When I started traveling thirty years ago, I would take a full-size bag and a carry on. Back then you didn’t have to pay for checked bags and it was long before the events of 9/11 changed travel forever. Once I even helped my friend drag her boxed ten-speed bike across LAX when we took a trip to New Zealand. She was staying behind, after I headed home, to bike around the island. It wasn’t until that trip, I experienced my first lost bag. It was New Year’s Eve when we landed in Auckland. My checked bag was nowhere to be found. Several hours later, the airline was nice enough to drive it to my friend’s house just before midnight. I was reunited with my bag and we rang in the New Year together. Since that experience, I’ve never checked a bag again.
Here are some tips to travel light!
1. Know your airline’s carry on dimensions. The standard bag shouldn’t exceed 22 x 14 x 9 inches, but dimensions vary widely, especially if you are taking a low-cost carrier in Europe. You can find this information on the airlines’ website FAQ tab.
2. Know your airlines weight restrictions. While many US airlines don’t have a weight restriction, many overseas airlines do. I’m always get stopped by the gate attendants to have my carry on weighed when I fly to Australia. Their limit is 7kg or 15 pounds. If you start off with a carry on that already weighs 10 pounds empty, you won’t get much in your bag!
3. Lightweight Luggage recommendations: It Luggage’s motto is “The Worlds Lightest Luggage.” I recently purchased the 21.9 inch It Megalite Bag. It’s exclusive on Ebags.
Pros: This high-density polyester bag comes in an amazing 4 pounds! It super light and easy to travel with and has as a lot of room and pockets. I recently took it to London. During my trip, I enjoyed how easy the bag was to pick up. The polyester did hold up well and I loved the padded top and side handles. Priced at $49.99, this bag is top notch!
Cons: The wheels could be improved. I found the bag didn’t always go in a straight line when I wheeled it by my side. Part of the It emblem also broke off during my trip.
Budget Tip: If you are a first-time buyer you may be able to “bag” and additional discount.
4. Lightweight Handbag recommendations: We ladies love our handbags. Bigger isn’t always better when you travel. After four hours of roaming the streets, your shoulders get achy from the weight of the bag. My go to bag is Longchamp’s Le Pliage. It’s a classic. Le Pliage is lightweight and folds up for easy transport. The long shoulder straps make it easy to tote and the nylon is great if it rains. The bag is a little pricey at $145 but well worth it.
Budget Tip: If you’re flying to Europe, check out the duty-free shops, you can usually pick on up for half price.
5. Lightweight Weekend Bag recommendations: I love the Henri Bendel Packable Travel Bag. It’s perfect for a weekend getaway. It also easily tucks into your carry on if you tend to do too much shopping on vacation. It’s a great price $58. Budget Tip: First-time shoppers can usually score a discount on line.