Why The Smartest Travelers Never Check Their Luggage

The Smartest Travelers Never Check Their LuggagePhoto via Flickr by mamnaimie piotr

Most of my travel life has included baggage fees.

No matter if I took a short hop to the always-exciting New York metropolis or a lazy getaway to scenic Belize, I’d pack with the looming consideration that I might need to check my bag.

Up until I walked out of the door on travel day, I struggled with the need to save money versus the desire to have my favorite beauty products on hand.

Carrying a suitcase onboard limited my luggage options, what I packed, and how comfortable I was on travel day — because dragging a suitcase around the airport is no fun. When I didn’t feel like pulling a suitcase, or when I wanted my hair products, I threw budget to the wind and splurged on checked bags.

Then I could pack whatever I wanted and walk around the airport unencumbered.

But checking bags comes with surprises like TSA checks and broken items. I’ve even pulled damaged luggage from the baggage carousel, leaving me to wonder why I pay the airlines to destroy my items.

I’ve learned that packing efficiently is essential to traveling more often.

The better you become at narrowing the items you need on travel, the less you’ll have to lug around the world and the more money you’ll save for other trips.

Avoid paying to take things you really don’t need across the country, and you’ll have more money in your travel savings account to snag last-minute deals on Priceline.

Travel-Sized Products Rock

Start by learning how to use beauty products conservatively.

Travel-sized products aren’t ideal, especially on long trips, but these mini-bottles allow you to take your favorite products with you when you travel.

Ziplock bags are another must have when I’m traveling. They help me store and compartmentalize items that I want to stay together. And they take up less space than containers.

Rinse and Repeat

Remember that you can wear the same outfit twice on vacation. I know this comes as a revelation to some, but switching into something new each day isn’t necessary.

Give your clothes a quick wash in the sink with soap or shampoo if needed, and hang them up to dry for another wear. Less clothing = less baggage.

Leave It at Home

Take only what you need and will really use.

There are few things I need every day. Among those I do need is every single one of Beyonce’s songs. Luckily, those take up literally no space in my luggage!

What I struggle with are books. I always want to take two even though I know I won’t read both.

What are you packing that you’ll likely never use? Leave it at home.

I’ve learned to pack everything in a backpack that I need for a week’s trip. And I never feel like I’m missing out on anything that I’ve left. And if the need is dire, I buy things when I land.

Carrying on a small piece of luggage is the smartest and most effective way to see the world.

Become an expert at it!