Minimal Luggage Strategies For Air Travel

For those folks who prepare Bug-Out-Bags (BOBs) or Go-Bags, we usually pack them full of emergency related supplies and that can often be quite robust. Is it possible to be over-prepared? It depends on your plans for travel in an emergency, especially via air travel.

My youngest son has literally traveled around the globe and I’ve been amazed at how little he packs as he travels. He only takes a backpack as his luggage that has a zip-off day-pack attached. As holiday weekends approach he often searches for exceptional air fares for a quick get-away trip on a budget. He found a ticket recently from Charlotte NC to Philadelphia PA for $37 but there was a catch… this airline required passengers to pay a fee for any carry-on or check-in luggage that exceeded the air fare price!

In many cases travel by plane can be a financial challenge, especially in an emergency situation. It may be necessary to think in terms of minimalism when dealing with a limited budget. The question is “what do you really need to carry with you during your flight?” and “what is the purpose of your trip?”. That will determine your luggage requirements.

I have heard stories of folks who at the check-in counter had encountered over-weight luggage fees. They stepped away from the registration desk and returned soon afterwards wearing some extra clothing that had been packed in their luggage resulting in a now lighter luggage weight that avoided the higher fees. That caused me to think that a person could wear items normally packed in carry-on luggage and avoid added fees.

I looked up the fees from the budget airlines that had this restriction and found that they allowed a “personal item” for free. They must be no larger than 14” x 18” x 8” in size and must fit under the seat in front of you on the airplane. That personal item could carry a second set of clothes that would allow you to wash one set while wearing the other and one set may be more formal for any occasion where it was appropriate. If I chose to wear the extra set of clothes I would also carry a compact folding ruck sack so that once I landed at my destination I could remove the extra clothes and carry them separately along with any sundries that I might purchase along the way.

Smaller items such as electronics, hygiene items, snacks, and personal items can be carried in coat pockets. Plastic bags are useful to keep all of the small items together and your pockets dry. It is a simple thing to lay the loaded coat into the TSA tray on your way through inspection. Extra needed items might be purchased upon arrival to your destination.

You may enjoy these links to other travel tips.

Bookmark and Share