Traveling Light and Avoiding Excess Baggage Fees

Travelling light is not just about avoiding the inconveniences of pulling your huge wheel suitcases around but also not having to pay for excess baggage fees. I remember having to pay $55 at Phuket International Airport for having excess luggage of just 3kg over the limit, I was so upset about this and promised myself to be cautious about my luggage size when traveling.

Here, you learn ways to pack smarter, travel lighter, and spend less while travelling.

excess baggage

Traveling Light and Avoiding Excess Baggage Fees

Plan Ahead

As you prepare for a journey, you must learn what your airline allows regarding baggage. Some guidelines different airlines establish include the weight and dimensions of checked and carry-on baggage. Get a copy of this Travel Planner Template to help you stay organized with your packing list.

Understanding these charges will help you avoid any surprises at the airport regarding extra charges. In this case, one should also consider the kind of trip one is undertaking. If you expect to embark on a beach holiday, you will not need thick shirts or blazers. Pack your heaviest clothing on the plane if your travel destination is cold.

Choose the Right Luggage

Investing in lightweight luggage can be very effective. The light but solid material in most modern manufactured suitcases can enable you to pack light while adhering to the set weight constraint. Additionally, one should bring only a carry-on bag as often as possible. Most airlines allow a free carry-on without any further charges. Checkout my favourite Amazon Travel Essentials

Pack Smart

Packing smart is all about freedom and control

It’s about packing as lightly as possible to maximize your space. Here are some tips to help you pack with confidence:

Create a Packing List

List all that you believe will be useful in the future and then cross out items that aren’t necessary. Ensure that you do not overpack, and to do so, stick to your list. Get my fav packing list

When it comes to outfits, versatility is key

Choose garments that can be mixed, matched, and washed in various ways to create various looks. As always, the best strategy is to opt for neutral colours and accessories that can adapt to any occasion, making you feel resourceful and adaptable on your travels.

Limit Shoes

First, it is important to realize that shoes are generally not very compact and lightweight. It is advisable to pack no more than two sets of shoes: one pair for comfort throughout the day and, if necessary, another pair appropriate for formal occasions.

Use Packing Cubes

Packing cubes can help you pack your items easily and compactly so that you use little space.

Wear Your Bulkiest Items

If you have luggage with many clothes, including heavy jackets or boots, it is better to wear them during the flight.

Optimize Your Toiletries

Toiletries are usually items we do not need to pack in large quantities and tend to take up unnecessary space in the luggage. Choose small containers to take along the trip or, even better, buy products you are going to use during your trip locally. Many hotels already offer basic toiletries such as shampoo and soap; therefore, you may not need to pack these items. However, bar soap and shampoo are better in solid forms and occupy less space than liquids.

Use Technology

In this digital world, there is no longer a need to bring books or bulky guides. Load your e-reader or smartphone with books, a travellers’ guide, and maps. This helps to make your backpack lighter and allows for a bit of entertainment during travel.

Weigh Your Bag

Buying a small luggage scale to check your baggage’s weight before getting to the airport will be helpful. This way, you will be confident that you are not exceeding the weight limit and will not incur additional charges at the last moment. You must reconsider items and leave some behind if you exceed the limit.

Consider Laundry Options

If your trip is longer, washing your clothes rather than packing many would be better. Laundry services are also available at many hotels, or you can look for a laundromat around the area. Packing a small amount of laundry detergent will help you wash clothing in the sink of your hotel, if necessary.

Pack Multipurpose Items

Multipurpose items can be compact and light. For instance, a sarong can be used as a beach dress, a scarf, or a cover-up during a cold plane journey. Likewise, a universal pillow that serves as a travel pillow, neck pillow, and lumbar pillow means you only carry one item instead of several.


Travelling light and avoiding excess baggage fees implies being orderly, which means evaluating everything in advance. Heed the advice above to make your travels lighter and more comfortable while minimizing the chances of encountering additional charges for overweight baggage.

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