These days, some airlines are saving money by charging us an additional fee for bringing a carry-on or checking our luggage. Obviously, this is less than ideal. For those of us who often travel on a budget, we can’t really afford this added expense which can add up to $50 or more for merely bringing your luggage. So if you’ve booked a flight and they’re telling you that you can only bring a “personal item” unless you want to pay more, then here are a few tips for you.

Use A Backpack

Your bag is probably going to weigh quite a bit, so using any type of luggage that rests on one shoulder would be a huge mistake, one that I must admit I’ve made in the past. I ended up spending most of my time traveling nursing some serious back and neck pain. Airlines have strict policies about the size of your personal item, but I’ve never actually seen them enforced. An adult backpack works perfectly, and if you prefer, you can also find a backpack with wheels. As long as your backpack can mostly fit under the seat in front of you, then you’ll be just fine. 

Roll Your Clothes

Rolling your clothes can save a significant amount of space in your backpack, especially if you’re packing jeans or dresses which can sometimes be bulky. This technique will also prevent your clothes from wrinkling too much, or at least as much as they would by simply stuffing them inside your bag. If you find that after rolling something it’s still too thick, then you might want to leave it at home. 

Pack Light

If you can make it through your trip on just one pair of shoes and a few outfits, then do it! Who says you can’t wear the same bra the whole time or wear the same pair of shorts two or three times? If you’re going to an island, you’ll be spending most of your time in a bathing suit anyway, so there’s no need to pack a ton of clothes. A backpack also allows you to hang some things off your backpack straps such as a pair of sandals, a water bottle, or a travel pillow. Packing light is key!

Wear Layers On The Plane

Even in the middle of the summer heat, you should wear layers to the airport. The plane will be freezing, so wearing several shirts and a sweatshirt or jacket shouldn’t be too uncomfortable. Even if you don’t end up wearing it, you’ll be able to carry it around without a problem. If you really need to bring more than one pair of shoes, wear the clunkiest ones on the plane and save the flipflops for your backpack in order to save room.

Buy Toiletries When You Arrive

Toiletries can take up a lot of room when you’re traveling with a backpack. If you’re staying in a hotel or an Airbnb, then you’ll likely find that some of the things you need are already in your room. Items like shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and sunscreen can always be purchased once you arrive. Yes, they’ll likely be pricey, but not as expensive as it would have been to check your bag. If you’re traveling with others, you can cut this price significantly by purchasing toiletries that can be shared. So, if it can’t fit in your backpack, then leave it home and buy it when you arrive.

Don’t let these airlines convince you that you need to pay more just to bring your luggage on board. Follow these tips, and I assure you that you’ll be able to pack a weeks worth of stuff in just a backpack!

Traveling with a furry friend? Check out this guide to choosing the right travel dog carrier for you and your pooch!