Get tips to "pack smart"

June 17, 2008 3:41:38 PM PDT
There is a way to avoid airline baggage fees -- you can always carry on your luggage.If you think you can't fit a week's worth of clothes in your 22-inch carry- on bag, you may need to rethink your packing strategy -- something travelers are not too happy about.

"We pay so much money for airfare as it is," traveler Melinda Torry said.

Frustrated flyers say they are fed up with fees. From higher fares to fees on checked bags, some say it has gotten out of control.

"It doesn't seem all that fair, because they can't expect you travel and not take anything with you," traveler Lonnie Clardy said.

Fellow traveler Patrick Phillips agreed.

"To do something they have already been doing and start to charge for it doesn't make a lot of sense," Phillips said.

And packing a week's worth of clothes you can carry on doesn't seem possible, but if you but want to avoid the fees, you have to be armed with a light suitcase and smart packing strategy.

"When you just first start planning a trip, the best way to get started [is to] just get a little note book," Belinda Miley, expert travel organizer at The Container Store, said.

She says before you start packing, be sure to make a list of must-haves for your trip.

"So if you really think it through, that will help you from wandering the house and grabbing your favorites, which is way too much," Miley said.

For a week's worth of clothes, Belinda says to grab some basic pants, skirts or shorts in neutral colors you can wear a couple of times, and then pack several tops.

The key to make this all fit in a carry-on is to use a compression system.

One compression system out there is like a folder -- it comes with a board you can use as a guide to fold your clothes.

Miley says these packing folders are great because it allows you to maximize space in your carry-on, but you also arrive to your destination wrinkle free.

Miley says you should use the same packing concept to pack undergarments and t-shirts.

For instance, you can pack six t-shirts and several pairs of socks by rolling them up and putting them in small bag.

"I keep going and going and going, and I think a lot of people think 'Oh my gosh, I can't bring hardly anything,' but look how much I can fit inside of there," Miley said.

You can find all the packing gear at area luggage stores. The small packing pouches cost anywhere from $5 to $30.


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