to take out your clothes and hang them right away when you arrive at your destination. You might still need to iron some of your finer going out for dinner clothes.
Travel Packing Hacks On the Cheap: Plastic Bags
The one knock on rolling your clothes is that even though it’s a good travel trick, it’s not easy to find specific clothing items. Especially if you’re going to be living out of a suitcase for a while.
An easy hack for this is to bring a handful of extra large zip plastic bags. You can have one bag for active-wear shirts for hikes and bike rides.
Another bag can be for bedtime clothes. Pack all your underwear in another baggie, etc…
If you’ve never seen the show “Modern Family” then you won’t appreciate the reference. In the episode “Yard Sale,” the goofy protagonist, Phil Dunphy, tips his father-in-law’s Harley over and gets his pants caught underneath the bike.
Phil laments the fact that he’s not wearing his shants (a combo of shorts and pants); instead, he has to cut his jeans off.
Anyways, the lesson of this travel packing hacks fable is that shants are a smart thing to bring on trips. High-end outdoor recreation brands such as REI and Columbia sell hiking pants that can quickly transform into shorts.
With shants, you don’t need to pack too many pants nor too many shorts.
And if you do have your favorite bulky sweater, bring it with you on the plane. Bulky sweaters are difficult to roll and take up valuable space in your suitcase.
If you have no room in your carry-on, pack your bulky sweater in a big canvas bag. You can use the canvas bag if you go food shopping or buy souvenirs.
But if those options don’t work, you can always tie the bulky sweater around your waste before you board.
Suitcase Packing Tips
You’re committed to rolling your clothes and using these travel packing hacks.
But before you start rolling, set aside the clothes you plan on bringing.
Next, ask yourself if you’re definitely going to wear or use each item. If you’re in doubt about a specific item, don’t pack it.
Not sure if your suitcase will weigh too much? (It helps to weigh your bag at home before you get to the airport.)
If it’s going to be close and you might be in jeopardy of paying $75 or more for oversize baggage fees, remove your heaviest items from your suitcase. Instead, wear your hiking boots on the plane.
Or tie the boot laces around your carry-on bag.
In addition, you can always leave your basic cosmetics at home. If you’re going to be staying in an area that’s close to a supermarket, it might be easier to buy travel size containers of toothpaste, toothbrush, soap and shampoo.
It’s not worth paying the exorbitant excess baggage fee for items that only will cost about $5.
Space Saving Packing Hacks
Packing cubes are one of the most recent travel packing hacks. If you have an engineering mind or loved playing Tetris, you might enjoy packing cubes.
They are lightweight and you can zip them up. The purpose of them is to compress your clothes into tighter spaces.
And like the large plastic baggies, it’s a way to keep your items organized. Rather digging through your suitcase looking for your last clean pair of socks, you’ll know immediately where to look with the cubes.
The downside to the cubes is that you have to buy them. And they’re certainly more expensive than plastic baggies, which hopefully you have at home and reuse.
The higher quality cubes are mesh, which make it easy to see what each cube contains. Immediately upon arriving at your hotel, you can take the cubes out.
You can even leave the cubes on your hotel desk rather than having to take the time and unpacking everything in drawers that probably don’t get cleaned too often.
Travel Hacks for Flying
Sometimes, luggage gets lost. Hopefully, not lost permanently, but at least doesn’t arrive at the intended destination.
Therefore, it’s always best to pack at least one change of clothes in your carry-on. Obviously, if you take medication you can’t do without, bring it on board with you.
Don’t feel like dealing with packing clothes? Then unfolding them, ironing them and then having to do laundry when you get home?
And don’t forget after you do the laundry, you have to put your clothes away.
If you can relate, here’s the ultimate of travel packing hacks for lazy people….
Only pack a couple changes of clothes. Then, when you arrive at your destination, look for a Salvation Army or Goodwill store.
At second-hand stores like these, you can buy shirts for a dollar or even less. If you’re going fishing or hiking or just knocking around, you can essentially rent a wardrobe for $10-$20.
Then, when you’re done with your trip, donate the clothes back to the second-hand store.
Do you have any ultimate travel packing hacks? Leave a comment….