How to Travel Light to Avoid Baggage Fees

Air travel is even more expensive with baggage fees, so pack light and travel without the burden of that extra $15 or more per bag.


  • Step 1: Create a packing list Create a packing list that includes only the items that are absolutely necessary for your trip -- and stick to it.
  • TIP: A packing list will help you to stay focused. Most people use only about half of what they pack, so edit, edit, edit.
  • Step 2: Choose a carry on Choose a carry on bag that has a rectangular shape to maximize interior space. All carry on luggage should measure less than 45 inches when the length, width, and height are combined.
  • Step 3: Buy miniatures Purchase miniature toiletries or fill small bottles with shampoo, conditioner, soap, or lotion and place them in sealable plastic bags.
  • Step 4: Choose multi-function clothes Choose multi-function clothing items that can be worn more than once. If you are traveling in a cool climate, choose a sweater or jacket that can be worn with multiple tops or bottoms.
  • TIP: If you are going to be away for a long period, you may want to pack laundry detergent to keep the clothing you pack to a minimum.
  • Step 5: Roll your clothes Roll your clothes instead of folding. This will maximize your space and keep you from having to iron later on.
  • Step 6: Be a one-bag packer Be a smart, one-bag packer. This will set you apart from the poor souls that paid extra and still have to wait at baggage claim after a long day of travel.
  • FACT: Did you know? The Unclaimed Baggage center in Scottsboro, Alabama, has been selling unclaimed baggage items since 1970.

You Will Need

  • Packing list
  • Carry on bag
  • Mini toiletries
  • Sealable plastic bags
  • Multi-function clothes
  • Laundry detergent or soap (optional)

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