Money-Saving Packing Strategies

I took a crash course in efficient packing shortly after I was forced to fork over $100 to United Airlines for failing to keep my bags under 50 pounds.

For an extra $150, I could have purchased my bag a seat and let it ride next to me on my flight.

I kicked myself for months following that debacle.  It was a costly mistake that should have never happened.

With holiday travel peaking in a few days, consider the following packing tips so that you won’t be forced to shell out extra dough on your flight to grandma’s house:

Make a List:  This was my epic fail.  I simply threw a bunch of items into my bag without considering how much it would weigh when all was said and done.  By creating a list you have a visual aid to reference.  This allows you to add and subtract items before you haul out your suitcase.  In addition, by writing down what you plan to bring, you are less likely to forget important items.

Plan Ahead:  You can reduce the amount of items you need to pack by planning ahead.  For example, if you know your accommodations include free laundry facilities, then you don’t have to pack as many outfits.  If you are staying in a hotel that doesn’t offer laundry services, bring along a travel-size bottle of laundry detergent and wash your clothes in the bathroom sink.  In addition, pack items that easily transition from day to night.  Dual-purpose items, such as pants that turn into shorts or jackets with sleeves that zip off will help reduce the amount of clothes you’ll have to pack.

Roll It:  Martha Stewart has sworn by this technique for years, only I never listened.  Turns out the domestic diva is right:  Rolling is better than folding.  Tightly rolled clothes take up less space in a suitcase than folded ones. In addition, if you roll your clothes correctly they’re less prone to wrinkle.

Packing Products:  Using specialized packing products like suitcase dividers and vacuum-packed bags that turn your clothes into flat discs can really save space in your suitcase.  Other items that take up minimal suitcase space include packing cubes and collapsible envelopes for toiletries.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.