Travel Hacks For Packing Light And Avoiding Excess Baggage Fees

March 16, 2023

Traveling is an exciting experience that enriches our lives in countless ways. However, one aspect of travel that can be frustrating and costly is packing. Airlines are notorious for charging exorbitant fees for overweight baggage, and carrying heavy bags can also make the trip less comfortable and convenient. Fortunately, there are many travel hacks that can help you pack light and avoid excess baggage fees. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best tips for packing smartly and efficiently.

Make A Packing List And Stick To It

Write down everything you’ll need for your trip, from clothing and shoes to toiletries and electronics. As you’re making the list, be honest with yourself about what you’ll actually use and what you can do without. Try to pack only the essentials and leave behind anything that isn’t necessary. Don’t be tempted to add extra items at the last minute, as this will only lead to overpacking.

Choose Versatile Clothing Items

One of the best ways to save space in your luggage is to choose versatile clothing items that can be worn in multiple ways. Look for items that can be dressed up or down, such as a pair of black pants that can be worn with a dressy blouse for a night out or a t-shirt for a casual day of sightseeing. Opt for lightweight, wrinkle-resistant fabrics that can be rolled up and take up less space in your luggage.

Use Packing Cubes

These small, lightweight bags can be used to separate your clothing items and keep them organized. For example, you can use one cube for tops, one for pants, and one for underwear and socks. This makes it easy to find what you need without having to dig through your entire bag. Packing cubes also compress your clothes, allowing you to fit more items into your luggage.

Take Advantage Of Airline Policies For Carry-On Bags

Many airlines allow passengers to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item, such as a backpack or purse, onto the plane for free. This is a great opportunity to maximize your luggage space and avoid baggage fees. Use your carry-on bag for your essentials, such as your laptop, camera, and any medication you need. Choose a backpack or a tote bag for your personal item, as these can be easily stowed under the seat in front of you.

Wear Your Heaviest Items On The Plane

Another way to save space in your luggage is to wear your heaviest and bulkiest items on the plane. This includes items like boots, jackets, and sweaters. Not only does this free up space in your luggage, but it also keeps you warm and comfortable on the flight.

Consider Shipping Items Ahead Of Time

If you’re traveling for an extended period of time or have bulky items that you can’t fit in your luggage, consider shipping them ahead of time. This can be more cost-effective than paying for overweight baggage fees, especially if you’re traveling internationally. Many shipping companies offer international shipping services and can deliver your items directly to your hotel or Airbnb.


Packing light is a skill that takes practice, but with these travel hacks, you’ll be able to avoid excess baggage fees and make your trip more comfortable and convenient. By making a packing list, choosing versatile clothing items, using packing cubes, taking advantage of airline policies, wearing your heaviest items on the plane, and considering shipping items ahead of time, you’ll be able to pack efficiently and enjoy your trip to the fullest. Happy travels!

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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