5 Vacation Planning Tips-How to Pack to Avoid Fees


5 Vacation Planning Tips-How to Pack to Avoid Fees: The cost of airfare constantly rise as service declines. Single travelers still find too many high single supplements and other penalties for traveling the world alone. As a result, travel for singles always requires some strategic planning.

  • Past reports have shown that airlines earned 20% more over their prior year.
  • How did they do it? They earned the extra revenues from so-called “ancillary” or add-on fees.
  • Baggage fees are a substantial part of those charges.
  • As the size of permitted carry-on’s shrink, it has become a real challenge.


How has this happened?

  • Current carry-on restrictions are not only as to the length, width and depth of each bag. They include weight limits often of 15 pounds.  However, I have found on one of my flights to Asia, the carry-on limit was 11 pounds. Bear in mind that includes the suitcase weight not just the contents! As a result, when you purchase a new carry-on, be sure to both check its dimensions and its weight.
  • Since my student days, I have opted to travel light. My reason? I wanted to avoid carrying heavy bags up and down steps in train stations abroad and  through multiple airports.
  • Roller-bags are an improvement from traditional suitcases. However, I have had a fellow traveler’s bag break so that the wheels did not work. “Rolling” a broken roller bag through a large airport is almost impossible.
  • What is the solution? Get packing down to a science. Take so little that you avoid fees but have enough for  a comfortable trip.  As I head out once again on a 17 day trip abroad, I have come up with the following five updated packing tips:

5 Vacation Planning Tips-How to Pack to Avoid Fees:

Tip One:

  • Only pack clothes that serve multiple functions.
  • Possible exception? A bathing suit. Although you might be able to pair it with shorts it or an exercise outfit.
  • Take workout pants and tops that can get by on the street.
  • Also use workout outfits for sleeping. The reason? You may need them if there is a fire in the night or you have to fetch your coffee from the hotel lobby or coffee shop.
  • Focus on only two colors. Be sure they work together to m ix and match.

5 Vacation Planning Tips-How to Pack to Avoid Fees:

Tip Two:

  • Shoes, especially women’s heels, are a real menace when it comes to packing light. They take up too much space and weigh more than most other items.
  • One solution is to wear your heaviest, bulkiest shoes on the flight.
  • Pack lighter, smaller pairs. Split them up so that one fits on each side of the carry-on.
  • Save space by tucking socks and other small items like battery-chargers inside each shoe.
  • If at all possible, avoid packing sneakers as they are “Space Stealers”.
  • Women’s shoes are harder since they vary in color, comfort and type.
  • I have found it possible to sight see in flats. For real trekking, I have used lighter boating shoes rather than sneakers.

5 Vacation Planning Tips-How to Pack to Avoid Fees:

Tip three:

  • Pack clothes that easily move from day into evening. Again this is more of a challenge for women. The reason? Our type and style of dress can vary markedly at night.
  • I recommend traveling with gold or silver flats. Be sure they are comfortable enough for urban daytime wear but look dressy enough after hours.
  • Pants can still work at night when dressed up with accessories.

5 Vacation Planning Tips-How to Pack to Avoid Fees:

Tip Four:

  • Be careful about taking duplicative electronics.
  • Remember each may need a separate charger and even a converter-adapter.
  • A tablet may easily replace your laptop and even phone. That will quickly reduce your carry-on’s total weight.

5 Vacation Planning Tips-How to Pack to Avoid Fees:

Tip Five:

  • Bottles add bulk and weight even if they individually meet the 3 oz. maximum allowed.
  • You may have found as I have that under pressure liquids may leak.
  • Flat packs of shampoo and other samples take up less room. An added benefit? They avoiding leaking out on your favorite outfits!
  • Take dual-use products like shampoo/conditioner.
  • Buy local brands at your destination as needed. Avoid expensive imports.

As I head out once again, I will likely find at least one item in my bag that I could have left at home!  Go to our Contacts Page and let us know your own tips to packing light and avoiding baggage fees.

About the Author

Elizabeth Avery founded Solo Trekker 4 U in 2012, to provide fellow solo travelers with well-priced top travel packages and global lodging from 5-star hotels to economical bed and breakfasts. Elizabeth has visited all 50 US states and more than 66 countries around the world.


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