Too much checked luggage

21 Simple Packing Tips to Never Check Luggage Again

With these simple packing tips for carry on, you'll never check luggage again. In fact, you can travel for a month as easily as a weekend with just a 20" carry on.

Travel is such a big part of having an ageless lifestyle after 50. When you use these packing tips, packing will never give you a headache again. Plus you'll avoid the baggage check in lines, waiting after your flight at the carousel, and those outrageous baggage fees!

As an example, I took a 3 week winter trip to San Francisco, St. Thomas and ended in New York with just my 20" carry on. This included business clothes, casual and beach clothes, and equipment for photos, audio, and video recording of speaking engagements.

Before I give you my packing tips, look at how this guy does it. And he's packing for a month!

21 Packing Tips to Help You Never Check Luggage Again!

  • 1. Start packing the afternoon before you travel, no matter what time of day your flight is.

  • 2. Prevent over-packing by taking time to think about what you're doing on the trip so you'll know what outfits you'll need. Instead of carrying around a huge suitcase, decide on those choices before packing.
  • 3. Lay everything out the afternoon before you leave. I like to make piles on the bed and look at them to see if the clothes go together for easy mix and match. Ask yourself if have the shoes, belts and accessories you need.

  • 4. If you can't visualize outfits in piles, lay each one out with all the accessories and shoes. It also gives you an opportunity to see what could work for more than one outfit so you can minimize what you pack. Then make the piles. Don't forget that your bathroom bag and your electronics will go in there too!

  • 5. Sizing up the piles and looking at the space in your carry on will also influence you to make better choices.

  • 6. When you let your piles sit on the bed for a few hours your mind time has time to percolate on the piles. Almost every time, you'll either add something you forgot or take something out before you pack.

  • 7. Before bedtime, pack the piles you've made and see what kind of room you have in your suitcase. While you sleep, you may think of some other changes before you leave for the airport.

  • 8. Shoes take up lots of space so try to keep it to 2 styles of shoes. You can also shove baggies filled with little stuff in your shoes to make the best use of the space. If you can, wear one pair and pack the least bulky pair. Bring outfits all in the same color family so you only need one color of shoes. Same idea with pants, only bring 2 pairs!

  • 9. If you're packing belts, don't roll them up, instead run them around the edge of the suitcase and they take up almost no space at all!

  • 10. For a long trip, don't pack things you can easily buy like toothpaste and other personal items. Take a small one and replace it while traveling.

  • 11. Pack small items together in baggies. Baggies are your best travel companion. It simplifies grouping accessories and other small stuff.

  • 12. Use a mesh laundry bag for things underwear, bathing suits, even rolled up tee shirts and you'll also have the bag to help you with laundry on a long trip. If I'm going for more than a week, I plan on doing at least minimal laundry.

  • 13. If you need to take heavy sweaters, squish things by use a plastic compression bag you can get at almost any housewares or discount store to suck all the extra air out.

  • 14. Buy clothes with an eye for travel by focusing on what won't wrinkle if you roll it up. Rolling is a great space saver.

FYI: Here are some key findings from the  2013 annual baggage report and a graphic of the previous years

Passenger numbers up by 230 million

Baggage mishandling rates up by 6% - Europe and North America most affected

Mishandled baggage cost the industry an estimated US$ 2.94 billion

  • 15. If you must take a suit or something dressy, put it in a dry cleaner bag and roll it up or fold it, depending on the material. You'll be surprised how well clothes travel in a rolled up dry cleaning bag. When I was traveling to speak at a conference I would pull out my suits after a long flight looking as good as hanging in my closet!

  • 16. Of course your heaviest and largest items will go on the bottom, with the most weight at the wheels of your bag. My base layer is shoes, electronic stuff and my bathroom bag goes last, up by the handle. There are 2 reasons for that. It's easy to get to by lifting up the clothes at the end and it's small so it can go in the curve at the top of the bag if your bag is curved like a backpack. You don't want anything heavy on top of your clothes!

  • 17. Wear your bulkiest clothes on the plane so you don't have to pack them. Never pack your coat. Wear it on the plane. You can take it off as soon as you get inside.

  • 18. Buy or rent sports equipment you're only going to use once or twice on your trip. Pack the snorkel if you must, but leave the fins at home and rent a pair. If you're not playing golf at least half of your trip, rent clubs and save yourself the hassle. Depending on cost, there are some things it may be cheaper to buy at your destination and donate when you leave.

  • 19. If you're traveling within the US, you can also put things in a priority box and ships them to your destination for less than $20! That's a small price to pay compared to the time and expense of checking bags.

  • 20. Don't forget to put all your electronics chargers in a baggie as the last thing before heading out the door.

  • 21. When it comes to packing those small bottles for skin care and makeup, watch the first 1 minute of this video to see exactly what's always helped me to have quick and worry-free bathroom packing.

Now you have 21 tips and tricks to make packing your carry on a breeze. You'll be at your destination relaxing while the people who check bags are still at the airport. Enjoy your trip!

Check out Bethenny's #1 Packing Tip for Traveling Light: her always-ready travel bags to help avoid traveling with your entire bathroom.

Packing tips to never check luggage again

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