How To Avoid Overpacking & Baggage Fees

Words by: Nina Grace


It's a no brainer, right?! Just stuff everything that can fit in your luggage and you're good to go. That is, until you get to the baggage check at the airport and you find out your bag is...dun dun dunnnnn... overweight and you need to fork out $25-$50 to cover unexpected baggage fees. Eeekk! Unfortunately, it's happened to all of us at one point or another. We justified bringing too many extra items for those "just in case" moments. 

Over the years, I've used the following tips to help streamline my packing methods for both domestic and international vacations and challenge you to do the same for your next trip. 

1. Checklist

This takes the stress out of packing in general. Making sure you don't forget any small and easily overlooked item. One year I was traveling to Italy (for the first time) and completely forgot my digital camera's SD cards in order to take and store images. Thank goodness those things are easy to come by. Your checklist should list all of your must haves while also leaving room for any extra items you consider important. Click here for a free printable checklist.


2. Outfit Coordination

Planning your outfits ahead of time is usually the most involved part of packing. But, again, it reduces stress during your trip. It also helps to avoid overpacking. Do your best to mix & match your clothing. As we've all heard by now, sticking to one color palette and utilizing items that are versatile (easily wearable for both casual and formal) are key! Use resources like Pinterest and your favorite fashion blogger for outfit inspiration!

3. Packing Cubes

These little packing cubes are the best thing since sliced bread! Talk about saving space! Packing your items (clothing, electronic devices, gifts, etc.) into a packing cube keeps your suitcase organized and because they are so compact they also provide room for more storage in your suitcase. I will never go back to life pre-packing cubes ever again!  


4. Toiletries

Go mini on this one. Pack travel sized items to stay in the clear of airport security. With travel sized skincare, makeup, medicine, and all other daily/nightly routine items you will be able to fit everything into one small toiletry pouch

5. Carry-on

Naturally this depends on the length of your trip but I suggest using a carry-on when traveling between 3 - 8 days. If less than 3 days use a weekend bag. If more than 8 days, take a larger suitcase that you would check at the airport. I love being able to use a carry-on, it ensures I have everything with me, I won't have to wait for my luggage at the baggage claim area; and if I've followed all of the above tips properly I'll still have just enough space to purchase items on my trip and bring them back with me.