Sometimes you don’t need to check a bag. If you’re going on a short trip like a weekend getaway or a business trip, you can travel with a small bag and save on baggage fees. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite items to pack to help you avoid bringing a checked bag.

Carry-On Bags

There's no need for a bulky checked bag if you've got a roomy but lightweight carry-on that can fit all your stuff. The best carry-on bags have useful features such as space, wheels, and the ability to actual fit in the overhead bin. Our favorite carry-on bags can be found here.

Backpack or Messenger Bag

In addition to a carry-on bag, you can also bring a personal item. Opt for a spacious bag so you can cram more stuff in it and avoid having to check a bag. We really like this backpack from The Under Armour. If backpacks make you feel like a kid again, try a tote or messenger bag. Many are just as spacious as a backpack.

3-1-1 Toiletries

If you’re trying to avoid checking a bag, you won’t be able to bring larger versions of your favorite toiletries. Make sure to follow the 3-1-1 rule, three ounces or less in a clear, zip-top plastic bag, with one quart-sized bag per traveler. Instead of buying travel-sized toiletries, try to use refillable bottles. You’ll save money and help the environment.

Versatile Outfits

There's no need to stuff a large suitcase with clothes if you can make a few garments do double duty. For example, wear a polo and shorts for comfort during the day, and then change to chinos at night for a dressier look.  Ladies, adding a cardigan to a dress or blouse can dress it up for nighttime, avoiding the need to bring a whole separate outfit for going out.

All products and services mentioned on Airfarewatchdog are independently selected by our team of expert travelers. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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