8 tricks to become a travel pro and make life easier

As the world gets smaller, prices for airfares can sometimes be at an all-time low. When this happens our thoughts turn to travel. See the world and experience things that will open your mind and make you a better, more interesting person. Some of the new rules for travel make it harder and more expensive to do this though. Gone are the old days of full-service flights. These days they will try and charge you for everything to get every coin out of you. Here are some great tricks and things to learn for getting the most out of your travel.

Mini luggage scale

You can buy a small, lightweight luggage scale from Amazon or anywhere online. As much as this doesn’t seem like a necessity, it most certainly is. The airlines will weigh your carryon these days, and many have a weight limit of 7 kilos. This is really not that much. If your carryon or luggage is overweight, you will be hit with some hefty charges. Having a pocket scale before you go the airport can save you quite a bit of stress and money. 

Lightweight bags

Gone are the days of the steamer trunks and heavy bags. These days since every kilo or pound matters, you need to get lightweight bags. We had a carryon bag that was our go to for many years, but the bag weight nearly 3 kilos by itself, suddenly we can only take 4 kilos as carryon? That is almost nothing. Get a good, strong, lightweight nylon pack; it will let you maximize the items you can bring. 

Carryon or personal item

Most airlines will let you take a carryon and a personal item. Which both must total no more than 7 kilos. Some airlines are now starting to charge for carryon is well, so the less you travel with, the cheaper it gets. You can sometimes get around the weight limit a little by telling them it’s a laptop, as they don’t want to annoy any business travelers, so they usually don’t even weight the bag that has a laptop in it. We have found this to be the case 4 out of 5 times. 

One-bagging

There is a whole one bag culture of people that travel with only one bag. They trade helpful hints as to what are the best pants and shirts to wear, what shoes are lightweight, and other tricks to limit it all to one small bag. Some get a bit carried away (break your toothbrush in half), but most have some pretty good basic information if you are wanting to go this route. 

Travel coat

A workaround that still works is taking a travel coat with you that has a lot of deep pockets. You can put all your heavy items in the coat, as that is not considered luggage. We have had our coat weight 15 kilos before, and after we pass through the checkpoints, just stuff it back into the carryon bag. Ok, we know, it’s working the system a bit, but 7 kilos max? Really? 

Online check-in

If you use online check-in, sometimes you can bypass the bag weigh in, though not always. It will also speed things up when you are moving through the airport. You generally don’t have to wait in that long check-in line if you have printed out your boarding pass already from online. 

What to wear when traveling

When you are traveling there are 2 things to consider when you decide what to wear. First, wear anything heavy you have. If you need hiking boots and jeans, then wear them and you won’t have that extra weight showing on the weigh in. Second, which goes against the first in some ways, is wear things that will get you through security faster. Don’t wear a belt, make sure that you don’t have metal in your pockets. And if you can get away with slip-on shoes, then fantastic. There is nothing more annoying than spending 5 minutes getting your shoes back on.

Empty bottle 

Bottled water is not allowed through the security checkpoints and buying a bottle of water in the airport is more expensive than buying gold. Our advice is to bring an empty water bottle and fill it up inside the airport past security. We have never been in an airport yet that doesn’t have a water fountain or free water to fill a bottle up with. This will consistently save you money and make you feel like a veteran at flying.

Travel is great, and if you can get your luggage down to a minimum, you can get some amazing fares. The airlines are in it to make as much profit as they can, and they will chip away at you for it. Just as it’s their job to make as much money as they can, it’s your job to save as much money as you can. Travel light and you will suddenly be rubbing elbows with the other travel pros.  

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