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Luggage packing is a skill. Maybe not to you, but to experienced travelers and globetrotters it is! Indeed, it’s not easy to pack your items in just one carry on, especially if you want to avoid paying absurd airport checked-baggage fees.

But how to reduce the luggage? Which items are essential? Here are some helpful tips.

Double-Check Airline Requirements

Every airline company has its carry-on luggage policy. If you travel by air, make sure that you meet the airline’s requirements regarding luggage weight limits. There are two things you should consider: dimensions and weight.

Most US airlines allow luggage size of up to 45 inches (total volume), but the policies vary. Also, pay attention to weight restrictions (if there are any) so that you avoid paying extra dollars for extra pounds.

Make A List

This sounds like generic advice, and you’re right; it is generic advice! Nevertheless, you should make a list according to various factors: duration of your travel, regional climate, planned activities, etc. Focus on necessities first, such as garments and clothing.

See if you can wash your clothes at the designated destination, for it is always cheaper to wash your clothes than to pay airport luggage fees! You can do a lot of calculations if you want to save some money; see if it would be cheaper to buy items such as toothpaste or sunscreen on given location instead of carrying the mentioned items with you.

Consider The Purpose Of Your Trip

Why are you traveling? Is it a business trip or a vacation? If you’re on vacation, you shouldn’t bother with the things that would only slow you down; after all, you are on vacation! Bring sandals and shorts, not suits and shiny shoes.

If it’s a business trip, bring business-like colors: white and black! Regardless of your trip agenda, don’t go nuts with the clothing, never! Write everything down, black on white; that way it will be harder to fool yourself.

Ban The Air

If you have to, use compression bags, especially if you are packing heavy clothing, like jackets or jeans. In essence, everything bulky and space-consuming should be compressed and put in a bag.

Ban the air wherever you can. For example, you can put socks in sneakers, or stuff garments, underwear, and small items in gaps between bulky items and pieces of clothing.

Reduce, Layer, Pack

You can’t pack without a minimal dose of integrity and honesty. Do you honestly need three pairs of shoes? Do you need three dresses if you only plan on going out once? Decide now, act later; never delay your decisions!

Pack your items layer by layer, with heavy things on bottom and light items on the top. Some also suggest rolling your clothing: you put the shoes, and the pants in corners and on the sides (for weight distribution,) and then you add rolled clothes in the middle; you’d be surprised with how much space rolling can save you!