In 2017, airline passengers paid around $4.2 billion dollars in baggage fees which amounts to about $1 million a day! If you’re a frugal frequent flyer, you know the importance of cutting costs where possible. One of the easiest and most effective ways to save money when traveling is to know how to pack. With the right tips you can avoid overweight luggage that results in excess fees and charges.
No matter if you’re using Expedia to plan your stay at Disneyworld hotels or if you’re headed across the globe to experience tourist life in a new country, knowing how to properly pack is a must.
Here are 5 packing rules that you’ll want to follow if you’re a frugal frequent flyer.
1. Know Your Airline’s Baggage Fees
Before packing, make sure you know the ins and outs of your airline’s baggage fees and weight requirements. Certain airlines allow one checked bag and one carry on bag for free and only charge for any extra bags. Almost all airlines have weight and size restrictions, so be sure that you’re well aware of how much your luggage can weigh and the appropriate sizes.
Knowing these details ahead of time not only makes packing much easier, it also eliminates any extra fees that you’ll have to pay when checking in your baggage. This way you can start off your travels without spending additional money!
2. Pack Food & Snacks
Airports are full of restaurants, perfect for travelers who don’t want to board their plane with an empty belly. While these restaurants are convenient, they can also be quite expensive because of the location.
To save money, pack food and snacks that you and your family can eat while at the airport. While these items will need to go through TSA security screening, the only restriction you need to worry about are liquids. You cannot bring any liquid containers that are more than 3.4oz, but food is just fine.
Top food and snacks to consider packing include:
- Trail mix
- Protein bars
- Individual size bags of chips
Since you likely don’t want to load up on sugar laden drinks like soda and juice before sitting on a flight for hours, bring an empty bottle with you through check out. Most airports offer water stations where you can fill the bottle with water. Pack some lemon or orange slices to add a little flavor!
3. Pack Efficiently
By nature we tend to fold our clothes when putting them away, so it only makes sense to fold shirts and pants before stashing them in your luggage. But, did you know that rolling your clothes can save you tons of space, allowing you to potentially pack all of your items into one suitcase instead of two?
Shirts, jeans, dresses, and other apparel can be neatly rolled and placed into the suitcase. As an added benefit, rolling your clothing can keep them from getting wrinkled. This means less time spent ironing.
To make rolling even more effective, consider rolling outfits, roll a shirt, socks, and unmentionables into one big roll. This makes packing and unpacking a breeze! To master the art of rolling, check out the many explainer videos on YouTube.
4. Check the Weather
We all know that Mother Nature has a mind of her own, but to be frugal when packing, it’s important to pack for the weather. Take a look at the weather forecast for your destination. There’s nothing worse than not packing for the weather and climate and having to buy clothing once you reach your destination.
As a rule of thumb, there are items you’ll want to pack. Loose comfortable clothing, proper walking shoes, sleep clothes, and of course unmentionables are a must. From there, pack needed items like a parka for rainy season or a light jacket if you expect the weather to get chilly at night.
5. Downsize Your Toiletries
Do some homework before you leave to see if there are any items that you can leave at home. Most hotels offer a wide range of toiletries including soap, shampoo, lotion, shower caps, and even toothbrushes. Others offer bathrobes, beach towels, and hair dryers.
By knowing what will be available to you, you don’t have to pack these items. This gives you more room in your suitcase while also keeping your luggage as light as possible.
Another must follow tip for packing toiletries is to avoid purchasing travel size items. While these products are only a few dollars each, you can purchase a full size bottle for just a little more. Instead of buying travel size items, purchase TSA-compliant plastic bottles and transfer product into them.
Being a frugal frequent flyer means saving money and cutting costs where possible without impacting your trip. With these 5 frugal packing tips, you can head off around the world while sticking to your budget and making your money go further.
How do you save space in your suitcase when packing for a trip? Leave us a comment with your thoughts in the section below.
Bryan has visited exactly one more country than his wife, and she won’t let him forget it! Also an avid photographer, he enjoys entrenching himself within the local culture in order to learn more about the people of a place. He is the co-founder of Budget Your Trip and loves a good adventure, an exotic meal, or a passionate conversation about global events.