Packing is a skill and an art for today’s airborne travelers. Airlines are getting stricter in terms of what you can bring and how much you can tote, and you can’t count on a porter or cart to help you carry the load. You have to think carefully about what you need to bring vs. what you want to bring. Remember the mantra: keep it lean and light and you won’t have to lug. Pack smart and you might get away with just a carry-on case and personal item, thereby avoiding baggage charges, hold-ups at the carousel or missing luggage hassles. Here are 20 packing tips to stuff smart and help you lighten up for today’s not-so-friendly skies.
1. Know Your Limits
Airlines seem to be updating their baggage rules on the fly. What you got away with six months ago might not be permitted today, so read the small print and check your carrier’s latest regulations. Many major airlines have scrapped the free checked bag allotment altogether and most others are charging for second bags we used to take for granted. Weight maximums, suitcase dimensions and carry-on policies are ever changing and are being strictly enforced. Do not exceed the limits or you will pay dearly.