Out of all the travel tips I've learned, this is one of my favorites: Share suitcases with your companion. Whether you're pooling your stuff plus your partner's stuff in a single bag or mixing both of your belongings in multiple bags, you'll likely find that there are several advantages to the shared suitcase. Here's a primer on sharing bags, plus some smart reasons for doing so—in case your travel buddy needs a little convincing.
1. If Your Checked Bag Gets Lost, You're Covered
When checking multiple bags, pack a set of essential items—underwear, toiletries, one outfit, and such—within each checked suitcase belonging to you and your travel partner. This way, if an airline loses one of your bags, you'll nevertheless have some useful items to tide you over until your missing suitcase comes back to you.
2. Beat Airline Weight Limits
Weigh your bags while packing, and distribute items evenly within them. If any one piece of luggage nears your airline's overweight-bag limit, remove some items and repack them in another bag. Overweight bag fees can be quite costly, so luggage weight is worth a bit of extra attention during the packing process. American Airlines, for example, charges $100 per bag weighing more than 50 lbs. on a domestic flight.
3. It's Easy to Stay Organized
Splitting two travelers' belongings among several suitcases won't result in confusing sock mix ups if you do it right. Use organizers, such as packing cubes, compression bags, gallon-size zip-top bags, or packing folders, to keep your belongings separate. Or, like me, you can use the poor man's packing cube—a plastic grocery bag.
4. You Can Pack Less
Pack lighter by sharing with your travel partner. Things to share include hair brushes, deodorant (unscented versions might work best), sun screen, tooth paste, bug spray, cameras, electronics, books, hats, and sweatshirts.
Now it's your turn. Do you share a suitcase with a travel buddy? Leave your tips in the comments below.
(Photo: Couple Sharing a Suitcase via Shutterstock)
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