Your Travel Digest

Your Travel Digest
Designed to educate & inspire on the topic of travel.

Friday, July 6, 2012

8 ways to avoid or reduce airline baggage fees
BY:  Jessica Wrobel

I must admit that when it comes to travel I tend to pack too much stuff.  For me planning ahead and knowing what I will need or not need to bring with me when traveling tends to be a big challenge and I pack too much stuff every time.  This past week I was needing to fly to New Hampshire from Phoenix, A.Z. and decided I didn’t want to pay the extra baggage fees that United was going to charge me.  I thought, maybe I can find a way to pack less and rather than check luggage, bring a smaller carry-on with me on the plane.

How was I going to pull this off?  I’ve never packed so light for one week before now so here laid the challenge...  However, I was up for the challenge.  Being that I love to research and put my resources to the test, I began to ask around and research online to see what I could find out about packing tips. I got a lot of response from others and found some excellent online resources when it was all said and done.

If you're at all like me when it comes to packing fora trip then you will enjoy learning about these excellent packing tips:

1.       Mailing is cheaper than airline fees.  If you have to bring extra luggage but you’re trying to avoid or reduce baggage fees, consider mailing some items to your destination.  The mail can actually be cheaper than the fees airlines will charge you to check your luggage.  And you won’t have to lug it all through the airports during travel.

2.       Wearing Layers or extra clothing like a sweater onto the plane will help to reduce what has to go in a suitcase.  You might be packing a few pairs of shoes and a pair of sneakers for example, in which case I’ would recommend you wear the largest pair of shoes onto the plane and pants instead of shorts to reduce the amount of space you will need to fill in your luggage. Make sense? (Especially if you are just packing a back or small suitcase to carry-on the plane.  This will really make a difference.

3.       Pack interchangeable colors so you can mix and match your clothing easier and then you will be able to pack fewer cloths by eliminating having too many options to choose from.  Choose pants, shorts, shirts, and shoes that match each other.  Then if you’re anything like me you will have an easier time choosing your outfits each day on your trip and have had packed A LOT less!

4.       Back packs are great!  Remember that you can pack extra items that do not fit into your small suitcase into your backpack like toiletries, extra clothing, or whatever you still need to bring.  Remember that you are allowed to bring a small suitcase no bigger than 45 inches, a personal shoulder bag / backpack or laptop case, and a purse onto the plane.  You’d be surprised what you can do with a little creativity.

5.       Rolling your items has been a well known method for packing and saving space.  It has also been said to reduce a lot of wrinkles in your clothing.  However, the truth is cloths still do end up wrinkled even when they are rolled.  But it does save space!

6.       Use the “Bundle Method”. Watch this short video – fewer wrinkles than “rolling your items” and you will pack more. Click here to learn more about the "Bundle Method"

7.       Space Saver Bags are a great way to cut down on space up to 3 or 4 times more than you normally could fit without these bags. Click here to learn about Space Saver Bags

8.       Traveling with liquids can take up space.  If you are not going to check a bag you will have to reduce the size of your bottles of liquids by quite a bit to be allowed into your carry-on.  For most women and some men bottles of hair gel, shampoo & conditioner, hairspray and other liquids come in a larger bottle and normally can be packed in your checked luggage without any problems but if you are going to just travel with your carry-on then you must pack smaller bottles of liquids.  The rules of the airlines says you must not pack a bottle of liquid that is more than 3 oz in size and if you combine your bottles of liquids they must not equal to more than 1 liter.  If you are only traveling for 1 week chances are a 3 oz bottle of shampoo will be plenty.  You can find 3 oz travel bottles at places like Wal-Mart or anywhere that sells travel accessories. But, if you are going to be traveling someplace for longer than a week then you might want to consider purchasing some of your toiletries when you arrive at your destination.

Hopefully you got some very useful tips here and I wish you Safe Travels!

Jessica Wrobel
“More than just affordable travel”

Monday, March 12, 2012

Exploring the Desert

South Mountain – Phoenix, Arizona
South Mountain has been mentioned as the largest city park in the world. At nearly 17,000 acres it certainly covers a lot of ground, although it isn't a park in the sense of grass, and playgrounds, and lakes, and ducks, as one might think. South Mountain Park is a desert mountain preserve.

I decided to hike this mountain for the first time and made some truly interesting discoveries. There are more trails on this preserve than you can count. Some easy open trails always populated with locals and tourists and other trails that you don’t want to go alone because you’d be lucky to see a person who could help you if you fall off a cliff or get too cooked by the hot Arizona sun and need a little rescuing. I was told in the summer time people are carried out of the park from heat exhaustion upwards of 15 times a day. You don’t want to under estimate the brute strength of Mother Sunshine in Arizona during the summer months.

While on the trails I met some really nice gentlemen who were a wealth of knowledge and shared so much about the South Mountain Preserve with me. In fact I got a red alert warning about this plant during my hike from these men. They told me they senses heat. So if you get close to it, it will then shoot out it's pricklies at you and there is no getting them out. The big ones have hooks on them much like a fish hook. I received this information from and older man who experienced the wrath of this plant first hand. He said it took a year for the prickles to work its way out of him. (Note to self... Stay very far away!!)

This park is great for biking, hiking, Picnics, Barbecues and Parties, Trail Rides, & scenic drives. There’s stone forts as well as Petroglyphs with Native American carvings, and so many more fascinating sights to see!

The best time to go hiking in Arizona is in the spring time. Summer is way to hot. Although many people do hike in the summer – you better be sure to bring PLENTY of water. You will be no match for the dry air and hot sun if you don’t take proper precautionary steps.

Jessica Wrobel
"More than just affordable travel"