Get our free updates by email and never miss a thing!



Learn How to Pack Your Luggage to Save on Baggage Fees

Luggage Home Ever AfterLuckily, knowing how to pack your luggage to save money comes in handy no matter what airline you travel on.  Follow our tips below to learn how to pack luggage to save money on baggage fees.

Back when the recession started in 2008, we all knew the day would come when learning how to most efficiently pack our suitcases would save us money. Looking back, we know now that we were right!

Almost all airlines now charge luggage fees for suitcases which used to be included in the price of your ticket.  Airlines are still looking for ways to cut their costs by cutting out services which have previously been free by industry standard, such as in-flight meals.

We parents know that it often pays to travel with children, since our baggage restrictions are somewhat looser (ability to bring strollers and child car seats for free on certain airlines, etc.).

Despite baggage fees, we can still make an effort to keep our travel costs low. Thankfully, our organizing skills come into play to keep us packed in as few bags as possible with these great frugal packing tips!

Tip #1: Pack Your Free Samples

Pack free samples to save money on baggage fees.  Don’t take full-size products if you don’t have to! If you’re a free samples collector like me, you have tons of free samples lying around your bathroom.  This means you have plenty of  trial size shampoos, conditioners, baby products, pain relievers, etc., which you can pack instead of your regular beauty products. 

Free samples don’t take up much space and they fit into TSA’s rules for flying with liquids.   Best of all, after you use your free samples during your vacation, you can throw away the empty free sample package and not have a half-used bottle to pack for the trip back home!

Tip #2: Roll Your Clothes

Luggage Home Ever After

Roll your clothes instead of folding them to save money on baggage fees.  We’ve all heard that rolling the clothing in your suitcase takes less space, and it allows you to fit more clothing in a suitcase.

An added bonus to rolling clothes in suitcases is that rolled clothing unpacks at your destination with much less wrinkling and creasing!

Tip #3: Take Clothes that Mix and Match

Instead of taking complete outfits, take tops and bottoms that can coordinate to form several days’ worth of outfits to save money on baggage fees.

Here are a few ideas for outfit-building clothing pieces to extend your packed clothing:

  • Solid colored t-shirts
  • White and black tank tops for layering
  • Dark wash jeans
  • Khaki pants
  • Black pencil skirt
  • Black flats
  • Basic black boots

Not only will you save money on baggage fees, you’ll also have more outfit options and end up with fewer clothing items in your luggage.

Tip #4: Diapers Provide Extra Space

If you are traveling to a location where a drug store will be accessible, don’t pack disposable diapers and pull-ups in your luggage. Just take enough diapers in your carryon to last during your flight, then purchase diapers when you arrive.

If you must pack diapers in your suitcases, don’t worry about leaving extra space in your luggage to bring back purchases.  As the diapers are used up, they provide the space you need! Make sure you calculate your per-day diaper use closely so you don’t end up bring home a lot of extra diapers.

We originally published "Learn How to Pack Your Luggage to Save Money" on Home Ever After on March 11, 2008. 

Next: Print out our checklist for how to pack a carry on suitcase.

Checklist: How to Pack a Carry On Suitcase

Suitcase travel The carry on suitcase is the most important piece of your travel preparation, and the item that can make the difference between a great trip and a terrible trip in many cases.  If your luggage is lost, damaged, or delayed, it is vital to have everything you need in your carry on suitcase.

Some important guidelines:  You’ll need to make sure you have enough clothing, medications, and personal items (toiletries) to last you one day, or until you can get them replaced.  Pack all breakables and valuable items (either monetary value or sentimental value) in your carry on so that they are never out of your possession.  This includes travel information and identification.

If you’re traveling with children, you’ll need to anticipate any needs they might have in advance.  Do not count on a drink or snack service on a plane being timed with coincide with your child’s appetite.

Preparing for travel can get hectic, and the stress of having to remember so many things can cause you to forget the items you really need.  It’s nice to use a checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten any important items that you’ll need in your carry on.  Use this printable carry on packing checklist as a reference, and add additional items to the list to customize for your family.

Checklist for Packing a Carry On Suitcase


  • 1 change of clothes
  • 1 set of pajamas
  • 1 pair of comfortable walking shoes
  • 1 sweatshirt or sweater (in case you need to layer)


  • Digital camera and batteries
  • Video camera and charger
  • iPod or mp3 player with ear buds
  • Laptop and power cord
  • Portable DVD player
  • Cell phones and chargers

Travel Info

  • Airplane tickets, confirmation number, reservation info
  • Travel itinerary
  • Frequent flyer number
  • Hotel address, confirmation number and reservation info
  • Conference receipts, tickets, and reservation info
  • Loyalty card for hotel
  • Rental car reservation info
  • Passport and/or visa
  • Identification

Personal Items

  • Extra pair of contact lenses (in case one gets lost or torn)
  • Contact solution and rewetting drops
  • Glasses
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hair brush, hair styling products
  • Makeup for ladies
  • Deodorant


  • Money
  • Credit cards
  • Traveler’s checks


  • Daily prescription meditations you take
  • Allergy medicine (if any family members have food or other types of allergies)
  • Vitamin/mineral supplements
  • Packaged wet antibacterial wipes (you never know what you’re going to be touching)
  • A copy of medical records for anyone traveling in your party with a serious health condition


  • Magazines
  • Books
  • Crossword puzzle books
  • Notebook or journal for writing
  • Thank you cards or holiday cards to be written out, envelopes to be addressed
  • Portable game systems (like Nintendo DS or Gameboys) and extra games


  • Jewelry
  • Watches
  • Leather coats
  • Purses and wallets

For Traveling with Kids

  • Extra diapers and wipes
  • Small toys
  • Books
  • Coloring books and crayons or markers
  • Small individually wrapped snacks, like granola bars or crackers
  • Juice boxes (Because of  liquid rules, check with TSA to see if you can take them through security. Some TSAs will allow you (at their discretion) to take liquids through if you have babies or toddlers.  If not, you may have to purchase juice boxes after going through the security checkpoint.)

If you liked this printable checklist, subscribe to our free updates to get them delivered to you as they are released! Photo credit ninjapoodles.