Packing Light for the Trip Home

By Alissa Graham (intern)

Any traveler, whether you have to travel to one state or 25 countries, has to deal with the rising cost of baggage. Last year, airlines made an estimated 65 million from our checked baggage. If you are like me, you are pretty good at keeping things light on the way to your destination, but on the way back, things seem to multiply quickly on the road. Maybe you like to collect house wares, t-shirts, or art from your destination. I like to collect interesting books that will help me remember my trip in the years ahead. But try to pack all these items in your already jam-packed baggage and you are in for some surprise added costs. That’s why I’ve put together this helpful list to help you pack lighter for the return trip home.

  1. Do not bring home any toiletries. Leave your ¼ bottle of shampoo with a friend still on the road, or just chuck it in the garbage. Do you really need to bring home your grody toothbrush? It’s probably time to buy a new one anyway. Throw it out.
  2. Do not bring home any food. Sure you brought 20 granola bars and peanut butter sandwiches for your long journey, but on the way back, practice some restraint and only bring an apple or banana. Cheerios also make for a lightweight snack.
  3. Clothes get a little worn on the journey? Throw them away. For some reason I always end up with holes in all my socks after traveling. Good solution though, you can just throw them away and have some room in your luggage for more important things!
  4. Clear out all the unnecessary papers and receipts. Do you really need to bring home that coaster from the hotel bar or the brochure that a guy on the street handed you for a strip club? Probably not.
  5. Did you come with books and magazines? Give them away, donate them to a local library, or leave them at your hotel. Someone will appreciate it (or be able to start a fire!)

So now that you’ve saved yourself about $75 in overweight luggage fees, you can splurge on awesome souvenirs that will really mean something in 10 years!

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Clare and Mark (family cruise to Alaska)

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