When you’re in the midst of saving money by adopting a more frugal lifestyle, taking a vacation is probably one of the last things on your mind. However, we all need a break from time to time.
The good news is that it is possible to travel without jeopardizing your budget in the process, and travelling lighter is a big part of it.
Travelling light can have a bigger impact on how much you save during travel than you might think.
Here are three ways to carry less baggage.
Step One – Learn the One Bag Rule
If at all possible, you really want to plan to take one carry-on bag, per traveler, on your trip. Why? Because it will prevent you from having to pay excess baggage fees, can make you less of a target for pick pockets, and significantly opens up your travel options.
You want to get the largest carry-on bag that your airline carrier will permit you to carry. Although a maximum size of 45 inches (length, width and depth) seems to be the standard across the industry, check with your airline first to make sure that your bag isn’t too big.
Step Two – Consider What You Really Need
Now that you have your bag, your next step is to make sure that you don’t carry anything with you that you don’t absolutely need. A systematic way of doing this is to lay everything you’re considering taking onto the bed.
Pick up each item one by one and ask yourself if you are 100% sure that you will use the item. If the answer is yes, you can set that item aside to be packed. This ensures that you are only taking the things that are absolutely necessary.
Note: Instead of packing contingency items that you may need, it’s better to just take a contingency fund of $100 – $200. This way, if upon reaching your destination you find that you need a particular item, you can buy it while you’re there.
Step Three – How to Pack
Since your bag will primarily consist of clothes, your primary goal will be getting your essentials into the bag without causing your clothes to wrinkle.
The best way to maximize storage space while minimizing wrinkles is to roll your clothes, instead of folding them. This technique works best when you roll two to three articles of clothing around something that is shaped like a cylinder – like a pair of socks.
In closing, being frugal is not about avoiding things that you’d like to do altogether, but rather it’s about finding creative ways to do what you love to do – without going outside of your budget. There is perhaps no better example of this than saving money during travel by traveling lighter.