Are you a traveler who loves a challenge? Most travelers who don’t have cash to burn on luggage fees would love to find ways to pack as little as possible. After all, bag fees can quickly add up to total nearly as much as your actual ticket if you’re bringing along a few pieces of luggage. The ultimate challenge is to try to fit everything you need for a trip into a single bag. Can it be done? Check out seven tips for getting down to one bag.
Audit Your Bag
Begin the packing process a few days before you need to leave for your trip because the science of getting down to one bag really can be a process. You’re going to need to be in auditing mode when it comes to reviewing everything that gets put into your “packing pile” when planning outfits for your trip. How little can you really get away with? You should ideally match every outfit to the place and time you intend to wear it during your trip. All “maybe” items are off the table. This also means focusing on packing your most versatile items. Can a tank top that you wear on a seaside hike during the day be dressed up with a statement necklace at night? Could those khaki trousers that look good with hiking boots during active hours be worn with a button-down shirt for evening drinks? The added bonus of doing it this way is that you won’t have to worry about your hotel room becoming messy as you try to sort through your outfits to find the right one each day of your trip. Just keep reminding yourself that every outfit you pack that you’ll never wear is costing you money!
Plan to Wash Your Clothes on the Road
Is someone really suggesting that you wear the same shirt that you hiked in to dinner out at a nice restaurant? It works if you can find a way to wash your clothes during a trip. You may be able to find a very affordable laundry spot near where you’re staying. Of course, it’s not out of the question to simply wash your clothes in the bathroom of your hotel room. You can sling wet clothes over the curtain rod in your tub to allow them to dry overnight. People do it every day!
Embrace the Roll-and-Stuff Method
Get creative about space inside your suitcase. For instance, rolling things like socks and underwear before stuffing them inside your shoes will free up some space. Rolling your clothing will generally allow you to fit more in your bag. You’ll also want to select a bag that allows room for your bulkiest, heaviest items to go on the bottom. Those items will create a layer that the rest of your items can “build” on as they get packed in.
Swap Clothes With a Travel Companion
Will you be traveling with someone who also loves the idea of saving money by keeping it down to one bag? You can get more mileage out of the clothes you do pack if a travel companion is willing to swap clothes with you during your trip. Of course, this only works if both of you wear roughly the same size clothing. You can potentially enjoy double the amount of outfits without packing more inside your bag if you have a good match. This is also something you can do with your partner if you’re going on a honeymoon or romantic trip. Maybe your partner intends to bring along cozy flannel shirts or cardigans. That’s good news for you if you tend to wear short-sleeved tees most of the time. You can simply rely on your partner’s warmer items to warm you up when you need to throw something on after temperatures drop at night.
Don’t Pack Toiletries
Shampoo bottles, shaving cream, body lotion, and toothpaste are all dead weight inside your suitcase. There’s a very good chance that all of the products you need will be available for purchase in whatever destination you’re visiting. Wait until you arrive at your destination to purchase them. Do your best to purchase travel sizes that make it possible to use every last drop before your trip is over because these items should not be coming home in your bag!
Wear Your Bulkiest Items on the Plane
Flight day is game day when it comes to making sure you’re prepared to pack as little as possible. Make sure you’re wearing the coat you’ll be lugging along for your trip when you board your plane even if the weather doesn’t quite call for this. You’ll also want to wear your heaviest pair of shoes on flight day!
Make Sure You Have the Right Bag
The bag you use to pull off your one-bag trip can make or break your plan. The first thing you’re going to want to do is measure your bag to make sure it fits within the dimensions of what you’re allowed to bring. You should also make sure the shape of the bag supports things like shoes without creating bulky, awkward lumps. A good pocket system on a bag is ideal if you’ll be bringing along a tablet or slim laptop that needs a little bit of extra protection.
Don’t Torture Yourself If You Can Splurge on an Extra Bag
You may find it really easy to follow all of the rules above to condense your travel needs into one bag for most trips. However, it’s also important to realize that you can’t “win them all” when it comes to avoiding baggage fees. Paying extra for a bag is sometimes worth the added convenience of being able to pack what you need. For instance, trying to fit everything into a bag when you’re traveling for a work conference, professional event or job interview could create unnecessary stress. The goal should be to cut it down to one bag as frequently as possible without zapping the fun from the travel experience.
Source: frugal travel guy