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Avoid airline baggage fees: 9 tips for packing light

With WestJet announcing fees of $25 for the first checked-bag, many travellers are looking for ways to get around the cost. Travel agent and notoriously light-packer Jalene Smith shows you how to keep it all in carry-on.
Travel agent Jalene Smith shows how she packs her carry-on luggage to get as much in as possible and avoid checked baggage fees 1:29

With WestJet announcing fees of $25 for the first checked-bag in economy, many travellers are looking for ways to get around the cost. Travel agent and notoriously light-packer Jalene Smith shows you how to keep it all in carry-on.

Ditch the checked luggage

Try to put it all in a carry-on bag. It won’t get lost, it saves you time in picking up your luggage, and it saves you money in checked-bag fees.

Maximize your space

Don’t fold up your clothes, roll them. It takes up less space and can help keep them from getting wrinkled. And if you bring an extra pair of shoes, don’t let the space inside them go to waste – stuff your socks and underwear inside.

Wear layers when you fly

Anything you’re wearing when you board is something you don’t have to fit in your bag. Plus, it keeps you warm during the flight.

Don’t bring too many toiletries 

Shampoo, toothpaste, a toothbrush: these are all things you can buy at your destination. Save your luggage space for any specialty items you can’t get anywhere, and buy the rest when you land.

Pack clothes with neutral colours 

How many things does that hot pink T-shirt really go with? Blacks and whites are easier to mix and match, giving you more mileage out of the outfits that you pack. It also prevents you from looking dated in vacation photos.

Do laundry

Even if it is just in a hotel sink, clean your clothes so they can be worn multiple times on the same trip.

Careful with your souvenirs

Jewellery and clothing is easier to wear on the plane or pack. Knick-knacks and other mementos take up much more room.

Be generous

Have a gift for a friend or a souvenir you absolutely must have? Don’t be afraid to give away clothes to make room for it in your bag.

Don’t panic

Especially if you’re on vacation when you are suppose to be relaxing. Don’t fret, pack for the best-case scenario and don’t be afraid to improvise on the fly.