Jets release an average of 120,000 tons of CO2 per flight. And according to Good Morning America, each additional 10 pounds of luggage taken on an airplane requires 350 million gallons of extra jet fuel every year.
We aren't all naturally like George Clooney's character from Up in the Air , however, and packing light isn't always convenient. To make it easier for you, we've put together a list of tips that are simple and efficient. Following one or all of them might just help you save money on airline bag fees; save time at the luggage carousel (or in the lost luggage line); and save the planet.
TIPS FOR PACKING LIGHTER
Make a List:
- Websites like The Universal Packing List or TravellersPoint make it easy to remember everything for your trip; they also make it easy to pack things you'll never use. Be sure to check your list multiple times and determine which items can be purchased at your destination, such as toiletries.
- If you pack a few days in advance, you'll have time to rethink what you want to take, remove the unnecessary items, and leave in only what you'll absolutely need instead of packing in a rush and throwing in bulky, impractical items.
- Remember, if it isn't on your list, it shouldn't be in your bag.
- If you're traveling with family and/or friends, merge your packing lists and borrow from each other.
Choose the Right Bag:
- If you've ever heard the saying “There are two kinds of luggage: carry-on and lost,” you'll need a bag that fits your airline's carry-on restrictions. Visit SaveWealth.com to view the number of carry-on items allowed as well as their dimension and weight limits.
- Then consider a convertible carry-on that's lighter than a standard hard case with wheels and can be used as a suitcase or a backpack. The 100 percent recycled, Rick Steves Convertible Carry-On Travel Backpacks meets airline dimension restrictions, weighs just 3 pounds, and has a limited lifetime warranty. Oh...and you can find it on sale for less than $99.
Bundle your Clothes:
- Rolling up clothes might save some space in the long run, but it won't save your clothes from wrinkles. Instead, try the bundle wrapping method, which keeps clothes from getting wrinkled and takes up less space. Visit OneBag.com to read more about bundling clothes and to view a reasonably detailed diagram.
- Everyone packs shoes, but very few of us think to use them for storage. They're great for holding small items like medication bottles, deodorant, or...um, socks.
- Mail souvenirs to friends, family, or even yourself instead of packing them home in your suitcase. This is a smart way to get your tour books, traveling maps, and other unnecessary reading materials home without adding weight to your suitcase on the flight home.
- Pack quick-drying shirts, light-weight pants, socks, and underwear (from brands like Columbia Sportswear, the North Face, L.L. Bean, and Patagonia) that can be washed along the way. If you're able to wash clothing items more often, you won't have to pack as many.
- Remember to only pack interchangeable clothing items. Ideally, you should be able to yield at least 14 ensembles from every 7 items packed.