Travel

15 packing tips to save you money

By: Doug O'Neill

©iStockphoto.com/swilmor Author: Canadian Living Credits: ©iStockphoto.com/swilmor

Travel

15 packing tips to save you money

By: Doug O'Neill

With new charges for luggage at the airport, packing less is key. Try to customize your packing strategy to fit your type of holiday travel. Packing tips for longer trips will likely differ from the rules you follow to pack for a four-day getaway.

Here are 15 packing tips to save you money:

1. Make a packing list. Not only does a handy list help you pack everything you need, but it also gives you a chance to reassess certain items you think you need. Instead of packing the “three T-shirts” on your list, consider getting by with just two.

2. Learn new space-saving packing techniques.
Have you ever rolled your clothes instead of folded them?

3. Wear your bulk! Instead of packing that bulky sweater or hoodie, wear it layered over a T-shirt during your flight. The tee can double as both eveningwear and beachwear.

4. Stuff it in your shoe. Store batteries, electronics cables, adapters and small electric shavers inside your shoes. Speaking of electronics, opt to share: Does everyone in the family need his or her own adapter?

5. Downsize (and share!) toiletries. Avoid having each member of the family pack individual bottles of shampoo. Bite the bullet—just this one time—and share one brand. Ditto for toothpaste. You can also pour shampoo into smaller plastic bottles that are acceptable for carry-on. Consider two-in-one shampoo and conditioner so you’re packing one container instead of two.

If you’re staying in a hotel, call ahead and ask whether complimentary toiletries are in the room. When push comes to shove, you can always buy toiletries once you arrive. (Avoid purchasing expensive toiletries in resort and hotel gift shops. Head down the street to a drugstore upon arrival.)

6. Try compression bags. Plastic compression bags shrink bulky clothes such as pants and sweaters into smaller easy-to-pack bundles.

7. Mix and match your clothes.
Pack several items that all work together. Three shirts, two pairs of pants, one belt and one scarf can be more than sufficient. Try to focus on simple, versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched.

8. Go neutral! Avoid bright clothing and opt for neutral colors, such as black and navy. Jazz up each outfit up with a colourful scarf, belt, tie or jewellery. A note on travel jewellery: Leave family heirlooms and fine jewellery at home.

9. Pack wrinkle-free fabrics. Clothes made of microfibre, nylon or a cotton/polyester blend stand up to the rigours of travel better than other fabrics. Judith Gilford, author of The Packing Book, suggests merino wool. “It's thin, it works for most cool and warm climates, and it regains its shape quickly after wrinkling.”

10. Pack a pashmina.
Nine out of 10 female travel bloggers and travel professionals recommend pashminas to perk up your outfit, keep you warm, cover your head and protect yourself from the sun. Keryn Means, travel writer at Walking on Travels, suggests at least 10 uses for a pashmina when you’re travelling.

11. Wear stylish but practical shoes. Avoid packing numerous pairs of shoes. Vacation time invariably means walking time. Pack a pair of shoes that are comfortable and sturdy enough to walk around Stanley Park in Vancouver, yet stylish enough to wear out for dinner in Granville Market. Check out our savvy tips on how to shop for comfortable shoes without sacrificing style.

12. Don't pack for a rainy day. Don’t get me wrong: Do pack an umbrella if it’s rainy season in your travel destination, but avoid caving in to those thoughts of, “This second hoodie could come in handy one night.” Pack what you need, not what you fancy!

13. Consider the great denim debate: There are pros and cons to packing blue jeans when you travel. They can be bulky and they weigh a lot more than other clothing. As Eytan Levy, travel blogger for the Snarky Nomad, wrote, “You want to be mobile, comfortable, adaptable, and unhindered. Jeans will hold you back, just like a sh***y boyfriend.”

However, many people love wearing blue jeans, so take a moment to weigh the pros and cons. Will you wear them multiple times on this holiday? If so, pack a pair and ditch something else.

14. Dump everything on the floor. Take the advice of travel guru and TV host Rick Steeves: “Spread out everything you think you might need on the living-room floor. Pick up each item one at a time and scrutinize it. Ask yourself, ‘Will I really use this snorkel and these fins enough to justify carrying them?’ rather than ‘Will I use them?’ Just ask yourself: ‘Will I use them enough to feel good about hauling them over the place?’"

15. Check the carry-on policy.
Some airlines, such as Allegiant and the controversial Spirit airlines, charge for carry-on baggage. Ask in advance.

Have a great holiday!

Looking for great gear? Check out 5 travel gadgets to make packing easier. We've also got the new carry-on guidelines and tips to fit more in your carry-on.

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15 packing tips to save you money

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