Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Packing Tips to Save Money

With high fuel charges, weight is at a premium when flying to a destination. Here are a few tips to keep your baggage under control and save money on over-weight fees.

1. Know the baggage allowances for your chosen carrier

2. Purchase a light weight suitcase. Made from a lighter weight material, these suitcases are still sturdy and usually come with their weight prominently listed on their features tag. I wait until the sales before I buy.

3. Organize your suitcase with packing folders and cubes

. This keeps your suitcase tidy and makes it easy to find items. My favourite is the Eagle Creek Pack-It system.

4. Pre-plan your travel wardrobe. Stick with a colour theme and coordinating pieces so that you can create the maximum number of outfits through mixing and matching. Since shoes are heavy, limit the number you pack.

5. Bring clothing that is light-weight, wrinkle resistant, quick to dry when washed and can be dressed up or worn casually. One of my favourite versatile travel options is a pair of pants with zip off legs to transform them into capris or shorts. I also just purchased a convertible dress which can be wrapped and tied in 100 different ways. Athletic dry fit t-shirts are great for vacations.

6. Accessories can really change an outfit’s look. Just make sure your accessories are light-weight.

7. Ipads and e-readers are great for travelling since books can add a lot of weight to baggage. If you must bring a book, plan to donate it at your destination in order to save weight for holiday momentos.

8. Bring a small luggage scale that can easily monitor your baggage weight. These can be found in most baggage and travel stores.

9. Bring sample packs of facial products and toiletries so that you can get rid of packaging and weight as you go.

10. Wear your heaviest outfits, layered on the plane trip. You can always remove a layer or two when you get on the plane…or not, since sometimes the planes can be rather chilly.

11. Keep any medications and valuable items with your carry-ons. Bring copies of your prescriptions with you. You may want to add an extra pair of undies and toothbrush as well.

12. Remember that you can only carry-on liquids or gels in containers under 100ml. All carry-on liquid containers must be placed in one clear, closed, resealable bag (think zip lock). This bag can be no more than one litre (1 quart) in capacity which is about 6”x9” or 7”x8”. Anything larger than 100ml (like sun block), must go into your checked baggage.

13. Think out every item before you pack it and compare notes with your family/travelling companion. Try not to double up on items such as hair dryers, toothpaste etc.

14. If you are staying in hotels, check if they supply free shampoo, conditioner and soap.

15. Don’t forget the chargers for your electronics. Depending on your destination, you may need an electrical adapter.

16. Pack one outfit in each of your family’s luggage. That way if your luggage is lost, you still have an outfit to fall back on.

17. Pack your bag at least a week before you go, then re-pack, selecting only what you must bring.

We are always looking for good packing tips. Please share your best tips with us.

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