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Educational Tours: Tips for Packing Light on Student Trips

These days, when student travel groups set out for any destination by air, it is both practical and economical to travel light. Many airlines have begun applying new lower minimum weight requirements that average 75 pounds per bag for transported baggage. If bags exceed this limit, additional fees may apply.

The trick for many student travel groups is to pack light when planning the initial trip and when making a return, avoid carrying an excessive amount of souvenirs. If heavier souvenirs are purchased, then the student or chaperone may want to consider shipping items instead of bringing these items on board the return flight.

The practice of carrying one bag only works especially well on 3-5 day student trips. Some airlines are even beginning to add extra charges for the first bag and additional bags; some only charge for extra luggage.

Encourage students to limit their possessions to one piece of luggage for the trip and a carry-on item such as a backpack, handbag, or laptop bag for items they may need easier access to on board.

Following are several other packing tips I would like to share with those taking student trips this year and next.

Select a good piece of luggage: Do NOT select a suitcase that’s overly large. Instead, opt for something medium sized that has wheels and a handle for easy transfer. A lightweight bag would be canvas or nylon. Leather bags are going to be heavy. If the class trip is three days or less, students may be able to get by with just a carry on bag and a bag to stow under the seat. Check with airlines for regulation sizes for carry on baggage to eliminate a potential luggage charge.

Tag Luggage: In the event that a piece of luggage could be lost, place a name and an address inside each checked-in and carry on bag. Make sure to carry at least one change of clothes and a toothbrush in the carry on bag.

Make lists: A packing list is always helpful. It can help the student traveler to focus on what is needed, instead of adding extra items that will not be used. Make sure only necessary items make it to the list.

Select Clothing Appropriate for Climate: When packing, be aware of the climate or potential weather conditions at the destination. Pack essential clothing (and coats) accordingly. Wear bulkier items such as coats on the plane, to save space and weight in luggage. Roll underwear and place inside shoes to save space.

Limit shoes to two pair:
One pair of shoes is worn on the plane. Pack another pairs of shoes and that’s all. Make sure both pairs of shoes are comfortable walking shoes.

Pack Trial Size Body Care Items: Try to shop ahead and obtain trial size toothpaste, mouthwash, soap, shampoo and hair care items. This saves space in baggage and makes bags lighter. Put all liquids in zip lock bags and take an extra zip lock bag for a wet bathing suit or towel.

Prescription Drugs: Prescription drugs, especially diabetes medications with syringes, should be in pharmacy prescription bottles.

Eyeglasses or Contact Lenses: Make sure to bring protective eyeglass cases, as well as spray and cloth for care. Bring just enough disposable contacts (with maybe one extra) for short trips to save space, or smaller amounts of contact lens cleaner to save space and weight in baggage.

These packing tips are designed for the student traveler who may be new to the idea of traveling afar. Yet these advance planning ideas for trips are essential for saving money and making transfer of baggage easier.

In the interest of economy, security, and ease of travel remember to go light on class trips. For information on booking class trips email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com or Request a Quote via the online form.