Do you constantly overpack your suitcase? Coming from a person that travels for a living, here are some hacks that will save you BIG TIME at the airport.
If you're anything like me, you claim to pack light but for some reason more and more things keep finding their way into your bags. Even if you only pack one bag and swear you won't buy too much on your vacation, your suitcase always comes back heavier.
I've paid too many overweight bag fees in the airport to not have a trick or two up my sleeve and I'm gonna give you all the top hacks that I personally took way too long to learn!
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1. Pack your accessories in a bag you can easily pull out of your suitcase
Okay, I'm putting this at the very top of the list because it's the easiest thing you can do and I see so many people throw things away and it makes me want to cry. Let me explain... Find yourself one of those super cute travel organizers and fill it with whatever-your makeup, your accessories, your toiletries-the travel approved sized ones at least, and put it on the very top of your stuff so you can pull it out of the suitcase easily. I promise you when that sucker is full it will weigh a few pounds and if you're like me, it could be more like 5 or 6!
Now, as usual, do your best to pack within the weight limits but if you just can't seem to get your bag underweight for that trip back home, don't fret! Just get it as close as possible and head to check your bag. One of two things will happen if your bag is only a few pounds overweight a.) The attendant will feel for you and check the bag anyways out of the kindness of their heart…do not abuse this, please! Or… b.) You can pull out your previously packed and ready little bag and carry it on board as a "purse" instead of trying to shove random shoes into your carry on and figure out what heavy things you can trash. Which leads me to my next point…
2. You can have a carry on AND a personal item- Make it count!
Do you ever wonder how people can travel all over the place carry-on only? They are SMART with their space! You get a carry-which can be as big as a size approved duffel or suitcase AND a personal item… I better not see any of you using small little purses at the check-in as your personal item! Yes, bring your purse but stick that sucker in a backpack and remember if worse comes to worst, no one is going to weigh that backpack-it's the size that matters to fit below the seat or in the overhead compartments.
Try to leave some space at the top in case you need to shuffle some things out of your suitcase last minute.
3. Invest a little more money into a good travel backpack
Whenever I have a plane to catch for any reason, I always use my grey travel backpack. Not only is it comfortable even when I stuff it to the brim, but it has a sleeve for my laptop, lots of space for extra clothes, hidden pockets that I use for my passport and wallet, and an exterior charging cord for my phone. Plus it was only $30 on Amazon...
Yes, you have limited space, but learn how to make that space work for you. Function over fashion just for this part of the trip okay?
4. Do you travel a lot for work? Make their pockets hurt!
If you're traveling often for work, some companies not only will cover extra suitcase fees but depending on your job, you may even be allowed extra weight. For example, some crewmembers that work onboard ships-commercial and industrial- are allowed extra weight in each suitcase as long as they can prove they are working on the sea. (It's hard enough to pack for months at a time as is let alone within a weight requirement! Trust me!) If your company is constantly sending you to and from, and you feel yourself getting whacked with additional travel costs, it's time to have a chat with your boss. If you're essential enough to have a plane ticket/meals/hotels/transportation fees etc. covered for you, additional weight may be an easy cost for the company to stomach.
5. Buy a suitcase scale to keep in your front pocket
These little guys are way worth the price and more accurate than a bathroom scale ever will be. I always keep one in the front pocket of my suitcase so I don't lose it in-between trips and if I haven't gotten enough use out of it, my friends definitely have.
A really easy way to keep track of your stuff and not have to wait until you get to a busy airport to dump all your things on the ground.
6. Buy a smaller suitcase
I have a big purple suitcase that I'm in love with and I love having room to re-organize all my things for longer trips, But this suitcase always gets me in trouble. I make sure it's under the weight limit and before long I catch myself shoving random extra things inside because it's the only suitcase with space. By the time I'm at the airport I have no idea how I could have possibly added 5 pounds into the pockets.
I'm putting this last on the list because it sounds so obvious but honestly, it's an easy solution that I overlooked for years. If your suitcase, even at max capacity cannot physically hold more than the weight limit, than you'll be forced to limit yourself and won't waste as much time weighing your suitcase over and over again. Are you a frequent traveler? What are your best travel and packing tips? Have you used any of these methods?