Travel Packing Tips for More Weight Than TSA & Airlines Allow
Many of the low fare international airlines we fly now weigh carry-on baggage. Keep in mind: Charging for overweight luggage and additional luggage is a primary airline profit center; this is especially the case on low fare tickets or with discount airlines such as Frontier and Spirit. If you’re anything like me on domestic flights, every heavy necessity including all liquids under three ounces goes in the carry on luggage. Below you’ll find my five secret travel packing tips to help you pack like a pro. Save your precious cargo from the rubbish bins! Here’s how and a quick story of why I’ve written this post for you.
Travel packing tips: How to avoid weight limitations
Just before my 42nd birthday, the Roman Government invited my husband, Boyd and me to Italy. For 5 days we would tour Italian manufacturing facilities and visit with handmade artisans for a couple of the businesses that we own. To avoid looking like a typical American with mass amounts of luggage, yet include business cards and other printed marketing materials – precision in packing was a must!
Italy had been on our bucket list, and we were beyond excited to have the opportunity to take some personal trips and cover the country. Knowing we would be in trains, planes, and automobiles, we need to keep luggage to a minimum. After all, who wants to hoist extra weight onto trains!??! Or drag unnecessary luggage through the cobblestone sidewalks of Venice?!?! Not me. Now, that we’ve done it, consider us your travel packing experts! Let us show you how to avoid luggage nightmares. Ready?
After a super busy work week in Miami, Boyd and I caught a Lyft to Miami International Airport. About to take our first flight on Alitalia Airlines, we ran into a luggage nightmare as the gate agent asked, “Ma’am please put your handheld carryon on the scales.” Knowing that my carryon probably weighed double any written limit my heart sank.
We had not flown Alitalia in the past yet we made assumptions. Yep! we did the nasty = ASS-U-ME. Alitalia is affiliated with Delta and AirFrance which we fly a lot. We glanced and thought Alitalia baggage weight limits and carry-on rules would be the same. Boy, we were wrong! Here’s how I normally pack and how Chef Boyd and I managed to get the same items onto Alitalia without any additional fees.
My travel packing tips (including my in airport emergency repacking tips):
1. Review airline luggage checked bag and carry on baggage policies.
No matter what – take note of the exact airline you’ll be traveling. Then, search that exact airline’s site for their latest baggage policy and review all of their traveling packing tips.
2. Always pack essentials and irreplaceable fashion in your carry-on baggage.
Considering carry-on baggage is my secret weapon for ensuring necessities such as heavy business printed materials such as business cards, my necessities like makeup, a hairbrush, curling iron, heavy costume jewelry, shoes, my 5x magnification self-lit makeup mirror and at least a couple of outfits make it to my final destination, I’m an advocate for dividing and conquering. I do not like to be forced to shop for things that I don’t really like or want just to have clothes to wear. Not only that – size 11 shoes are really hard to find!
3. Divide + separate necessities or stuff you can’t live without while you pack.
Thanks to my luggage being lost more times than I care to admit. I typically separate and divide outfits as I pack. I pack at least two days of outfits in my carryon. To help accommodate more pieces, I finally took Chef Boyd’s advice bought a boring, black one-sided Samsonite carry-on. After mourning at least three other pretty pieces of luggage to bag heaven, I gave in. Broken handles and wobbly wheels are for amateur travelers. Plus my Samsonite is a top open lid meaning it doesn’t take up double the room in a small European or New York hotel room. My former carry-ons were dual-sided meaning when travel packing they have two sides. Now, my bag only has a zipper lid, and most items go on one side of the suitcase.
4. Pack your panties, lingerie, or any other personal items in a lingerie bag.
Let’s face it! No airline ticketing agent wants to see your personal belongings spring out of tightly packed luggage. I once remember my mom’s suitcase breaking. She was forced to carry around a Britto water pitcher out of the Miami airport! Hey! At least she had clean, filtered water for the cruise.
5. Review baggage policies for the airline before flying.
When it comes to strict carry-on baggage policies, keep in mind that this is another way airlines profit. American Airlines and other US airlines do not typically enforce carry-on weight limits. Don’t be fooled by airline affiliations as we were on our first trip on Italian airline Alitalia. Until the Alitalia flight, not a single carry-on bag was weighed. Therefore, we failed to weigh our carry-ons as we do our other checked luggage. Matter of fact, I packed my carry-on full of my heaviest shoes, jeans, cosmetics, and outfits.