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As you gear up for vacation season, do you find yourself dreading the luggage hassle: How many bags will I have to pay for?  Do I have to pare down my packing supplies just to fit the luggage weight guidelines?  How can I keep my clothes clean when I’m on the go?  These are just a few of the more stress filled questions that can rain on your vacation parade.  Thankfully, we’ve discovered a couple of alternatives you may not have thought of when it comes to your next travel destination.

luggage

Did you know that disposable clothing has been all the rage for international travelers for some time now?  It is the idea that you can buy cheap and cheerful clothing, wear it for a short period of time, and toss it (or recycle it) on your travels.  This is especially useful for those who are traveling to for long periods of time over several different climates–namely backpackers who haul everything on their backs.  For example, you can buy a cheap jacket while is Canada, then swap it out for tank tops in Thailand.  Even if you are not the avid backpacker or world traveler, having disposable clothing can make your traveling less stressful and even be easier on the environment if they are recyclable.  It is the alternative to hauling wet or soiled clothes and finding means to wash them or pay hotel laundry fees.  Companies like Onederwear are trying to market in the US due to their popularity in places like Europe and Asia.  They sell biodegradable cotton underwear you use once or twice, then toss, even great for jogging and hiking.

There are essentially two types of luggage: carry-on and lost. If you need to tote more than you can carry on, then simply ship your bags ahead to the hotel.  In addition to DHL, FedEx, and UPS, there are more than 17 other private courier companies that perform the same door-to-door, room-to-room service.  Check out  Luggageconcierge.com, Luggagefree.com, and Virtualbellhop.com.  It costs as little as $40 per bag.  You save an average of two hours of your life every time you fly by not checking bags. You don’t have to schlep, stand in line at the airline counter, stand in line at the TSA, and then, when you land, you don’t have to stand in that refugee circle around the baggage carousel, hoping against hope that  your bags were actually on the same flight you were.

Because of issues with customs, it’s not always a good idea to send your bags ahead when you are traveling internationally. In cases like that, if you must check your bags, practice some basic common sense: Always put an identification tag on the outside of each bag (but list only your name and cell-phone contact number), and do the same on the inside of each bag. Airline baggage conveyor belts can devour ID tags, but this way, if your outside tag gets ripped off, someone from the airline can still reach you.

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