Is there any worse feeling than trying to pack light, and still ending up being charged overage fees for your luggage? If you’ve been in this situation, we’ve got good news for you! Even if you feel like a hopeless over-packer destined for a lifetime of paying extra for your bags, there are some things you can do to keep your luggage within airline weight limits. 

From the expert travelers at Business Class, here are 10 tried-and-tested tips for packing light.

Choose Wisely

It’s almost instinctive for travelers to try and stuff as much as they can into a small suitcase, especially when it comes to packing for long vacations. But oftentimes, travelers are packing things they maybe don’t really need. After all, isn’t it better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it? 

One way to challenge this instinct is to start with a smaller suitcase – therefore, there’s less space for the inessentials. Whenever possible, use a carry-on suitcase (and not just for weekend travel). This will force you to be judicious when it comes to your packing list. If you feel your suitcase might be a bit overpacked, go through each item and ask yourself if it is absolutely necessary to bring. 

Don’t Pack Straight into Your Suitcase

Packing individual pieces directly into a suitcase pretty much guarantees you’ll bring more than you need. Why? Because it leads to thoughts like, “Oh, wait. I like those pants, and it can’t hurt to have another pair.” In reality, that one extra pair of unneeded pants can be enough to tip the scales and result in overage fees. 

Laying out everything in advance can help you visualize potential outfits and identify anything that might be missing. Remember, packing strategically isn’t about how much you can bring. It’s about bringing exactly what you need and nothing more. 

Stick with Neutrals and Coordinating Separates

Thinking of bringing a different outfit for every day of your trip? Think again. While it’s fun for many travelers to wear a new outfit each day – especially those looking to take that perfect snapshot for Instagram –  this can be a disastrous packing habit.

Instead, stick with a few neutrals you can mix and match. This doesn’t mean limiting yourself to black and white garments. Hues like khaki, denim, and charcoal are chic but also play well with others. Remember, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to do laundry at some point on your trip so you can re-wear items and save yourself a few dollars in overage fees. 

Pack What You Will Actually Wear

We’ve all got items in our closet that we love on the hanger but rarely get around to wearing. Here’s a pro tip: If you don’t wear it at home, you’re not going to wear it on vacation. The takeaway? Don’t take up valuable suitcase space with those leopard print pants you bought two years ago and still have the tags on.

Bring On-the-Go Laundering Supplies

Packing two weeks of clothing into one small bag might seem inconceivable, but that’s only if you’re not planning on washing them. There are many simple ways to keep your clothing clean without wasting time in a laundromat. Wash bars and travel sink packets let you clean your clothes without leaving your hotel room. 

For clothes that aren’t dirty but could use a freshening up, fabric travel sprays are your new best friends. Oftentimes, hotels will offer laundering services for free or a small fee. 

Bulk Up for the Plane Ride

Planes are notoriously chilly, so why not plan and save yourself some suitcase space by wearing your bulkiest layers on the flight? If you plan on packing things like sweaters, jackets, and other thicker garments you can layer, wear these during your flight to stay warm and avoid those nasty overage charges. 

Do You Need Multiple Pairs of Shoes? 

Shoes are notoriously major offenders when it comes to adding weight to your luggage. If you’re traveling to a cold-weather destination, wear your boots on the flight. If you absolutely must have heels at your destination, pick one versatile, cobblestone-friendly pair. Otherwise, stick with stylish flats and other shoes that are easy to pack. You could even tie a pair of shoes to a carry-on backpack to maximize space in your suitcase. 

Use Multi-Purpose Toiletries

Separate shampoos, conditioners, body bars, lotions, and other beauty, skincare, and toiletry products take up significant space and add a considerable amount of weight. Whenever possible, seek out multi-purpose toiletries such as 2-in-1 products and moisturizers with sunscreen. You could also try travel-sized, TSA-approved toiletries, which are perfect if you plan to bring a carry-on.

Buying your toiletries when you arrive at your destination is another option. This can be cheaper than getting slammed with an overage fee while lightening your load along the way. Pro travel tip: Call your hotel or other accommodation before arrival and ask if they provide toiletries. That way, you won’t have to worry about bringing your own. 

Lead with Your Itinerary

While the destination does matter when it comes to packing, what you will be doing during the duration of your stay matters more. One person’s trip is not the same as another’s. Some plan to hike, mountain bike, and thrill-seek, while others’ itineraries include site-seeing in a city or relaxing on the beaches. 

Your packing requirements will differ depending on your plans! So pack accordingly. 

Weigh It

Want to avoid an unpleasant surprise at the airport? Know the luggage policies of the airline you’re flying and weigh your bag at home before you leave. Then, make necessary adjustments. You can purchase scales to weigh luggage for a reasonable price and save yourself a considerable amount of money in overage fees. 

One of the most powerful packing light tips is to manage your mindset. Travel is about experiencing new things, not about what you’re wearing. Packing light can help you make better memories by liberating you from burdens like cumbersome luggage, overage fees, and obsessing over what you’re going to wear.

Now that you’ve got all of these new tips for packing light, why not test them out? To save up to 60 percent off your next getaway, when you book your flight with Business Class! Allow us to get your there in comfort and style for less.