We all do it – say we’re only bringing a carry on and then deciding at the last minute that we need to pack half of our closets and bathrooms, all while praying that it weighs under 50 lbs. Why wouldn’t you need that top that you have never taken the tag off of or that face wash that you keep meaning to try. I mean, this three day getaway is definitely when you’re going to do it! …Right?
We’ll admit it, traveling light is ideal but actually doing it is another story – a fairly tough one. Luckily we’ve been around the country a few times to know a few tips and tricks to help make your next trip a light one, all while saving you time and money. To give you a realistic idea of how expensive checking your bags has gotten, Kayak has a breakdown by airline (which also includes a breakdown of airlines that provide complimentary snacks-you’re welcome.) That $50 to check your bag could be an extra day of food or a ticket to a show! The extra 30 minutes you spent in the baggage check line could have prevented you from sprinting like a maniac to your departure gate – marathon training is most likely not on your itinerary. We think saving yourself from unnecessary hassle and spending extra money is reason enough, but you’re also preventing lost luggage anxiety, mixed up bags, and dragging extra weight to and from the airports. We’ve all been there and it’s a scary place to be. No more waiting (or weighing!) Read our tips and tricks below to make your next weekend trip a light one.
Our most important tip is to make sure you start with carry on size luggage. Typically, most airlines allow one personal bag such as a laptop or purse and one cabin bag (your carry on.) The size of said carry on can vary by airline but most qualifications are pretty similar; you can see a full dimension breakdown here. It’s important to note that many airlines now days charge for carry ons such as Spirit, Frontier, Allegiant, and even larger airlines like United nowadays. Every trip you book with Whym will always come with one carry on per person prepaid round trip. There are a lot of options out there for great carry on luggage although we recommend a hard shell to prevent overstuffing and something with four multi-directional wheels for good control. Don’t worry – If you’re still manically sprinting to your gate, at least your bag will stay upright.
Now you’re probably wondering how you’re going to fit that unworn shirt and unused face wash (you’ve probably already guessed that we recommend you just leave them at home this time) in your 22” x 14” x 9” carry on bag. That’s where the rest of our tips come in handy!
The fun little section at the store with tons of miniature toiletries was made for this. It seems straightforward and obvious, but if you’re a procrastinator and tend to pack at the last minute, it can be easier to just grab the full size bottles you already have in your house – causing you to either breakdown and check a bag or have your full size products confiscated last minute. If you would rather save money by not buying mini toiletries and use what you already own, most stores sell mini empty bottles that you can just pour your product into – problem solved! Even easier though, hotels provide shampoo, soaps, and conditioners so if you’re not picky on some of your products, skip bringing them and use the hotels supply.
Pack only the essentials. If you’re an over-packer (we’re not pointing any fingers but you’re still reading this for a reason, right?) you typically only end up wearing the same 1 or 2 pair of pants your entire vacation and a shirt a day or so. And who needs 4 bathing suits for 1 weekend!? We get the temptation – you gotta look good for the ‘gram – but unnecessary clothing can add up quickly and take too much space in your carry on. Plus, c’mon, you need room to shop! If you’re feeling particularly inspired by traveling lightly, don’t forget that sometimes hotels or lodging facilities will have laundry rooms that are accessible to guests.
Try to wear your heavier items to the airport. It’s smarter (not necessarily more comfortable – hey, this isn’t a blog post about comfort) to pack your flip flops and wear your sneakers to the airport than the other way around. The same goes for your clothes. Wear your sweatshirts instead of packing them. You can always take them off at the airport if you get too warm.
Our final tip for this post is to organize your bag for optimized space. Rolling clothes as opposed to folding (or wading up) is always a smart idea to save space in your carry on. This also makes it easier to slide and stuff items to the side of your bag and all of its nooks and crannies. It’s also smart to utilize all of the compartments your bag has – that front zipper is there for a reason!
We plan to post more blogs detailing exactly how we recommend packing for certain cities or certain trip lengths, so be sure to swing back by for more specific tips. For now though, now that you’re all packed and organized for your next trip, be sure to save a little bit of room for souvenirs for your trip back to remember your travels!