Travel Efficiently and Travel Light

By: maxine greco

There's a lot of grumbling at the airports today over surcharges for overweight luggage. We all need to rethink this "more is better" and plan our packing more efficiently. The old large suitcases, which came in 30" and 31" sizes, are no longer practical. Because of the sheer volume you can carry in these big cases you will be sure to go overweight. Most of the airlines are allowing 50lbs per case. The good news is you are usually allowed to bring two cases as baggage, along with a carryon and a personal bag. Be sure to check with your particular airline to make sure you are compliant with their regulations to avoid a surcharge. You can usually pack a 27" or 26" and not be overweight. Two of these cases will hold more than the 30" or 31" size. Remember, as a rule, the older luggage was much heavier than the new models today. The manufacturers have adjusted to the new regulations and are offering lightweight luggage with a better, lighter frame on all of the newer models. You'll see all of the advertisements read "lightweight" but you'll need to actually lift the case and see for yourself, which is the lightest of the models.
You also want to continue to look for ballistic nylon in the materials and a good wheel system and locking push or pull handle.

You do not have to give up the quality you want. When you are packing try to mix and match your clothing. Shoes and sneakers will add up quickly in weight, so limit your footwear. For the women, there are now shoes available with different tops. You can take one pair of shoes, and lots and lots of different colored tops. You'll want to take a lightweight folding travel umbrella and jacket along with your other travel accessories. Pack a travel steamer instead of an iron; it's lighter and will do a good job. If you're traveling outside of the United States and need an electrical converter the newest versions are very lightweight. Instead of packing a heavy coat, wear it on the airplane. You can always take it off and put it overhead or under the seat ahead of you.

The new regulations for air travel require you to pack your cosmetics in the luggage. You are only permitted to take a clear, one quart sized bag on the plane with bottles of 3 ounces or less. Many different companies are offering these 3-1-1 bags for your convenience. There are also travel-sized bottles available. Try not to pack that gallon-sized bottle of shampoo and either buy their travel version or pour some into these travel bottles available. You can reduce the weight you're carrying easily with smaller bottles of cosmetics and toiletries. Because the baggage is not pressurized, you will need to double bag your liquids to prevent spilling and leaking. Plastic wrap bottles first, and then pack in a plastic lined cube or case for safety before packing your discount luggage. Accidents with these liquids and creams can be messy and expensive to fix.

Pack a folding tote or duffel bag. These are handy for shopping and can be packed if your luggage is going overweight. There are many versions of these folding cases available. They are especially popular as corporate gifts and can be monogrammed with individual initials or a company name or logo. A travel scale is available now for your luggage and is a great idea to take along. They are easy to use and will insure that you keep within the weight limits posted. Now you're ready to travel light!

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