- Some people struggle to zip their suitcase closed for any trip.
- Airlines can charge $100-$200 for overweight luggage.
- These tips will make it easier to pack logically.
There’s a strategy behind packing and it’s not easy to master. Some people can pack their whole life into a backpack, while others struggle to zip a suitcase shut.
Overpacking is not only stressful, but it can also be expensive. Nowadays, airlines charge anywhere from $100-200 each way for overweight or oversized checked bags. And in some countries, if your carry-on items exceed 15 pounds, the airline will ask you to check it.
As someone who has traveled all over the world, I’ve rounded up 10 packing mistakes that are causing you to over-pack and thus, to pay too much on luggage.
The standard size of a checked bag should not exceed 62 inches in height and 50 pounds in weight
A smart way to cut down the weight of your checked bag is to bring fewer shoes. Think about what you realistically need for your vacation. Are sandals and a pair of comfortable walking shoes sufficient enough?
Of course, if you’re going to somewhere cold you’ll need boots – which you should definitely wear on the plane. Make your best effort to leave clunky heels behind. They’ll most likely be worn for three hours on a week-long vacation.
Bringing too many books
… Or any at all. I love a juicy book just as much as you, but don’t bring more than one or two books with you on vacation. If you do bring books, pack them in your carry-on. This is when e-readers come in handy.
Not parting ways with big bottles of shampoo and conditioner from home
I get that you have a favorite shampoo and conditioner brand, but rather than stuffing your suitcase with heavy bottles, invest in travel-size containers. Pour whatever toiletries you have from the big bottles into the small ones. That way you’ll still have your favorite brand with you on vacation.
If you really want to save space, don’t bring any shampoo or conditioner at all. Most hotels supply toiletries. If not, you’ll be able to find it at your destination.
Packing too many snacks
Bringing food with you to a destination (or from a destination) will definitely weigh your bag down. On the way, opt for packing snacks that are light in weight, such as a small bag of nuts or chips. Leave the jar of peanut butter or can of tuna at home.
It can be super fun to grocery shop in a new place, but if you’re bringing snacks back home with you, think logically about how they’ll fit into your checked bag. Can you pack it in your carry-on? Or is it worth it to mail the food items back home?
Stocking up on alcohol
Alcohol is a tricky item to pack. You know it’s going to be heavy, but you also just found a really great bottle of wine in Italy that you can’t part ways with.
Rather than rolling up the bottle in clothes and praying that it doesn’t break in your checked bag – just ship the alcohol home. You would pay more for the overweight bag than to mail it to your doorstep.
Not filtering your cosmetics bag
Cosmetic items packed in excess will weigh your bag down. You don’t need to bring every single cosmetic item with you on vacation because you probably won’t use all of them. Think about how you’ll use your makeup when creating a packing list. Then filter out your cosmetics bag before packing it.
Packing too many electronics and appliances
You’ll probably want your headphones, portable speakers, e-reader, laptop, camera, hair dryer, hair curler, and phone (plus all the wires and chargers that come with it) when you go on vacation. But never pack those items in your checked bag.
Not only will it make your bag heavy, but it’s also at risk of getting lost. Realistically, do you want to travel with that many valuable items? Take what you need, but bring it with you on the plane.
Stuffing your bag with too many heavy jackets
Packing too many winter clothes will tip the scale and force you to pay for an overweight bag. The standard rule of thumb is to wear your heavy clothes on the plane instead of packing them.
If you’re traveling somewhere cold, skip the wool and pack down feather jackets. Go for lighter long sleeves and pants that you can easily layer, rather than bulky outerwear.
Going all out on the souvenirs
Packing light gives you room for souvenirs – but don’t overdo it by attempting to bring home an awkwardly large, wooden statue. Think small items, like jewelry or magnets. Pack an empty zip-top bag to store souvenirs neatly in your checked bag.
Luckily, most clothing items are light in weight. But that’s what gets you in trouble – thinking that an extra top or two won’t hurt. Check the weather before your trip so you know if you’ll need that sweater.
Pack fewer clothes than you think you need. One pair of shorts can match with multiple tops. Roll your clothes in your suitcase and place them on top of heavier items.