Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Thrifty Strategy- Carry-on luggage

Even before airlines started charging to check luggage, I tried to carry-on at all costs. There is nothing worse than getting off of an airplane, then standing next to the luggage carousel, hoping and praying that your suitcase will appear down the ramp! And now they charge you for that experience? No thanks.

I think the most impressive packing job was when the two of us went on a 10-day trip that included a seven-day Mediterranean cruise and didn't check anything.

How do we manage to avoid checking bags? Here are some strategies:

- Plan to do some laundry/have some laundry done for you while at your destination. When we were on the Mediterranean trip I planned to send out some items to be washed while we were on the ship. On a trip to Norway, I knew one of the places we were staying had a laundry room, so we did some laundry there. When you're staying with friends or family they usually don't mind if you throw in a load while you're there.
- Wear your bulkiest clothes on the airplane. My husband sometimes wears his suit jacket and dress shoes on the plane just to save space in the luggage for other items. Jeans are also a great plane candidate, especially since it's usually chilly on board.
- Mini containers of shampoo, sunscreen, etc are your friend. It's amazing how much can fit in that small ziplock. Keep in mind that hotels usually provide the basics and if you're staying with friends or family, they will usually have something you can use. If there's a hair product you can't live without, put it into a smaller container.
- Invest in a good rolling carry-on bag that fits easily in the overhead bin, but expands if you absolutely need more space on the way home. Checking a bag one way is 50% cheaper than checking it both ways!
- Make sure your extra "personal item"  (read: huge backpack that will fit under the seat in front of you) is roomy and can fit a lot of stuff.
- It is possible to travel with an infant and not check a bag. You can bring breastmilk or formula through security, they just have to do a chemical test on it. You can also bring a carseat and stroller right up to the gate, then gate check it when you get on the plane. It will be waiting for you on the jetway at the other end of the flight. The child who is travelling is allocated one piece of carry-on luggage as well.

Any other tips or strategies you'd like to share?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.