Airliners are doing all they can to “squeeze” more revenue out of their passengers. That means charging for luggage. It used to be that luggage was free but now most airlines ask for a fee. Even if they don’t charge for luggage, they still might charge for overweight luggage. The most common cutoff is 50 pounds. That might seem like a lot but it can add up fast. That is why you should always pack light when traveling. It will save you money and make it easier to get around. Here’s how to make it happen:

Start with the Suitcase

How old is your luggage? Those pieces might have been reliable options for travel but they could also be contributing to the overall weight. Modern suitcase designs will provide you with lightweight and ultralight options. These could be suitcases ranging from five to ten pounds. That’s a good place to start packing!

Pick Light Clothes

It might be hard to avoid packing clothing made from wool or heavyweight fleece if you’re going to a winter destination. Those both can be bulky and heave. At the other end would be fabrics like silk, nylon, and polyester that would be the lightest clothing options. Cotton, linen, and cotton blends fall in the middle of the clothing scale.

What you also have to consider is wardrobe planning. Instead of having two outfits per day (14 outfits for a week!), try to think of outfits that you can mix and match. Three pairs of pants can work with six different shirts. For longer stays, pack less and consider laundry at your destination.

Wear Your Heavy Shoes

You might be packing multiple pairs of shoes. Again, consider wardrobe planning. You might be the only one who notices that you’re wearing the same pair of reliable shoes each night. Whatever the heaviest pair of shoes that you’ll be bringing are the ones you should wear on your flight. Keep those out of the suitcase!

Wear Your Coats

As for outerwear, like your shoes, you should wear the heaviest coat or sweater on the plane. You can always peel those off when traveling.

Download Reading Material

Nothing beats reading a great book on vacation unless of course you have to lug that book around. You should download your potential reading material on your pad or computer. Even an investment in an e-reader like a Kindle would save you on the weight of a few books.

Buy on the Other Side

Finally, you’ll have a lot of opportunities to buy things at your destination such as shampoo, condition and other heavy toiletries. Not having those in your suitcase can make it lighter and avoid the potential of an accidental leak!

The ultimate goal would be to get everything you need into an overhead suitcase. That way you can avoid the baggage claim altogether. Happy packing!