Holiday Travel Tips – Part 3

Holiday Travel: How to Pack Lighter

During the past few years, most airlines have changed their baggage policies. It’s now very common to pay a fee for every checked bag, even the first. And, there are additional fees for overweight or oversized bags.

This can make packing for a holiday season vacation a particular challenge. You want to minimize the number of bags you take, but winter’s cold calls for thicker clothing, which takes more space to pack, which means more bags, which means more fees. Because you’d surely rather spend your money on holiday gifts and fun than on baggage fees, here are some strategic packing tips for winter travel:

Don’t pack anything without asking yourself this important question: “Do I really need this?” It may help to make a list of the days you’ll be away and what you’ll do and wear each day. You may discover opportunities to wear the same items more than once – especially if you’ll have access to a laundry.

Select clothes that you can layer. Packing a t-shirt that can be layered with a button-down shirt and/or a light sweater may be better than packing one heavier (and bulkier) sweater.

Shoes are notorious for taking up luggage space. Think about the shoes you’ll really need on your trip and leave any others behind. It may be worth investing in a pair of comfortable shoes that look good with both casual and dressy attire. Another idea is to wear your heaviest pair of shoes on the plane.

If you simply must pack some bigger items (perhaps you’re going on a ski vacation and really do need that fleece jacket, down vest, wool socks and other cold-weather gear), consider shipping some items – including your holiday gifts – ahead to your destination. Ship early enough that the package will arrive before you do.

As always, check the Transportation Safety Administration’s list of prohibited items for carry-on and/or checked bags, available at Remember that some sporting goods (such as ski poles) are OK in checked bags, but can’t be in a carry-on bag. Some festive items, such as the fireworks you’d like to set off at midnight on New Year’s Eve, are never allowed in either carry on or checked bags.

For more tips on what to bring on your holiday trip, talk with your travel professional – then, start packing!

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Copyright © Margaret Owen, Cruise Pro