Westways Experts Share Tips On Avoiding Baggage Fees

Elizabeth Harryman and Paul Lasley
Westways travel experts Elizabeth Harryman and Paul Lasley

As the summer travel season begins, airport crowds and checked baggage fees are providing more incentives for air passengers to opt for carry-on luggage only during their trips. Veteran travelers Elizabeth Harryman and Paul Lasley, who write the TravelSmart column for Westways magazine, have several tips to ensure vacationers can fit everything they need in carry-on suitcases.


“Whether you’re planning a one-week or six-week trip, you can pack everything you need in carry-on luggage,” says Harryman. “But unless you’re very practiced, make sure you don’t wait until the last minute to pack because it does take some extra planning.”


Harryman recommends the following:


  • Color-coordinate your wardrobe so you can bring just one jacket (which you can wear on the plane), one or two everyday pants, one dressy skirt or pair of pants, and workout gear if needed. That also eliminates the need to bring several pairs of shoes to match outfits.


  • Select clothes with fabrics that are washable and wrinkle-resistant so you can launder on the road if needed and not spend much time ironing.


  • Use scarves and jewelry to dress up and change the look of your outfits.


  • ROLL your clothes to pack them instead of folding, using a piece of tissue paper for each big clothing piece. This minimizes wrinkles.


  • Pack a light sweater, even if traveling in summer, because air conditioning can make some areas too cold.


  • Pack shoes in a shoebag to keep clothes clean, and use shoe cavities to pack a small jewelry or accessory bag.


  • To follow the Transportation Security Administration’s 3-1-1 rule for liquids, consider purchasing toiletries at your destination if you need amounts beyond the 3.4-ounce limits.


Lasley said that traveling with carry-on luggage doesn’t have to mean skimping on comfort while on the plane. He packs an “in-flight bag” that he pulls out of his carry-on before he stows it that contains a sleep mask, earplugs, cell phone or electronic music player and earbuds, mini flashlight, and antiseptic wipes.


He also recommends bringing:


  • A travel umbrella
  • For foreign trips, an unlocked GSM cell phone that can be used with a sim card you can purchase at your destination country
  • A power strip for plugging in and charging electronics


For more details on how to travel with carry-on luggage, watch the video featuring Harryman and Lasley.