With the cost of airfare and necessary airport shuttles, traveling by air is becoming more expensive every day. A couple of ways airlines get you now is by charging extra for every bag that is checked as well as charging excess baggage fees if a bag weighs over a certain amount. Excess baggage alone can sometimes be a problem when traveling with ground shuttles as there is usually only limited space available for passenger luggage.
With weight limits getting lower every year and airline baggage fees getting higher, the best thing to do is learn how to pack smart and light. When you do, you’ll avoid excess baggage fees and have no trouble getting accommodations with shuttle services to get you to and from the airport.
Limit Yourself to One Bag
The best way to avoid airline excess baggage fees and omit the worry of baggage troubles with shuttle services is to limit yourself to one bag whenever possible. One bag requires less space in the shuttle and creates less hassle in the airport.
Depending on the size of your bag, you can either carry it on or check it. Either way, a single bag allows you to enjoy more stress-free travel since you’ll only have one item to deal with. There won’t be a need to drag multiple bags from airport shuttles into the terminal and vice-versa.
Choose the Right Bag
The trick to traveling with only one bag and easily moving between ground shuttles and planes is choosing the right bag:
- Size - Confirm your airline’s carry-on bag size limitations. A carry-on bag is the best option for light and convenient travel. Soft backpacks, framed backpacks, and smaller roller bags make great carry-ons that are typically within the size limits. Look for multi-compartment bags that expand as needed; these are easier to pack and afford you extra space that you may need on your return trip.
- Carrying Comfort - Beyond backpacks, roller style bags with extending handles usually offer the most space and greatest convenience. Whether small or large, make sure that any bag you choose can be carried in multiple ways so you can easily handle it in any circumstance when moving through the airport and to meet shuttle services.
- Weight - Get the lightest bag possible. Whether you carry your bag on or check it, the lighter it is the easier it will be to handle and the less likely you are to end up paying an excess weight fee. Lighter bags also mean easier handling while getting in and out of airport shuttles.
Pack Smart and Light
Once you’ve chosen a good convenient bag for moving between ground shuttles and the overhead compartment, pack smart to make the best use of the space you have available. Begin by making an inventory list of everything you will need to bring with you. Pare down that list when you get closer to your travel date so you only bring the things you absolutely must or cannot pick up while traveling. Think best-case scenario; you can always buy many items if necessary.
With your final items chosen, start packing your bag. Pack trial size toiletries and pick up more at your destination. Roll your clothing and pack into packing cubes or airless bags, which will help keep your bag tight, tidy, and efficient. Use all the compartments in your bag. Plan to dress casual and light. Wear layers of some of the clothes you can wear on your trip to conserve bag space. Use mesh bags to keep other items together inside your luggage.
Baggage is an inevitable part of air travel. Reduce the chance of paying more to fly or having to deal with space limitations on airport shuttles by packing light. If you can limit yourself to one bag, you’ll have no trouble making reservations for ground shuttles and have fewer items to deal with when flying. If you do need to bring more than one bag, confirm are fees or restrictions ahead of time with airlines and shuttle services!