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So your ready to pack for vacation but now your hindered by the thought of the check baggage fee. Lots of thoughts come to mind including how to pack so that you can carry on and avoid the fee. No matter how many times you’ve rearranged your packed items to make everything fit, it just doesn’t seem like you can avoid checking your bags in. Sounds familiar?

Many times we’re so excited about traveling and landing some place we’ve never been that we actually pack as if we’re not coming back home! I know I’ve been guilty of this in the past. Below I’ve shared some tips and suggestions on how to pack light by only bringing items and clothing you will actually need while on vacation. If you lighten your bag by packing only the essentials, you can actually save $50 or more per trip!
Tip # 1 – Where Are You Going and for How LONG?
Ding! Ding! Ding! The magic question! Pack your bags according to your length of stay. For instance, if traveling to Las Vegas and staying for only 4 days/3nights, chances are you’ll only need 4 rounds of clothing; 2 outfits for during the day and 2 for night life or formal events. The same applies if your traveling to the Caribbean Islands. In fact, here is where you’ll most likely pack more swim clothes and less every day or night life clothes. This will lighten up your carry on and make all ways possible!
Tip# 2 – Apply The Shirt to Pants Rule
The Shirt to Pants rule applies even when traveling and especially if you want to pack where you’ll avoid paying an additional $50 or more roundtrip for your luggage to fly. Basically, the rule says this: for every 2 pairs of pants or shorts, you can pack 3-4 shirts that will match them making it look as if you have 3-4 different outfits! I’ve also used this rule when packing footwear. Pack sandals, sneakers, shoes and flipflops according to how they match the clothes your packing. Also, don’t be ashamed to bring your favorite pair of sneakers or shoes. If they fall apart while your traveling, at least that’s one less thing to bring back. Or, you can always use that as the perfect excuse to buy another pair while on your journey!
Tip #3- Footwear in Bag First
There was a time where I would throw my footwear on top of the clothes I put in my luggage and wondered why it would never close or would appear bulky. Later, I discovered that if I placed my footwear in a draw string bag and then place them in my luggage, it would afford more space and wouldn’t appear bulky. So, my final suggestion is to place your footwear in a bag first then into your luggage.
To recap, avoiding check baggage fees is doable. You can pack your luggage only using a carryon bag if your mindful of what your packing. To do so, you have to consider your destination, your length of stay and match your length of stay with how much clothes and items you’ll actually need. Remember, you can always buy things along the way so you don’t have to pack up your entire wardrobe for the trip!

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