Have you ever been standing in line waiting to check your bag and listening to everyone else's totals while being more than a little worried that you might have packed a few more pounds than you should have?
More often than not, we travel to the airpot, unknowing of just how much our bags weigh and that all to often means we are met with the challenge of resorting items into other bags, trying to squeeze items into already filled carry ons or worse entertaining the thought of can we live without an item as opposed to being taxed heavily for our bag being overweight.
While some airlines offer free accommodation to bags, others rely on strict guidelines which can quickly tally up big dividends for those who are ill prepared. I know I personally have played the weight shifting game when traveling and found it to be more than a little stressful and somewhat embarrassing when I had to rummage through my items and try to shave ounces and even pounds from my larger bag just to not be charged an additional $20.
I have traveled through airports across the United States and found this problem arise at almost every bag check I have entered. It is a waste of time, a strain on the budget and leaves absolutely no room for error. But this also means that if you find one of those can't resist deals when traveling you are now forced to make the decision of if you should pick it up and if you do how you will return it to your home.
But what if we could spare ourselves some of this trouble simply by packing more efficiently?
I have started looking more and more into this option for destination and urban style traveling. During these two distinct styles of travel. you can often take an outfit and transition it from day to night creating an entirely new look simply by switching out some pieces while keeping others as a staple.
Turning a pair of jeans from day to night can save almost 1.5 pounds in many cases. Packing a single pair of universal heels for nights out instead of a new one for each outfit can save nearly 10 pounds on a 5 day trip. By simply finding ways to make more out of each look you can stretch your wardrobe and lower your pounds to leave room for all those finds you might have in a different shopping destination.
Think in terms of pounds when packing instead of bag size. An average large suitcase with wheels and retracting handle comes in around 14 pounds while a medium suitcase suited the same way usually averages 10 pounds. If you are thinking in terms of the 50 pound maximum for checking a bag, this means that already 1/5 of your allotted weight is spent. While you could invest in light weight options which average 10 pounds for large and 7.5 for medium, you could instead of spending mega bucks to upgrade simply think smarter with your packing.
During summer months this tends to be a bit easier, especially for women. Our clothing is lighter and more sheer, often times weights of materials are a fraction of that of winter months as we gravitate more toward items which breathe. Still you are traveling you want to remember that some items will always be a bit heavier, these items should be worn onto the plane as opposed to in your bag.
I like to think of packing items in terms of days. If there is an item which I can wear on one day and transition into a second look I will more heavily sway toward putting it into the suitcase. I often pack items which can be interchangeable with one another.
For example if I have a light jacket I make sure it can work with my wardrobe as a jacket but also as a piece which can be used for fashion as opposed to packing a second jacket. I tend to bring basics when it comes to pants which can easily pair with any shirt I have packed and can be dressed up or down just by adding a different shoe or a light weight accessory. I might add a skirt which also works with one of the tops I had packed and can turn that top from day to night with a quick change and a pair of shoes.
For a bit of flare I like to always keep on hand a light weight dress and have found that especially when in beach communities a dress can easily be worn during the day with sandals and any simply changing my jewelry, perhaps adding a belt or even upgrading my shoes can be.a night look perfect for an even at a resort. Swimsuit coverups which are not entirely sheer are wonderful for this as well.
They key is to making at least 2-3 of your outfits have the option of being versatile. This will free up much needed pounds for those extra finds you might have along the way.
Who doesn't want to find new bikinis and cover ups in Miami where the deals can't be beat? Who doesn't want to go to New York and return with at least a couple items you simply cannot find anywhere else? Who doesn't want to find some little boutique in a random place that catches your eye and makes you want those perfect pants which fit just right that you never knew existed?
By simply packing smarter now you won't have to do quite as much convincing yourself not to buy. Now you won't have to consider finding a post office to send the items home instead of packing them. No longer will you have to debate if something else will fit in your carry on or personal item on the plane as opposed to your checked bag in fear of that nasty overweight charge!!
For more information on each of these looks CLICK HERE to see tips on how to style items!