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Pack Smart

By Expert Author: Steve Robinson

The last thing you want to do is to prepare for an upcoming trip by thoroughly checking out cheap travel options including cheap airplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, cheap auto rentals, and cheap vacation packages only to end up paying to transport luggage on a plane because it is too large to carry-on or to even pay more because your bag is too large and/or overweight.

Packing light does not means that you have to forgo style or comfort, but it does mean being thoughtful about such things as your suitcase and shoes. Small increments of needless weight add up fast.

Even if you are able to fit your luggage in an overhead bin, weight remains important since you will be lifting your bag numerous times while in transit.

The following tips are how to pack ultralight the next time you take a trip, according to Smarter Travel:

• When looking for a suitcase keep it mind that a 22 inch carry-on roller is usually considered lightweight if it weighs less than 10 lbs. Ultralight bags generally weigh no more than 7 lbs. Selecting a bag with a frame is desirable since you want something with structural integrity.

• Pack shoes that are durable but light. Although most shoes are not designed with weight as a consideration, shoes sold by travel outfitters, such as Magellan’s or TravelSmith, usually tend to be lighter. Ideal travel shoes for a woman for all day wear should weigh between 10 oz and 1 lb. If you really want to bring a heavy pair of shoes, wear them while you are in transit.

• Some of the lightest toiletries, including shampoo, conditioner, and bodywash sheets, are available from Travelon with each weighing about half an ounce. Keep in mind that solid shampoos, conditioners, and small bars of soap tend to weigh less than their liquid counterparts. Your lightest option will be to not pack toiletries that will be provided by your hotel at your destination.

• Minimize and lighten any cases (such as shoe bags, toiletry kits, suit bags) packed inside your bag. Avoid heavier canvas and zipper models and instead opt for roomy mesh or plastic bags.

• When it comes to selecting outerwear, look at outdoor companies like REI who offers a 4.3 oz microfiber women’s jacket and an 11 oz multisport jacket for men. Nau’s Carry-On Blazer for women weighs 8 oz. Another lightweight option for men is L.L.Beans’ Newburyport Microfiber Jackets.

• Even if you prefer printed books, consider traveling with an e-reader or tablet that typically weighs between 8 oz and 1 lb, equivalent to a paperback book. Remember another advantage of electronic books is that you can store multiple books on the same device.

• Select lighter fabrics when choosing clothes. Wool and heavyweight fleece tend to be bulky and heavy.

• No matter what – do not overpack. The following are ways to avoid overpacking:

1. Lay out everything you want to pack and then remove anything that you will only use once on your trip.
2. Pack multi-use shoes.
3. If running out of clean clothes while away is a concern, then pack a small container of laundry soap.

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